We had the pleasure recently of being involved with producing films for the launch of a new product from our friends at Chesneys. Best known for their beautiful fire places and wood burning stoves, they have recently diversified into the outdoor living market, with the creation of a new range of BBQ's and Outdoor Heaters. We had heard great things about this product while working with them last year on their craftsmanship and showroom films, but the final product had always been kept under wraps!
With summer approaching and an imminent launch, a 2 day filming block was booked at a stunning country house in Wiltshire. Everything was set apart from one important ingredient; the weather. The product is all about being outside, enjoying the summer sun, cooking and whiling away those long midsummer evenings... however, considering we get about 3 of those days a year in Britain, scheduling was never going to bar easy. True to form the first shoot was cancelled at the last min due to heavy rain forecast. With a team of more than 20 involved, including photographers, stylists, BBQ chefs and an army of Chesney's staff making sure everything was in place, any risk of a wash out couldn't be taken.
Thankfully, beyond the odds, the british weather played it's trump card for the new date and we arrived on set in stunning sunshine (too hot - never happy!) to be treated to the most beautiful, quintessential country house with stunning walled garden and outdoor pool. It really was a dream location to film in. Normally we surprise clients by making the rather less glamorous of locations come to life - it's arguably more difficult to do justice to the nice ones! However, we hope you'll agree this turned out pretty well.
Anyway, back to the reality of the work. After scouting around the grounds and being given the full intro on the new product, we were briefed on the footage we should try and capture over the 2 days. The main challenge was to capture the aspirational lifestyle scenarios of the product in action. Selling the lifestyle around a specific product is such an important part of any marketing but in particular, video marketing. Customers buy into a lifestyle they either relate to and/or aspire to. Capturing the essence of this lifestyle in a 30-60 sec film was the key to us producing a successful campaign for Chesneys. Luckily for us, Chesneys had drafted in the talents of stylist Ali Brown to create and dress each of the setups. Het attention to detail and range of gorgeous props really did capture the mood and lifestyle of product and made filming a joy.
The primary focus of the shoot for Chesneys was the production of marketing photography for use on the new website, brochures, PR materials and social media. As such, we worked alongside the rather brilliant photographer, Anthony Parkinson. It's always a little challenging trying to produce film alongside a photoshoot. People often assume that with them being such similar mediums they will have similar setups and requirements. The reality is filmmakers and photographers are really just 2 types of control freak with different demands! Ultimately we always want to make the subject look as good as possible and on that front we can work very well together. All credit to Anthony and his assistant they worked incredibly hard to get the best out of every scene and we managed to dive in between shots to capture what we needed for the film - although asking the actors to repeat almost exactly what they'd been doing for the photos often led to some confused reactions.
The 2 filming days took us from the midday heat to cosy evenings gathered around the fire to show off the 2 functions of the new product. Each setup we created in the day time was repeated at dusk and into the night to show the diversity of the product in turning from a BBQ into outdoor heater, both functions of which it performs incredibly well. Although these shooting requirements led to some long days, we can't grumble too much when there is so much food being cooked along the way! To say we were well fed would be a understatement - a well fed crew is a happy crew!
With the shoot over and everything going according to plan, including the weather, there was no time to rest as the launch was only days away and there were 2 films to be produced and uploaded to the new website prior to the big reveal. The film edits focussed on the cooking and heating elements of the product. The cooking film was designed to highlight the multiple functions of the product as a standard BBQ grill as well as additional functions such as wok cooking, roasting, smoking and even cooking pizzas in 2 mins! The footage was all shot in the daytime for the cooking and centred around family and friends interacting and celebrating around the food and drink being served. The heating function was largely based in the evening with people gathered around the heater enjoying the situation of being able to extend the party long after the sun had set. Thanks to the great location we had on offer we also managed to capture a scene of children warming up next to the heater after playing in the outdoor pool. This made for a great opening to the film and one of our personal favourite shots of the whole project.