How Great Video Sells Great Design

Andy Porter Web Films Leave a Comment

We’ve been lucky to work with some top designers, helping them to project what’s special about what they do on film.

Video and design of all kinds go well together. Designers are perfectionists. Every detail matters. Whether it’s the way the cloth of a dress flows in front of the camera for a fashion designer, the mirror finish of a tap handle for a product designer or how the petals of a rose in a wallpaper pattern echo their counterparts in nature, video makes the essential details come to life.

As well as showing what real products look like in a beautiful way, video can also capture concepts that might otherwise be difficult to explain. By using a computer-controlled motion control rig for instance, we can create a single perfect camera move and repeat it precisely as many times as we want, with exactly the same parameters. So, if you’ve designed an office chair with arms that move in multiple directions enabling the chair to be adapted to just about any user or activity, we can show that - by fixing the chair in position, setting up the move, repeating it as many times as it takes and editing the resulting shots together into one seamless sequence. Like this:

Motion control camera work enables us to film what would otherwise be impossible. Think of a beautifully formed chrome tap for instance. Every surface is a curved mirror and in that mirror a lens would normally see itself, along with the camera, lights, crew, studio surroundings, you name it. By using motion control and making one perfect shot out of many, we can subtly adjust the position of what is around the camera in between takes to make sure that when we put the shots together there’s nothing there that you don’t want to see. Of course with a still you can retouch the shot. But that’s not so easy when you have 25 still frames to adjust per second of finished film. Motion control is a practical solution as well as a way to make everything look as beautiful as it can.

It’s not a perfect world and it would be dull if every product film looked exactly the same; it’s important to start the process with an open mind. So when a designer came to us to make a film for Birkenstock that involved splattering twenty £100 pairs of black Birks with white paint and filming the resulting mayhem at high speed we just thought, wow – let’s do it. Original minds make for original films.

Behind every design is the designer whose imagination, perseverance and talent created it. By talking to designers about what they do, we get as full a picture as possible. This helps us to make a film that reflects their designs in a way that is as distinctive and individual as they are. Sometimes we write film ideas or stories based on these conversations and sometimes we actually film them and edit what they say over shots of their work, so the story of the design is told in the designer’s own words. If you’re buying a design, having an understanding of what inspires and motivates the person who imagined it in the first place is fascinating.

Here’s one of 6 films we made by filming the in-house wallpaper designers from Graham & Brown Wallpaper and talking to them about what they do. The films have proved massively popular on social media and are the kind of cool films you’d expect from an officially Cool Brand.

If you really love the way your products look, or what they do or how they feel, video is the best way to reach a global audience both quickly and with a level of impact you just can’t get in any other medium. For inspiration, take a look at the Design Playlist on our YouTube channel. If you like what you see and want to know more, then drop us a line about your latest design and we’ll think about ways we can make it a star.

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