When we sat together as a Production House to discuss how we were going to logistically accomplish everything for Jackson Safety, we knew we had a daunting task in front of us.
From nearly every departmental standpoint there were challenges that we had faced before, but rarely in such a condensed time frame.
When you only have two days to shoot a 2 minute piece, naturally it is going to be a fast paced shoot. Ironically, the trickiest parts were not the welding, grinding and cutting. A little bit of smoke and sparks can go a long way. The most challenging aspects were the lifestyle moments at the beginning and end of the piece. The entire crew had to be quick on their feet, because we only had a half day to shoot a morning and evening scene. Our lighting setups had to be minimal to none. I think we had to move the truck to compensate for the setting sun in every shot. But at the end of every day, when the light wanes and the dust settles.. the audience will never know.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
From the start, the client (SureWerx) was on board with telling a relevant story that had heart, while also showcasing their products in a visually exciting fashion. There’s an undeniable allure to sparks, arcs and flying particles, especially when captured at a higher frame rate for that smooth, cinematic slow-motion.
With that said, I got the most satisfaction out of working with such a diverse, genuine, and talented cast and crew. The ensemble cast on-screen was a mix of professional actors, as well as real craftsmen and women with little to no on-screen experience. Working with some of the real heroes behind the mask was a privilege. They took direction well and added a level of authenticity we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Every new project always comes with its own unique challenge, and that’s also part of the fun. In the case of this piece, I would say the biggest challenge was the overall scale and production value we pushed into the project given the amount days we were given to shoot. It became a labor of love by the end, but it amazes me thinking back to how many locations, cast, crew, props, wardrobe our crew managed to oversee in a 2-day shoot. The one thing you can always use more of on a production is “time”. However, this crew is a well-oiled machine, and everyone performed admirably.
The thing you can never plan for is the ultimate impact a project will have upon its release. We produced this piece in a Pre-COVID-19 world. As a tribute to the working-class heroes behind the mask, it’s my sincere hope that this brand anthem inspires many in a time of such uncertainty.
Beyond all the fancy gear and production value we were determined to bring to the story, the most unique of the tasks in front of us was how to storyboard and frame-up for two layers of on-screen talent-- the handful of individuals going about their daily lives at work AND the multiple product lines of Jackson Saftey apparel items; the face shields, masks, and accessories had to feel like characters too.
What we landed on was a fun "easter egg hunt" played out in reverse-- wherein we could position these products to make the most sense, have the most emotional impact, and propel the visual sequences along further.
Story Development Group
Director: Andrew Bennett
DP: Shane Dresch
1st Assistant Director / UPM: Kenneth Stevenson
Senior Producer: Dylan Pieri
1st Assistant Camera / Gaffer: Bobby Dalley
Audio Engineer: Danny Delaney
Line Producer / Props Master: Andrew McArthur
Sound Mixer: Danny Delaney
Composer: Sean Alan Sumwalt
Editor: Shane Dresch
Colorist: Bobby Dalley