Group On – Take The Ummmm Out of Summer

This is a set of comedy films I directed for Group on

Click on the images to watch the films.

At the time of writing these films have had over 4.5 million views and are being very well received on social media – The client is very happy.

Here is the brief.

3x  30 second videos

With out dialogue for use across EMEA

THE IDEA:

Highlight the desperate lengths parents go to keep the kids entertained during the summer holidays, via three short ‘fail’ style videos.

Whilst mum entertains the kids, something always hilariously goes wrong (to mummy rather than the kids) as an activity – it’s not because the kids are being naughty or bored, rather it’s naturally gone awry.

Showing things going wrong for mum we ask, Time to get out of the house? and then offer the solution: Groupon. Take the “umm…” out of summer.

CONSIDERATIONS:

·     We need to make any scenes work without dialogue so they work across EMEA –
This means physical comedy is key

·     We don’t want to make kids look like they’re naughty, or be disparaging about things mum would do at home –
The scene needs to fail because of innocent or external circumstances

·     Our actors need to look ethnically ambiguous

 STRUCTURE:

  • Film starts with ‘entertaining the kids gone wrong’ scenario
  • Set the scene
  • Funny circumstance and punchline relating to mum
  • Scene of the ‘pay off’
  • Green flash screen with text:Time to get out of the house?
  • Cuts to Groupon clip of generic Groupon Big Days Out activity
  •  Play-out scene with mum, as text appears over the top:
    Groupon Big Days Out. Take the “umm…” out of summer.

PowerCoat Alive for FLETCHERWILSON and Nuco Creative

Brief:

Create a polished promotional film that demonstrates the functionality and benefits of PowerCoat Alive.  Arjo Wiggins creative papers with embedded NFC technology.

1. Wedding Invitation

PowerCoat Alive is an innovative way of delivering more information to a domestic consumer by post. To demonstrate this we wrote a scenario where a wedding invitation is delivered to a couple, they link to a website and RSVP.

 

Screen grabs from the final film on the left. Behind the scenes footage on the right

This sequence realises my vision for a light bright interior morning and up beat dynamic between the protagonists.

By using a slow push in on the slider the viewer get a motivated movement toward the action, which emphasises the sense of discovery.

 

2. Jewellery Shop

Showing the benefits of PowerCoat Alive from a small retailers perspective.

Screen grabs from the final film on the left. Behind the scenes footage on the right

To demonstrate this application we wrote a scenario where a shopper purchases a ring from a maker who packages the jewellery with PowerCoat paper. Later the shopper follows a link back to the online shop for another purchase.

I really like the performances in this sequence there is a great feeling in the interaction. For authenticity I really wanted our Jeweller character to be played by a real jeweller. The dexterity and hand skills are incredibly difficult for an actor to mimic without significant lead time.


We filmed in Pretty Shiny Shop and I think the lighting by our DoP Don McVey is really strong, it was a challenge to light the space and the cabinets on the day but the end result is very effective and naturalistic.

The VFX work by the FLETCHERWILSON team placing web interfaces on the phones and laptop screen are also worth a mention as they are some of my favourites.

3. Illustrator

Showing PowerCoat Alive on a business card demonstrating how it can access a lot of information from a tiny vehicle.

 

Screen grabs from the final film on the left. Behind the scenes footage on the right

To demonstrate this application we scripted a scenario where an illustrator, who works on a large scale, takes her portfolio with her on a business card to visit a publisher.

I really like the soft natural light of the Peanut Factory studio in this sequence in the photos  you can clearly see the space we were working in and Don’s use of negative fill.

Visually, the large space and painting illustrates the scale that I wanted. This then juxtaposes very effectively with the tiny business card and carries the concept ‘a lot can fit into very little’.

4. Holiday Competition

This scenario illustrates a way to use  PowerCoat Alive to add social media to share campaigns and in turn capture data.

 

Screen grabs from the final film on the left. Behind the scenes footage on the right

We wrote a scene where two friends find a flyer in a magazine, enter a competition and win a holiday.

The dynamic between the women in this sequence is really fun and captures the excitement of winning a holiday. The location, Signorelli in Stratford looked great and was very accommodating so we were able to use the whole space to create some beautiful shots.

5. Ballet Ticket

PowerCoat Alive can add rich media to merchandise, promotional material and collectables. We wrote a scenario where a couple are on a date to the ballet and they access a website of behind the scenes info, video, interviews and stills through their ticket.

 

Screen grabs from the final film on the left. Behind the scenes footage on the right

In this sequence Don the DoP has created a lovely twinkly feel, I enjoy the performances of the actors and the demonstration of the product is really clear and effective. For me it’s a really strong closing scene.

The Coin Laundry in Exmouth Market was a great location to shoot in, it had everything we needed and a neon red light.

 

Storyboards

The Initial storyboards from Nuco Creative gave an idea of what we were hoping to achieve.

Through vigorous development at FLETCHERWILSON the final film came a long way from these concepts but the central premise remains the same.

 

Thanks to all the cast and crew for making this happen.
I’m looking forward to the next one already.
Joe Rosen
Director

Michael Rosen shoot Jan 2017

This is an archive of stills from one of our 2017 shoots for the growing Kid’s Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen channel.

and the Michael Rosen for Adults channel.

 

 

 

We filmed at the fantastic FLETCHERWILSON studio in East London.

Matt Dove from Little Ginger TV was our DoP and he shot on a Sony FS7 in stunning 4k resolution. I’ll be sure to ask him a few questions about his set up.

Thanks also to Chris from First Take Auto Cue for all his help.

Photos by Laura Alexander from FLETCHERWILSON

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Moneycorp for FLETCHERWILSON

Here are a few Behind the scenes stills from a studio shoot I directed with FLETCHERWILSON for Moneycorp.

The brief was to create an ambitious update  video using a well know track featuring motion graphics and as many of the staff from Moneycorp as possible…dancing.

Unfortunately due to copyright issues the finished film is not available on line

Visually I wanted to see as many performers at a time together against a clean white background where we could develop visual interest in post using the framing of text, movement and performers.IMG_9315By working creatively with position and scale against the white background we kept the video visually engaging in a way that evolved across the duration of the finished film.

We shot on the Sony FS7 with the lighting rig at the studio, DoP Don McVey would have more to say about how we lit the stage, how the camera and lenses behaved along with the approach we agreed on.IMG_9300Professional as ever, I think he did a great job creating a clean, bright and even canvas where the performers could move freely.

The choreography by Jess Brichto from Start theDance was perfect for what we wanted to achieve and for who we were working with. IMG_9348The feeling of unity, fun and focus that we captured  is testimony to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved and really shines through in the candid moments .

 

Laura from FLETCHERWILSON also played an integral part in getting this project over the line. IMG_9297Comprehensive support during pre production, on the day and integral during post production at FLETCHERWILSON HQ.

 

If like us, you want a lot of people dancing against a white background at the same time you’re going to need a bit of space. IMG_9337 We used Stage A at centerstage studio  it’s 50′ X 50′ 2500 SQ FT (15M X 15M 225 SQ M)

 

 

 

You Are Awake C4 Random Acts

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You Are Awake is a short film by Pedro Martin-Calero and Colonel Blimp. It’s one of my first professional commissions as a writer and I was hired to work on the script with Pedro to develop his story and the voice of the narrator.

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The project is  part of the C4 Random Acts program and it’s been really exciting for me to see the finished work and what Pedro has made of our script.

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Click the images to watch

E-LOVE – Theatre Directing

I was fortunate to work with Frankie and the  Sonderlust Theatre Group on their season of plays by new voices called Untold which was presented at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town.  It was the first chance I’d had the chance to direct a production for the stage and something I would like to do more of.

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The script was called E-Love and written by Cary Pepper a playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. His plays have been presented throughout the United States and internationally. Carey Pepper Website

The play, as the title suggests is about internet relationships  and the way people relate to each other in an online world. I enjoyed the chance to work with the actors on the subject of internet dating, relationships and online identity.

The actors were great and took on their roles with enthusiasm, professionalism and skill. I’m very pleased to have had the chance to work with them and would jump at the opportunity to do so again.

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The following photos  are from our rehearsals.

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Directing. Thanks for the photo Stephanie Silver

 

This is the only photo I was able to get from the performance, I suppose you had to be there to get the full impact.

But… that’s theatre, it exists in the real world.

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Smart Things for FLETCHERWILSON/TBA/Samsung

The Brief

Create a set of animated films for Samsung that provide context to the internet connected Smart Products, which Samsung make and to demonstrate how Smart Technology can simplify the users’ life.

The films needed to focus on the lives of the users and how the technology benefited them, rather than the technology in isolation. The films were to bookend speakers at a Samsung European Forum event that TBA were working on. An animated approach was chosen in order to provide flexibility of construction of scenarios, and to convey a geographically agnostic environment that people of different nationalities would be able to relate to whilst being fun and light-hearted.

 

 

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Password: SAMSUNG

My Approach

I worked with FLETCHERWILSON and their client TBA on the production of the films for their client Samsung.

The first step was defining the characters and placing them in a family unit where they would logically find scenarios to use the new Samsung products.

After briefing the team of designers and animators on character design and planning workflow I set about writing scripts that would bring the pre-selected product demo’s to life.

Working with TBA and their point of contact at Samsung I devised scripts that had some humour, themes and ongoing jeopardy that would keep an audience engaged with the story and allow the brand message to shine through.

Anyway… here are some stills from the first presentation.

Samsung YEllow presentaiton

 

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The films were well received and contributed positive context to a fantastically successful event – here’s some stills taken from the films with video extracts- 

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Click for video

 

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Click for video

 

If you haven’t heard of TBA you’ll likely have experienced their work but just not known they were behind it. They’re an awesome agency who creative live experiences for all your favourite brands – take a look at their portfolio.

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MICHAEL ROSEN YouTube/360

This post is about a studio shoot I did with Michael Rosen performing poems from A Great Big Cuddle published by Walker Books for our YouTube channel.

 

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Click to play

We had been wanting to make some more Michael Rosen videos for a while, the previous videos have had over 24 million views Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and No Breathing are the most popular at well over a million each. Subscribers are now up above 110K and growing.

I also took the opportunity to shoot some footage for a  360 proof of concept film for youtube, Google Cardboard and Occulus Rift.

 

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We took the studio footage of Michael and placed it in a 3d environment in post along with some animated illustrations from the book.

This post lets you know a little bit about how we did it.

With some funding from Walker Books we set up the shoot at FLETCHERWILSON where they have a studio that is big enough to roll out a Colorama and get some lights up. You can see from the photo we used a mixture of tungsten lights. Phil Barnett who DoP’d on the day used a Rifa for key light and Dedo’s for the rest he also used some generic redheads for the background.

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Framing head to toe on the white backdrop was no problem.

 

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We shot  the content from the new book framed in a loose head and shoulders so we would catch the performance in a way we’ve found works.

Here is an ungraded screen grab from the final films.

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I cut the films in Adobe Premier Pro CC2015 and I was really impressed by the new colour grading features.

My friend and DoP Don McVey @donmcvey sent me this quick summary of how to use those colour correction features. The video he is correcting in the clip is for the another Michael Rosen  project I’m working on to publicise Uncle Gobb and the Dredd Shed published by Bloomsbury .

Here is a slide from one of the final films where you can see the colour correction, text overlay and a slight grad on the left and right to focus the point of interest on the subject.

For comparison.

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Always fun to work together but “I think there might be a problem with this button.”

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Links to the final films will be attached shortly and the book A Great Big Cuddle will be available soon too.

Healthcare UK behind the scenes

Working again with the team at FLETCHERWILSON  and their client Live Group. I wrote and directed this film for HealthcareUK to use as part of their publicity package.

Who are Healthcare UK? The film does a good job of explaining  that but what they say is:

“We help UK healthcare providers to do more business overseas.”

Brief

Create a commercial for the DTI department HealthcareUK to use internationally to illustrate the best in class healthcare provision the UK has to offer.

Combining live action and graphics to show practitioners at work as well as statistical information about the history, categories and advances of UK healthcare.

Response

The approach I took for this film was a traditional voice of authority adding context and detail to images of action and examples. I wrote the script in consultation with a team of healthcare professionals that contained all of the important and complex information in a straight forward way.

Next I had to define a look and feel for the piece that would work at whilst shooting at pace in a pressured working environment. This was the biggest challenge we had, making the most of the privileged and sensitive access to get great looking footage that would hold it’s own on an international stage.

After some thought and a few discussions amongst the production team I decided it was a great opportunity to shoot with the Arri Amira.

Specifically I wanted to take advantage of the slow motion, quick set up time and PL mount lenses as well as Prores 4444 post production workflow.

Stylistically I wanted to have a fluid, dynamic and steady camera style that would evoke a sense of busy efficiency along with a steady hand. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a steady-cam so we used a jib arm.

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Between FLETCHERWILSON and Shoot Blue we gathered all the kit we needed and off we set for a ten day shoot around the UK.

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I spoke to DoP Don McVey  about our process and he had some great insights about the shoot that you might find interesting too.

 Joe Rosen: What set up did we shoot on?

Don Mc Vey: We shot on Arri Amira, Prores 4444 2K. Project rate was 25p, but we overcranked to 50fps and occasionally 100fps. C-Log with a Rec709 Lut in monitor.

Full set of Arri Ultra Primes.

The lighting was a compact setup for location work: Cineo HS, Techpro Felloni LED Panel, Dedo Lights.

Additional Grip: Hague K14 Pro Jib

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Joe Rosen: What were the benefits of our set up?

Don McVey: The Amira produces a beautifully cinematic image. Shooting in C-Log gives 14 stops of dynamic range which really helps hold highlights when shooting in situations where there is little lighting control.

The Cineo HS is an incredible light, giving a huge amount of punch for such a soft light. The unit is fairly small (with the exception of the ballast). I was able to use the Cineo to replicate daylight coming through windows, while its unique design gave a 180 degree soft light. It was also powerful enough to pull further back, helping to control falloff and give even exposure.

IMG_0330 Joe Rosen: What were the shortfalls of this set up?

Don McVey: While the Amira is a fantastic camera, it’s not small – or light! There were times when I wished I had a C300 in my hands, especially when moving around and cramming into small spaces. This was quickly forgotten though, when I saw the images produced by the Amira.

Shooting on cine primes is a great discipline, which often produce a much richer image. But in some of the more challenging locations, where time was a factor, a zoom would have come in very handy!

 

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Joe Rosen: What are the considerations for shooting in sensitive locations such as hospitals, operating theatres, and research facilities?

Don McVey: We really had to keep in mind that the ‘locations’ were actual hospital wards where sick people were being treated. Space was often limited and we were surrounded by equipment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Extra care had to be taken in general to ensure that we moved around with care and consideration.

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Joe Rosen: How did you light the challenging smaller spaces?

Don McVey: Smaller spaces were mostly lit with a combination of natural light and the Techpro LED. Occasionally popping in a Dedo. I tried to keep all lighting motivated. The first thing I did in each space was to look at the practicals and see how to accentuate what was already there. Or I would light from one side to boost what was coming through windows. I avoided lighting from the front, favouring side and back lighting, for a more dramatic look. Idea was to keep the rooms clean and bright while accentuating the people within the space.

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Joe Rosen: What surprised you most about the kit?

Don McVey: It was my first time using a Cineo HS, and I was blown away by what it did. It’s now a firm part of my go to lighting kit.

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Joe Rosen: Do you have any other comments on the kit or process from the perspective of the DoP?

Don McVey: Many of the locations were not exactly what you’d call pretty. Old buildings, ugly practical lights or just plain uninspiring spaces. We really tried to embrace every space we entered (sometimes a nudge by the director was needed), with the attitude of getting the absolute best out of each setup. Every location provided unique challenges to overcome. Sometimes this meant compromising on the original idea to ensure that we captured the required story elements and got what we needed for the edit.

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I’ll park this blog here, I could go on and write another thousand words or so about the approach to the edit, the GFX  and the Prores 4444 round trip in Adobe CC as well as the music, voice over, and grade but some people might think that’s a bit much.

I’d be happy to answer any question as would Don.

All that leaves is to thank to everyone involved, I think the finished film has turned out really well.

Photos: Andrew Molyneux – www.molyneuxassociates.com

Photos: Kieron Jansch – mannedcamera.com

Photos: Joe Edwards

Showreel

 

This screen is a link to my current montage directing reel.

 

 

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This screen is a link to a reel of short sections taken from projects which gives a fuller idea of the work I’ve done.

Running order:

PWC

Commercial for PWC combining live action and VFX

Healthcare UK

Commercial for Healthcare UK. Illustrating best of the best in UK Health provision

KPMG Cities

Thought leadership piece on the economic strategy of second city development. Green screen and GFX

KPMG Pricing Strategy

Thought leadership piece on pricing strategy. Green screen and GFX

Arsenal World

Intro sequence and GFX package for ArsenalTV’s flagship show. Green screen and GFX

BBC Speaking Sport

Broadcast program which combines sports star interview’s and actuality.

Slip

Short horror film, winner of Propeller TV Halloween night competition

Blind Date

Short Romantic Comedy, Winner of Audience award at the LA Film Festival and Austin

Music Medley

Live Multi-cam performances filmed for the BBC

Full length versions of all these films are available, as are more specific showreels.