About the Client
Inland Homes PLC is a small but growing land developer and home-builder based in south-east of England.
As part of their push to grow to the next level, they wanted a ‘statement’ video to show at the start of investor meetings and on their website. The brief was simply put as ‘something different’, though it obviously had to be relevant and talk to a wide audience of interested parties. These ranged from investors, partners, critics and to the people who might end up living in an Inland Development.
We spent time with Inland’s senior management team to understand more about them, the way they work and how they see themselves as a company as well as individuals within the business. Land and homes are an emotive issue in the UK, wrapped up in a miasma of rules, regulations, public debate, different understandings and NIMBY attitudes.
The winning idea was for a Hollywood blockbuster trailer – showing the inland story from start to finish in 2 minutes. Part spoof, part homage, but truthful and fun and totally British. We quickly fleshed out the treatment, created the script, scouted locations, got the crew together and cast for actors.
This was a 3-day shoot at 3 locations with a significant outdoor element that had to be filmed before the end of February. There was no guarantee about the weather, quite a few actors and extras would be required and we had 3 weeks to get ready.
Our advantage was that the client provided the locations – we used their offices at the weekend, then went onsite to their development at Drayton Village Garden. Some of these scenes had to be shot outside, so we took advantage of the bright February sun, ignored the whipping wind and got on with it.
We were glad to get inside for lunch and to shoot the remaining scenes. The shoot was completed at Camberwell Studios, where we shot the finale on greenscreen. This final day needed virtually everyone, including the Inland management team, in one place at the same time – about 40 people.
Once we had the assembly edit put together we started in earnest on the special effects that are used throughout. Like any project, one inevitably come across a few glitches, shots that were OK but could be that few percent better.
Camera standards and format types constantly get better and new software programmes emerge to fill parts of the production workflow. Sometimes these don’t work as perfectly as they should, so workarounds and new solutions are an expected part of the post-production process.
- Planning 3 weeks
- Filming 3 days
- Post-Production 6 weeks
Critical Success Factors
- A very clear brief from the client and quick positive decisions at sign-off stages.
- A director, director of photography and production team starting early, working through options and making decisions in good time for planning.
- The crew – assistant camera, gaffers and sparks,
- Catering – an army marches on its stomach and a happy crew is essential on filming day.
- Actors – on a project like this there isn’t so much time to rehearse. Actors have to be on it from the word ‘go’.
- The supporting cast of runners who fill in for all the odd jobs, from running down to the corner shop to moving kit to making cups of tea. These are the entry-level positions for youngsters (usually) wanting to get in on the industry.