Background to the R&D
As immersive technologies evolve we have the ability to create even more compelling experiences, satisfy curiosity and drive video engagement. Immersive Imagery captures the audience’s eye and brings products alive.
As video and photography specialists we wanted to explore new creative styles that created eye catching visuals driven by clever, well thought-out camera movements and composition. To achieve this, we needed to trial a new lighting method and approach to video.
This project was as much about gaining knowledge as producing excellent finished assets. Here are the specifics of what we set out to research:
- Technical – trial and test the Aputure lighting (C300d) with a range of modifiers
- Creative – explore handheld camera tracking techniques, planned transitions and sound design, as well as creative visual styling of food
- Understanding – find the most effective ways to compliment food using lighting and strobing. And also trial industry practices for food styling (use of toothpicks, a mister and more)
Using food as the subject
Working in partnership with Love Thy Burger and using food at the subject, our main objective was for both video and still photography to grab their audience’s attention and showcase Love Thy Burger’s unique style.
We aimed to produced material that truly engaged with three key senses:
- Sight – visually striking compositions, embracing natural ingredients with carefully constructed burgers at the forefront
- Sound – the fresh, vibrant, natural sounds around food preparation to compliment the natural ingredients and intimate atmosphere
- Taste – stimulating the viewer’s imagination with mouth-watering combinations of foodstuffs, colours, textures and flavours
R&D – Photography
When it came to deciding the style and tone for the photography, the most defining creative choice was deciding whether we wanted it to be dark, moody or light and airy. This would immediately determine the character of the products, and form a major influence on the end viewer. In the end, we chose a combination that focused purely on the food, pushing other elements into a dim background.
In addition to experimenting with lighting and composition settings, another objective was to improve on Love Thy Burger’s previously produced imagery. Produced in a hurry, it suffered from indifferent lighting, burnt products and burger that needed some serious TLC. Our approach to photographing the products meant very little post production editing of the burgers to achieve that mouthwatering look that does Love Thy Burgers food real justice.
What went well?
- The equipment choices and lighting setup produced results exactly as planned, and in fact exceeded expectations.
- Scene styling and the visual dressing of the photos were also highly effective, and give audiences an authentic sense of LTB’s dining experience.
- Always allow time for practice styling of burgers – for the chef to create them and for us to work out the best way to present them.
- Consider doubling up on creation of food products for both video and photography.
- We could have gained more by focusing on less individual shots in the same setup and a greater variety of styled photography setups to maximise the R&D insights.
The video style was derived from the type of engaging B-Roll content that seems to be currently popular on social media channels. We decided to use elements of these transitions in particular shots, but not throughout the entire project.
What went well
- This lighting has been a huge takeaway and really adds another dimension to the video, complimenting the camera style and movement.
- In our opinion, the overall edit works extremely well, incorporating multiple layers from sound design and foley through to an engaging music track and complimentary video grade.
- Less is more! From a video perspective, we were perhaps a little optimistic with what we set out to achieve, which added some additional timing pressures to the shoot. Next time, we’ll be more selective.
- Overplanning a shoot can leave you very little flexibility if you spot something new to try during the process. Allow time for some fluidity and creative freedom during the day.
- It’s very useful to have a core transition list to aid the shot list, so you know you’re capturing everything you need.
- Our next R&D project will delve into a more focused behind-the-scenes video, allowing the video team to talk to camera, answer questions and add some character to the BTS video.
- Incorporate (if possible) a full recce of the location in advance to make for smoother filming setups .
- Make sure we only buy CTO gels that are heat-proof!
There are a number of different ways to measure the success and value of this project for the team, StrategiQ and Love Thy Burger.
We set out to experiment with equipment that has now confirmed its position on our next purchase list. The new handheld camera tracking techniques and sound design have exceeded our expectations, and we were able to test assess food styling setups. We’re more than happy with the creative outputs and already looking forward to planning the next R&D project to further improve our services!
The cherry on top… a well-placed testimonial.
“Mike and Sam at StrategiQ have totally changed the game in how our products appeal to our customers online. They’ve given the burgers a whole new clarity, vitality and character that makes me want one now. I can almost taste them on screen! Thank you.”
– Adem Lacin, Founder of Love Thy Burger
Want to add immersive visuals to your business?
Send us an email today to get the ball rolling. Extra points for including links to existing photos and videos, an idea of where you want to use visuals and the target market you want to reach.