The CEA is a membership organisation supporting businesses and organisations involved in Combustion Engineering. Following a redevelopment of their website, they were looking for a video to explain the key benefits of membership delivered in an interesting but succinct way. We decided to deliver a motion graphics piece that brought the value of these benefits together, working in harmony like a finely oiled machine. The video was created using after effects and assets developed as vector graphics in illustrator.
One of our clients is the International Institute for Strategic Studies who we have done a range of work for. One of our earliest projects was to create a corporate video to explain in greater depth what the organisation did and how they contribute to global security stability. During the shoot we filmed a range of senior staff and also the President of Mozambique so we made sure we were wearing our best suits that day!
One of the key activities of the IISS is to hold a global security summit in Singapore each year on the last weekend in May - The Shangri-La Dialogue - which is happening right now. The delegates include Chuck Hagel (US Secretary of Defense) and Phillip Hammond (UK Defence Secretary) among a whole host of high profile government delegates. It’s had lots of coverage on the BBC, Al Jazeera, Sky News and C-Span but we’re especially proud that our corporate video is being shown in several locations around the conference on a variety of sets.
Some images are below and a link to the video so you can see for yourself what these guys do.
Square Daisy going global!
On 15th May we were shooting a client testimonial video at Agripower in Buckinghamshire for one of our best clients, Pegasus. Here are a selection of images from the shoot……it involves a lot of Dutch Grass……not the type you might get in an Amsterdam Cafe though!
Simply FOLLOW BOTH @freeflycinema + @vincentlaforet for a chance to win a #MoVI M10. Simple no? wp.me/pjtZ0-2a4
This short was shot with the The “MōVI” - a digital 3-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbal. The completely silent device weighs under 3.5 pounds bare and can be operated solo, or with the help of a second “gimbal” operator with a joystick to pull off some incredible moves. To read more about it go to: wp.me/pjtZ0-2a4 The resulting video from this shoot is at:vimeo.com/62917185
To download extra features go to: vimeo.com/ondemand/movi
All proceeds from the “Tip Jar” and Vimeo on Demand will benefit the Lollipop theater network lollipoptheater.org/ - a nonprofit organization that arranges showings of first-run movies to children confined to hospitals.
I was reading an interesting blog this morning by Thomas Friedman - he’s an American journalist and author with the New York Times but he’s really into technology which is what makes it interesting for me. He specifically tries to apply technology to education and climate change and this blog (link below) is all about inventing a job. I won’t re-write the blog as clearly you can read it yourself, but when you think about it it’s very interesting to think about the world that we (i’m in my thirties) and our kids (I don’t have any yet but am planning to) are going to compete in because of the internet, broadband and technology. We’re no longer competing with people down the road from us, we’re competing with people in Brazil, Mexico and India - because they have a fibre optic cable too and can send and receive that data just as fast.
I find it strange that the current government policy is to teach kids to remember the names of all the kings and queens of England and the dates of great battles. Why? You can Google it on your phone, tablet or desktop? Surely we should be teaching kids the stuff that inspires them and how to develop apps and innovate the next big thing? Sure, everyone needs a solid foundation of knowledge and i’ve always maintained that standards are too fluffy at the minute, but why teach kids stuff they can just access at any point?
Do we really need to know how to use a map and compass anymore……my Sat Nav is on my phone.
This video formed part of the ongoing Pegasus suite of client testimonial videos with their clients. This shoot took place at Jo Bird & Co, a manufacturing and engineering firm in Somerset. A two camera shoot using Canon 5D MkII cameras, a talking head interview was delivered and a series of cutaways to bring context to the piece. The final edit was completed using Avid with product shots provided by the client.
Jovan Maric attended a briefing this morning by the Minister of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Simon Burns MP. You may be asking why a Creative Agency was attending a political briefing on transport but the answer is very simple. Our business relies heavily on getting to places, whether that be for meetings, location shoots or bringing staff together and the cost of transport is key to the future growth of our business. This is both in the traditional sense of how much a train ticket costs or how much it is to fill the car with fuel, but also in the hidden costs of delays and inability to get easily to particular locations. For example we don’t build into our costs the penalties that we would incur for being unable to get to a shoot should a train or flight be cancelled or should there be chaos on the roads - our clients would never sign up for this as it’s too big a risk for them. If we can’t show up, we incur the costs of re-scheduling, lost productivity time and compensation for the client. It’s for these reasons that we have not only a passing interest but an active stake in the transport debate.
The briefing was very much focussed on the challenges facing London as it was a London Chamber of Commerce event, however London which accounts for almost a 5th of UK GDP is closely connected with the rest of the economy.
There was a particular focus on rail and aviation, with rail questions dominating the debate. The liveliest element of that debate was around the cost and need for HS2 - the high speed rail network between London and Birmingham, Manchester and eventually cities like Leeds and Glasgow. We remain sceptical about the need for HS2 as the UK doesn’t have the land mass of China to cover, however the Minister said “High speed rail is the future. we cannot afford not to have HS2”. Knocking what is essentially a few minutes off a journey time is hardly reason to spend billions when looking at existing rail fare costs, HS2 will likely be priced out of the market. On the subject of fares, the Minister argued that the fee rises that have been above inflation for the last decade are due to successive Conservative and Labour governments failing to invest in transport infrastructure when ‘times became hard’ which is why our crumbling infrastructure needs a shot of financial adrenaline now which runs into the billions. He followed on by saying that the taxpayer should not be expected to foot the full bill for this and that fare payers should contribute in no small way to the upgrades and additions. A point that objectively we can’t disagree with but the government has to realise that these ever increasing costs are crippling hard working individuals commuting into the capital, and placing yet more pressures on small businesses trying to navigate around the country to generate and fulfil sales. Previously fare increases were calculated at RPI + 3% however to give credit to this government it is now calculated at RPI + 1%, making a difference. We are at a tipping point and should the fares continue to rise at this rate, the capital will lose much of its talent and therefore competitiveness.
The aviation debate was perhaps less relevant to Square Daisy however there is still much consensus on the need for additional capacity at Heathrow to continue the airports ability to act as a major hub to Western Europe and the world, however the political hot potato and incessant in-fighting that this issue is and creates means that the UK will continue to lose its competitive edge whilst the laborious process of debate and consultation continues. As the Minister stated, there is a narrow business case for a third runway at Heathrow however the impact of residents in West London should be taken into account also, something which can quickly be overlooked if your place of residence is not near one of the worlds busiest airports. The proposed link with HS2 and Cross Rail 2 allows for easy connection to both Gatwick and Heathrow however which may facilitate some easing of the pressure.
A representative from Boeing was at the meeting and was quite right to point out that they are broadly apolitical about the debate as they are only interested in selling aircraft to willing buyers, however they acknowledged they could help to shape the debate by ensuring all lobbies and stakeholders were aware of the technologies that exist on aircraft now and those which are planned over the next 10-20 years, to give factual weight to the arguments for and against both environmental and air pollution.
Overall, what did we gain from the meeting this morning? Well there is a great deal of investment in infrastructure on HS2, Northern, Metropolitan, Circle & District and Hammersmith & Fulham tube lines, Cross Rail 2 and an ongoing debate around aviation capacity. Rail infrastructure on commuter lines and across the rest of the UK is desperately lacking as politicians scramble to deliver large scale, headline, vanity projects which leaves SME’s still juggling the demands of ever tighter margins on sales against increasing costs of delivery. Admittedly less prominent against a London backdrop, no mention was made of road investment or fuel prices. That said Jovan is once again at a transport briefing with Nick Clegg in April and has already submitted a question regarding the staggering cost of fuel which is crippling not just business, but households too. We are in favour of a carbon tax on fuel to drive better environmental standards, but there is a limit. It’s hard to carry filming kit on the back of a bike!