Too many special effects are made with computer imagery these days, so it’s easy to assume that much of Sony’s new ad for its Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R cameras is little more than a gorgeous cutscene. But the truth is far more impressive: to make the spot, Sony sent a team of highly skilled skydivers about 15,000 feet in the air and filmed them in slow-motion as they plummeted toward the ground. The choreography was all carefully rehearsed beforehand, allowing the filmmakers to shoot the entirety of the minute-long spot in just nine takes.
“This is not your average TV commercial shoot,” Jeff Gaunt, the commercial’s director, says in a behind-the-scenes video. Though the shoot was clearly a bit more involved than the average ad, the goal was to emphasize the lightness of Sony’s new cameras. “What we’re trying to achieve here is a feeling that the actors are weightless,” Gaunt says. Even if viewers don’t put the two together, it’s still a stunning look at mid-air acrobatics and the curvature of the Earth.