Behind the Scenes of a Macy's Black Friday Commercial
It’s two days before Thanksgiving, and the start to another festive and busy holiday season.
Earlier this fall, I spent a day at the Macy's at Willowbrook Mall in New Jersey to shoot a television commercial for our partners at Macy’s. It involved several other celebrities including Heidi Klum, Jessica Simpson, Clinton Kelly, Ariana Grande, Thalia, and Ryan Seacrest. The commercial kicks-off Macy’s holiday shopping season, and promotes the store’s giant “Black Friday Sale” with hundreds of doorbusters and a chance to win a million-dollars in prizes - all beginning just hours after its Thanksgiving Day Parade.
And, there will be great offers on all my products from the Martha Stewart Collection only at Macy's.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the production shoot came together, plus the finished commercial now airing on television and on YouTube. Enjoy the video and these photos.
And don't forget, today at 1pm EST, I will be talking turkey LIVE on Facebook from my kitchen in Bedford, New York. I’ll be prepping my favorite Thanksgiving dishes while answering all your last minute Thanksgiving questions! See you there! #FBTestKitchen
1 There are many details to cover for every shoot - from makeup, hair and wardrobe to proper lighting, and correct camera positions. My makeup artist, Daisy Schwartzberg, touched-up my makeup right before we started.
2 Commercials are often shot in several sections and then put together in the editing room. Because of the celebrities involved in this commercial, segments were shot in New York and in Los Angeles using stand-ins when needed.
3 I shot the scene in front of a green screen. This is a special effects technique that allows a solid colored background to be replaced by any background of choice - in this case, a bustling Macy's department store one day before Thanksgiving.
4 Working in front of a green screen helps make shooting a lot easier, and a lot less time consuming.
5 Director, Chris Nelson, watched the monitor to see how all the details fit together. A director is responsible for supervising the placement of all technical production elements, such as video cameras, lighting equipment, microphones, and props, while also giving cues to the production's actors.
6 Because we also planned to shoot some of the commercial against a white background, we also videotaped in front of a white screen.
7 Everyone on the crew keeps a close eye on the monitors for any necessary adjustments.
8 Look behind the counter on the right - that's not me. It's actually my stand-in, or a person who is about my height, with similar hair color, that "stands-in" during lighting set-ups or sound-checks.
9 I returned to the set to shoot another section of the commercial involving me and several holiday characters, such as a pilgrim and a Christmas cookie ornament. Here, Chris and I discussed final camera angles and cues.
10 Another small touch-up before the cameras rolled.
11 And a slight adjustment to my hair. I really enjoy doing television - both commercials and programs. It's a lot of fun to create all the separate elements and then see how they come together.
12 This character was a star-shaped Christmas cookie ornament. Behind him was a band leader. They're both actors, so they are very accustomed to wearing costumes.
13 This monitor is specifically designed to work with certain types of cameras, and to display certain information necessary for the shoot to look its best.
14 Production crews can be quite large. For this commercial, there were a lot of technical experts involved covering a multitude of functions, from audio to lighting to electric.
15 This is a Scorpio Telescopic Crane - a very advanced and versatile camera support platform that can perform a wide range of movements.
16 Here, the life-sized cookie, a department store salesperson and the pilgrim crossed different parts of the set, while I remained at the counter with on of my Enameled Cast-Iron pots.
17 I am very focused when I shoot television segments and commercials, so in general, I can get through tapings smoothly, but the days are long, and camera shoots still require a lot of work.
20 My Enameled Cast-Iron Collection is very durable, and any piece makes a great hostess or holiday gift. There will be great offers on all my products from the Martha Stewart Collection only at Macy's. macys.com/marthastewart
21 And, in this photo, we were just about to shoot the beginning of the commercial. So... click on the video below and see the entire commercial from the top.