I have had the fortunate opportunity of working with Roberson’s Fine Jewelry over the last few years on various campaigns and television commercials. Myles, the son of the owners, Trish & Steve, found my work when I was was working on a wedding related social media website back in late 2009. We had a discussion about doing a few commercials for them and the next thing I know I was flying out to Little Rock, Arkansas to meet their entire team. The ideas were more focused on bridal/engagement jewelry back then and we shot three spots for them locally in Staunton, Virginia. The results were incredibly successful for them and I eventually traveled back to AR in 2010 to do a whole series of spots on their new store. Myles eventually pursued other endeavors, and we lost touch for a little bit, but in December of last year, Trish reached out to see if we could collaborate again. I immediately said yes, and once again I was off on another adventure to shoot the spot in Little Rock. What I love about Roberson’s Fine Jewelry is that they approach projects with a national outlook on marketing. While most small businesses just focus locally, Roberson’s Fine Jewelry realized and understood that today’s marketing can touch or inspire someone across the country just as effectively as someone five minutes away. Ironically, thats how they found me as I’m not limited to just shooting here, but across the world.
I arrived on a Monday, so we could talk through concepts and ideas before a photo shoot of their entire 2014 print campaign (Tuesday) and my narrative commercial (Wednesday). It was going to be a lot to capture in a small amount of time, but I was determined to make it the best it could be. Throughout my wedding work, I’ve learned to love the concept of the letter exchange, where brides and grooms tell their significant others a little bit about their future life together and the values of their relationship. We decided to create a campaign of commercials that invoke feelings from strong voiceovers and written letters. I decided to make the first one all about a long distance relationship and the couple not being able to see each other as often as they would like. I’ve experienced that in the relationships I’ve had personally and I’ve seen it so often in many of the couples I am able to document. Once I had the script roughed out, I consulted with my good friend Paul over Skype until it was close to perfect. Trish & Paris really liked it, so I was able to start working on a shot list based off of the script whilst shooting a behind the scenes film for their print campaign the following day. Luckily the star of their print campaign was also the actress I was going to be working with on the narrative shoot. It wasn’t until I walked onto set when I realized Molly was only 15, but photographs much older. It was kind of crazy. We found Molly another model, Kyle, to be her lover/boyfriend & we were set for the shoot. I only had four hours to shoot the commercial due to scheduling with the models, but I was determined to make it happen.
On Tuesday night, after the photo shoot, Trish took me location scouting, and she took me to her house to see if it would work. It was absolutely unbelievable and I found three locations within the house that we could cheat to look like a dinner scene, warm embrace of two lovers leaving, and an intimate letter reading. To make this happen and come to life, I scoured the web prior to arriving in Little Rock and found Dave Calhoun, a gaffer, from Film Gear Rentals to help me out. The problem with traveling is that you cannot take all the lighting gear necessary to make it happen, and Dave can provide that gear to you. I showed him a few examples of the look I wanted and what the shot needed to feel like, and he was off to help make it happen. We used a variety of Kino Flo Fluorescent fixtures, flags, silks, and a powerful Aadyn Tech Eco Punch LED HMI to shape and soften the light for the jewelry and talent. I was most surprised with the huge LED we used at it really made the outdoor scene come to life. It was literally sleeting in the background haha. With myself directing and operating the Canon C300 on set, we managed to wrap up the whole shoot in three and a half hours. We did not have Molly do to the voiceover, but rather used Voices.com to fit the right voice to the scene. Everything came together extremely well and we were able to complete the project quickly under a tight turnaround. The ad should start playing within the next week in Little Rock.
I personally love being able to do marketing campaigns for my clients and I cannot wait to keep shooting them throughout 2014. Its incredibly fun and maybe a little addicting to go from a concept on paper to something real & emotional. What I love most about Trish, Steve, and Paris is that they trust me to do something different and experiment. We also are creating mini stories and not just a 50 percent off sale ad that no one will pay attention to, which is incredibly rewarding. I look forward to sharing the next installments in their series of commercials and also the behind the scenes of their print campaign in the next few weeks.
Client: Roberson’s Fine Jewelry
Models: Molly Overton & Kyle Wigginton
Written & Directed by: Josh Gooden
Gaffer: Dave Calhoun of Film Gear Rentals
Voice Over: Lauren Ruff
Music: Licensed via The Music Bed