Have you ever read a book or seen a film about the circus – the people who travel around and set up a big top tent, or practice their art- trapeze flying, elephant riding, lion taming, or clown around- all for entertainment. Well, looking around on set over the past month at a crew that has become like family, I couldn’t help but think that we are a modern traveling circus. I say this with the utmost respect for the people I work with.
Like a well-oiled machine, we roll into town – our caravan of minivans taking over country roads from Kentucky to Washington – and set up shop hoping to create magic.
What I’ve learned is magic takes a lot of work. Last year, we created the “It’s In Your Nature” Campaign for Cabela’s and while we knew we had something special in the consistent, consecutive, perfect sunrise and sunset scenes, we didn’t know how well our commercial film would be received and we couldn’t have dreamed that we’d be asked to recreate that magic again this year.
Working for Tyler Stableford I’ve seen behind the lucky streak and know all of the preparation it takes to pull off a successful outdoor commercial. Though on set we’ve joked that he has some sort of agreement with Mother Nature because on several occasions we’ve witnessed a hot pink sunset fall out of nowhere on an otherwise cloudy overcast shoot day, I know that he plans and plans and prepares for the backup to the backup.
Side note: If you are an outdoor photographer or filmmaker reading this get a sun-seeking app; just do it. While you’re at it get every radar weather seeking app you can. It will be worth it for that 15 min break in the cloud cover on an important shoot day.
The biggest thing that he has taught me about professionalism is being prepared. As our ringleader, he’s assembled a hell of a team and a vision for what this Cabela’s It’s In Your Nature 2.0 commercial would be. Working with an incredibly bright and inspiring creative marketing team and Cabela’s, this year’s commercial evolved beyond what we did last year and what we’ve ever done as a production company. We brought in dogs, birds, fish, kids and a lot more on-screen talent; at times it really did feel like a circus!
With more to direct, we always seemed to be fighting against the clock on our month long shoot. When time or weather wasn’t on our side, Kent Harvey, our DP, was able to work with the gaffers and crew to buy us that much needed extra bit of light and like magic, we had moonlight or sunlight once again!
Much of our work here at Stableford Studios is done in a light and fast manner- with the type of outdoor adventure work we do it just has to be. However, working with such a skilled crew over the course of the past two years on these Cabela’s commercials has been incredible. Watching everyone work together doing their part to create a beautiful scene- sometimes literally as is the case with Pam Chavez and our art department- is an inspiring reminder that creating magic takes a lot of work!
The commercial should air at the beginning of next year so stay tuned to see it and the behind the scenes videos.
Until next time!