Whistle Video were approached by Switalskis, one of the largest law firms in Yorkshire, and asked to create a marketing video. However, it couldn't be a 'run of the mill' promotional film - it had to have 'heart'. It also had to tell the audience that Switalskis are a law firm that are there for you in both good and bad times throughout your life. Not only that, but it had to show that they are Yorkshire based and proud of the fact. A lot to get into a short video - we were up for the challenge though.
With the project having to encapsulate a lot of marketing messages, Natalie Rodgers, Managing director of Scala and overall marketing guru , was key to its success. I worked closely with her to create a story that could be told in a short time but also have a powerful, lasting impact.
Storyboarding on this project was essential. Once the story was in place the basic visuals were created by our creative designer Sam. A storyboard is a great tool to show a client to give them a feel of our vision. The storyboard was not overly detailed but a useful aid in conveying the story. After a couple of tweaks the storyboard was signed off and we were good to go.
Never work with children....unless they are called Nylah
The marketing film we had devised needed a number of actors, including a 6 month old baby and a cat. They say never work with animals or children but on this occasion we couldn't disagree more. Our star of the show, 6 month old Nylah, was brilliant. She never cried, acted on cue and only went for one 15 minute nap - not bad.
Our other actors were sourced from Star Casting. I have to say at this point, not only were all the actors fantastic but the professional organisation of Star Casting was also second to none. For example, before shooting, one of the actors unfortunately broke her wrist but within an hour we had been informed we had a replacement on standby and the possible set back was evaded.
This shoot consisted of 4 locations over three days - so we were all kept busy. The most memorable location for me was on Ilkley Moor.
The opening shot to the film was as establisher. We wanted this to instantly feel like you were in Yorkshire so we decided to capture a drone shot overlooking the town of Ilkley. An aerial shot really sets the scene. You can capture angles that were not normally possible. We use the inspire 1V2 which captures beautiful 4k video. Not all companies can offer a drone service legally as you need to get your PfAW (permissions for aerial work). I had to go on a course and take both a written and practical exam but it was definetely worth it as I am now a certified drone pilot!
Ilkley was a great little town and another location we used was a lovely flower shop called Erica Berry Flowers. The staff there were ridiculously accommodating which made filming a lot easier, everything just seemed to flow.
From the very beginning we knew the whole film would be in slow motion to create a very emotive feel. With this in mind we needed to use a camera that would shoot in a high frame rate, 200 frames a second to be precise.
The FS5 was a perfect choice for this shoot. 'The little brother' of the FS7 but still a powerful piece of kit. We decided to go for the fS5 instead of the Fs7 due to the fact it is a lot lighter and has a changeable hand grip which made it perfect for the variety of shots we were after.
We shot all the footage in S-log 3 which retains a lot more of the dynamic colour range. Simply put, this means we could 'pull out' more of the colours, that would sometimes get lost in compression, in post production. It gives you a very 'flat' colour when you are shooting but gives you more options in post. We also had to add some 'noise removal' effects as when you are shooting with such a high frame rate the camera has to compensate by making the sensor more sensitive which adds grainy noise. Anyway, enough of the tech talk, have a look at a before and after comparison:
This project was a joy to work on. With it having so many variables there was potential for more things to going wrong. But with a great team on board the project was a success. And working with baby Nylah almost made me consider having children.... almost.
Check out the finished film HERE!
Co- Director, Camera, DOP - Joe Skillington
Co-Director, Producer - Sam Skillington
Producer, Marketing - Natalie Rodgers
Marketing Assistant - Carly Cotton
Rehman Shahid - Young dad
Yasmin Graham - Young mum
Gabby Saracino- Flower shop owner
Bobby Hamil - Grieving man
Michelle Craig- woman breaking up with partner
Andrew Thompson - man breaking up with partner
Razia Jogi - Solicitor
Nylah Erabadda - Baby
Erica Berry Flowers
Switalskis Huddersield office staff