http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/nslc_celtic_colours/ client and brief
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) became a lead sponsor of the Celtic Colours music festival. As part of their package they were offered the opportunity to show a video once at the opening show. The NSLC said “just shoot a couple fiddlers on the sidewalk. That’ll be fine.” We thought they could do better.
We wanted to marry the music and the landscape of Nova Scotia with the message of NSLC and their desire to sponsor great community events (like Celtic Colours); all the while using the visual ‘vocabulary’ of music videos to convey a sense of professionalism, polish and mutual understanding with the music community.
obstacles & efforts
The client picked the musical talent and wanted to use them “in some fashion” with footage supplied by Nova Scotia Tourism. But we felt it was necessary to fuse the talent and scenery together in a better fashion than simply cutting between the two. So we set up projections screens in behind the talent showing the NST footage while Margie Beaton and Colin Grant performed (‘fiddle-synced’) to a pre-chosen (and remixed by FPS) track of Margie’s. Then we shot the same screens around the province at picturesque locales where, in post, we composited the footage of the studio fiddle-playing. The idea was a “through the looking glass” effect where we jumped to opposite sides of a window.
A super-tight window (four hours max!) with the musical talent meant a complete pre-light the day before.
On location we shot sun-rises, sunsets, hiked to secluded waterfalls and beaches – all with projection screens and glide-tracks in tow.
special tools used
Full studio, stage lighting, video projection screens, time-lapse photography, glide-track systems
Video went from a one-time play request at the start of the festival to being so warmly received that the video introduced the festival events over the week. It received a Gemstone Award for public relations excellence. As an added bonus Margie and Colin, having essentially a music video “starring” the two of them have posted the final project online via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the NSLC messaging gets carried right along.
client contact: Jennifer Gray, Senior Manager Communications : firstname.lastname@example.org, 902 450-5966
Case#02 “Authenticity resonates.” Canadian Blood Services – “We’re Moving” http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/cbs-valerie/ client and brief
Canadian Blood Services (CBS) needed to publicize its move from the 40 year old and heavily used donor clinic to its regular donors. methodology/direction
It may seem counter-intuitive but we wanted to focus not on the importance of donating but rather the importance of moving. But in order to speak to existing donors the message needed to speak “donor culture” and to be spoken – with authenticity and conviction – by donors themselves. obstacles & efforts
An on-site video crew was not going to work due to donor privacy issues and construction hazards so still photography (John Sherlock) of the locations was chosen to supplement the spots. Existing cork-boards at the old centre celebrated the donor community and we decided to incorporate that into the design.
A full spectrum approach was required to get the word out; print, radio, web and television. 4 TV commercials, 6 web videos, 4 radio spots, 4 print ads, 2 posters and a full website were developed for this campaign.
In the past donors have received pins for special recognition (50 donations, Christmas donation, etc.) so we designed and developed two pins: one celebrating the last donation they would make at the old location (reenforcing the move) and one celebrating their 1st donation at the new centre (a carrot to return). special tools used Studio shoot of the interviews; still photography at the clinic. result Client called it a success with numbers higher than expected (which was the name of the game!). And the campaign won a Gemstone Award for Public Relations. client contact: Paul Doucet, Public Relations, Canadian Blood Services, : email@example.com, 902 474-8239 Case#03 “Never assume it will only be used once.” Medavie Blue Cross- “What makes a good company?” http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/medavie-blue-cross-what-makes-a-great-co/ Mediavie Blue Cross (MBC) was to be recognized as being a great place to work and wanted a showcase piece for the awards ceremony. So, how do you make a sea of cubicles look cool, fun, and human? An how do you do it in three days? methodology/direction
We decided to create an anthem from text that was created by the client. We broke the text into bite-sized chunks and had them read by staff, like a speech, in their work environment. Each person added to what the previous person had said in a seamless stream of thought while intercutting scenes from around the office. obstacles & efforts
The time -frame required extreme organization, intensive focus, and in the post-process, long hours. The cubicle farm was a challenge: so shots focus on people and on the extremely close. We show the humanity within the constraints of the office environment by showing the personality employees inject into their cubicles. Plus we highlighted various office-social activities (charity events, softball leagues, etc.)
All of these people work on a computer for their entire workday, yet we couldn’t show any real information on the screen since it contained private customer details. And for the hands-on public drop-in centre we couldn’t show client’s faces for the same reason(!). So we created selective focus on shots to create visual poetry while utilizing the resulting blurriness to avoid identifying people or information.
The staff ‘loaned’ to us were only available for a short time and with no casting or rehearsal. We covered them with two cameras and carefully prepared their speech so they were only covering what needed to be covered and nothing more so we didn’t waste precious time with redundancy. Both camera teams split apart between speech-shooting to cover pre-determined lists of required b-roll. special tools used
Swing-tilt lenses, 35mm full-frame video capture, multi-camera shoot results
Video went from a one event play request to use in every single sales pitch effort they do nationally. client contact:Kelley Ryder, Corporate Communications : firstname.lastname@example.org, 902 453-9057 Case#04 “Sharing your business story connects with the consumer.” The Art & Design of Marcia Poirier
http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/art-of-marcia-poirier-wild-about-wampum/ Wild About Wampum (WAW) is an artisanal jewelry shop and struggling small business. Marcia spends a great deal of time at trade and craft fairs marketing her wares directly to customers and to potential resellers. But she couldn’t show them the care in how the product was made. And telling her story repeatedly has resulted in short-term laryngitis. methodology/direction
Craftsmanship has a particular kind of magic that customers respond to. People like to see the maker and the act of making. The shells themselves have a hidden beauty that is only revealed through the process. In this case there’s historical background that is connected to the carving of the shells.
The interview needed to cover Marcia’s personal connection, her passion and background. The footage of the workshop needed to capture the magic, labour and creativity of the process and establish the end result and individually hand made.
obstacles & efforts
The WAW studio was geographically inconvenient and only permitted a day’s worth of time to shoot. The nature of the workshop and the process were such that lighting was impractical, angles were limited, and there was a significant risk to equipment due to the fine particulate in the air. A full frame camera allowed us to take advantage of available light while still allowing access to tight spaces. The application of horizontal tracking provided fluid camera movement thereby contributing momentum to an otherwise sedate process.
We intentionally delayed the shooting of the shells and other jewelry to a more convenient place and time to allow for more controlled lighting and camera work. Turntable rotation and light tents contributed to a high-end professional presentation of the end product that elevated Marcia’s product. special tools used
35mm full-frame video capture. Tracks systems. Light tents. Turn-tables. results
The video is not only used in trade shows and craft fairs, but has been requested for continuous point-of-sale presentation by the retailers themselves. Marcia not only credits us with creating a great video which helped drive sales, but also with changing the entire direction of her product line. Reframing her story as that of a fine artisan rather than an arts and crafts practitioner has encouraged her to focus on individual design with a higher price point. client contact: Marcia Poirier, Wild About Wampum : email@example.com, 506-576-5445
Case#05 “Letting the story speak for itself creates a genuine message.” NSLC Adopt-A-Stream
http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/aas-nslc-fullvideo/ The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC), as part their commitment to social responsibility, has become the naming sponsor of the Adopt-a-stream program (AAS) which rehabilitates local waterways. The NSLC wanted to document some of the activities to help educate the public about AAS (and the NSLC’s involvement). methodology/direction
We wanted to show the river at it’s best and contrast it with the bad times of its past. We needed to be shooting right in the river, not warm and dry on the shore. Underwater shooting provided a unique perspective often overlooked by the bystander. We avoided interviews with administrators and focused on the crews and volunteers that literally got their hands dirty and interviewed them on location to keep it grounded and real.
The genuineness of the story allowed for a tasteful amount of credit to the client without drowning the message in overly corporate language. obstacles & efforts
The trouble with shooting fish is they aren’t actually in any convenient barrels. Over the summer our production staff had to be ready and no more than 20minutes away from the fish ladder where salmon are regularly counted and released within the hour. And we leapt at chances to join impromptu river cleanup crews and special events like river seines and cleanups. special tools used
Underwater video camera, 38″ telescopic horizontal tripod arm for overhead shots, rail-track setup spanning river-ways, hip-waders, aqua-shoes and bug spray. result
A full video for NSLC’s website, a gratefully received promotional video for the Adopt-a-stream program and miles of smiles from the Nova Scotia Salmon Federation. Because the message was so strong we ended up lifting three commercials from the video which aired throughout their month-long EcoSale. client contact: Beth Martin, Corporate Responsibility Specialist, NSLC: beth.martin@myNSLC.com, (902) 450-5938 Case#06 “Planning and flexibility allow the message to shine.” Phoenix Youth – “A Day in the Life”
http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/phoenix-youth-shelter-a-day-in-the-life/ Phoenix Youth Programs has programs and services for at-risk and homeless youth between the ages of 12 – 24. As a non-profit organization, PYP engages in a never-ending quest for funding from charitable donors. They wanted a tool that told a consistent story and could be submitted to funding organizations when they couldn’t be there in person. methodology/direction
Borrowing a bit from the sounds and style of Bob Dylan, we set out to explain all that the staff do at the local shelter in the run of a day using words on cards. obstacles & efforts
The shelter runs 24 hours a day and 365 days a year so shooting around a ‘live’ centre was a little like doing a nature documentary about elephants without showing the elephants. For privacy reasons, we couldn’t show any youth at any time. We didn’t know who would be available or when or even which rooms we could shoot in. It meant being incredibly organized and buttoned down with respect to what shots we needed while needing to be very flexible regarding schedule. special tools used
Hand-held camera rig, light kit, umbrella and lots of volunteers results
The team members got a great morale boost and donors saw how hard their donations work for them. Numbers on YouTube rocketed faster than any other FPS project. And a first time donor, seeing only the video online, cut a cheque for $5000 based on the viewing of the video alone.
client contact: Crystal Cowie, Director of Development : firstname.lastname@example.org, 902 405-3068
Case#07 “Patience and nurturing grow trust.” Ross Farm: Generations to Generations -Mona Reeves
http://fpsproductions.tv/fps/work/rossfarm-g2g-mona/ Ross Farm Museum is a living heritage museum located in New Ross, Nova Scotia, with a mandate to preserve and disseminate the traditional agricultural & botanical knowledge of community elders. As part of Generation to Generations this video aimed to tap into fast-disappearing knowledge repositories in the form of local seniors. methodology/direction Create an intimate portrait of a single person who volunteers at Ross Farm, sharing her wisdom with the community and tourists. obstacles & efforts
Mona Reeves specializes in the medicinal aspects of the herbs she has cultivated and gathered since she was a child. That’s a lifetime of experience. Mona was not used speaking to camera and we wanted an intimate approach so we had to develop a close rapport with her. We felt the only real way to approach a subject like Mona was to follow her across three seasons. So we shot her planting, gardening, selling herbs at a market and guiding a group through the forest. All of this threaded together with interviews of Mona and her ‘pupils”.
Ross Farm is a living museum which means that access to electricity was problematic so we utilized battery pack, hand-held micro-crews. special tools used
Swing-tilt lenses, 35mm full-frame video capture, hand-held camera rigs results
Video went from a one-time play event at the community to a video they sold copies of at the farm’s souvenir store to help raise money. Other museums have requested copies of the video to resell. As a direct result of this project this years Generation to Generations program is already fully booked and the video itself has become part of a package to apply for more funding to support the program. client contact: Lisa Wolfe, Director of Ross Farm Museum: email@example.com , 1 877-689-2210