This Canon ‘Live for the Story’ Ad Used Huge Lighting Rigs in a Creative Way

This brilliantly lit commercial for Canon introduces a new campaign that urges the viewer to “Live for the Story”, and rather curiously does not prominently feature a camera at all.

The 60-second spot follows the romantic journey of a young boy growing to adulthood, along with all the spontaneous bicycle trips, piano playing, fully clothed swimming and horse-chasing that a full and spirited life involves.

Titled ‘Boundaries’, the ad seems intended to re-introduce Canon to a younger audience, perhaps positioning the brand as an alternative to the ubiquitous smartphone as a means for capturing the experiences of life.

The most interesting part of this ad is the lighting technique used — segments of each scene flicking from darkness to light as the protagonist moves through them, as if lit by a camera flash.

“Huge lighting rigs were used and turned on manually to sync with the movement of the actors,” creative agency VCCP’s Ben McCarthy told Adweek.

This meant shooting at dusk, which was a very small timeframe, but allowed us to have more control. It also meant there wasn’t much room for things to go wrong—and it was definitely not ideal when working with children and animals like horses, especially when they decide to make a bee-line for the client tent. The horses, that is, not the children.

The campaign will presumably introduce Canon hardware in a later ad as a means with which to capture the story of life, though this spot features solely on the journey itself. A Canon camera actually does appear in the ad, albeit briefly… See if you can spot it.