In the editing world, sometimes there are those projects that you just need to get through and then there are those that serve as a great example of why you do what you do. In 2010, Solidworks provided me with a project that provided such an example.
It is common practice, especially in the world of corporate video, to get bogged down by messaging and stats that we sometimes forget that video is one of the great tools to entertain and evoke emotions. A lot of marketers forget that if you focus on entertainment and emotion, those two things along can be the best tools to sell. Remember that Google commercial from the Super Bowl? It was the one everyone was talking about the next day at the office. It wasn’t funny, or had any sort of special effects, but it was clever and, most importantly, entertaining and evoked some sort of emotion. And everyone refereed to it as the Google Ad, not the commercial that went over the analytics of how many users use Google to search over their competition.
With this project, the goal of the video was to try and tap into the inner workings of CAD designers. If you can picture a stereotypical CAD designer, they were probably the ones who, growing up, were always tinkering with things. In short, they probably had the best tree house in the neighborhood. Well these same brilliant minds who made a dumbwaiter in that same clubhouse have also gone on to create some of the engineering marvels you see all around you everyday. Solidworks wanted to see the journey of such a person. The reason being, these were their main user base.
Mark Biasotti, Product Manager at Solidworks, and his team came up with the concept of the “Inventor Child,” someone who took their engineering passion and helped change the world. The term he kept using, which as you can see is very appropriate, was the concept of the emotional payoff. At each step of the protagonists engineering life, his ingenuity is helping those around him, but in the end it comes full circle and helps him. What I love about this video is that it sells a product without ever mentioning the product. It is only selling the idea.
This project was also a great example of what happens with great teamwork. Mark Biasotti was the creative lead on the client side, as well as acting as the After Effects compositor. It was directed by Bob Pascarella and Rich Sturchio. The video was shoot at 1080p/23.976fps on the Sony F900 by Robert Magro. Kerry Healey and Mark DiTondo were the lead producers on the project with Brian Iacobucci doing the final sound mix.
This project was shared heavily off-site from the edit suite, with the team at Sabertooth Productions out of California designing and compositing the 3D mechanics (the bunk bed lift, the lab scene as well as the mechanical hand.) We handled this with a pretty basic workflow, me making HD QuickTimes and sharing them over FTP with both Mark and Sabertooth. We worked natively at 1080p/23.976fps so that we were dealing with pull-down in the compositing stage.
We went though about 8 or 10 versions of this. The great thing about that was, unlike normal when each version just gets a little different, with this case each version got a little different and BETTER! It can be frustrating going back and forth on many different versions and you never feel that the project is getting any better. Luckily with “Inventor Child,” we were not dealing with that. Probably a good equation for success: