The following 3-part series reflects Brian Cibula's experiences producing a recent photo and video shoot for New Balance's North America marketing team. This case study explores what goes into setting up a shoot, finding shot locations, and executing the logistics of a two day photo and video shoot on a tight turn around.
Brian is a Partner and Executive Producer at ATOMIC D, a Marketing and Advertising agency in San Francisco. Born and raised in small town Iowa, he is passionate about video, the Chicago Bears and his wife and twin boys. Brian honed his craft in the edit room and has used that experience to become a producer and director.
In May of 2019, long-time client, New Balance, came to Atomic D with the idea of producing a targeted campaign for the “DMV”. For many of you thinking long lines and driving tests, this DMV is an acronym and local terminology that stands for and represents the metro areas of DC, Maryland & Virginia. New Balance has a strong and enthusiastic base of urban followers in this area who are incredibly passionate about their shoes. It all started back in the '80s with the introduction of the 990, the first running shoe ever priced over $100. This shoe immediately drew a following, and from that point forward, 990s and New Balance shoes could be seen treading all over the DMV. With New Balance planning to plaster the images and videos we were to produce in Outside-of-Home (OOH) locations in the metro areas of the DMV, it was mission-critical that we accurately represent the essence of the area, its passionate consumers, and their beloved brand. With budget and a tight timeline in mind, we got to planning.
Part 1 - Setting the stage (on a tight timeline)
In the beginning, we had an extensive shot list of outfits to capture with limited budget and time. With the budget at hand, we could shoot video and photos in two days. We had a month to make it happen, and New Balance requested the photos be delivered as quickly as possible for media placement distribution. We needed to move swiftly to schedule shoot days, hire talent, assemble and organize the crew, and select locations.
SCHEDULING SHOOT DAYS: We scheduled the shoot days as far out as we could to give us enough time for permitting and talent selection, and to deliver the photos to New Balance with enough time for their retouching and ad design. Within a week of our first request email, we had selected June 25th & 26th as our shoot days and quickly moved on to planning everything else around this timeline.
HIRING TALENT - WORKING WITH SOCIAL INFLUENCERS: New Balance had the foresight and vision to cast social media influencers which turned out to be a fantastic idea. Initially, and especially as executive producer, it made me a little nervous to work with talent who didn’t have professional modeling experience. It made my photographer and Director of Photography even more nervous. But we knew this was the right call for the campaign and we prepared to work with the talent, experienced or not. Fortunately for us, New Balance knows how to pick 'em.
CREW: Utilizing our internal employees and vast network of local freelancers, we were able to bring together a fantastic crew quickly and almost effortlessly to move forward with the execution of the project.
With the foundation laid, we were about 3 weeks out from the shoot date, right before Memorial Day. Time was ticking. The crew was together, the outfits were close to locked in, and at hand was locking in our locations. This would prove to be the most critical and challenging part of the shoot.
Look for Part 2 of this series in a few days.