Not content with just producing cracking HD online content for their diverse network of clients, Standby recently found themselves making the transition from online film production to TV commercial production for BeautyBay.com. Not a small step by any means. Yet to talk to any of the Standby team in the weeks leading up to the shoot you wouldn’t have thought that that were the case. With the company consistently going from strength to strength over the past year with its burgeoning portfolio of clients and work, there was a sense that the leap to the small screen was merely a natural progression for the company.
Not that this led to any sense of complacency. With Standby operating on a much bigger scale, it meant that the bar had just been raised that little bit higher. The creative process became about crafting an advert that would be eye catching, unique and different. These were areas that were always essential to Standby whenever undertaking any film, but with the advert going out to a much wider audience, it meant that the finished piece would have to be a reflection of that. The development of the idea started as a series of meetings between Director Simon, Ed Stemp from Contrast Creative, and Holly Copeland, Claire Dacre and David Gabby from Beauty Bay. Wanting to do something a little bit different than they’d done before, Simon set his sights on the Phantom HD Gold camera to shoot super slow motion footage that would form the backbone of the film. This pitch seemed to allow a perfect way to synergize the creative and commercial necessities of a TV advert; the ability to promote the Beauty Bay hair and make-up products as they were applied, but in ultra slow motion, and occasionally in incredible macro detail.
With the concept and storyboard set in stone, and a shooting date on the horizon, attention turned to the process of casting for the advert. Spread over two days, the casting session was deliberated over by Simon and Ed, who worked the models through many of the scripted sequences that would feature in the final ad, revolving around Beauty Bay’s extensive catalogue of products. Each of the models were recorded during their casting slot, and small video packages of each models’ highlights were put together by Standby, to be sent to Ed and Beauty Bay for deliberation. The choice of model was an essential part of the process, as the girls selected had to embody the qualities of the film; they had to be fun, quirky and unique in their own right. The two girls chosen, Amy and Samio, were felt to best capture that spirit. They also came highly recommended from Simon and Ed based on their first hand experience at the casting session
With the major pieces of the jigsaw set in place, attention turned to finalizing the equipment for the day. As a result of using the Phantom camera, huge flicker-free 4K Lighting kits were needed in order to provide the necessary light conditions for filming at the high shutter speeds. As well as this, an additional cameraman, Stan Harvard from Viscon, was brought onboard to help provide his extensive knowledge for the day. With everything in place for the shoot, all that was left was for everyone to get their heads down and get an early night in…
On the morning of the shoot, the first job at hand was to organise and set everything up. The 4k lights had been dropped off at the studios the day before due to the size and weight of them, so attention turned to moving them into position. The day itself was long and fraught with setbacks, not least that the 4k lights, which were supposed to be flicker-free actually generated flicker which meant that they were unusable. Getting creative and overcoming obstacles however was something that Standby had built its name on. After working through a number of possible solutions, substitute lights were found and brought in which meant that the shoot could once again get on track. The results of the Phantom camera, the truly stunning slow-motion footage, can be seen both in the advert and in the behind the scenes film, and it was worth all of the time, effort and perseverance.
At the end of the day everybody set to dismantling the filming space and packing away. It had been a long shoot, but at the end of it Standby had once again pulled through and delivered. A few days later the slow-motion footage from the Phantom arrived at the office, and the post-production phase began. The Standby team are always excited to see the footage from any shoot and this time was no different as the editors were blown away by the super-slow-motion film, which looked fantastic even before any colour-correction, grading or touch-ups took place. It had been a giant leap in making the transition from online to broadcast TV, but for everyone involved at Standby it just felt like the natural progression along in its journey.