Behind The Scenes: Ipswich Strength and Conditioning
What was the main ingredient for creating a promotional video for our friends at Ipswich Strength & Conditioning? Coffee…and lots of it! While most were still tucked up in bed at 5 am, we were up making our final checks for the day ahead.
Action… well, that started at 5:45 am with the arrivals for the first class of the day.
Our objectives for the video were clear. It had to:
- Highlight the expert coaching available at ISC
- Detail the range of training services on offer
- Emphasise the support given by the personal trainers and the customised programmes available for all members
- Convey the sense of community and diversity of the members
With the brief in mind, we looked to create a video that would appeal to all prospective members. It needed to resonate with callus-hardened lifting hands as well as those with fresh trainers at the very start of their fitness journey. ISC has an amazingly varied set of members, and we needed to showcase them.
With all of the usual classes happening throughout the day, our filming schedule had to be well-planned and well-executed so as not to interfere with business. We needed to capture a wide range of members and scenarios, in addition to interviewing ISC’s founding members, Chris and Adam.
The logical approach was to film during peak times. At ISC, the gym is busiest from 6 am – 9 am and 5 pm – 8 pm, meaning we had a very early start. Fortunately, there was a two-hour slot where we weren’t expecting any members, so we used that to get our interviews in the bag.
Prior to filming, we sat down and brainstormed what B-roll we wanted to get and made up a shot list accordingly. We planned out key scenarios that would tell the ISC story and made sure these were captured as planned on the day.
As we were filming for the majority of the day, we faced the very real possibility of overshooting. It got to lunchtime and we were filling up memory cards like there was no tomorrow. The only problem with this is someone had to sift through all of that beautiful B-roll the following day. With this in mind, we had to be ruthless with our shooting for the rest of the day – before every shot, we had to decide whether we needed it or we were just capturing it for the sake of it.
Any videographer will tell you that a shoot never goes 100% smoothly – there’s always something that throws an unexpected curveball your way. In this case, it was the lighting. We were keen to use some creative lighting for our shots in the gym, but the high ceiling and skylights had other ideas. Although a constant stream of daylight is usually ideal, the lack of control over this light source meant we were unable to shape the light how we would have liked, especially with the beauty shots. That being said, we took advantage of the light coming in through the rear fire door to stage some of the slow-motion chalky shots we knew we wanted.
As always, the choice of gear was critical for capturing the correct visuals and creating the right feel for the video. We knew that we were going to be in an energetic environment with lots going on at all times, so we needed to be mobile, light and agile – ready to catch the action as it unfolds.
The Sony A7Sii was the camera of choice for this shoot. We recognised early on that there would be some requirement for shooting in slow motion. The A7Sii has the ability to shoot at 100 frames per second, which results in a video that is 75% slower and beautifully smooth.
Thanks to the inclusion of the Metabones EF-E mount, we could take advantage of Canon’s great zoom lenses. The zoom lenses were a necessity for this shoot as there wasn’t much time to be switching between prime lenses. We chose the Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 L2 USM for our wide shots and the Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8 L2 USM for the medium to tight shots.
We also included the Classic Canon 50mm F1.4 for those beauty shots when we knew we wanted an extra shallow depth of field and lots of bokeh.
With all the interview footage and B-roll now backed up and organised on the desktop, it was time to jump into Adobe and get creative. The starting point was the interview. We had roughly 80 minutes of interview footage to comb through. We needed to extract all the key points that tell the story and deliver the message in the strongest way. The real challenge was to cut 80 minutes down to two and make it sound as effortless and natural as possible.
Once the narrative had been created and refined, it was time to start adding the visuals. But first, we needed music. As we wanted Chris and Adam to be talking for the majority, we were looking for something that wasn’t too overpowering, but was still energetic and uplifting to reflect the atmosphere of the gym and give us something snappy to edit to! We settled for VHS by Super Duper, which was licensed through Musicbed.
Now the fun part: getting the B-roll down. The interview and music had created a solid base for us to build upon – the vocals told the story and the music provided a perfect guide to cut to. We had a solid 500 clips to choose from, which was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we had loads of great footage at our disposal, but on the other hand, we had 500 clips to look through. I was just thankful we didn’t overshoot!
The Final Result
It was a great experience working with both the team and members at ISC. Everyone was so welcoming and willing to get involved, which really helped shape the direction and feel of the video. It was a real challenge to represent the diverse members and sense of community in a natural way, without it feeling forced or fake. But we’re delighted with the outcome.
Check out the Video and let us know what you think!