Let’s face it: corporate videos can be predictable. Typically, we visit an organization, conduct interviews, return to the editing table, deliver the videos, and then move on. That is, until an amazing client comes knocking.
How It All Started
Client’s Unique Requirement: Our journey began with a typical on-boarding call, during which the client presented a unique and intriguing requirement: Engagement. To elaborate, we encountered a client with a clear vision. They aimed to uplift their employees' spirits post-COVID and foster a sense of “brand ownership” among them. Videos were merely a by-product.
So instead of we writing the script (which is definitely a good and safe option), the client wanted us to conduct a workshop on “script-writing and trial film making” to their employees so that they could come up with their own content.
And that’s exactly we as an agency knew, that this was not going to be a regular corporate video campaign. We put on our thinking caps and started preparing a first of its kind material (The world calls it a Power point Presentation) which contained A-Z of filmmaking basics, right from generating random ideas, to lining them up to making it a rough draft of the script by sorting out related pointers.
And while we were at it, we also threw in some mobile film making tips and some editing secrets (for the enthusiastic PROs as we call them).
We organized a never before workshop on script writing & filmmaking for the employees where we ran them through this Presentation & later answered all the questions they had. Some usual, some unusual.
THE BIG BANG
We gave them a couple of weeks to revert to us with their concepts/scripts/videos whichever they are comfortable with.
We got a call from the client that all the entries have been submitted.
We were expecting around 20 participants out of the 100 who attended the workshop (Apologies for being too positive).
However, to our surprise, we had close to 45 participants who submitted their scripts & video entries.
What came as the biggest & the sweetest shock, was that, all of them covered all the topics a corporate could remotely think of. Work Culture, Diversity, Technology, Work life balance, Impact, on & on & on.
We were so amazed that we were at a loss for what to do next.
Having barely 1 week for the shoot and this huge yet interesting puzzle ahead of us, we buried ourselves into thoughts where we literally hit a wall. We then decided to rewatch the entries again & again and we did. Finally, we came up with an idea that we should segregate the videos by themes and move people as per their strengths in the trial videos.
Luckily, our contract was to make 4 videos. So, we chose the themes, Diversity, Technology, Life Beyond Work (Hobbies) & Leadership Messaging.
The client was equally excited since we were not shortlisting or eliminating anyone, but as promised, we were going to make the campaign, “ENGAGING”.
Considering the increasing elements of the video, we reached the client location ahead of the promised time and spent 3x time both with the participants (54 to be precise) & the locations where we were going to shoot.
The energy levels & the co-operation we received was unbelievable. However, what was more unbelievable was the creative freedom & the freehand we got from the client to go ahead uncompromising with our vision.
To pull off a shoot of this scale, requires a flawless & elite crew. We hired the best of the resources who were equally excited on the various concepts of the campaign which is quite unusual in any corporate contract.
And, we got a crew of 20 professionals were ready to support us with the Camera, Lights, Sound, Makeup, Data Conversion, Behind-The-Scenes, Transport and F&B.
We chose BlackMagic 6K Pro as our primary camera since we did not want to scare the employees with a heavy camera setup, however, used the standard cinema lens to make the most out of it.
Realizing we were no more shooting a regular 1-day campaign, our team had to come up with the clear cut strategy to deal 54 participants with a 20-member crew with professional gear in a fully functional working space with the least possible movement.
The shoot had been planned for 6 days & we targeted the biggest for the first. The “Diversity” video, which had 31 participants for just a 1-minute video while covering the outdoor shots of “Life Beyond Work” during the morning hours & evening hours.
This required 2 major changes in the shoot schedule.
- Extension of our working hours from our regular 8 hours per day to 12 hours per day.
- Floor plan of shifting where we were shooting Employees on 1 floor a day.
The 1st one helped us to keep the momentum of the shoot as well as scatter the employees into the first half and second half slots with minimum waiting period with the least intrusion into their working hours.
Dedicated whatsapp groups were formed where we chose 2 volunteers from each group for each video who acted as our saviors while co-ordinating with their teammates. The subsequent participant’s makeup was arranged during the current one’s shoot which saved the turnaround time.
The 2nd strategy of 1 floor a day helped us rearrange the script parts and move just adjacent if not the nearest location (part of the same floor) shift saving us the time of moving up & down the multi-storey office to reduce both the disturbance and the “between shots” timing allowing us to shoot atleast 60-70% of the time.
Thanks to our team who were working over weekends too to prepare the floor plans & shifting.
Even well-planned shoots suffer from the impact of the imperfect real world and this shoot was no exception.
We were constantly peekaboo'd by the monsoon rains to shoot the outdoor sequences of the Employee Hobbies section where we had to come up with an instant plan (or an instant backup plan) while scrapping our originally well-prepared schedule.
Thanks to the unparalleled support by both the participants & our passionate crew, we could find blind spots and execute the sequences in a smart way.
Even the Senior Leadership who were bombarded with critical meetings throughout their day were kind enough to accommodate decent amount of time for their slots as we were shooting the LEADERSHIP MESSAGING where we again had to move floor wise keeping the crew & equipment size in mind.
All these 3 videos had to be shot uncompromisingly which ate up some decent amount of the slot timings of the last video “TECHNOLOGY” which made us quite unsure whether we would be able to shoot the same.
Luckily, we could hire some extra resources where we could finish off the Technology video right on the last day with the support of the team volunteers & participants.
Executing this set of 4 videos required our efforts like never before in terms of grueling planning, co-ordination & efforts in multiple ways.
We approached a nearby college who were kind enough to grant permission to use their Basket Ball & Cricket courts for the hobbies. Something we never did before for any corporate shoot.
Not to mention the kitchen setup for one of the hobbies.
This required our team to explore multiple options including Air BnB stays nearby, modular kitchen showrooms & even a reputed 5-star hotel running kitchen. A couple of employees were kind enough to accommodate in their houses however the distance factor was an issue during the production hours with this scale of crew & equipment where both the time & efforts are critical.
We had to think smart & work hard where we put in more off-the-shoot hours & less during-the-shoot hours. Our team came up with this idea where we create from the scratch in their existing cafeteria space. Our team went shopping for most of the kitchen items while also utilizing some of the existing props from their food vendor to make it a “mix & match” balancing time, effort & budget.
At the end of the 6th day shoot, we were sore & exhausted but also immensely satisfied & proud to have handled 54 participants for 4 totally diverse videos which were top notch in production quality. However, we knew this was only the completion of the production phase. We had 6 Tera Bytes of recorded data (footage) waiting for us at the post.
But before we move onto the post production, we definitely deserve some celebration for this extra-ordinary feat.
THE POST-PRODUCTION IS NOT FOR JUST EXPORTING THE VIDEO, IT IS FOR ENHANCING:
We reached our base and started compiling the videos one by one and passed the same to our music team, since sharing all 4 videos together at the same time would only create confusion for them.
While the music was almost done, we realized a couple of videos could have more powerful music (or loud to be honest) keeping in mind their genre. As we already informed our client, that some of the videos might be re-recorded for just voices and they were quite OK with it (In fact, excited), we flew back to the client location.
Thanks to our prep, we found a voice-recording (dubbing) studio just 5 minutes away from their office where we re-recorded their voices and to our astonishment, the participants delivered the voice dubbing on par with star-actors.
These new voice tracks enhanced the music mixing and instrumentation to come out more clear & peppy since they are free from on-location sounds where we had to move sliders & other ambient sounds that were unavoidable.
We sent the pre-final cuts for review where the client was quite impressed not just with our technical parameters but also the way their employees gave a flawless delivery while appearing quite at home in front of the camera.
With very minor feedback on just branding elements & their logo choices, our videos got the final approval which, we then, forwarded to our color grading team & the final audio mixing team who enhanced the videos on a whole new level.
If you've come this far, it's clear you're keen to see the final results. After all, they are the fruits of our labor.
We had the global management who were present at their Campus for their “All Employees Meet”. Fortunately, not just they were kind enough to give us their time to review the outputs, but also heavily impressed by the Authenticity, Vibe & the energy of the outputs.
Yes, you got it. Our videos have gone global instead of “Only India” release.
THE RARE TESTIMONIAL
Everyone involved in the project was pleased with the outcome, and they provided positive feedback about working with us:
To all our future clients (or anyone’s clients):
Believing in the talent of your video agency, granting them creative freedom and encouraging them to think outside the box can transform a good video into something truly exceptional.
For our agency, our competitors, and anyone considering video services:
When you secure a client, particularly one who is both good and supportive (a rarity these days), dedicate yourself fully to considering their organizational needs. Strive to create a win-win situation for both you and your client. If achieving mutual benefits isn't feasible, focus on making it a win for your client alone – that, in itself, is your victory. 😊
💡 Credits: Ganesh & Divya (L&G team), Vikas Tiwari, Seshu, Antonio, Vasu, Jesvin, Tushar, Parth, Sri Murali, Srik Varrier, Sibi Joseph, Bhavesh, Anuj, Varun, Arun, Param, Dinesh, Nawaz, RamBachan