While the core field production rules remain the same, producing remotely on a tight budget requires an even greater attention to detail and the right local team to yield success. I had the good fortune of producing a customer testimonial video featuring Tottenham Hotspur for the software division of jersey sponsor HP, HP Autonomy, that put my skills to the test.
They wanted a traditional talking head, documentary style testimonial video highlighting Spurs' use of Optimost, and our initial challenge was scheduling. We knew we wanted to film at various locations inside and around Spurs' hallowed pitch, White Hart Lane, on a match day. We also knew we'd have limited access to the field due to television rights.
After some calendar magic, a game date was chosen that provided some ambient sunlight and when our two Spurs interviewee execs would be available. As these things go of course, I was already booked to direct a multi-day project for the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in San Francisco on our Spurs production day. Since I'm a huge football / soccer fan and former goalkeeper, this was a tremendous, gut wrenching shi**er. The opportunity to produce / direct in London AND that featured a top flight Premiere League side ... AND I WASN'T GOING TO BE THERE?? Say it isn't so.
But as I still find being in two places at once elusive, I committed to the project as a Bay Area Pictures production, set the directing hat aside, and assembled a crew to cover the shoot knowing that we'd handle post-production in California.
The crew included Twickenham (West London) based Director of Photography Jon Gout, the Managing Director of Karma Crew and Creative, who has shot at White Hart Lane numerous times, local San Francisco filmmaker and frequent collaborator Eugene Huang, London based freelance editing instructor and DSLR shooter Shurwin Harewood, and our Brit living in San Francisco, sound recordist Phil Turner.
I've established a strong testimonial video style over the years and was able to review recently delivered promo reels for HP Autonomy and Stanford University with the crew so they had clarity on framing, shooting style, and camera motion. On the post side, I incorporated Spurs' provided B-roll with our interview coverage and match day B-roll. And our resulting 2m 57s deliverable was incredibly well received by both HP and Spurs. Let me know what you think as well by submitting a comment below.