90 Day Fiance launch

TLC

You Ask

We have been looking for an opportunity to shoot with you again and think we've found the perfect opportunity in the Season 9 launch for 90 Day Fiancé.

We Answer

Yes. And we're not afraid to admit that some of us are pretty big fans of the show. The timeline was tight, but so is our process, so let's get hustling on finding the ideal location, crew, color palette …. and gear.

Our pitch winning concept featured four of the upcoming S9 couples in a music video style piece showcasing non verbal moments of both love and tension. Each, with their unique story and set of circumstances, warranted a different scene at our location to serve as the backdrop for their piece which we would cut together into a seamless montage of match action moments.

Collage of a couple celebrating different parts of their relationship: pregnancy, marriage, dates, lonliness

The look was established early on and was one of the deciding factors for the client in choosing us. The aesthetic we were after was bloomy, beautiful, almost vintage feeling with a magical dreamlike quality. We knew our Arri Alexa Mini LF was the camera of choice but what about the glass? A masterfully rehoused set of vintage Canon K-35 Primes were Cinematographer Justin Kanner’s lens of choice, as they flare beautifully, render softer skin tones, and have amazingly pretty bokeh. Add in all the right filters for that low contrast dreamy look, and we had exactly what Director Heather had in mind. They also have incredibly fast apertures, between T1. 3 and T1. 5, allowing for a very shallow depth of field while offering great minimum focus distances (which is a look we love).

film canisters labeled 35MM

We chose to shoot all scenes over 2-days with the camera mounted on a MoVi gimbal which made Justin's reaction to the couples a more natural and fluid experience overall. We varied the angles and camera motion to include booms, pans, overhead arcs, follows, leads and push ins and outs so the story never felt too voyeuristic, posed, or stale.

Flying talent from different states to one central location is never an easy lift, especially on an accelerated schedule during a waning pandemic, but it was happening! And happening at lighting speed.

The action was to be equal parts sweetness and strife so Director Heather Roymans had to work her magic with non-actors to not come across forced or fake. By encouraging them to pause, think and show the feelings behind key moments of their relationship. Communicating authenticity was key for this campaign as the loyal TLC & 90 Day audiences will call a fake from a mile away. And have. It was really critical that this campaign be not only beautiful but also believable

close up of a woman looking into the face of a man
woman walking away from a man holding hands
close up of hands holding
woman leaning against a man and looking up into his face

Color palette was also paramount, as it always is, but especially when cutting between scenes in a piece where the order had not yet been determined. Each scene was illustrated into a sequence of storyboards but the track and the order were yet to be mapped out. That said, a natural palette of browns, blues, greens, beige and lilac were chosen to accentuate the majority exterior shot list.

color pallete used for images and videos

The TLC team auditioned a variety of pop music tracks and edit styles, dialing up the romance versus the tension, trying out close ups versus wides, but settled on a suspenseful remake of the 1999 BackStreet Boys classic, I Want It That Way.

couple with a baby and all faces lovingly close together
couple poses together, man looks at woman while she looks away
couple on a couch; woman sitting in man's lap with her arms around him
couple with foreheads pressing

Fun Fact

I guess we all got the memo to wear black for this shoot.

group shot of the crew all wearing black or dark grey coats and shirts