The Start Line
As we always say, the story is the most important element of any video. How it is told can be done in many ways, but at the core the story must be strong and understandable to the target audience. This is always the first thing we try to get a solid understanding of with a client. If they have a product they want to market then we need to learn about it and know what to convey to the audience through the video. If they are interested in a video to get some exposure for their company then we need to make sure we know its history, its business focus, its USP’s etc. Every video we make comes with new information to learn and creativity goes a long way in helping us to tell the story in a way that will engage the audience. But how do we come up with a good idea? For this piece we are going to focus on the most recent video that Urbane Media produced with Lokring. We am going to explain the process we went through to arrive at what was the idea that went into production and ended up being displayed on Lokring’s stand at the last Offshore Europe event to thousands of attendees.
Understanding the Story/Message
We had worked with Lokring previously on a couple of video productions, so we were already familiar with the product that they wanted to feature. Their Weld Equivalent Joint has all the structural integrity of a welded joint, but can be installed in a fraction of the time and, unlike welding, doesn’t require a hot work permit to be raised for the installation to take place. This was the message and what our story was going to be about, but knowing that the video was intended for display at an event where lots of people would pass by and their attentions would have to be grabbed, how would we tell that story in a visually exciting way?
Our initial discussion was with Lokring’s sales manager who told us about Lokring’s sponsorship of British racing driver Gordon Shedden. Their sponsorship deal meant that they would have access to Gordon for a certain amount of time to create promotional material for the company and this was something that they wanted to make use of. This connection was obviously great for us when it came to developing an idea because we instantly had something that we knew we could make visually appealing: a racing driver hammering around a racetrack. But how do we tie this to Lokring’s product? We can’t just cut together a montage of awesome driving shots and slap a Lokring logo on the end, can we….? Of course not, because we would be ignoring that vital element of the story.
Working with What You Have
So, we knew what we wanted to say about the product - it’s reliable, efficient and very quick to install. We knew what we had access to for making the video – Gordon Shedden, his car and Knockhill Racing Circuit. Now we had to develop an idea that would allow us to bring these two things together. We think it’s important to say that the time it takes to develop ideas can vary massively. We've been in some meetings where the perfect idea has come to us in a matter of minutes whilst listening to the client tell us about what they want the achieve from the video. Others we’ve had to go away and think about and indeed even then it hasn’t always been the first idea that was developed for the production. With the video we created with Lokring, however, we managed to have the idea pretty much nailed by the end of the meeting because we were all aligned with what we needed the video to say. We were bouncing words around like fast, efficient, trustworthy, reliable, precision and it came to us that instead of focusing on Gordon Shedden racing the car and relating that to the Weld Equivalent Joint, we should look at the team who maintain the car that allows Gordon to race. This put things into much better perspective and we were able to make connections between the racing world and where the Weld Equivalent Joint is used. Such places include offshore rigs, production plants and naval vessels. We stated to look at Gordon Shedden as a representative of the rig/plant/vessel that would require the Weld Equivalent Joint and we looked at the pit crew as providing the same support that the Weld Equivalent Joint gives to its users. From there the idea took off and we knew that it would be effective if we could show the speed, efficiency and reliability of the pit crew working and connect it to a Weld Equivalent Joint being installed. They share the same attributes and without them, what they support (the rig/plant/vessel/race driver) can’t perform at their best.
Developing the Idea
On this occasion once we were comfortable with the idea it was easy to develop it in terms of creating a script and how we’d visually capture the action. We drafted the first version of the script which we decided should be voiced by Gordon Shedden, since he was the one relying on the pit crew and was representative of the voice of Lokring’s Weld Equivalent Joint customers. The script was refined slightly with feedback from Lokring and from there we moved onto how we were going to shoot the video.
Since speed and efficiency are key to both the pit crew and the installation of a Weld Equivalent Joint we decided that we wanted to show things happening quickly, but we also wanted to use some moments of slow motion to highlight the accuracy of everything that was going to be seen. The driving shots with Gordon Shedden needed to have a fast pace to them and to capture interesting angles to catch the eye of the attendees of the event it would be displayed at. To achieve this we used a car mount in a couple of different locations on the car as well as shooting car interiors,exteriors from the side of the track and aerials.
Fortunately, because everything was clear in terms of what we going to produce the editing process was relatively straight forward. We knew the mood we wanted the music to set and the structure of the edit didn’t require a lot of re-working. We spent some time to refine a few time warp shots of the pit crew changing a wheel and adding sound effects under it, but importantly because both the production crew and the client understood the story and the idea behind the video the finished thing is exactly what Lokring was hoping for.