Lights, Camera, Action!

Have you ever been on the set of a Los Angeles commercial shoot? There is as much activity there, as any construction site – if not more. And when the commercial involves an Olympic Athlete, there’s a special buzz in the air.
The site was the Broward Pool on the campus of the University of Florida. The scene was being set for former Florida Gator and Olympic Medal winner Ryan Lochte to swim to London. How can you swim from Gainesville to London? Easy – hire a TV crew and let them set the scene. The pool bottom was covered in a black tarp, with props creating the look of the bottom of the ocean. Several hours went into creating an ocean like scene, including creating a prop to adjust the amount of light that would permeate the set.

The crew created a cover to go over the pool, which would give the effect of the pool being indoors instead of out, and allow them the ability to control the lighting. CCO Operator Chris Harden and rigger Jim Grover assisted in assembling the cover, which took an entire day to create, and then using a split-bar rigging, Chris lifted it and lowered it over the pool. It was assembled on the first day, lifted over the pool and set down over night.

As is typical with summer weather in Florida, there were several storm cells that moved through, which temporarily halted production. With safety being first and foremost on everyone’s mind, the cover was lifted and set aside when the wind became a factor. Although it slowed the work pace, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

After three intensive days of shooting, the crew moved from Gainesville to the open waters in Miami with a Ryan Lochte double to shoot the remaining scenes. With the Olympic Games coming up in just a few week, we’ll be seeing this commercial air soon. If you see it, let us know! 

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