Making Skeeter Hawk

August 23, 2021
August 23, 2021 adam

Making Skeeter Hawk

Mosquitos, alligators, and hurricanes… Sounds like a good time, huh?

Concept Development

When our good friends at Velvet Hammer brought us on board to shoot their Skeeter Hawk campaign, there were a lot of variables to consider: we were going to be shooting in Florida, during a global pandemic, in the great outdoors. Skeeter Hawk makes mosquito repellant devices and we were tasked with capturing visuals of the products in use along with a longer-form brand identity story. We had a great time working with the team at Velvet Hammer to bring the Skeeter Hawk scripts to life. This one was more traditional, in the sense that we set up various scenes for each product and then covered them like we would in a narrative scene: master shot, overs, detail closeups, etc.

Look & Feel

First off was the visual approach: we decided to use the Canon C300 MkII for it’s lightweight form factor, internal NDs, and great battery life. We paired it with two Angenieux EZ zooms (15-40 & 30-90 T2) and some Hollywood Blackmagic diffusion filters – all provided by our good friends at The Camera Department back home in Cincinnati, OH. This was a great run-n-gun setup that allowed us to get shallow depth of field when wanted it and enjoy the flexibility & speed of zoom lenses. At the speed we we required to move, zooms were a no brainer.

We had to move fast… we had a lot to capture and we were dealing with very unpredictable weather. It all came together nicely in the end.

Camera Movement

Since we were moving so quick, we decided to stick to handheld filming with an easy rig. This not only sped up our setups, but imparted a sense of immediacy and energy to the images. We utilized a Dana Dolly for a few setups to differentiate the mood from the rest of the piece.

Camera System

Lighting: we hired a local grip and electric crew along with a 3-ton truck and a very modest lighting package. We mostly used bounced daylight, but supplemented with a 4K HMI and an 800 Joker. In most situations, we were diffusing the direct sun, filling in from the sun side, and using negative fill from the camera side. We tried to shoot in backlight whenever possible.