• Briefing & Concept
  • Storyboarding
  • Branding & Style Guide
  • Animation
  • Sound Engineering
  • Voice Over

One of our long-standing clients, NSF International, asked us to help communicate their new innovative product and service through the creation of a video. Once we had learned more about NSF’s latest offering to the UK protein supply chain industry and had digested the brief, we set out to create a video concept that presented a fresh, new idea, showcasing innovation, whilst also being informative, creative and interactive. We also wanted the final outreach to be intriguing, both visually and audibly.

Often used to front conferences or product launches, our explainer videos combine music, professionally recorded voice-over narration, sound design, slick iconography and punchy colours. Through their use we can communicate information quickly and clearly using animation and occasionally live-action video clips.

Additionally, we knew that the motion picture would be shown live at the NSF Annual Conference at the British Library, London.

Our original treatment points from the client were:

  • To tell a motivating story for UK farmers to encourage buy-in;
  • Present the product as ‘live’ and not conceptual;
  • Explain clearly and simply how it works – given its complexities and benefits for a wide variety of audiences;
  • Present NSF’s strong credentials for developing and implementing the service.

STORYBOARDING & SCRIPT

From early notes provided by the client, we wrote a full script which served as the bedrock for the video. It became clear that animation would be the best way to bring the script to life, owing to the abstract nature of the service. Moreover, live-action materials were not available as the service was in its infancy.

The initial insights into the client’s treatment allowed us to classify this motion picture as an animated explainer video, rather than a live-action short documentary or a sequence of stakeholder talking heads.

During the coming weeks, our experienced team established and composed a production plan to progress and move the project forward. Acknowledging the hurdles of the project from the beginning was always difficult due to the nature of creative storyboarding and explaining how the still images would translate into moving images. This is where our art director and animators’ vision really shone through.

We distilled the main concepts into simple diagrams and visual motifs and used existing branding guidelines to inform colour and layout. Finally, a handful of live-action clips beneath the animation helped provide context and increase visual interest.

COMMUNICATION AND REVIEWING STREAMS

As with all of our productions, we deployed a selection of tools which helped our client communicate and review content during the course of the project. Containing all of the content elements, discussion points, conversations, timelines and assets in one location helped to keep a track of project progress.

To aid communication, the project was deployed onto Basecamp; a central location for all of the assets. The client joined us around the project ‘campfire’ (virtual chat/discussion area) so we could discuss details and progress. We were then able to create an ongoing list of action points to progress the output from a version one draft all the way through to sign off and delivery.

Another tool we heavily utilise for production is the video review system Frame.io. This allows us to continue to keep communication and transparency at the foreground of our production schedule, this service, tied in with Basecamp and our editing suite, allows our client to view and review the progressing versions.

BRANDING & STYLE GUIDE

Once we had determined the brief and concept for the video our animator and art director used the client’s style guide to incorporate the NSF brand into the graphics. Our client provided a succinct deck that dictated a colour pallet to be used and a set of guard rails on how to use their logo and text.

SOUND DESIGN, MUSIC AND VOICE OVER

We knew that this particular project would rely on a strong music bed, subtle incidental sound FX and a prominent voice-over artist.

We knew the final video would be hosted and played it two different locations. One, being online and the other, live and to an audience in the main auditorium at the British Library, London. Without seeing the room, hearing acoustics and knowing the size of the PA system, it was difficult to create a final quality version that would work for all eventualities. To overcome this challenge, we utilised some simple, but effective mixing and mastering techniques to allow for as many eventualities as possible; such as removal of none problem frequencies, stereo placement for a large room and overall limiting.

DELIVERY AND EVENT

One video was showcased at the British Library in London, this particular video included an audio adjustment and also a longer intro and outro. We also delivered a web version that NSF could embed on their website, outputted from our editing suite in a particular format to adhere to web formatting rules. Additionally, we supplied some high-resolution screenshots from the infographic to aid the clients marketing.

"The team was quick to grasp a complex brief and brought with them an intelligent understanding of what was required. They understood our budget constraints and offered examples of illustrative approaches that would best fit our purpose. They were constantly on hand throughout the process and quick to respond to queries as we developed the script and storyboard together, with endless patience for the necessary corporate approvals and changes that were required. The team has filmed and edited excerpts of our annual conference for five years now, bringing fresh ideas each time. The video was the first introduction to our new service at the 2109 conference and as such was the highlight of the day, impressing the audience with our innovation and explaining the service in simple and graphic terms. The team bend over backwards to make sure the client is happy, and we highly recommend them.”

Chris Slack - Senior Marketing Manager