Behind our Brand Video
With our move to intelligent content, it was clear that this year a purely visual showreel just wasn’t going to cut it! Instead, we needed a video and animation hybrid to help show how we produce content that works for our clients.
I sat down with producer Dan Miller, to discover how our team approached this unique project to create a visual representation of our ‘no nonsense’ approach.
This year we chose not to do a showreel but to approach showing our work in a completely different way, why?
With the new launch of the brand and our ‘no nonsense’ approach we wanted to do something different that wasn’t just the standard showreel. A showreel is a great way to showcase work, but it’s not enough on its own anymore.
We wanted to show our videos, our animations, even our podcasts in the real world, where they are released and what platforms. It was important that this video didn’t just look good but had intelligence behind the content, showing how the content we created developed results for our clients.
Our starting point was to produce an advert to showcase that we create strong content that looks great, is tailored to the platform that it is designed to be rolled out on and performs accordingly. We also wanted a video that showcased our video production work as well as the other services we offer to our clients such as animation, podcasts and live streaming.
The project was an ambitious challenge, as we needed to wrap all those elements into a 90 second run time whilst ensuring it is captivating and has a strong sense of narrative and story. Ultimately showreels are great and help to show a variety of work. However, every video production company has one. With our move to intelligent content this video needed to show the business sense behind the content we create.
This video obviously had a completely different brief to a showreel. How did you approach this project as a producer in order to get to the end result?
We started with a team collaboration meeting with all of the producers, Oliver and Fergus ultimately coming to the conclusion that we wanted to showcase not just the content we create but how that content actually works to produce results.
It was quite tricky to come up with a solution that covered all of the mediums and platforms we needed to see whilst keeping to a succinct runtime. The idea that we came up with was to delve into each video on the platform that they were created for. So, on Facebook we could see customer reactions to the video, through the use of heart emojis, reactions and comments. Whereas on TikTok we wanted to show traffic being driven back to a website. Essentially visually seeing content conversions happening in real time.
We started with the actions and reactions that we wanted to see and then looked through our extensive portfolio of work to pick the projects that could tie the story and mediums together. So, you may notice that the Winstons Wish footage is shown on a TV, that’s because we tailor made that content for Sky AdSmart. Whereas ProDog Raw is seen playing on TikTok as this was a platform we targeted in that project.
For the podcast section we thought about where people listening to podcasts and when and where this type of content reaches people where a video or animation wouldn’t. So, the end result was showing someone on a commute, a sense of context that would have been hard to show in a showreel.
Because we wanted to use a transition element to go from video to animation to podcast and travelling through the different mediums and platforms, we had to capture some filmed elements specifically for this video.
We decided to use a higher end cinema camera for these sequences. We used a Red Komodo and shot it in 6K, which gave us more room to push in and out of the footage when it came to the animation transitions. None of the sequences in the video use any stock footage, it’s all footage we captured for clients or specifically for this video.
Clearly animation was a key part of this video and key to showing the transitions between the platforms, how did you approach that?
We thought it would be powerful to see someone watching our video through the lens of a computer, a phone, an iPad. Ultimately, we wanted to show these people interacting and engaging with the content that we produce. From that we thought we could visually show the engagement by having emojis floating on screen and to do that we knew we would need animation.
The story and the flow of the piece we wanted to create also naturally leant itself to having animation. Because we wanted to show so many different screens and so many different elements on the screen, we knew it wasn’t something that we could create in live action.
Tim Wickham our Senior Animator came in and advised us whether we needed green screen, grey screen and whether the shot needed to be locked off, handheld – whatever worked best for him and how we could go about and achieve that in production.
The huge part of the brand video being animated were the transitions but also creating those custom platforms for each transition. So, on Facebook we had to create the feed, put in the various different hashtags. If you pause it at different points, you’ll see nice Easter Eggs throughout. We also had to create thumbnails for YouTube, all of those elements were animated assets that we had to assemble and put together.
It was quite a large part of the brand video and the project wouldn’t have come together without it. It’s one of the things that makes it so impressive, is that you don’t necessarily know what’s animation and what’s been filmed.
There was clearly a strong collaboration between the animator and the editor and that’s what has led to not knowing as a viewer what’s been animated and what’s been filmed. Tell me about the close collaboration between those two teams.
Collaboration was central throughout the piece especially the challenge of getting set pieces and sequences timed to the music from an edit point of view and the animated elements also needing to be timed to the music. Because we dip from filmed footage to animation, we didn’t know in terms of timings how this was going to work. We had to have an open channel of communication.
Typically, our Lead Editor Kristen Munoz set the pace with working on the sequences with both the end and opening transition shots being longer with Tim then adjusting these sequences to fit the transition as needed. Tim then created the feed and the actions in terms of clicking, liking and reacting all to the same track.
The producing element came in as to give Tim and Kristen a steer, I had to go through and play the brand video from an imaginary point of view, marking out the actions to get the timings for each sequence. With that rough structure given to both Tim and Kristen they could then work from that template to essentially assemble the first draft and then neaten it up from there.
The best thing about this brand video is there is a little bit of every department scattered throughout it, it really does embody the team as a truly collaborative project from PinPoint Media!