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Execution: Why It's Emmy® Worthy (Pt 4/4)

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In this ongoing blog series, we’ve been showcasing the creativity, content, and execution of three Emmy® nominated video campaigns created by HighRock. In this post, we’re looking at execution – pulling together all the details to create the final product.

Hospice of Washington County approached HighRock with a marketing challenge. Their goal was to break common misconceptions about Hospice and create a new story around their work. To help bring that vision to life, we created Seasons, a single spot ad campaign that tells an unexpected story about a Hospice nurse and patient.

Creative Storytelling – Hidden from the Audience

Hospice of Washington County wanted to correct a common misconception that their work is limited to caring only for terminally ill patients.  Instead, they wanted to show that they care for the whole family.  In order to emphasize this concept to viewers, we chose to “hide” the hospice nurse’s identity in the beginning of the video.  She is presented as merely another member of a family experiencing loss.  Only after the patient passes away is the nurse shown in scrubs to reveal her identity and role in the situation.  We knew the strongest way to change public perception about hospice care was to demonstrate that change in action.

Intentional Cinematography – Static and Moving Shots

When we start planning a video, we always ask ourselves how the camera movement will aid in telling the story. In addition to the dialogue, music, and acting, camera movement can also motivate emotion in the audience. In the Seasons ad, we used static and moving camera movements as a story-telling aid.

In the beginning of the video, the shots are handheld. Because of the unsteadiness of handheld, the film feels organic and lively; the viewer feels as if they are in the scene with the family. These types of shots continue through the film, until the hospice patient passes away. After that moment, the camera is locked off on a tripod. The viewer notices this shift. The lack of movement aids in creating an emotional response to the character’s death.

Production Design - Portraying the Passing of Time

An especially unique element of the Seasons ad is that although it is set over the course of a year in the family’s life, we shot it all in one day and at one location. This challenge required our team to think creatively about the production of the film. We shot in the Summer, so the during the Summer BBQ scene, we filmed outside. We decorated the set with patriotic décor to show the season, even using fake smoke in the grill. The weather that day allowed for perfect natural lighting.

The other two scenes – Halloween and Christmas – were more of a challenge. Although we filmed inside, we still had to account for differences in set dressing, costuming, and lighting. For the Halloween scene, we had a costume change for the actors and blacked out the windows to give the viewer a sense of a fall evening.

For the Christmas scene, we paid special attention to set décor and costuming to show the change in seasons. We also tented the windows with white/frosted diffusion and enhanced the scene with artificial lights from outside to change the actual warm summer light into cool, winter light.

Final Cut - Finishing Touches

From creative storytelling to intentional cinematography to production design, the execution of a video can mean the difference between a mediocre ad or a memorable one.  Finishing touches like these earned the regional Emmy® nomination and really showcased the video team’s ability to effectively execute on a video from concept to completion.

Interested in more behind the scenes insights? Check out more from our series Why It’s Emmy® Worthy to learn about the creativity and content of great filmmaking.

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