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The iconic Lexus December to Remember campaign returned in 2018, with a HUGE bang, seemingly buying every available ad space on National TV for the month of December. This year, Lexus focused on how the gift of an expensive car with a giant red bow on top is the gift that keeps on giving. As a side note, that bow, if you need one to place on Grandmas 15 year old Camry you are gifting your eldest, there is a company who makes a business out of giant red bows….who knew!? www.kingsizebows.com. I reckon they are thanking their lucky stars for Lexus. Anyway, back on topic, the VP of Marketing over at Lexus says “this time of year is full of joy, magic and cherished family traditions that last well beyond the gift-giving season.” So, enter the three commercials, proudly lit by Redbacks. We seemed to have a lot more BTS videos than we did stills photos, so settle yourself in comfortably!

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Memories - TVC 1

Let’s make memories, starting with a snowy day in January. The 7 pound weight and almost zero wind resistance of the Redback makes for easy running for Twinkle Toes from 728. The directional light allows the subjects to be lit without blowing out the blindingly white snow, making this difficult shot, easy to achieve. This is shot in August in LA, so the snow is a mixture of white polyester snow blankets, paper pulp, some spray foam and crushed ice.

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The Memories commercial transitions over to an Easter Egg hunt in April and then a bitter sweet college goodbye scene. We didn’t snap any photos of this but luckily Gris the Gaffer has come to the rescue with his ‘Back to School Spidey Light’ video. Again, the lightweight directional qualities of the Redback saved the day and allowed movement of lighting in the shot with ease.

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The final image of this first commercial was lit day for night with a single Redback in Parabolic Mode over the car and a Redback in Stealth Mode as a grill flat. Easy to rig, gorgeous results.

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JOY - TVC 2

Oooh, romantic Valentines day dates with gorgeous cars. The Lexus was lit from every angle in this shot. The Redback over head of course, for the bow. Two Redbacks in stealth mode in front to create for a 12 ft grill flat (bigger IS better in this case) and a back light for the actors. There were also 2 smaller prototype Redbacks on the ground shining onto the wheels.

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This shot of the surfer getting into the car started from outside the vehicle and ended up inside the interior of the car. There’s nothing easier than a couple of handheld 7 pound directional lights that can be easily moved and then rested on the hood to create a beautiful soft light in the cabin just when it was needed. Too Easy.

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Finally we have the Halloween set. Again, we have Gris the Gaffer to rescue with BTS footage (he was having fun with this shoot!). The Spidey in the Tree Hang came about as there was no room on the street for condors but the street trick or treating scene required a base ambiance which was augmented with the pumpkin lanterns. In comes the super-soft, directional and lightweight Redback to the rescue, directly mounted to a tree, lighting the street and car simply and beautifully. No trees were hurt in the shooting of this scene.

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CELEBRATIONS

Quinceanera, Fourth of July and Football!

We have a grand total of zero Quincenera BTS shots but, the Fourth of July shoot we do have! Three Redbacks were mounted on a JL Fisher 23 to light the star of the show, the Lexus, this was with no diffusion, no flags. Arri Sky Panels on an 80 ft stick were used to create the firework bursts of color on the scene.

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The final scene is the football scene. Again, two Redbacks in Stealth mode for the grill flats and one overhead. Below is a video of the light being adjusted before the shot. I’m loving finishing on this video as it says everything about shooting with Redbacks on what could have been a very stressful shoot. The crew is relaxed, the mood is chill, the shots are in the can (or on the chip!) on time, with ease, and without the mess and stress that high level commercial shooting (when the agency executives present outnumber the crew) often has.

People confuse ‘pretty’, with good cinematography.
— Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, CBE
H. Spidey Esq.