Film School: Ways To Shoot A Commercial, At Home

Daniel Schiffer | I made a Cereal Commercial in my dining room Daniel Schiffer | I made a Cereal Commercial in my dining room

Insightful, inspiring tutorials – and a challenge to create your own product advertisement.

First, the disclaimer: this entry is not about promoting the business of promotion – the focus here is on creativity, practical effects, and craft, all at a technical standard set in a genre which happens to be “commercial art”. The takeaway from this collection of videos shouldn’t be “Now go out and sell something!”, but “How creative can you get with everyday items you already own?

Creating Movement

Here’s a challenge to create your own cereal commercial, at home, from Daniel Schiffer:


Indy Mogul‘s Ted is joined by commercial creator and regular guest Justin Jones to create a mock beer ad – and in the process, they offer a great insight into the details that create the commercial look. This one requires more equipment and crew, but the concepts apply to shoots of any size:

Cinecom offers helpful tips and tricks for filming product videos:

Austen Paul goes into more technical detail about the lighting techniques used to achieve his made-at-home product video:

Austen has more videos sharing his tips & tricks for creating product videos – check them out in our roundup over here:

Advanced Craft

High-end video creator Parker Walbeck offers this behind-the-scenes look at a commercial using “only” two lights (note: boutique, specialist lights). While the focus of this video seems equipment-heavy, the principles themselves can be applied to a shoot on any level:

Shutterstock‘s “cheap and easy” still requires more equipment and resources than many of the examples above – but this video still offers valuable insight into techniques used for high-end product photography:

Indy Mogul again, chatting to Steve Giralt, who adds mechanical engineering as the special ingredient in his uniquely imaginative product visualisations:

Just getting started?

The Enthusiasm Project‘s Tom Buck goes through his own process, step-by-step, from lighting to shooting of product photography:

Try It Yourself

Channels such as James Matthews issue shoot-at-home challenges to their followers. Check out some of the responses to his Isolation B Roll Challenge:

Further Viewing

Inside tips from high-end professional director of photography Natasha Braier, who reveals the tricks behind her stunning work in films (The Neon Demon, Honey Boy) and commercials:

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