United Way contacted us with a large request; to produce a series of live action videos including a 60 second, a 30 second, three15 second, two 10 second, and two 6 second videos and as many stills as possible.
A couple of years ago this would have qualified as a “tall order” but these days this kind of a spread has become the standard and we’ve adapted to the point we actually love doing things this way. We’ve learned how to be super tight on our pre-production and that makes productions like this a smooth process.
Our first task was finding a venue that would work for all the scenes featuring kids, and a property owner that would allow us to paint a mural on the side of their building.
Luckily a community center was willing to give us full access to their facility, as “friends” of United Way. Thanks to that relationship we were able to shoot all the interior and playground scenes.
Since it would have been a waste of good art to create a mural that would only last the duration of the project, we looked for a permanent home with an amenable owner. As it turned out one of Stewart’s friends had recently purchased a building down the street with the perfect wall for our mural. Stewart reached out and his friend was immediately interested.
After securing a wall for our mural, and preparing it for the shoot, our ever vigilant Art Dept guy Tim insisted on hiring an overnight guard to protect the wall from getting tagged. Better to be safe than sorry when your whole production is riding on a freshly cleaned wall staying empty overnight in downtown, after all.
The shoot was fantastic, and the muralists made the timelapse we’d envisioned happen flawlessly. Best of all, at the end of what was a long, hot day, after all the kids had gone home, our producer thanked us all with spiked, frozen popsicles!
The project was a huge success for the United Way, who will continue to use the video marketing assets we created across their various platforms for the foreseeable future.
On a technical note, when we produce a combo live-action/still project like this one, we always film the scene first and follow up with the stills afterwards. And we shoot stills on nearly every scene. Additionally, on this project, we facilitated the post-production including all the voice-over casting, audio mixing, and motion graphics/animation.