Two of my favorites from a series of spots I directed for Comcast Xfinity’s new “Watchable” streaming service. Comcast’s previous efforts in this campaign showed a shot of something boring (unwatchable) and then cut to something interesting (watchable). I thought it would be more captivating to see the unwatchable dramatically transform into the watchable in one shot.

To transition from the mundane to the exciting in one shot, we had to carefully time and rehearse each action. Several things happen in a few seconds: confetti explodes, the walls are pulled apart to reveal a white cyc, two light effects are projected onto the white cyc, a pair of PAs pull the monitor, keyboard, and cup of pens, and the actor jumps onto the desk and begins breakdancing. It took nearly a dozen takes to get the timing right.

Additionally, we needed to make sure viewers could see the transition happening and catch all the details. To solve for this, everything was shot at 48 frames per second so that we could ramp up or down the speed in post.

The video below shows one of our on-camera rehearsals. The booming voice is our AD, Matt Mazany.

This was also one of the first spots BuzzFeed shot simultaneously in 4k for use on multiple platforms. On the right side of the video above, you can see our breakdancer, Chuck, framed up for Snapchat (the 9:16 yellow frame) and YouTube (the 16:9 white frame). Below, the blue frame shows the viewable area pulled from another spot.