"Leaf" — Hennessy Hammock

Credits

Project
"Leaf Asymmetric"
CLient
Hennessy Hammock
Production Company
Gradient Films
Director
Dylan Shippee
Cinematographer
Kyle Couture
Talent
Kevin Whelan
AC
Taylor Pelletier
Gaffer
Vincent McDonald

Duration

0:15

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Project Overview

Hennesy Hammock approached us to create two short videos that would showcase each of their products - the Hex Fly, and their newly-released Leaf Asymmetric Hammock - in an exciting way. Through extensive discussion and research, we determined that these products were targeting two very different audiences that would be best presented with two separate pieces. The client agreed, and we decided to move forward with two separate videos that each spoke to their targeted demographic.

Our video showcasing the Hex Fly would be targeted at the hardcore outdoors-person looking for a product that was rugged and dependable in a wide range of elements. The video for the Leaf would be geared towards the casual hammock enthusiast looking for on-the-go lounging, and would feature a youthful and up-beat feel.

Pre-Production

Concept Development/Script Writing

We provided the client with 3 “big picture” concepts for each video, as well as style references based on their needs, target audiences, and budget. Once they chose their preferred concepts, we got to work on putting together an animatic. An “animatic” uses reference images or video edited together to create a video representation of the project. An animatic is both helpful for the director and the client to work through pacing, action, framing, and shot lists.

The “Leaf” video seemed like it would be easy to find a location- we needed two trees, and a peaceful but urban background - but it turned out to be harder than we thought. Finding access to power wasn’t an issue, but it was important to us that we framed our shots in a way that fully supported the story we wanted to tell. We found the perfect park and planned for an early morning for the best use of the low sun.

Casting

We put out two casting calls, looking for two very different actors for two very different audiences. Again, we ran into some unexpected difficulties but were able to overcome each obstacle.

Our call for the “Leaf” video was for a female between the ages of 18-25 who was comfortable riding a bike, which generated hundreds of submissions. We narrowed our search to 10 final options, and then presented our suggestions to the client. From there, the client worked with us to choose the right talent for our vision.

Props

After finalizing all of the details, we put together a shot list with corresponding props. We sourced outdoors gear, a bicycle, bought firewood, and even created a rain-making system out of a garden hose.

Logistics/Production

We developed the shooting schedules for each video in a way that accounted for the best lighting.

During the location scout we used our SunSurveyor App in order to identify where and when sunrise would be, and set a 6 am call time. Since we were working on a limited budget, we chose to work with the sun instead of fighting it, and used a silk, bounce boards, and negative fill to shape the light for our closeups.

We shot both videos using our Red Scarlet W 5k cinema camera and Leica R prime lenses. We used a DJI Ronin and the Fool Control App to control the camera remotely as we tracked our actress on the bicycle and again for our motorcycle driving scenes.

Post-Production

Once we finished shooting, we took our work into the editing suite and created proxy files to help make the editing process much quicker. We combed through our footage in Adobe Premiere, sourced music, and overlaid sound design, both found and recorded. We convened internally to make a few tweaks, and then sent it off to the client. After a few small revisions, both videos were approved and ready for color and mix

Color

The final steps of post-production are color correction and grading, which is done in DaVinci Resolve. The “Leaf” video only required a simple color correction to warm up the shots overall, as well as some tracked masks in order to bring up the levels on our actresses face where we were not able to control the light as well, such as on the bicycle.

Final Product

What started as a single video to showcase two different products ended up being two very different, unique videos that spoke to two different audiences. The client was extremely happy with the end results of each video, and was especially happy with the care that we took in order to respect their budget while increasing the amount of work required to tell their stories the right way.

The “Leaf” is presented in a 15-second spot with a carefree, upbeat scene of our actress biking across the Boston skyline, setting up her Leaf Assymetrical Hammock, and relaxing with a book in a matter of moments. For a product geared towards on-the-go relaxation, this shoot told the exact story we wanted.

Services Provided

Creative
Producing
Production
Post-Production
We have worked with Kyle at Gradient Films on two projects and he has completely eclipsed my expectations both times. Communication has been very courteous and professional as well.
James
Hennessy Hammock
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