For some, receiving the brief is the most exciting part of the project. It’s when all the creative juices get flowing and the practical idea generation really can begin its life. Bringing your clients’ vision to life is when the project journey really commences. But how do we at Sledge make these visions a reality? Let’s dive into our recent shoot with our client, Creative HEAD, shall we?
1. Understand the style
Creative HEAD came to Sledge with a brief that would celebrate the work of three ‘Wella Professionals Passionistas’ and to emphasise the feel-good nature of hair colouring and how happy a new colour can make a client feel. They are up and coming hair stylists/colourists who have an active social media presence, who on the day, create real and edgy styles under the mentorship of well-known stylist, Zoe Irwin.
The theme was ‘doing it for the gram’ and unlocking unseen potential in blonde tones. The style therefore had to be raw and ‘Instagram-like’ but with the professional edge of a cool north-London studio setting. The stylists all have different personalities so that needed to come across to the audience, as well as conveying the Creative HEAD brand identity. As well, there were seven deliverables/edits - understanding the style was key. So how do we bring the real-world and the professional together?
2. Add extra dimensions
We do this by adding layers to the shoot. By using set design and lighting elements, we can elevate the brief to another level. Rather than just shooting the models on a white infinity cove, we add dimensions to it. In this case, we arranged raised stage platforms to add height, depth and a raw looking metal design that contrasted with the clean white backdrop.
Combine that with the models shooting with prop Super-8mm cameras and Mini DV cameras, we can really use the space and lead the audience’s eye beyond just a plain white backdrop. The client wanted the shoot to feel fun as well, so these playful elements and pieces of staging allowed the models and their Passionistas to interact and have fun in the space – this footage can be invaluable when setting the mood of a scene.
3. Use your location
The location and spatial elements of a space can help with providing and interesting backdrop. By using the different sections of the studio space, we were able to capture the different moods and atmosphere to deliver the client’s vision. The back-prep area allowed us to shoot the Passionistas in action, capturing detailed, shallow focus shots with lens flares of mirror lights. The photography area meant we could capture the drama of the flashlights and convey the Instagram-like photo style. And finally, our main set on the infinity cove is where lighting and staging elements come together, with the prop cameras in-hand, to see the creative and edgy side of the shoot come to life. Here we can really bring out a performance element to the shoot. We can direct the models to use the height levels and interact with each other. We can make great use of the set and capture a mix of interesting angles - including parts of the lighting and people in the background so it has that ‘real’ element to it.
4. Shoot for the edit
Shooting for the edit means that we always have the structure and style of the edit in our minds whilst the cameras are in our hands on the shoot day. The interviews and supplementary parts to the main narrative will be colour graded to black and white. This is so that the film is broken up into relevant sections and has a stylised, cool vibe. Also, so that the hair colour really pops in the standard colour space footage and make it the focus of the videos. Black and white is a great but simple tool to put an edge on footage and really contrast your B-roll to your main narrative. In this instance, we had three looks - the main colour footage, black & white and an Instagram style filter look for the Super 8 prop camera. Overall, we really wanted to capture a raw but detailed selection of footage, with various elevation changes, use of the space and detailed close-ups. These styles reinforced the Instagram vibe of the shoot with these familiar ‘filter’ style colour grades.
Overall, this brief was a really exciting challenge and a great project to work on. It was great fun for us to take the creative vision and bring it to life. We got the experiment with a wide range of filmmaking techniques, from lighting to set design. This gave us a really broad canvas to work with and allowed us to play with the ‘doing it for the gram’ vibe, and ultimately deliver a strong set of films with a clear style to the client. If you have a vision or brief you want to bring to life, we’d love to have a chat! Drop firstname.lastname@example.org and email and let’s get creative.
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