The challenge: how to produce quality live-action videos for brands during a pandemic. For this project, MassMutual wanted to get a video out there that fit with its existing look and feel. That is, it had to be live-action and polished.
We did it by writing a story that leveraged footage we'd already shot, footage we sourced from production companies across North America, and our usual post-production visual effects pipeline. But the most important part of the process was figuring out the story.
It was important that the story not show groups of people together. We didn't want to show things that went against the CDC's pandemic guidelines. We wanted to be responsible. But a story with just one person is usually kind of boring. So we decided to intercut multiple stories, each with one actor. This helped build momentum and energy. It also let us create a story that works not only during COVID-19, but beyond it. And since our stories each only had one person, we wouldn't have to create or find stuff where everyone was masked up.
Once we had the right story, things fell into place. A big challenge in editing and post was making footage from different sources and cameras look like they belonged together in one video. We used ACES (Academy Color Encoding System), a way of standardizing color across camera systems that's used in big feature films from Hollywood, to help. We'd been on the fence about moving to ACES for some time, and it's now part of our standard post-production pipeline.
Throughout the process, we collaborated with our client virtually. We'd been moving in that direction for some time, and I don't see us going back to the old way.
MassMutual is very happy with the results, and you'll be seeing this video on social media everywhere, starting now.