Production Spotlight: Aaron Bollinger & James Semivan + Microsoft July 17, 2017
Pyramide Producer, Aaron Bollinger, and DP, James Semivan, recently returned from a whirlwind trip to England and Russia for two projects with Microsoft. We’re passionate about getting just the right shot for our clients and that isn’t always easy. “We’re a Swiss army knife,” James noted, and he’s right. Whether it’s figuring out new travel plans at the eleventh hour, or finding creative ways to communicate when faced with a language barrier, we have the skills and drive needed to get our clients the best content for their story.
First, our team traveled to London to work with Hitachi Consulting. The shoot was pretty straight forward, but we had a tight timeline. Typically, we spend about 4 weeks in pre-production to plan one shoot of this size and complexity, and about a month in post-production to create the video. But for this entire trip and both videos, we only had about 3 weeks of prep time and a week and a half in post. Check out the final video focusing on how Hitachi used Microsoft tools to transform the way their partner, Southwest Water, captures and utilizes data:
After a successful wrap, Aaron and James left the bustling city the remote town of Syktyvkar, Russia. The tight production schedule and isolated location presented a number of challenges like needing to work in another new time zone with zero time to adjust, plus a substantial language barrier. The team also had a 2:00 a.m. flight out of Syktyvkar that was cancelled with only a couple hours’ notice. Aaron launched into problem solving mode and managed to secure new travel arrangements to Moscow through St. Petersburg. Due to the travel delay, James and Aaron worked with the Moscow crew we hired to start setting up before we arrived. James recalled using WhatsApp to communicate shoot needs while on the tarmac before and after take-off! We sent them camera settings to input, and they sent photos back so we could approve their framing. In the end, we filmed all the interviews we needed and didn’t make any changes on the client side. The subject of the video was unique a tech company that’s using Microsoft’s Azure platform to take their business global. “They’re thinking constantly about how to use data to drive their business decisions, but they’re doing it from a really up-close franchise model where they’re literally the people making the pizzas,” Aaron shared about Dodo Pizza. Here’s the finished video:
–S.R. Davidson, Pyramide Staff Writer1