When our client and partner Loran Associates, designer and fabricator of custom trade show exhibits, approached us in June to produce an opening video for a client’s corporate summit, we knew it was going to be hard work. We had no idea, however, what an exciting, stressful and ultimately rewarding journey the assignment would take us on over the next 5 months.
All we knew was that Ansell, the world leader in protection (think work and military gloves, hazmat and dive suits and, yes, condoms), was having its yearly growth summit and needed a compelling video to play on a massive video wall. Oh, and the video had to be unlike any they’d shown at any of their previous summits.
With little time to spare, we set to work drafting and revising a script. We knew the visuals needed to be stunning, so we assembled the best possible production team including our longtime animator, Daniela Solomon, John Grimaldi and the effects team at Production Playground, adventure videographer Alex Williams of VideoTrekker Films and local musician Gabriel Messuti.
Early storyboards and the opening video.
Several iterations of the storyboards and long days of production took us straight through the summer. A highlight of my vacation was listening in on our recording session with an Australian voice actor who had just done an ESPN spot that morning.
Stills from the opening video, which was a mix of 3D animation, illustration, and live action. Add in a deep Australian vocal track, a custom score and lots of booms and you've got a powerful video.
Right around that time we were asked if we’d consider going on location to the summit in Carmel Valley, California. That’s a hard one to pass up, even when faced with the reality that we would be shooting or editing for nearly 20 hours a day for four days. We also jumped in to help create the interfaces and artwork for eight interactive touchscreen displays that would be the centerpieces of days two and three of the summit.
So just as the touchscreen artwork and opening video were approved and delivered with a day to spare, Alex and I began pulling together our gear and reviewing shot lists in preparation for our next adventure out west. And what an adventure it was. Our itinerary showed that each day would consist of presenting a video in the morning, shooting at various locations all day and then editing together a compelling video at night to be shown the next morning.
From jumping out of the car to film B-roll of the wildlife to staging documentary-style interviews with Ansell leaders to strapping a GoPro on a diver at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we never had a dull movement. (Having more than three hours of sleep would have been great, though.) Alex brought his amazing cinematic eye, a whole lot of really cool gear and plenty of caffeine.
Rob and Alex head straight from the airport to Carmel Valley Ranch to start filming B-roll commando style.
An Ansell employee presents using one of the interactive displays we designed for the summit as things get a little nutty back an editing room fueled by fatigue and caffeine.
The end result of all this madness is five videos that we’re all very proud of, as well as a happy partner and a happy client. Is it too early to start packing for next year?!?