The Head of Strategic Communications at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) wanted to tell a story of economic transformation and regional job creation embedded within the impact of ARENA’s funding support for the Large Scale Solar (LSS) industry. When the particular case study nominated fell through, we needed a new story focus.
After contacting several LSS projects under construction involving ARENA funding, we settled on NEOEN’s 66 MW Solar Farm under construction outside Parkes, NSW.
I was able to establish a basic understanding of the site and their construction timeline through online research and phone calls however ultimately we were not after an informational video voiced by talking heads from ARENA and the companies involved in the construction delivering corporate messages.
I wanted to find a cast of working people on site sharing their positive personal perspectives on the project and more broadly on a future with further employment opportunities in renewable energy projects whilst contributing positively to mitigating climate change. I knew with these voices I could deliver the messaging my client wanted buried within a genuine and emotionally uplifting human story that would appeal to a broad audience.
WHY DO A LOCATION RECCE?
To ensure a productive shoot in which the investment in an experienced crew and the time of everyone else involved was maximised, I went to Parkes before the shoot to…
- settle on who to cast in each ‘character’ role I’d identified to represent various stakeholder perspectives.
- establish realistic expectations on the availability of those to be involved in the filming.
- understand any sensitivities existing between people or organisations involved in the shoot.
- understand the logistical and permission issues involved in moving around a 210 hectare construction site.
- identify any remaining logistical issues that would need further time to be resolved.
- understand the visual potential of the intended locations.
- explore any other potential locations that presented themselves while on the recce.
- build trust with all those to be involved in the shoot so as to strengthen their commitment.
- develop my sense of the overall story through first hand experience with the people and places to be involved, rather than relying on my imagination and wishlist alone.
- better understand the subject matter by talking to the experts themselves.
BENEFITS FOR THE SHOOT ITSELF
The time after the location recce and before the shoot is incredibly valuable.
- It allows time for a script outline based on reality to be written up and presented to the client alongside a shoot schedule and associated budget. The client can then consult internally and request any amendments before the shoot will go ahead.
- This greatly reduces the chance of unexpected over-runs in time and budget.
- It establishes a strong logistical, interpersonal & subject matter foundation which sets up for a relaxed shoot which is best placed to capture the JOY in interviewees.
BENEFITS IN THE FINISHED VIDEO
In the end, the proof is always in the pudding! The following is what defines a high quality short video produced on a tight budget..
- significant diversity of visually interesting overlay as a result of the efficiency of the shoot.
- plenty of diverse interview locations that each help strengthen the impact of what is said
- enough activities from each interviewee on camera to communicate their character as much more than a talking head.
- more relaxed performances from those appearing on camera.
- a greater sense of the interconnectedness between interviewees because those connections were understood prior to filming and so were intentionally included in the shoot.
“I couldn’t be happier with REIMAGINE FILMS for perfectly delivering on the brief.”
– Ben Hart, General Manager, Strategic Communications, ARENA
Here is the video we produced for ARENA.