Shooting complex scenes at multiple locations under tremendous time constraint, that’s the life for a crew on a commercial set. For Director of Photography Adam Kimmel ASC, it is a way of life he has grown accustomed to. Kimmel has worked on feature films, like “Capote,” and has been a popular choice for commercial work. He’s lent his talents to shoot spots for global brands including Nike, Porsche, and Adidas.
In the past year, the New York-based director of photography has traveled the globe to shoot commercials for car manufacturers including Audi, MG, Jeep, and, more recently, Mercedes. We caught up with Kimmel on the set of an ambitious commercial for the new 2019 Audi S4.
“For the Audi commercial, it was the first time I had worked with the director, Cadmo Quintero. When we started to talk about the job, he wanted to convey separate and distinctive parts of the story. It was written to be anchored in a sort of one on one therapy session but to have many other moments that show the internal life of the man who’s talking to his therapist.”
“We were building a kind of library of images, so we used a combination of the full-sized ARRI ALEXA LF with Signature Prime lenses and the ALEXA Mini with a variety of lenses for the more mobile shots. We used the ALEXA LF with Signature Prime lenses for rigged shots on the car, where you see the driver through reflections on the windows. I wanted really shallow depth where the reflections were much softer than the driver’s face and also wanted to be able to focus on the reflections and have the actor’s face appear quite blurred.”