Doritos 2015

After taking a few year hiatus, we decided to do another entry for Doritos Crash the Superbowl contest.

The concept:

After hiring a ‘famous’ British director to do their Doritos commercial funding fell through so all the company could afford was a bunch of kids that would work for Doritos. The kids run amuck on set and the director is scolded by the assistant director played by Jada Gallegos. We wanted to pull out all the stops on this one, test new equipment and just have some filmmaking fun.

The Doritos spot was directed and produced by Gene Mederos, and DP’d by Diana Deaguinaga.

Here’s how we did it.

First shot of the day was a steadicam shot through the ‘set’ as a pov of the director. The art dept, Ashley Brazill, Ashley Martinez, and Logan Diemert did a fantastic job of building the set with plenty of subtleties that you will have to watch it over and over to notice them.

I lit this set with a combination of grid lighting and floor lighting. We used, source fours,  6″ fresnels and a Mole baby LED with chimera with 1/2 grid and Arri Locaster. Everything was mostly back and side lit. I wanted that dark studio feel with pools of light on important areas.Studio1 studio2 studio3

We then moved to a two shot of Jada greeting the director. I used a cross back key set up. I moved the Locaster to behind Jada at about her height pointing up at the director and used a baby with chimera 1/2 grid behind the director hitting Jada. I really like the cross back key setup because with two lights you can key and backlight both actors.


For the shot of Jada looking up at the director, I moved the Chimera around for Jada’s key and put the Locaster behind her.


Last shot in the studio was Jada teasing the clown director with a bag of doritos. To light this I used a cross back key again. I bounced the baby into a 4x beadboard to light backlight Jada and key the clown and then I used the Locaster to to key Jada while just edging the director.


The hallway was the opening in a hallway where a producer, played by Angelina Chavez, greets the director. White hallways have always been the bane of my lighting existance. They are always green, toplit, flat and UGLY. I thought with the one we chose I might have a chance because of all the art hanging on the walls to break things up. No such luck. We used the existing flourecents and I had Joss and Zac put some eggcrates over a couple of them to reduce the flood and make pools of light. They then hung a tweenie with 1/4 ctb and 1/2 grid up in the corner to backlight the talent for the first shot and then key them when we flipped around. They also hung a Locaster with brushed silk to key Angelina as she spun around and opened the door. To add some contrast with negative fill we hung duvatine over the white walls behind the camera. The lighting in this scene was really ugly in my opinion. It was green from the house florecents and it had hard, unflattering shadows. If time wasn’t an issue I would have hung kinos and killed the house lights or put some minus green on all of them. Then would have liked to have a softer back/key than the tweenie, but space was a huge issue as well. Anyone have any tricks to lighting hallways? They are awful!

hallway1 hallway2

Our last shot of the day was the director looking into the studio. He was backlit by the same Locaster hanging in the hallway and we keyed him by bouncing another Locaster into a round foamcore from underneath.


I am not very pleased with the final product, it’s just too much story for a 30 second spot. It will probably work in full at a minute or so. I also could have done a better job lighting the studio. It looks good as just a set but most of the kids did not get the light. I metered and exposed for the beginning and end of the shot at a 5.6 and a lot of the inbetweeen was at a 1.4 or 2 which probably been a 2.8 or a 4.

Since is was all for fun, I would still call it a success. We all learned alot and it was a good test of the Sony F55 and wireless equipment. A big thanks to all the cast crew who made this possible.

All screen grabs are straight out of the camera and ungraded.

Here is the submitted spot.

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