How I Made this HARLEY-DAVIDSON Commercial (5 Camera Tips)

5 Cinematic camera tips & tricks on how to shoot a commercial product video like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Lighting Vehicles

Vehicles are large objects and thus not so easy to light. However, there’s one very good trick to get beautiful lighting on cars and motorcycles. You simply place a large softbox above the vehicle.

You can do this either with a scrim or by hanging an actual softbox from the ceiling. This will roll-off the light, highlighting the curves of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle as in our example.

Studio Softbox
Aputure softbox hanging upside down in the studio

Camera Movement

Now you’re ready to shoot! Camera movement is going to be a very important factor. There’re multiple ways to create movement. Even with a fixed camera and moving the light, you can interesting moving reflections.

When we think about camera movement, we learn towards gimbals, sliders or dolly systems. However, going handheld work just as good, if not better!

The problem with handheld movement is camera shake. To reduce that share, we need to move the camera faster. Luckily a vehicle is a still object, so we could shoot in slow motion. Making fast movements in slow motion still gives us a couple of useable seconds per shot.

Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Harley Davidson Street Bob in the Studio

Fiverr & 3D Animation

Big thanks to Fiverr for sponsoring this video! For a part of the commercial video, we worked together with one of the freelancers from their freelance marketplace. They made a very cool 3D animation of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle getting assembled.

2 thoughts on “How I Made this HARLEY-DAVIDSON Commercial (5 Camera Tips)”

  1. Hi Jordy,
    Firstly, love your work! Kudos

    My question is, are you awareof a similar website to fiverr.com that does piecemeal fx work, please? As could be done remotely anywhere in the world.

    I am Ray Brady and myself and my partner Anne are self-funding an indie psychological horror feature film called Host (2022). I have a few fx’s shots required for the end of the film and am looking to find someone that can do them inexpensively and for also named credit on the film and the imdb.com?

    Any ideas would be very greatly appreciated

    Either way please keep sharing your highly entertaining work, live long and prosper

    Many thanks for your time
    Kind regards Ray Brady
    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002916/

    Reply

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