Bose Commercial Shoot Title Picture
Wave radio and QC2 head phones.

This morning I travelled to Natick, Massachusetts to shoot product drop ins for a Bose commercial. The products were the Bose Wave radio and headphones. A sample video from this shoot is available for viewing at the bottom of this page.

I brought my Sony HVR-Z1U with my Letus35 Extreme film lens adapter, a Lowel DP light kit, my homemade jib, my homemade dolly, a Vinten tripod, a bunch of film lenses and my bag of support gear.

I was sent a still image of the Bose products in a well lit white environment. I was asked to recreate this lighting so that these product shots would match the older Bose commercials. I could do this, but with my manual 35mm camera lenses and the Letus, I could do better.

I shot in the office of the production company. They did not have a studio available. This presented a big problem. Windows…and lots of them looking out to the street. Before I got there, the production house had build a seamless white set next to the windows using a three foot wide roll of white paper. This white set was picking up spill from every direction. I had to have a pool of white only where the Bose products would sit and a darker area of fall off in the background. This was impossible with the windows.

So instead of hanging black drape from the tall glass windows, we decided to put all the black material and flags together to create a fleece hut where no light could get in. This enclosed the entire white set and allowed me to light the Bose products and get the falloff requested by the client.

I used a Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens. Old, but very nice.

Bose set

As you can see, they set up the area with lights that I did not use. All I went with was one Lowel DP 1k with a Chimera soft box and honey comb insert. I placed this light off to the right and put it on a dimmer. I had it set at about 70 percent running the lens wide open at f1.4.


I did use dolly track and my homemade jib, but I found that the jib was not very effective using the prime lenses. Running a jib with a camera zoomed would not look good. Using a fixed 50mm lens was not wide enough to get smooth and acceptable moves. I opted to just use the Vinten pan head most of the time. A few of the shots were jib drop downs and others included a slow dolly left with a slow pan right.


The depth of field that I got using the Letus35 Extreme helped to make the shoot very successful. Having a nice Nikon fast prime lenses was also important. I did not have any vignetting trouble even with the lenses irus full open. The lens was sharp, even under the most scrupulous eye.

Z1u camera and Letus Extreme

Things went well and the Bose representative on the scene was very happy. The client was able to use Firewire and dump the footage right into their Final Cut Pro system and edit the video on the spot. The Bose guy liked it. The commercial will now be uploaded to an FTP server for final approval from Bose.

The video above is not the actual footage used in the commercial, just a sample representation. This footage was shot on a separate tape and not intended for broadcast.