We've shot some interesting stuff this summer - a lot of it has been event based coverage but our real passion here is telling stories .
While a lot of our work is based around the cycling industry and producing video, that is just one tiny facet of what we do. Call it strategy , consultation - whatever you like, but we like to ensure that every thing we do for clients fits into the bigger picture of where they're heading as a brand and what they want to achieve.
So when Canyon, Europe's largest bike manufacturer, asked if we could help tell the story of Joe Barnes life at home, we knew this was a job that was right up our street. Activating international athletes, such as Joe, that are already on your payroll is one of the most effective ways to engage an audience and build brand allegiance, and Joe is as authentic as they come. It turns your brand from being rigid, to being tactile and relatable.
Creating documentaries can be tricky, as essentially this is a film shoot with scheduled slots - it's not a fly on the wall documentary but we needed to stay as close to Joe's regular routine as possible.
Our starting point was chatting to Joe, having good relationships is key that many film makers ignore - you have to have a rapport with your subject or client. From there, and with an idea of his routine, our Creative Director Tommy put together a story board; this was then discussed with the team who all input their ideas.
From that point we moved onto discuss camera choice, lens choice and equipment choices for the type of production that we were making. This is largely decided by the creative director, who then, if he isn't assuming the role, runs through this with the film's Director of Photography (DOP) to ensure everyone is on the same lines. For the Joe Barnes mini doc, we wanted a fairly cinematic feel, in part to help differentiate this film from the brilliant, but low budget edits that Joe himself creates. As such we chose a camera and lens combo that would allow us to achieve this.
With a full schedule arranged, music agreements in place, accommodation booked and health and safety completed, neither the talent or crew are left in any doubt about what is happening, and when. Variables such as the weather can affect the schedule, and on a film with a reasonable budget we try to block out a day either side for "pick up" shots - basically anything we've missed .
Tommy, the film Director chats with CAA Drone Pilot "Davy 2 drones".
Getting this shot, and keeping it legal, involved a lot of logistics, and 3 people with radios dotted around the Glencoe Valley, as well as Joe in his camper van with DOP Liam. Producer Matt had the shortest straw, being quite some distance away and a healthy walk!
Thankfully, not all shots and sections were that hard to shoot. While all the riding shots were done close to Fort William, they did involve some hiking, but one of the most interesting areas to film was at Joe's home.
Joe has built himself a fantastic home environment, with the "dude's clubhouse" literally a stone's throw from his door, and has family close by in a house that was imported from India in the 1800's. It's a wonderful place to spend time, and with mechanic Craig close by too, there is a sense of ambition around, yet with a firmly humble approach that is no different to you, or I.
We've put in a scene that was cut from the full documentary, which gives a little more insight into how Joe views his home town, and his relationship with his mechanic, Craig.
In part, this is why we love telling stories, because it's a chance to be authentic, curious and watch, as well tell the world, about what people stand for.
You can watch the full mini doc below, or head to Youtube and the Canyon bikes channel.