The World Economic Forum annually seeks out the most visionary startups involved in the design and deployment of new technologies set to make a significant and positive impact upon business and society across the globe. Biotech innovator Labcyte, Inc recently recruited Noisy Savage to produce a video submission to the WEF that would explain- in simple terms- just how essential their revolutionary technology is to medical science research.
Only a handful of companies from around the world are selected to be included in the yearly lineup of WEF Technology Pioneers. The chosen firms are then endorsed by a diverse panel of innovation experts, academics, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in a widespread effort to forge relationships with forward thinking world leaders who wish to provide their citizens with the most advanced health technology on the planet.
How We Did it:
The production guidelines set forth by the WEF were fairly rigid, and limited video submissions to include little more than direct talking head statements from the company leaders. With this in mind, we decided on a clean looking, corporate-style testimonial for the tone of the piece, which would feature insights from Labcyte’s CEO and CTO.
Because we needed to shoot in a space that was not only quiet and well lit- but also with a somewhat interesting backdrop- Labcyte’s older style business offices posed a bit of a challenge. Our best bet was one their conference rooms with large glass interior windows on one side, as well as an exterior window offering just enough natural light to cut through the room’s fluorescents. To dress up the boring off-white backdrop looking through the interior windows, we grabbed a blue colored banner from the warehouse area as well as a large plant, and arranged them in the frame to offer some color and texture.
Luckily, the office lights were on the cooler daylight side and we matched those with two 5K temperature fluorescent softboxes. We bounced one of these off the office’s glossy whiteboard (which faced the subjects) to fill in the existing key light coming from the exterior side window, and then setup the other softbox up high and off to the side to act as a hair light. We then shot the interview from 2 slightly different angles to vary up the framing and eliminate the awkward jump cuts that commonly occur when editing one static shot. Using the new Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens and a Canon 85mm 1.2 L mounted on identical 5DmkIII bodies, we had nice close-up and medium shots to frame our footage.
Of course, no interview would be complete without a lavalier mic for clear, close-proximity sound, which we employed in addition to an Audio Technica AT875 shotgun mic as a backup for flexibility in the mix. With a little Fab Filter EQ and compression in post, our Countryman Lav audio sounded just right, and I ended up muting the shotgun track. For the footage, some subtle color grading, unsharp mask, and a touch of Lumetri compression in Premiere cleaned up the finished edit nicely. Simple, brand-friendly text interstitials with a sprinkle of stock music helped with pacing and context, and the piece was on the home stretch.
The final missing element was B-roll, which is great at showing things while your talking head is busy explaining them. While the video guidelines hinted at avoiding this type of thing, I rolled the dice and added it because I knew the piece would benefit. Luckily, Labcyte had previously produced animations and footage of their technology in action, which fit right in with the pacing of the 4-minute cut. This final move paid off: the video submission was not only accepted by the WEF, but Labcyte was selected as one of the 2015 Technology Pioneers. They must be pleased because they’ve already called us back to produce a new round of videos for their website.