Once we knew what we needed to capture, we could plan the filming days. These comprised several components. First there were aerial shots using our DJI Phantom 4 drone to show the factory and surrounding digging environment, with additional permissions and safety measures in place to film inside the warehouses above the factory floor. Dramatic sweeping shots from the drone showed the digger coupler in action, and a small action camera allowed for shots such as an eye view from the cab and digging arm, and even a shot of the digger rolling over the camera below.
We then shot several sequences in slow motion using a gimbal and shoulder mounted cameras, including a sequence of a worker walking down a factory aisle and sparks flying off a welding machine, for which we used a high frame rate of 120fps and a high shutter speed to capture those beautiful individual sparks.
Then there was the main event – the dramatically-lit product shots. We filmed these in a dark warehouse with our specialist lighting. For this we took inspiration from automotive and technology adverts, and used a combination of a slider and a motorised gimbal to get the very particular movements we needed. Once we had a good selection of these we began to get more creative with adding lighting movements while filming, and managed to get some fun shots where the shadows changed on the texture of the machine, which matched very well with the dynamic drone shots of the digger outside. The cracks in the factory floor provided some extra dramatic texture and helped to underline the ‘ground-breaking’ element of the machine.
After shooting wrapped we built the edit using the very best moments we had filmed, and our motion graphics designer created several key shots. First there was a fantastic 3D rendering of the mechanism inside the machine, plus some 3D text and animation added to the excavator shots to explain the safety features. We also added some additional dust and spark elements to several shots to up the drama, and even did a digital extension of an overhead shot showing the digger at work to make the location area appear much bigger than it actually was. A fun experiment we tried for the finishing shot – which the client loved and we ended up keeping – was animating the machine to drop from the sky and ‘land’ with a cloud of dust just above the ground, before gently touching down.
Finally we added a very ‘Hollywood’ colour grade to the whole film – which upped the dramatic tones and added extra colour contrast to bring out the orange (warm) and teal (cool) hues of the machinery. We also went all out on an epic sound design to really sell the result, as we knew it would be screened for an audience on a big screen and bass speakers at the launch event. The result was a huge success and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.