How we made it rain for Hennessy's new rain fly.
Shooting motorcycles, bikes, and hammocks.

Hennessy Hammock Frame

Client: Hennessy Hammock
Project Overview

Hennessy Hammock asked us to create a short video that would showcase two of their products, the Hex Fly and newly released Leaf Asymetric Hammock in an exciting way. After further discussion and research, we came to the conclusion these products were targeting two very different audiences. We suggested shooting two separate videos that targeted each demographic individually and they were on board. The "Hex Fly" video would be targeted to the hardcore outdoors person that would be looking for a product that could withstand the elements. The "Leaf" video would be focused toward the everyday, on the go lounger, with a more youthful and up beat feel.

Concept Development/Script Writing

We provided the client with 3 realistic big picture concepts for each video, as well as style references based on their ask, audience and budget. After the client chose their ideal concepts we got to work putting together a script as well as a visual script. The visual script provides a reference to help us wrap our heads around pacing, sfx, and shot selection beforehand. 

Location Scouting

For the "Hex Fly" video we knew we needed both scenic roads and a wooded location for camping, easy, but we also needed power and water, which made things a little more difficult. We contacted a number of campgrounds as well as scouted the surrounding areas for the perfect location that matched our needs. For the "Leaf" video, we needed two trees that were both the correct size and spaced properly, we also wanted a visually appealing background that felt both urban and peaceful, this became a harder task than we thought.

Location Scout 2
location scout 1

Casting

We put out two casting calls, one for the "Hex Fly" video which called for an outdoorsy male 25-40, who rides and owns a motorcycle, and one for the "Leaf" video which called for a female, 18-25 who is comfortable riding a bicycle. We had hundreds of submissions for the "Leaf" video, we narrowed our search to 10, made our suggestions and presented to the client. Our search for a male actor who rides a motorcycle was much more difficult, after a week of posting to listings, talking to agencies and even posting on craigslist we finally found our actor.

Props

After finalizing all of the details, we put together a shot list with corresponding props. We sourced outdoors gear, a bicycle, bought firewood, and even created a rain making system out of garden hose.

Scheduling/Logistics/Production

Hennessy Hammock "Leaf" Still Frame

We put together a shooting schedule that accounted for the best light for the "Leaf" video, during our location scout we used our SunSurveyor App to locate where the sun would rise and planned for a 6am call time. We were working on a limited budget and therefore had to rely on working with the sun rather than overpowering it, we used a silk, bounce boards, and negative fill to shape the light within our close ups.

We used a DJI Ronin and the Fool Control App to control the camera remotely as we tracked our actress on the bicycle. 

Red Scarlet W DJI Ronin
DJI Ronin Op

For the "Hex Fly" video we scheduled our shoot later in the day, we wanted the driving scenes to happen at dusk and the camping scenes at nightfall. We used a hazer to provide some atmosphere as well as bring up the ambient light in the scene. We bounced our light into a large white card to provide a soft source mimicking moonlight.

set
hazer smoke machine

Post Production

After the production day we headed to the editing suite, we first created proxy files to edit from. We combed through the footage in Adobe Premiere, sourced music, and overlaid both recorded and found sound effects. We con veined internally and made a few tweaks, we sent it off to the client and with a couple small revisions it was approved and ready for a color grade and mix.

Color

The final stage of post production is Color Correction and Grade, we do all of our grading in Davinci Resolve. For the "Leaf" video we did a simple color correction, warming up the shots overall. We also used tracked masks to bring up the levels on our actresses face in places we weren't able to control the light as well, such as when she's riding the bicycle. For the "Hex Fly" video we wanted to go for a more moody, gritty color grade to match the overall feel of the content. You can see below in the before and after that the color grade is an extremely important part of the post process.

un graded
color graded

Final Videos/Happy Client

"We have worked with Kyle at Gradient Films on two projects and he has completely eclipsed my expectations both time. Communication has been very courteous and professional as well."

James
Hennessy Hammock