chair featuring in video blog

The Story About The Chair

Seamless Video Production

We take some things for granted. We’re supposed to. When things are well-designed they are supposed to appear entirely innocuous, borne of nature, as though they have lain there for time immemorial and we have appeared among them rather than them among us. This is not only true of physical designs. In video production good sound design can, and is often intended to go unnoticed. A well-crafted visual transition can be so seamless that the viewer stays immersed in the film and unaware of a cut and similarly, production design can often be taken for granted. Even when not subtle or naturalistic, set design and props can be easily overlooked if they are executed well in a video. Whether a set is intended to meticulously represent an actual place and time, or to create an entirely ethereal and symbolic space, if it is well designed we readily accept the world that we are presented with and all things within it. We go to that world without much thought for the strenuous labour of the set builders, prop buyers or production designers. Sourcing props is definitely not work that deserves to go unnoticed, even if it is intended to, as I can personally attest.

Sourcing Props

My friends and family have grown used to seeing me become increasingly incensed at inanimate objects. Worse still, inanimate objects that are not present. In fact, them not being present is exactly what enflames me. I can be heard listing things I need to do, locate or acquire for a project and inevitably the list dips in to the ludicrous at the end with a flourish. The list starts quite normally. “I need to book a soundie, arrange catering, talk to the wardrobe supervisor and find-” now this is where the list becomes vaguely bizarre in perfect synchronicity with my cadence becoming distinctly manic. The point at which I say “find” is usually a good indicator that my to do list is about to go awry and I’m going to sound a little panicky. Below are some examples taken from my real life. Verbatim.

“I need to book a soundie, arrange catering, talk to the wardrobe supervisor and find-

  • A dozen gymnasts
  • A Mother of Pearl dressing table
  • A church that will let us shoot a blasphemous music video for an Australian political party
  • A Dalmatian
  • An ice truck
  • 12 pews [I found the church but it didn’t have pews. The Director wanted pews]
  • Two snakes
  • A chair

A chair. Or ‘The Chair’ as my friends would call it when enquiring “how’s work? How’s it going with The Chair?” “Have you sorted The Chair?” or “I heard shouting. Is it The Chair?” It’s the most benign sounding item on the list but as with all things on the list the challenge is twofold, first in finding a very specific chair/Dalmatian/dressing table and secondly in finding it yesterday. So having it delivered today! This chair was very specific and very time sensitive. We needed a black leather armchair with a brass frame and we needed it by Sunday. Today was Friday. Both myself and a Production Assistant called furniture shops, prop hire companies and set designers all to no avail. We turned to a little known, secret industry resource called Google. We found chairs that were 2 out of 3 combinations of black leather, brass frame and available to be delivered on Sunday but none that were all 3. The Chair Triumvirate alluded us for hours. We persevered but started to consider alternative options as the possibility of us finding THE chair dwindled. It was suggested to me that we could use one of the chairs that was available to collect and of a similar design and paint the frame and leather to make it the right colours. I applauded the ingenuity and dynamic approach to solving the problem (it was less patronising and The Apprentice-y than it sounds) but said I it could never work. I know Directors and clients are very prescriptive with set design briefs. They want what they want, and we MUST find it.

I had an idea. It was not fool-proof but we were nearing the deadline and, as my tattoo reads, momma ain’t raise no fool. We would purchase the exact chair that we wanted but had thought impossible to have on set on time. I would then arrange a same day courier to collect the chair directly from the distribution depot, in Kent, and bring it directly to set, in Manchester, the client would love it and I would relax somewhere near the snack table and enjoy the shoot. It wasn’t an ideal plan but it was by no means a hare-brained scheme. It was certainly more straightforward than the plan to acquire the Mother of Pearl dressing table which involved me personally collecting it directly from the manufacturer… in Karachi. The Chair was approved by the client and Director and purchased. I arranged a courier to collect The Chair on Saturday morning and deliver it directly to set that same day, a whole day before we needed it. There was some back and forth arranging security access for the courier to be able to get the chair from the collection point but it was all arranged and I slept well on Friday night.

The chair was to be delivered to the shoot location before 6pm on the Saturday. I’d sent an email double checking the booking and that all was well at 8am. I’d received an email confirming that I should relax and enjoy a Saturday morning just as I would any other – being beaten up and mocked by my daughter. At 5:50pm I called the courier to confirm that the chair had been delivered. The lady on the phone sounded trepidatious. She said she would give me the driver’s phone number. This never happens. You can beg and plead for the driver’s number. You never get the driver’s number. I became stricken with panic. “Is there a problem with the delivery?” I asked in an unexpectedly high-pitched voice. My daughter mocked me. “You can talk to the driver” the lady said. In hindsight, I only wish the courier company could have passed The Chair to me as quickly as she passed the buck to the driver. I called the driver and asked him if he had delivered the chair. He told me “they were closed” I asked him that if the shoot location was closed would he to deliver it directly to my house and asked if he was still in the area. He said, “no the distribution centre was closed.” He hadn’t collected The Chair. The driver had arrived to collect the chair at 4:30pm. Thirty minutes after the distribution centre had closed. He had planned, in a daring feat, to collect the chair at 4:30pm in Kent and deliver it before 6:00pm in Manchester, a bold bordering on moronic attempt at bending space and time that if achieved would have been a remarkable leap in travel technology and human evolution but was in actuality a monumentally cretinous catastrophe that I seldom needed.

I calmly walked out into the garden to take stock/bare knuckle attack my punch bag. I called the distribution centre. An automated message told me they were closed until Monday morning at 8am. I gently sobbed. My daughter mocked me. I called the Director and explained. There was a potential solution. While the shoot started on Sunday the scene that we needed The Chair for wasn’t scheduled until Monday at around lunch time. I spoke to another courier and asked if they could be at the door of the distribution centre coiled and ready to spring in to action the second it opened. They assured me that they could have the chair loaded on a van and hurtling towards me by no later than 08:05am on Monday, that depending on traffic they could have it with me by around 1pm and that their driver had no ambitions as a scholar of paradoxical time/space continuum equations. I spent the rest of the day preparing the final things for the shoot. I just needed to book a soundie, arrange catering, talk to the wardrobe supervisor and find a 4ft x 4ft mirror, a white coffee table that could double as a bench and a 20ft x 20ft roll of flooring and The Chair. I slept less well on Saturday night.

The first day of the shoot, Sunday, came and went and while it went very well it still didn’t have The Chair. Sunday night I dreamt of arriving home to find that I was too late and my house was closed so I had to live outside with nothing but a chair. Vans circled me. I cowered. My daughter mocked me. I woke on Monday and called the courier immediately and asked for the driver’s number so I could harangue him and ensure that he collected the chair on time. They wouldn’t give me his number. I felt confident in this company. I drove to the shoot stopping only to change a tyre because the gods felt that my morning was evidently not stressful enough. The talent on this shoot were only available to be on set for one hour. In one hour we had to shoot numerous ads as well as stills photography and social media spots. We also had no idea when they would arrive and when the hour would start. We knew only that it would be after lunch. If the chair arrived before then I could proudly take my place near the snack table, if not then there would be no opportunity for waiting around, the hour countdown would start whether The Chair was there or not and we would not be able to shoot that ad. These immovable facts whirred in my mind as I changed my tyre with my phone perched on my shoulder calling the courier. The Chair had been collected. Depending on traffic I was going to sleep very well that night.

Lunch time approached. The mirrors arrived, the bench arrived, the flooring arrived. The talent arrived. The 60-minute countdown began. I frantically called the courier. They would absolutely not give me the driver’s number. I was impressed. They called me back. The driver had arrived! He had handed the chair over to someone at reception! I asked someone to run and collect it quickly while the talent were in make-up. Minutes before the talent arrived on set the chair was rushed in and put in place. The talent, a 6ft 3 inch footballer, walked on set and immediately dwarfed The Chair. It looked like a toy. The Director and Client had a quiet chat. I gently sobbed. My daughter was at nursery. It was decided that The Chair was too small.

Despite my stress and anguish and logistical prowess being utterly worthless I would sleep well that night. For while I was attacking a punch bag or changing a tyre or being mocked, the Production Assistant had arranged for the purchase and collection (from Wigan, very close to Manchester) of a chair that was of a similar design to the chair in the brief and had the Set Builder paint the frame and leather to make it the right colours. The Director and Client loved it.

Of course, I had known of this contingency plan and I had known that regardless of what happened we would solve the problem (The Chair WAS delivered on time.) I knew that we’d give the client the shoot they’d imagined in their brief. That never stopped me endeavouring to achieve plan A while working equally hard on plan B but the real moral of the story is that the work of a good Set Builder should NEVER go unnoticed!

video production agency best video award nomination banner

Groundbreak Productions Nominated for Best Video – 2019 MPA Awards

Award Winning Video Production

Groundbreak Productions continued video production work with Brother International has resulted in yet another award nomination. This year started in fine fashion with a European Office Products Awards win in the ‘Video of the Year’ category. And was quickly followed by a triple nomination at the Prolific North Awards.

Next month we will be heading back to the MPA Inspiration Awards in Manchester. With the chance to bring home the ‘Best Video’ award for our Brother International food traceability video (below).

Brother Food Traceability

2019 MPA Inspiration Awards

This year’s MPAs will once again be held at the iconic Midland Hotel, Manchester on the 17th October 2019 from 6:30pm. With the award ceremony just weeks away we’d better get our party outfits ready (and maybe the James Bond-style helicopter ride to the ceremony we storyboarded and very nearly agreed on last year!)

And although our team will be thoroughly enjoying the festivities of the evening. We won’t forget to capture the best bits and keep you updated on our social media channels throughout the night. You can also follow what everyone else is doing using #MPAAwards19 on Twitter. 

Award Nominated Concept

This award nominated commercial is in fact part of a series of commercials for our client Brother International. Sticking to the same concept we produced retail and field commercials too. They were also nominated for numerous video awards. Due to their success we have had more commissions for this style of video production.

About the video

As with any complex TV commercial production we needed many months of meticulous planning to pull it off. We had to create something both ourselves and our client could be proud of. With everything happening in camera it was even more necessary than usual. If one foreground, mid ground, background, light or actor moved slightly off cue too fast or too slow we would have to start all over again. The whole point of the concept was to capture everything in one shot without any visual effects. And that’s exactly what we did. Which was a challenge to say the least. Luckily the Groundbreak team are not only ridiculously organised but also highly talented, so managed to pull it off.

snow on trees in daylight

Creating Weather Conditions in Video Production

Dealing with hot weather

For warm-blooded mammals that have been evolving to be perfectly suited to our surroundings for a while now, we do spend a remarkable amount of time trying to adjust those very surrounding conditions to make ourselves comfortable. We need air conditioning and heaters, umbrellas and sunglasses, we need blinds to shade out light but also need to wire in bulbs so that we can see, and then we pop a shade over that bulb just in case that is too bright. We are needy and fragile. We can’t handle dust. DUST! There are mammals that can survive weeks without food or water or shelter or sunglasses, while being hunted by other ferocious mammals that want to kill them. Kill them and eat them. They survive all of this. They survive all of this while being in a perpetual state of pregnancy. If I inhale in the same room as some dust I am immediately bed bound. In short – we are delicate. We need stability and consistency. We need nothing less than a record-breaking heatwave. In fact, we need one thing less than a record-breaking heatwave and that is a record-breaking heatwave when you are trying to shoot a Christmas commercial!

While as a nation we’ve been overwhelmed by the uphill battle of adjusting to our microclimate, this is actually one of the continuous struggles of video production – wrestling with nature to create fake weather conditions for a shoot. Summer ads can’t be shot in summer. The commercial to launch your spring range needs to have been picture locked before winter ends. Easter promos being shot any time after Jesus is born are way behind schedule. So if the challenge of changing seasons on command is an uphill battle, the past few weeks of forty-degree heat have made that hill seem positively Himalayan. To make us all feel a little better I’ve taken a look at one example from TV and one from film which demonstrates the lengths we will go to create the perfect, if entirely fake, weather conditions.

Fake Weather in TV – Fargo

While shooting season 2 of Fargo, the TV reimagining of the Coen brothers film of the same name, the production was halted due to lack of snow. Synonymous with howling whiteout blizzards and the anxious fervour of a small mountain town hit by a crimewave, without snow there is no Fargo. Executive Producer of the show Warren Littlefield told Vanity Fair “We were sending trucks into the mountains to load them up with snow and bring them down to our locations. They’d bring back these huge blocks of snow and then we had kind of a wood chipper that worked through these blocks of snow and ice and then just spit it out into a spray.” Anybody who has seen the second season of Fargo would concede that the snow looked nothing less than pristine and fresh from the skies, which it was, only it was delivered from the skies by dump trucks.

Fake Weather in Film – The Revenant

When shooting Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant (2015) production was halted for five weeks due to the plummeting temperatures. This film has been widely discussed for being incredibly challenging to produce and shoot. Iñárritu decided to shoot the film in chronological order which makes no logistical sense! There is a six-minute one shot, one-take scene which means it has to be performed and captured on camera as though it were live AND it included a bear attack. The cinematographer decided to use only natural light meaning that there was a window of opportunity that could be measured in minutes for each specific scene on any given day. Most interesting to those of us who have sweltered in the heat is that the production employed its very own meteorologist tasked with predicting the weather and cloud coverage to the tiniest detail but equally importantly to find snow. Snow is prevalent throughout the film including one scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character along with his horse dominate the shot while a stunning avalanche cascades and crashes down a mountain behind them. An entirely practical man, Iñárritu decided against popping in the avalanche in post-production and decided instead to choreograph an actor, a horse, natural light, Hollywood scale crew and a helicopter full of explosives for a one chance only take to create a real-life avalanche for the scene.

And I get frustrated co-ordinating the turning circle of my oscillating fan with the width of my bed.

graffiti in cannes

Iconic Film History & Frontier-Pushing Advertising in Cannes

If you have emailed me in the past couple of weeks you may have received an out-of-office response. You may have even wondered where I have been. If you follow me on Instagram however, you will have been spammed with content that could leave you in no doubt. Like anyone whose generally dormant Instagram account suddenly springs into life for a fortnight, I have been on holiday.

Get Away From all Things Film… In Cannes?

In a bizarre twist, while taking a break from video production and commercial film I headed directly to Cannes, France. But isn’t that the home of the world-famous Cannes Film Festival? Correct. Isn’t it also the host venue of Cannes Lions the world’s most prestigious advertising festival? The very same. So while I contentedly cycled along the Côte d’Azur quaffing champagne and cracking crème brûlée I would periodically be transported back to the world of advertising and film production. Whether it was one of the many murals around Cannes celebrating film production (which show far too many crew members strenuously holding equipment for my holiday disposition) or some of the incredible photographs of Hollywood stars and screen sirens around the town such as Phillipe Ledru’s still of Sean Connery and Roger Moore enjoying a drink and a cigar, I was never far from a reminder of film production. While I will concede that the latter of these two examples has a glamour that few of our – or anybody’s – productions have (two Bonds!) it was a reminder nonetheless.

The remnants of Cannes Lions festival, which had closed two days earlier, were also peppered throughout the town. Posters and stages, interactive displays and pop up bars lay quiet like ruins. Ruins that memorialise the marketing and advertising executives who had filled the town to promote, network, party, and blur the lines between the three. With marketing and advertising zeal and an industrious Hollywood drive in the air it was hard to forget about commercial video production, nor did I want to. In fact, I saw a whole new working life for myself. I could pick up emails anywhere. They have 4G in the French Riviera. With this, I started to formulate a plan for Groundbreak Cannes. The plan started with me eating black truffle camembert and has remained in incredibly preliminary stages since then. Watch this space.

Controversial Advertising

To give you a sense of the heady mix of iconic film history and frontier-pushing advertising that Cannes offers I need only to point you in the direction of one of this year’s Cannes Lions more controversial winners, and my all-time favourite historical Cannes Film Festival scandal (everybody has one!)

Taking numerous prizes at this year’s Cannes Lions was Burger King’s The Whopper Detour promoting Burger King’s mischievous offer of a Whopper burger for the price of one penny if you purchase it via their app and, crucially, within 600ft of a McDonald’s store. The offer was widely received as a masterpiece of trolling a rival by Burger King. The video showcases this perfectly as it shows pixelated hidden camera footage of people arriving at a McDonald’s drive-thru to buy a whopper. The McDonald’s staff, who range from confused to passive aggressive, deliver some perfect soundbites including one lady who explains that they could try and make a whopper but it wouldn’t be as good as Burger King’s. What more could Burger King’s marketing team hope for? C’est Parfait!

This marketing ploy reminded me of the story of Simone Silva. Silva was a young Egyptian-French actress whose star was still rising in 1954 when, having been crowned Miss Festival at Cannes, she was asked to pose for photographs with already bona fide Hollywood star Robert Mitchum. Seeing an opportunity to cause a stir Silva promptly took off her top to reveal her breasts. She cupped her breasts and posed and postured with Mitchum who was reported to have “played along’ although the pictures taken suggest he was at least mildly confounded. Seldom is a man unexpectedly presented with breasts and remains composed – Hollywood star or not. Even less composed were the photographers who scrambled and allegedly injured each other in the furore to get the perfect picture. Simone Silva, along with her breasts, became recognisable stars overnight.

Silva’s 1954 marketing ploy much like Burger King’s 2019 campaign shows a risqué, provocative move that aims to piggy back on a bigger name and cause controversy in a bid to promote oneself as a rebellious disruptor. With 73 years of film and advertising notoriety (the festival started in earnest in 1946 after a false start in 1939 due to perennial nuisance Adolf Hitler invading Poland) one could begin to wonder – is there something in the water in Cannes?

One could begin to wonder this, but I can confirm that after my own stunt of topless posing resulting in being stung by a jellyfish, that yes indeed there is something in the water and it will be more handsy with you than Robert Mitchum.

Like this blog? there’s more quasi-film-related blogs here!

famous quote

Poetry in Advertising

When I was 7, or rather when I was one of the ages in an approximate three-year span that I refer to lazily as 7, I wrote a poem. I should make it clear at this point that said poem will not feature in this blog. It is lost to the hands of time. And it didn’t rhyme. That’s always been a problem of mine which, while hard to define, still plays on my mind. It was called A Recipe for Winter. Seen by many of my classmates as the pre-cursor and chief inspiration for A Game of Thrones, which was coincidentally* also written in 1996, my poem was more of a literal recipe. Essentially an exhaustive list of all of the things that I could think of that were associated with winter. However rather than simply transcribe this list, I chose to write it in the style of a recipe. “Toss in an unused ice cream van” was one obscure highlight that I remember. By stirring scarves, whipping wellies and mashing mittens I created a work that was, as one teacher fondly remembers it, “an exercise in the use of verbs and adjectives at a Key Stage Two level.” And since then I have been hooked on poetry.

Recently at Groundbreak, we’ve been working on a commercial with a poetry based script. Writing the script for this video is some of the best fun we’ve had working on a production. However, it was also challenging. How do you write a poem, something so fluid and nebulous, yet ensure that the video serves its marketing purpose and delivers your client’s brand messages? With our final script signed off and well into pre-production we’ll soon be able to show you how we did it. Until then here is a list of some uses of poetry within video advertising and marketing that we particularly admire.

Nationwide’s brilliant campaigns have championed diversity while supporting artists by collaborating with poets from across the country to create commercials filled with charm that are beautifully shot and leave a lasting personal impression. My personal favourite is this piece written and performed by Croydon based SugarJ.

While Nationwide commissioned bespoke poetry for their Voices campaign Director Daniel Barber paired Dylan Thomas’ Do not go gentle into that good night (1951) to allegorise breaking free from the humdrum of the rat race by driving a Ford Mustang.

This ad from Giff Gaff is performance poetry at its purest; One performer delivering poetry to camera in one take. It has a live and intimate feel and delivers a message that feels homely and honest. The stunning mise en scene adds a dreamy and cinematic quality that draws you in and romances you. It’s not A Recipe For Winter but it’s a bloody good effort.

*Groundbreak’s legal team have advised me to say

flag ship printer vc500w

Oh Brother!

Award-Winning Video Production

As we look forward to Thursday’s Prolific North Awards the GROUNDBREAK team has been reflecting on one of our two nominated films, and the project as a whole. As a video production agency, we are judged on the quality that we produce so we love to receive award nominations for our work. This particular TV commercial has already won ‘Video of The Year’ at the European Office Products Awards (EOPA).

Working with Global Brands

We aim to work with the biggest and best brands, so when we had the opportunity to work with Brother, we knew our skills would be put to the test. There’s hardly a bigger name when it comes to office supplies, and the printing technology itself was so mind-blowing, we realised that the commercial we were about to create could push the boundaries.

Visual Effects

The Brother printer’s inkless technology is truly mind-boggling. The paper is actually embedded with millions of microscopic crystals that react to temperature. We therefore decided to create beautiful, colourful VFX crystals and to immerse the viewer into the journey of these microscopic ‘crystal kingdoms’ and the applications it can be used within an office environment.

See the video below and decide for yourself – will we be taking home another ‘video of the year’ gong, the ‘Broadcast – Commercial/Advertising’ award… or both?! In a week where a certain Manchester-based football team won two titles in quick succession, it might be a good omen!

You can see the full 2019 Prolific North awards shortlist here. Keep an eye out for more updates nearer the time. We’ll be posting photos from the event on our Instagram stories

prolific north award banner awarded to Groundbreak

Prolific North Award Nominations

As a video production agency, we are judged on the quality that we produce. With that in mind, we are delighted to announce that we have THREE film nominations for this year’s Prolific North Awards.

We have two films nominated in the ‘Broadcast – Commercial/Advertising’ category, one of which recently won ‘Video of the Year’ at the European Office Products Awards (EOPA)

  • Groundbreak & Brother – Crystals Commercial
  • Groundbreak productions – Brother Food Commercial

In addition, the Brother Crystals commercial has been nominated in the ‘Video Of the Year’ category.

You can see the full 2019 Prolific North awards shortlist here. Keep an eye out for more updates nearer the time. We’ll be posting photos from the event on our Instagram stories

line up in film the usual suspects

Casting

Want to know what video production agencies consider when casting for a role? Read on…

Commercial video production is like putting together a jigsaw without the benefit of the final picture being on the box. The final picture is in the mind of the client, the mind of Director and the mind of the Producer. In pre-production, we do everything we can to ensure that those perceptions of what the final product will look like are aligned. We storyboard, we script and we scout to be certain that the production team, creative team and client are all in agreement that we are producing the ad that we all imagined (which is ALWAYS perfect!)

Casting is one aspect of video production where we can have a lot of control, and even gives a good indication of what the finished article will look like. On the surface it seems easy – choose people with the look. With no distinct characteristics or parameters, it would be impossible to draw up a tick list of features that constitute the look, yet we all know it when we see it. So while it should be as simple as compiling a shortlist of actors with that perfect, aspirational, attractive but not too attractive, approachable look and sending it to the client, in reality, casting is a lot trickier.

What do video agencies look for when casting? Here are some of the questions I ask myself when casting for a role:

Do they look like the product?

Casting is a big responsibility. We are choosing people to represent a brand. A brand that no doubt has been slaved and poured over, tweaked and nuanced. So it is absolutely vital to choose somebody that personifies the brand. Video is obviously a visual medium and there are few visual images that we draw more information from than a face. Before one word of text reaches the audience they have already made a multitude of observations and determinations about the person in front of them that will inform the way they feel about the product and brand. This visual shorthand is imperative to telling a story in a 30-second commercial. It’s all in the look.

Can they act?

Whether casting for a huge TV commercial or a stripped back online social media ad, there is a story to be told. Finding someone with a look the encapsulates the brand or product can be relatively tricky. Trickier still is finding the people within that shortlist that have the skill and craft to deliver your story. There’s no doubt that some roles require more acting chops than others but casting a talented and dedicated actor in any role adds a level of quality to your production that, while intangible, is markedly observable.

Will the client approve?

By the time we get to the casting stage of production, this video will have been bouncing around a client’s head for a few months. This can mean that the client has very specific ideas, particularly for the cast. As a production and creative team, we know through experience that when we’ve found an actor both capable and malleable enough, who also has the right look, that we will draw the perfect performance from them. Sometimes however, our clients may not have the experience of casting and producing commercials and will understandably need a little more assurance before signing off on a casting choice. In these instances, a show-reel with examples of work similar to the piece we are casting, or a strong self-tape audition/in-person audition is the best tool we have for showcasing a performer to a client.

Only one casting consideration is more important than these three – Is the actor good to work with?

Video production is fun and we want to keep it that way for us, and more importantly, for our clients. We’re providing a service as well as a product so we only collaborate with people who share our philosophy of working hard to create the best possible film while having a great time. This also extends to the actors we work with. We’re going to be spending a lot of time together from pre-production to the shoot and beyond so it’s vital for producing the best possible film that we cast people who are energising, inspiring and great fun to be around.

At Groundbreak we have strived to gather a wide roster of performers that we have brilliant relationships with who are aesthetically versatile, dynamically talented, studious with preparation and most importantly are absolute huns!

Like this blog? there’s more here

Crystals from commercial for brother international produced by Groundbreak

Brother Commercial Wins EOPA Video of the Year

European Office Products Awards (EOPA) 2019

On March 5th 2019, the winners of the 18th European Office Products Awards (EOPA) were announced at a special presentation dinner in Amsterdam.

The winner of ‘Video of the Year’ was our video project with Brother International Europe, showcasing the VC-500W full-colour compact label printer with ZINK Zero Ink Technology.

Award Winning Video Production

This commercial shows the power of Brother’s printing technology, a concept that was formed and then brought to life by GROUNDBREAK with stunning results. Click on the thumbnail to view the video below:

The judges of the awards ceremony commented,

“As video content becomes increasingly vital, companies that produce interesting, creative and informative videos to showcase their products, services or company while engaging the customer are reaping the rewards. Judges will be looking at how the video captures the viewers’ attention, brings the subject to life and conveys a message.”

This commercial was also nominated for the Best Content Creation category, at last year’s MPA Inspiration Awards in Manchester so now it’s great to have an ‘award-winning video’ title to add to that!Video of the year winner

Professional Video Production

Would your business benefit from high-quality video content? Have a look at our video showreel and portfolios of commercials, visual effects (VFX), animations, and corporate videos. If you have any questions regarding video production, contact us and we’ll get back to you!

Groundbreak team using di Vinci resolve

Colour Grading in Video Production

Video Production Done Right

In a previous blog, Geoff described how added production values mean that you end up with a much better film. Everyone can point a camera and press record, but there’s a lot of additional effort and skill required to produce professional, high-quality video.

We pride ourselves on using the best equipment, crew, and processes for every film project. In this blog we’ll be looking in a bit more detail at one of the important steps of video production – colour grading.

colour grading edit studio

What is Colour Grading in Video Production?

Simply put, colour grading is the process of improving the appearance of an image. Wikipedia adds, “Various attributes of an image such as contrast, colour, saturation, detail, black level, and white point may be enhanced whether for motion pictures, videos, or still images.”

Colour grading can also include artistic effects like creative blending. After a film has been graded, it will appear more vibrant and almost ‘pop’ out from the screen. Colour grading is creating a mood or tone through colour or stylising an edit. When you grade an edit you are telling a story and instigating a mood. For instance, a warm orange tone generally promotes happiness or nostalgia. Blues create a darker mood and Greens you’d often find in horror or thrillers. Next time you watch a film try to take note of the colour schemes and the ‘feel’ of the scene.

My Film Doesn’t Look Like a Movie

It doesn’t matter how good your camera equipment is, the final footage won’t look as polished as a Hollywood movie without adding some colour grading. If you have a spare two minutes, take a look at this footage, with and without colour grading.

Professional Video Production

Have a look at our video showreel and portfolios of commercials, visual effects (VFX), animations, and corporate videos to see what the finished product should look like. If you have any questions regarding video production, tweet to us at @GroundbreakUK and we’ll get back to you!