You know how beer commercials instantly make you wanna crack open a cold one? If you’re into commercial video and photography, Justin Jones and Ted Sim of Indy Mogul will show you how to create your own. In this video, they share nine steps to shooting a beer commercial on a budget, yet making it look epic.
- Find a location – before you start shooting, find your location or set up the scene. The guys used a brick wall to get rustic environment. You can use an actual brick wall, but also buy brick wall panels or even a backdrop.
- Set up the scene – set up the table around 10-15 feet from the backdrop so the background is out of focus. Justin and Ted add a piece of a wooden table, but you can get any piece of wood you have around or opt for a different look.
- Camera placement – place the camera onto a tripod, almost level to the board (at eye-level). Ted and Justin shot with a 50mm lens on a a Canon 6D MkII at f/4. They suggest shooting at 60fps so you can add some slo-mo. Also, use lower ISO (800 or lower) to get less noise.
- Backdrop light – add a hard light to the background for some texture (keep in mind though that it won’t work if you use a printed backdrop). Point the light to the background from below and make it right behind your bottle.
- Overhead light – add a soft overhead light to the scene and move it a bit to the side of your subject. This way, it won’t create a huge reflection on the front of the bottle. Ted and Jason placed it at 45 degrees on the back.
- Main light – you’ll need another soft light, on the opposite side of the bottle. In this case, it’s 45 degrees on the front, pointed at the label. Jason and Ted explain that, the larger the light source, the more natural look. You’ll get and a pleasant reflection that makes the bottle look more appealing. If you don’t have multiple lights, you can always improvise with some construction lights and DIY diffusion panels. Perhaps a V-flat would also do the trick.
- Visual interest – add some practical lights in the background to add mood to your shot. Ted and Jason used string lights, something like this.
- Practical interest – your background is now well-lit, and so is the bottle, but you wanna make it “pop.” Cut a piece of diffusion shaped as the bottle and stick it on the back side so the bottle isn’t transparent any more. It will make a lot of difference.
- Make it cold – I don’t know anyone who likes drinking warm beer. So, you want to make it cold, or even better – look cold. Use a mixture of glycerin and water, add it to a spray bottle and spray it on your bottle of beer. This mixture will stay there, it won’t melt away and make the label wet, so you can finish the shoot with the bottle still looking nice and cold.
As for the shooting, use camera moves to create motion, energy, and emotion in the frame. The guys use a Syrp Genie II which isn’t really a budget-friendly solution, but you can always improvise if you’re on a budget. Add hands and beer pour, make it, so to say, relatable for the viewers. At the end of the video you can see how the guys did it, and if you’re a beer drinker, it will totally make you want to have one now. :)