It’s not every day that you get to make a music video for a bank! But that’s what we did last year, working in conjunction with our event specialist friends at ExperienceDNA.
Their client wanted an impactful way to launch a new customer service initiative within the organisation – a major element of which was a daily team huddle. Part of the package of videos we came up with, to be played at the launch events, was a “Huddle Dance” music video featuring a combination of professional dancers and the bank’s own staff.
So, how do you quickly teach enthusiastic non-dancers moves that will work on video? You bring onto your team an amazingly talented choreographer who specialises in teaching non-dancing actors how to move and a brilliant composer to write a catchy rap based music track that people can’t help but want to move to! You then add some very talented dancers and voila! Oh, and you pull together a superb video team to help you capture it!
The overall idea was to tell the story of the huddle through a number of short scenes getting across that you could phone in, video conference in, join other people’s huddles, etc. Sammi, the choreographer, then designed a basic dance that consisted of a number of simple moves that would be quick to learn.
Our small team of professional dancers then spent an evening learning and finessing the core dance and the more complex elements they’d need to perform in the opening segments of the video. Then over two subsequent evenings we brought in the teams of bank volunteers and Sammi and our core dance team taught them the moves and lifts – aided by copious amounts of pizza of course! Whilst the rehearsals were taking place, we were also finessing the music track and, in fact, on one of the evenings our composer Ekrem turned up to record the finale piece using the voices of the volunteers all chanting together in the acoustically live rehearsal venue. Something that proved to be a brilliant touch in the final production!
From a creative perspective, we decided to tell the story using a very simplistic set look using just lighting and minimal amounts of white set elements, most of which were made from card except for the old laptops that proved to be very, very challenging to turn white!
One other element was the addition of some parkour scenes to drive the story along.
As a director, it’s a fantastic sensation when every element comes together smoothly with every one on the team giving 110%. And that was definitely the case with this production. The lighting and gaffer team were brilliant and fast, our regular DoP Paul Kolsky and camera assistant were amazing and Sammi, Ekrem, the dancers and the volunteers were sensational. And most importantly of all, our client was incredibly brave and trusting to go with this concept. Trust me, there aren’t many clients out there in the corporate sector with the vision and courage to go with a creative response like this. The whole thing was shot from go to woe over two days out at the old ABC studios in Artarmon, Sydney. We then spent another week editing, grading, etc and delivered a finished product that delighted the client.