Sydney Sorenson Utah Jazz Dancer – Red Cross Japan Relief Commercial

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to do something to help the Japan relief effort. The Red Cross definitely needs all the help it can get. The tsunami in Japan was one of the worst natural disasters ever, and it will take quite a while to get Japan back on its feet. Please help out by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or going to

I was grateful to have Sydney Sorenson, who is a Nuskin dancer for the Utah Jazz, star in this commercial. She was also a featured dancer in High School Musical 3. Sydney is very cheerful, upbeat, and was a pleasure to work with. That helped the shoot go really smoothly. (We even did a photo shoot right afterwards, and she flew to Nebraska just a couple hours later!)

The idea behind doing this commercial came after I went to the Red Cross web site and donated to the Japan Relief effort. Then I thought, I can do something more. I can use my talents and hopefully make a difference in the way others think and feel about the situation. And maybe not just this specific situation, but about the world in general. I know a lot of us are content to live within our little bubble, and when something happens halfway around the globe, it doesn’t seem to affect us that much. I think we’d stand to benefit if we acted more like one global community. It’s kind of like in high school where people had their cliques. I never liked that. Being cliquish sucks. I admire people who go out of their way to meet more people and expand their group of friends, regardless of nationality or race. I’m not saying I’m the perfect example, I’m just saying I believe that’s the right approach to life.


I shot on the 5DM2, using the Standard picture profile, which was an experiment. I usually shoot in Super Flat, and color correct afterwards. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of the time that can make the footage look well, flat… Even after correcting the contrast and saturation, it seems to lack a little lustre. So this time I went Standard, and I was very happy with the results. The only thing I did in color correction was just a slight shift in color hue and that was it. No messing with contrast. I will say this however, that in very low light situations, or lighting situations with a lot of contrast, I think the Super Flat profile shines. When you need a lot of latitude, use Super Flat. If you don’t, try out different profiles and see what works for you. Don’t just take what someone else (that includes me) says as bible. Experiment and see what you think looks best.

Sound was with my trusty Tascam DR-100 and a wireless lav. Worked like a charm. Although Pluraleyes didn’t quite catch everything, and I ended up having to do a tiny bit of manual syncing. I’ve been thinking about using a slate…argh…


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