We recon we’re part of the #anywheregeneration; we’re constantly on the go, away from HQ, like the influencers in the films we take satisfaction in doing what we do – bringing life to an idea is a great starting point for anything – and during this series of films it was especially evident; we filmed in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea in a space of 4 weeks to get and the team certainly didn’t divide work time from play time – restaurants and the occasional bar were explored in full on camera and off it.
Microsoft dug this series so much that they and their digital agency – Bonsey Jaden – commissioned a second series of four films not long after. Within a three month block we shot and delivered a total of twelve films (including four short unboxing films).
Bonsey Jaden really helped to refine the approach and helped explain what #anywheregeneration meant to the brand and the viewer. We loved how the content wanted to explore the individual stories with a focus on what makes these people so interesting to the viewer, it felt that the brand and the product was a natural inclusion in their day-to-day and this approach really appealed to us, no hard sell here.
It seems that today many brands want in with influencers but want a finesse that resonates with their brand that even for some of the most advanced influencers can be a stretch, furthermore – as in the case here – brands want a consistency across multiple pieces of content, AND it’s here we seem to feel at home; bringing a bit of insight, a few processes and of course some creative to a project that looks and feels the same from one piece to the next, which in turn reiterates the brand throughout the viewer’s journey.
After a spot of head scratching we arrived at a place that we thought we could strive for a great series of films within budget and on time. A lean crew, using in house gear and pairing dates of the series around other projects cutting travel costs meant that we could achieve what we wanted
The brief required scripting and a certain amount of finessing to get the many stake-holders to get greenlight, working with Microsoft and Bonsey Jaden was a lot of fun and learning about the product was fascinating, everyone in the team that test drove the Surface Pro were left licking their lips and asking more about it for applications relevant to what we do.
Freelance Director Alistair Harding was our go-to to lead the project because of his aesthetic, because of the meticulous nature of his approach in pre-production and because he is a real Chum, who is fully across our processes, capabilities and production approach since working as a Producer, Writer and Director at Hurrah previous.
Normally we would be tempted to make this type of film without a script as sometimes the delivery of a script can feel contrived, instead we would often opt for a conversation between protagonist and Director looking for relaxed sound bites. But because of timeframes and the project process we had to script the influencers, so it meant Alistair had to write a script that felt genuine to each of the individual influencers participating whilst hitting the right note for Microsoft; this meant understanding each of the influencers to a point that they felt at ease talking to him, revealing their inner thoughts and understanding who they are; something which Alistair is an expert at.
Along side Alistair we included the very talented Director of Photography Russell Morton; freelance Chum with his hands in most films we make. With Russell and Alistair being supported by our in house team of producers we felt we had our bases covered for all the challenges that the project could have presented and we knew we could reach the high aspirations for Bonsey Jaden and Microsoft.
Four countries in three weeks meant we clocked up some serious air-miles but getting the filming aspect in the can early allowed us to keep to the timeframes requested, it also meant a little less congested post production.
Each country was a separate language which meant Alistair and the team were looking for delivery of the script whilst local team members from Bonsey Jaden and Microsoft checked that the script was correct upon delivery.
Because of Alistair’s eye for detail before we went into production and the fact the films were scripted from the get go, we were filming specific shots following a clear storyboard it meant the post-production was considerably shortened. Alistair worked with our team of Editors – with whom he knew well already – and the delivery isn’t far away from what was outlined initially in pre-production.