This was our second summer in a row to be invited to shoot a commercial at the prestigious Royal Ottawa Golf Club. The club has been operating for more than a century with meticulous care and grooming to maintain the pristine sights and sounds that grace the course. Our vision was to capture the subtle yet powerful moments that keep members coming back every summer.
We were asked to film two commercials at The Royal Ottawa Golf Club this time to cater to both families and couples. Filming a second ad was a request we graciously accepted, but it wasn’t until after that we were told we would only have two days to complete both spots! The ROGC is a busy club and shutting down the course and turning away members was not going to be an option. The club was also insistent on foregoing professional actors and using real members instead. We were faced with a formidable challenge.
To pull this one off we had to work at double speed and we needed to plan the days down to every minute, this included an afternoon pause as our members/actors left to coach/play in a junior hockey game.
The Royal doesn’t need flashy graphics to bring in new members, instead they can rely on the “Field of Dreams” method of “if you build it they will come.” The course was the star of this production and the focal piece for any prospective member, but the club still goes the extra mile to appease members with a host of services and amenities and we felt some of these luxuries should have cameos.
With so little time at our disposal, we needed to adopt a run & gun style to capture all the shots we needed. Being able to move quickly and change setups in an instant was a necessity as we zipped across the course in carts. We kept gear to a minimum and took advantage of the lightweight versatility of a couple DSLR cameras from our production kit.
Ahead of our shoot we scouted the course and the clubhouse extensively to find the most scenic compositions. From the course we had an overwhelming amount of options, which forced us to narrow down our selections to a few key spots including the 18th green where members cap off their rounds before heading to the clubhouse to relax and drink. In the clubhouse we decided to hone in on the fine dining services offered to members with the choice of either an outdoor patio or the dining room indoors.
For a bunch of dudes who spend most of their days indoors staring at a screen, being able to spend a weekend out in a sunny and beautiful landscape is a real treat. We love what we do, but rarely do our shoots take us to locations like the ROGC. Instead, we’re often in cramped offices or bleak sound stages. We’re definitely not complaining, but if another golf course comes to us for ad work they won’t have to twist our arms very far to pry us out of cushy office chairs.
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