As a community-minded financial organization, Sunwest takes their brand voice seriously. Which is why they bring humor and an element of surprise to their video content.
As a writer and producer with a lot of acting experience, I love working on the Sunwest projects. There’s nothing like a good casting call, the thrill of auditions, and having a “full house” of cast and crew on location to shoot something that is so fun.
A production like this brings additional collaboration opportunities as well. For example, I worked with a storyboard artist, to sketch out each shot in the development phase.
And I got art department involved – the talented folks who are responsible for props, wardrobe, set design, and effects. Although, I did bring my own fog machine to get the hazey look of the yoga studio just right.
We shot three videos for Sunwest, over three consecutive days. Shoot days are long (sometimes 12-14 hours). The prep, planning, breakdown and follow-up for even a one-day shoot is significant. So, managing shoot days back-to-back like this made for a marathon production week!
Each shoot day and location presented logistical hurdles. For example, to shoot a boat that’s meant to look like it’s cruising on the water, without putting your whole camera crew in a boat as well, called for some creative maneuvers.
We tied a rope to the paddle boat, then repeatedly let it go and pulled it back for each shot. At other times, to keep the boat from drifting, another person kept one foot on the boat and one foot on the dock.
So, in addition to the regular uncertainties that you navigate on location, like weather or noise, we had this whole other component to consider. With each take, we’d hold our breath and hope that the paddle boat would cooperate! Check out the final video in this blog.
One script called for the Sunwest Employee character to be sprayed in the face with water. All in good fun, of course. You only have so many takes with a shot like this.
As a producer, sometimes you change things in production that are written in the script because they are logistically challenging. However, as writer and producer on this project, I knew full well what I was getting into.
I’m happy to say that working with top-notch talent and crew made the shot a complete success.
And then there was the explosion. Yes. Explosion.
The week of our shoot, an explosion in the area apparently shut down our yoga studio location indefinitely. I’m not entirely sure how that situation was remedied behind-the-scenes, but after temporarily considering that logistical nightmare and getting the “all clear”, I definitely put my hands together in prayer position. Namaste.
Compared to the stock footage videos and graphics driven content that we also produce, a scripted live action production makes for an exciting change of pace.
And, I might add, it makes for some great content for a client that likes to keep things fresh for their audience.
Thanks for the opportunity, Sunwest!