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How do I get this look? #HeyMom Google Commercial

Trevor Komori

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Hi Everyone, 

I'm wondering how this commercial got to its final look: Link: #HeyMom, thank you! Made by Google

My assumptions are that they used some sort of softening filter, ie: Hollywood Black Magic or Classic Soft, and/or haze in some shots to get its nice soft/velvety image.

Another way could be shooting wide open since most lenses are a little soft wide open. But I'm wondering what anyone else would do. 

Thanks in advance. 

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Nice commercial, thanks for sharing. 

It looks like a combination of things. Rather low-contrast lenses, maybe vintage, at wide apertures. Hazy lens diffusion like Tiffen Low-Con or Smoque. Possibly a hazer for a few of the shots. Also, the blacks look to be raised just a bit, so likely the color grade as well.

And mostly, combining this with a lighting approach of layering a half-lit subject against a dark mid-ground, with hot windows in the deep background. The hot windows allow the lens + diffusion + atmosphere to glow or fog the dark areas, creating a sense of depth. And then the foreground subject is given just enough light to pop against the dark background and have some shape.

I think this attention to layering contrast is something that is missing in a lot of stuff shot today - they use the same equipment, but they don’t always shape the light to create depth, so the entire frame ends up being just dark underexposed mush or bright flat mush.

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