The Making Of

Guest writer Eelke Dekker talks about the coming into being of the Mapiq promotional video. He shares some interesting behind-the-scenes footage and discusses the three phases of the video's creation: concept development, shooting and editing.

Concept Development

Explaining the functionality of an app in a video is not an easy task. We wanted the movie to demonstrate how a typical user would go through their working day, showing various functionalities of the app. It would communicate how the software supports the office to its full potential. Hence the campaign slogan “Unleash the office”.

To show how Mapiq helps you unleash your office, we came up with the following concept. The video features a main character who walks through different office settings. The camera however, doesn’t move as a person, but as a machine, with straight motion and little or no perspective. By shooting in 4K resolution, we’re also able to zoom in or out in a ‘computerized' straightforward  motion. By doing so, it seems as if you are watching a 3D map, which is one of the main features of the app. We made a quick and dirty test in order to try out if this concept would work as intended:

The test looked nice, but we needed more ‘style’. Where to shoot this? Luckily Lensvelt and Canoof helped us out: they gave us access to their enormous showroom and furniture collection. This enabled us to create a wide range of different sets in a very short time. We went location scouting in order to see how the light and stage was; a crucial step in planning a film or photoshoot.

Shooting

In preparation we decided on actors, clothing and set style, assembled in the production manual. For practical reasons, I planned one day for a total of 5 scenes, which is a lot, but doable. But when the request came to also squeeze the campaign’s photography into the already tight schedule, it really became a challenge. This meant we needed a lot of people on set: 1 director (me), 1 cameraman, 2 actors, 2 extras, client, 2 set  dressers, 1 make-up artist & 1 best boy. Try to make a schedule for that!

I scheduled shooting with our main actor first, so we could start ‘easy’ and move it up during the day, finishing of with a complex choreography involving every crew member available. During each scene, the set dressers would assemble the items for the next scene. The second most important thing (after a good end-result) is that every crew member enjoys the shoot, which hopefully shows in this behind the scenes video:

Some technical details:

  • I chose a 2-camera setup so I could cut to a closeup whenever the software needed to be visible.
  • We used an iPad as a slate, in order to sync the two camera shots.
  • Shooting at a high 4K resolution allowed for more post-production flexibility in zooming and cropping.

Editing & Post-production

With all footage in the can, the challenge was to edit it down to a 1:30 minute film. The film’s soundtrack is very important and had not yet been decided on. Together with Mapiq we seriously considered about 12 different songs, which is an absolute personal record. In the end, we decided on a track so I could finally edit the shots ‘to the beat’.

The last step in the editing process was creating the animation layers: adding a clock, elevator transitions, a magical coffee can and most importantly: the interface of the app. This was done in close cooperation between me and Simon, fulfilling the role of creative director at Mapiq.

I believe true quality lies in the last 10% of details that finish it all up and blend it together: small sound effects, color grading and extra layers and details. Notice the clock in the opening shot, the lamps bending as a result of camera sweep, or the people walking in front which were added in post.

This was a great collaboration with Mapiq. The project didn’t start with them saying: ‘Here is the brief, now go out and make us a movie’. They were very involved in all the steps. I believe this challenged us in producing a movie that hopefully matches the coolness of this company.

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Author: Eelke Dekker

Eelke creates, directs, films and edits. His expertise: visualization and explanation of information by film and animation. Find out more about him and his work on his website, eelkedekker.nl.

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