Every so often, you meet someone so naturally talented that you internally seethe with jealousy. Part of you wishes that they have some kind of fatal character flaw, y’know, something to even out the gene pool, make things a bit fairer. Life isn’t fair; some people really are just so gifted that the best thing to do is sit back, bury your jealousy, and appreciate that you’re in the presence of greatness.
Cameron Cooper is one of those fortunate few. His athletic appendages don’t seem to have received the memo that they’re attached to an adolescent young man. Instead, the dude shreds guitar as if he’s been on the road with Steel Panther his whole damn life. It’s no surprise then, that Cameron’s ludicrous licks have proved popular on his YouTube channel, and no surprise that brands like Yamaha are keen to collaborate with the red-headed riff machine to help sell their products.
Leading up to the launch of Yamaha’s latest amp, the THRII, we were tasked with shooting a piece of content with Cameron which showcased what the amp can do. The challenge was creating a look and feel which elevated Cameron’s usually home-brew style to complement Yamaha’s existing content, but in a way which wouldn’t feel out of place on Cameron’s channel either.
The solution we came up with was to scope out an aspirational brick-loft location, light Cameron in an attractive-yet-naturally-motivated way, set up two static cameras—a wide and a tight shot—and just let Cameron do his thing.
The shoot itself followed a fairly loose structure. We wanted authenticity, so we let Cameron take the lead (no pun intended) and do things his way. Once we started rolling, Cameron would, without pause, absolutely tear through his internal set-list, each song pulled from his brain’s jukebox more complex and impressive than the last. At certain intervals (when we were able to wrench his fingers from the frets) we’d raise some talking points, allowing him to share his thoughts on the amp, and give a demo of some of the features, before once again we lost him to the gods of rock.
In the edit, we structured the video taking inspiration from Cameron’s previous product review content, and the additional cutaways of the amp, shot on location, helped to re-centre the focus and keep the film effective for Yamaha.
The film was released on Cameron’s channel and has received 266k views to date. Rock on!