This project was such a cool campaign and production, so it’s worthy of a re-mention. For this shoot Studio J Inc. was hired by The Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas to shoot the 2014 Rehab Pool Ad campaign. They were looking for something distinctly different then done in years past. We pitched the concept of an underwater shoot, which the agency accepted. The creative director called for very specific shot concepts that were pre-sketched and conceptualized.
It was a champagne cork popping pool party! All the final ad images you see below are part of the unique campaign that was born.
Casting for regular shoots is hard enough but casting for underwater talent makes it 10x more challenging. Having lots of experience shooting underwater you come to realize that simply not everyone can do it. A matter of fact most people can’t do it, as they are just not that good of swimmers. Spending much time and energy working to cast the right talent for the shoot only 3 out of our 6 models could really pose well underwater. Only 2 of them could nail it. Posing above water can be tough, imagine treading water in-between every take. Another opposition is the models eyes are burning trying to make eye contact with the camera as the eyes need to be open for the underwater shots needed for this campaign. The model is expected to look graceful and beautiful. Its really not easy.
Everything about shooting underwater is more complicated. The production alone requires extra assistants, extra time and careful preparations to make sure that the team in the water is safe from all elements outside the water. Especially with lighting. Having electrical extremely close to the pool could be a major problem. Every caution and safety measure has to be implanted which takes allocating the space, time and assistance.
Lighting underwater is also extremely difficult . We use lights that trigger underwater and above water, which not everyone can use. Training on this type of lighting takes a lot of time to learn and teach. When you shoot light through the surface of the water is does not perform the way light does above water. It moves through the water very differently than above water.
So why underwater? There are a lot of aspects about shooting underwater that make your final product extremely different and interesting. In the end the underwater environment offers an amazing surrealistic and weightless scene. It allows the talent to pose in ways gravity does not allow. It permits their hair, their dresses, their suit and ties to be captured in a way that you can’t achieve as naturally above water.