Specialising in creative photography and cinematography, Still Moving Media offer a complete package from concept and planning, mood boards, competitor analysis and research through to art direction, execution, retouching and editing. We work closely with our clients to deliver stunning images that help them achieve their objectives.
Cheltenham born Spencer, set up his photography business in 2009 and built a reputation on fashion and creative commercial photography. Since then he has worked with companies such as Dubarry, Raging Bull and Selfridges and more locally The Cheltenham Festivals, Gloucester Quays, Cheltenham College and Gloucestershire College. Spencer is regularly approached to shoot for executive boards and high profile personalities.
Dale worked for many years in the music industry and began life behind the lens making music videos. Entirely self-taught this work increased and he developed his own YouTube channel and found himself making more videos and less music. Focussing on the structure of a video and the importance of controlling light, Dale has also developed a passion for time lapse videos.
Phil turned his passion for photographic imagery into a profession over ten years ago. Working on a range of commercial projects, he has become known for his attention to detail and ability to fulfil a clients brief no matter what the challenge! He particulalry enjoys the technical and styling elements of interior, product and food photography.
Zach is responsible for supporting all aspects of came work, production prep, equipment set-up, filming, editing and colour grading. Zach’s original background was in teaching Windsurfing, Sailing and Snowboarding. Due to this very active background, no challenge is too big or location to difficult for Zach to produce content from.
Rosanna is the point of contact for all Still Moving Media’s clients, assisting with research, shoot planning, website content, social media and project management. With a background in Fine Art, she has also taken on the role of storyboard artist during the pre-production stages.
Vampires, Babies and Coffee
What do you get when you cross; coffee, babies and a vampire?
A full-scale production by Still Moving Media.
With some of this year’s intriguing Science Festival themes confirmed, we worked alongside PR and Communications Manager, Bairbre Lloyd to determine what would be the best strategy for targeting curious festival goers through the means of video, in a slightly more unusual way…
With the events confirmed; ’’What Do Babies Think?’’, ‘’Coffee: Just Brew It’’ and ‘’Vampires’’, the challenge of tying all three events together in one promotional video rather began to appeal as part of the charm for us. After much consideration, we developed an idea for three separate concept videos that investigated each theme with a consistent network of characters that developed alongside the narrative throughout the video series.
Video 1: ‘’What Do Babies Think?’’ - On a sunny suburban street, a mother leaves her house and is met by a friendly post woman (wonderfully portrayed by our actress Lucy Henderson) who hands her a Cheltenham Science Festival flyer and coos at her twin babies, whose minds are on other things…
Set-up: Before we filmed this scene, we had a clear picture of the sunny, suburban street that we wanted to portray, this meant that a location scout was essential. In order for the natural light to work well, a sunny day was a must, so we carried out a weather check and organised the scene to take place during the sunshine. By recording audio separately, this ensured that we could be more flexible when obtaining the shots and allowed us to get the boom much closer in. The buggy was empty during this scene and our lovely babies, Ellis and Hadley (courtesy of Helen Nightingale) were filmed at another time to fit in with their routine. Using emojis within the thought bubbles keeps the video current, adds an element of humour and relatability.
Video 2: ‘’Coffee: Just Brew It’’ - Our post woman makes her way to the Scandinavian Coffee Pod for a mid-afternoon refreshment while delivering a Cheltenham Science Festival flyer to the staff that work there.
Set up: As we filmed this scene at the Scandinavian Coffee Pod during working hours it was important for us to work with minimal impact to their customers and staff. For the duration of the set-up and filming, we ensured that we were well equipped, efficient and discreet. It was important for us to capture the essence of the entire coffee experience, from roast to consumption, and for the video to almost produce that aroma of coffee. To stimulate all the senses, we got some really close up, in the action shots and audio was recorded separately to capture those tangible and satisfying sounds. The top down shot of the coffee cup being carried creates a match cut with the moon and symbolises the transition from day to night without need for explanation, this shot was captured on a body rig which is modelled here by our Head of Cinematography, Dale.
Video 3: ‘’Vampires’’ - It’s late now and our post woman is out on her final delivery of the evening, a strange old house that she hasn't come across before. As she is about to knock, the door creaks open and she tentatively walks inside. A coffin lies in the centre of the room, surrounded by candles, she knocks on the lid which creaks open and inside a vampire wakes, he takes the flyer from her and locks her gaze.
Set Up: In an initial meeting, the marketing team suggested using a scene from an iconic German Expressionist Horror with reference to shadows, with this in mind - during our research we were drawn to the slightly more modern Christopher Lee-esq hammer horror style in colour, which we have referenced in the close up eye shots. Much consideration went into sourcing the perfect gothic door for this scene and after visiting a few locations, the door we used was hidden just around the corner from us at St Mary’s Minster.
As all of the video series were shot in one day, we were very late in the evening when we came to capture this scene and the weather was beginning to close in, providing us with a perfect degree of horror and pathetic fallacy! The street lamps were not able to provide any meaningful exposure so we threw up a Kino Flo 4 bank on a C stand a Day Light Dedo light as a hard moon light. Combined, these lights back lit the smoke which was fuelled by a portable hazer, adding a touch of suspense. The following scene was shot at Cheltenham Playhouse, who were extremely generous to provide us with use of the Auditorium as well as some fairly obscure gothic props, including a coffin, a type writer and a gargoyle.
The scene was lit with Tunksen Dedo lights, bounced into a 2m x 2m white ultra bounce for general ambiance and then practical candles were dotted around the scene, with one carried by the post lady helped to illuminate her face with a flickering effect. There were some daylight fixtures with the CTB placed around to create the feel of moonlight coming in from a window off camera, picking out the type writer and gargoyle in the background. There is a hint to the moonlight behind the post lady’s head which acts as a cross fade between the moon in the following transition shot. Additionally, on the close up shots of the vampire, we moved the ultra bounce in to get a better key on his face in the coffin.
Video 4: As more of a bonus video, we curated a fourth instalment to tie up the narrative and pay tribute to our cliff hanger at the end of ‘’vampires’’. The scene opens much later on in the evening with our mother gently rocking her pram in a moonlit Scandinavian Coffee Pod. A mysterious woman in red is ordering at the bar. The same vampire from the previous video has left his coffin and is engrossed in the Festival flyer and the mysterious lady sets down the coffee. As the woman in red approaches, we can see that it is no other than the post lady transformed into a vampire! She points our male vampire in the direction of the babies that she interacted with in Video 1, who are becoming increasingly alarmed. In the cafe shot, the eery music, reversed shots of coffee being prepared and cold blueish light sets the tone for a scene which is not entirely comfortable.
Daylight kino flow and Dedo with CTB are pushed through the window as the moonlight and the interior was lit with a 4 bank kino flo, creating a side and back light for our male vampire. The scene at the coffee counter is lit with another kino flo, creating a side light. We put a 2m x 2m ultra bounce up on the ceiling which created a base level of fill light from the other sources and allowed us to fire another kino light at it for some of the other shots where we required a little more exposure. We clamped everything up on the ceiling so we could move around unimpeded which enabled us to set up all the shots without having to move stands. The only practicals you can see in the shots are the candles on the tables, we wanted the coffee shop to feel slightly supernatural, off kilter and uncanny. There is a call back in this video with an eye match between the vampire and the babies which relates to the scene in Video 1 where the post lady is looking down at the babies in the pram.
Logistically, this shoot was not without it’s challenges, as we didn’t film the scenes in order of appearance, special care had to be taken in order to ensure the costume changes were true to the narrative timeline. Not forgetting booking our vampires in for a fabulous makeover at the Stuart Holmes salon - and then having to transport them from one location to the next in full character before the general public. With regards to pre-production design, storyboards and colour palettes were created to get to grips with the art direction and narrative and then paired with the shot list and call sheet to confirm the order of the day. A large part of the planning for this shoot was spent researching and sourcing realistic costumes and props, scouting out locations, fangs, pushchairs, capes, contact lenses, candles and coffins as well as organising shots around babies nap times and location time restrictions.
Another thing to consider when producing a promotional video for a future event as we don't have any footage to work with yet, however, by going down a more conceptual route that not only discusses the themes of each event but also generates a narrative between the videos, keeps viewers hooked with character development and cliff hangers. Producing this series of concept videos was a really creative project, allowing us to tick off all elements of our client’s brief while establishing a final set of videos that are offer depth and share-ability rather than something more generic and prescriptive. The next question is, where will the story go next? Were our babies eaten by our vampires? Or did they trade their blood thirsty ways for coffee? Maybe you will have to wait until next year...
Below are the social media statistics so far…
Babies (boosted since Friday 7th)
33k people reached
163 reactions, comments & shares
636 post clicks
Coffee (boosted since Monday 10th)
59 reactions, comments & shares
195 post clicks
Vampires (boosted since Tuesday 11th)
115 reactions, commented & shares
326 post clicks
97 reactions, comments and shares
468 post clicks
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