Behind the Scenes of a Boardwalk Commercial

We’ve been producing commercials for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for 27 years. And boy have things changed in that time. We originally shot on 16mm film, which was then transferred to video. We later moved on to shooting on tape. Today we shoot everything on digital video, using an assortment of cameras including small hand-held models like GoPros, our Osmo Pocket Cam, and iPhones. And instead of shooting aerials out of a helicopter (true!) we fly a drone.

Daniel drone SCBB

But camera technology isn’t the only thing that’s evolved. Casting for voice and on-camera actors, file sharing with clients, creating graphics and effects, and editing have all changed as well. Even distribution to TV stations has changed–from sending out dozens of tapes via FedEx to uploading ftp files.

Immersive Story-Telling

Storytelling has also evolved. Back in the day the camera was more like a member of the audience watching a stage play. Today the camera is on the stage, and actors are encouraged to interact with their fellow cast member. What this does is bring the viewing audience into the scene, which is right where we want them. Our audience pictures themselves on the ‘Walk, having an amazing time, enjoying the “Warm sand. Cool surf. And hot rides.”

SCBB on location

As much as these new tools and methods have positively impacted our productivity–often lowering costs, improving the process for all those involved, and creating, what we believe, better spots–some things have not changed.

As Much as Things Change…

One thing that’s been consistent year after year is collaboration with our clients. We welcome our clients on the set–not just to observe, but to participate in the process. Directors Tam O’Connor Fraser and Regan Eymann both encourage Sondra Woods, the Boardwalk’s Director of Advertising, to provide input and make sure we’re not just accomplishing our vision but her vision as well.

The other thing that has not changed is the atmosphere on a #TeamTam set. Ask any client or any member of the cast and crew and you’ll get the same answer; a day of production is well-planned, accomplishes A LOT, and is fun for everyone involved. We believe this fun atmosphere yields the best results, the best performances, and the most authentic spots.

Take a look for yourself at our behind the scenes clip on last year’s new spots.

Behind the Scenes of a Boardwalk Commercial from Tam Communications on Vimeo.