Our friends over at Michael Jones Jeweller, recently got in touch with us to shoot some promotional videos for the launch of their new website.
We were approached to create their main ‘About Us’ video (which can be seen in our Projects section) to sit as a main feature on the homepage of their website, as well as several shorter videos for social media, which would promote their services and range of luxury watches and jewellery.
One of our favourites was a piece entitled Repairing Time, so we thought we’d take a more in-depth look at how we brought this story to life.
Our brief was simple – find an inventive way to show the process of a luxury watch being serviced.
We wanted to create a video that would not only resonate with watch enthusiasts and collectors, but with audiences who may not know the intricacies of watchmaking. As well as capturing the detailed process of horology, the film needed to feature the people behind the craft.
The Creative Treatment
From the outset, we knew we wanted to shoot the film in slow motion to highlight the detail and craftsmanship that goes into the repair and servicing of a luxury watch. As we were shooting high-speed frame rates, lighting was a major consideration, but we only had a short window to test our lighting setup to eliminate flicker.
Unfortunately, the main lights in the lab created the dreaded flicker at 100 frames per second, so we had to bring in 1×1 Litepanels to combat this annoying strobe effect.
Detail, detail, detail was our core mantra during production, so we used the excellent Zeiss Milvus 100mm macro lens and Zeiss Milvus 50mm to capture the desired level of detail. With a 2.2x sensor crop at the higher frame rates we were able to shoot macro at an equivalent focal length of 220mm.
For the wider establishing shots, we used the 16-35mm f2.8 Canon L2 on a Rhino Slider. This enabled us to switch between locked-off static shots to more dynamic tracking shots to create a different visual grammar for the various processes.
As this was a non-spoken piece, the music bed was going to be the backbone of the video. Sound and music can often be neglected or overshadowed in this predominantly visual medium, but for us, sound is at least 50% of the finished piece. Music serves to create an emotional response in the viewer and should never be taken lightly or undervalued.
The soundtrack needs to complement and synchronise with the camera movement, so it feels like an integral part of what’s happening in the frame – as if it was playing on set during filming.
Before principal editing began, we searched high and low for a piece of music that would reflect the story we were trying to tell and the emotion we wanted to convey. As soon as we heard A Late Night’s Wandering by A. Taylor on The Music Bed, we knew we’d found our track.
As I’ve already said, the plan all along was to deliver the film in slow motion. We had just under two hours of footage to condense into a 2-minute edit, so we had to be brutal with the shot selection. A lot of lovely shots unfortunately didn’t make the final cut, but tough decisions had to be made in order to keep the pace of the story moving along. “Kill your darlings” might be Faulkner’s writing mantra, but that didn’t make it any easier!
For colour grading, because we’d shot with the Sony A7S’s high dynamic range Cine4 profile, it allowed us to use a lookup table (LUT) to grade the overall image. We used James Miller’s awesome Deluts, in case you’re interested. You can see some before and after shots below…
It’s always nice to get the chance to try new techniques and flex our creative muscles, it’s what motivates us to find a slightly different way to tell the story and really make the video stand out.
We were given creative freedom to come up with a style that would fit with the content we’d already produced, while also creating something totally unique. The end product is something both we and the folks at Michael Jones Jeweller are incredibly proud of.
Check out the videos and let us know what you think!