Saturday, 17 August 2013

CultureLabel.com re-launch

This was a big job for me, since I was just starting out.

After doing some filming for Brewdog I was sat on the sofa in the manifest office sorting out my kit, wondering what was next. I was pleased to have had the Brewdog gig but was concerned about my future as at this point I had no accommodation and no confirmed jobs. Just a head full of ideas and a camera. I was only borrowing grip equipment at this time, because at university I didn't for the life of me think that I would leave and be a self-shooting director, I had become accustomed to having a cinematographer (a luxury I can ill afford on these projects, although if you're interested in an extremely talented cinematographer, check out my friend Miles Ridgway). For this reason I'd suggest that you practice shooting. By all means use a DOP in your films - and you definitely should - but do some extra-curriculum where you shoot yourself, you need to be competent. Shooting yourself will also help you direct your DOP, and it will help you understand his worries and problems, also whilst giving you a chance to explore angles and movements without the pressure of your cast and crew, which sometimes can stunt your judgement.

Back to the story: I was sat on the sofa sorting my kit, when the owner of Manifest PR approaches me. I had been working with him all day, thinking he was just another employee (he's deceptively young looking, and not at all who I expected to be running a successful PR agency; age and success is an automatic assumption). I was taken aback by this, as I'd acted so casual around him, which turned out to be a good thing. It's true that we are always at our best when we can be ourselves; confidence is an important thing to show, and you must show it well. Clearly he was impressed by my demeanour because he told me that he wanted me to work on more projects with them; starting with Culture Label.

So that afternoon, whilst I was editing the Brewdog video, he told me that we needed a something to show the client about our ideas. I relished at this opportunity. For 10 minutes we talked about the idea, sculpted it into something that fitted the brief, was achievable, quick and would please the client. I loved it. Being put on the spot and forced to brainstorm, spitballing with the head of the company - wow, what an experience! Then I put a quick paper pitch together in half an hour and sent it to him. It's all about turn over. It's all about speed. Everything is 'when can we get this by?'. If you can do something well, quickly - you'll impress. Take your time and they'll understand, but get frustrated.

The following weeks were manic. The client signed off on the idea, and the deadline was fast approaching as the re-launch date was set and unchangeable. I was shooting segments and editing them the same day: at the same time as directing someone in New York to get them to shoot the New York segments for me to edit together. I had to portray exactly what I wanted from them so that it fitted with the London side that I shot myself.

And finally - I owe the smoothness of the project to my extremely talented composer, Thom Robson, who put together the soundtracks in record time (no pun intended). I think at this stage of any director's career; it is important to find people of all crafts that you can trust. You will always need outside help. Check out his soundcloud here or contact him on twitter here.

This has been a very long entry; so I'm going to go and eat a sausage.

Here are the videos:

This is the teaser video that was made for the London audience:


This is the teaser video for the New York audience:


This is the long cut that served as a placeholder on their website for the re-launch:


P.S. These videos have led to an incredibly exciting opportunity, that hopefully I can discuss with everyone soon. Persevere.




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