ASL PRODUCTIONS AND ABBOTT LABORATORIES: A PHARMACEUTICAL CASE STUDY
April 17th, 2020
Editor’s note: All of us at ASL are lucky to be working with Abbott, a company making a difference, fighting against COVID-19. At the time of this pharmaceutical video case study, Abbott is releasing an anti-body test that could be a major factor in returning our lives to normal.
Last year one of our agency partners came to us to help them create a social campaign for their client, Abbott Laboratories. Abbott brought to market a life changing product for people living with diabetes, the Freestyle Libre. Attention Global, Abbott’s social agency, was tasked with creating marketing assets for social media to show how impactful this new to market product is for people living with Diabetes.
The Freestyle Libre is a 14-day patch that monitors glucose levels. With the help of the Livelink app, consumers are able to test their glucose levels without having to prick their fingers and disrupt their daily lives.
The goal for Attention was to have enough unique content to cover all of Abbott’s social media assets for 2020. This campaign’s target was to create photo and video assets. These assets need to showcase a spectrum of people living their life to the fullest with diabetes. Abbott and Attention wanted to focus on photo assets and have video be the secondary medium for this overarching campaign.
Location, Location, Location
Our first challenge was to find a location that we could film various activities without it being clear what season it was. We honed in on Austin, TX and got started organizing and booking, quickly.
In order to gather enough pharmaceutical video and photo assets to cover a social media campaign for a full year, and all our different setups, we determined we would need two crews going at once and 3 full shoot days. Each crew consisted of our head of photography, lighting department and their digital information tech, which also served as client video village. We needed a mobile video village so our client could give instantaneous feedback. In addition we had a videographer with each crew and would have them swoop in at the end of each scene to get moments that we could tun into video assets.
So Many Assets to Capture, So Little Space
Day one included eight different scenes for photo and video and over 50 assets. We had 17 crew members and 14 cast members for our first production day. We also made a company move from a restaurant to a bowling alley after our lunch break. With all of those people on set, two different locations and set dressing to be done to each scene before we started rolling, our logistics and organization had to be on point. And it was!
During our time at the restaurant, we had to maneuver around a largely occupied space. That meant little room for all of our gear, crew and actors. Our Assistant Directors and production assistants were in constant communication. They were making sure our actors were makeup and wardrobe ready and knew where to be and when.
Our production assistants had to be on their toes. They moved our staging area all over the restaurant. The storage are changed based on where we were shooting and where there was available room. The restaurant was serving food while we were filming. So, our director had to keep one eye on filming and one on the restaurant staff roaming around.
A Company Move to Film at the Lanes
After we wrapped at the restaurant, we had a company move to a local bowling alley. Locking in a tight schedule and logistical plan is all well and good, but if the bowling alley didn’t want us in the arcade area, we had to adjust. If there were people bowling on a lane we eyed as a filming location, we had to adjust. The alley was operational and our scenes and gear storage had to move based on the available space.
In the end, our day was an immense success! Our ability to adapt on the fly and accommodate, both the operational restaurant and bowling alley, are a testament to ASL’s agility and preparedness for the shoot day.
Finally at Home for our Pharmaceutical Video Shoot
Our second day in Austin was jam packed with fourteen individual scenes for photo and video. Our goal was to capture 62 unique assets with 18 crew members and four agency reps. Luckily, we only had one location where we were filming. The fourteen scenes were spread out on one property. For the sake of time, we had to set up each scene before we were ready to film.
The target for this shoot day was to capture scenes where Freestyle Libre users were performing everyday activities. Some of the scenes we were capturing that day included a hike, gardening, jogging and playing games among many others. We wanted to emphasize that people with diabetes didn’t have to disrupt their everyday lives to check their glucose levels.
Space is Becoming an Issue
For our second pharmaceutical video shoot day, the shoot was limited to one location but parking became an issue. We only had one small driveway in which to park. With almost 30 cast members and a crew of 18, we needed a solution fast. We used our PAs and rental cars to form a make shift shuttle service. We found a parking lot nearby, told everyone to park there. Then, we sent our PAs to pick up and drop off our cast and crew, 3-4 people at a time.
Another challenge with our second day of shooting was the limited space on the property to replicate outdoor activities. We needed space for biking, running and hiking scenes but we only had our driveway and a small dirt path to work with. Our framing had to be precise. Each scene needed look as though they were unique for the specific outdoor activity.
While overcoming the challenges of day 2, Attention fell in love with our video footage. Our ARRI Alexa Mini made its debut for this project. The Mini, along with the amazing footage captured, convinced Attention that to increase the video assets for day three. Again, we have to give credit to our EP and AD departments. They buckled down and sometimes were organizing three photography and video crews at one time. A feat, us at ASL, won’t soon forget.
Same Location, New Assets
Day 3 was supposed to be a short one but with the addition of more video assets to film, our shortest day became our longest. We needed to capture 13 different scenes with 17 different actors and 19 crew members. We were still running A and B crews, trying to complete our lofty scene and shot list. Day 3 was also focused at one main location, the house. Within this house we were able to capture all of our scenes by sectioning off specific areas that showed people living their daily lives. We set dressed our scenes with Abbott branded colors to further connect the branding with the scenes and increase the viewers’ connection with the Freestyle Libre while watching our videos.
Day 3 provided its challenges as well. Most of our pharmaceutical video scenes on the third day were located inside the house. The look of each scene could not be redundant. We couldn’t shoot a scene in the living room and have the kitchen in the background where we were prepping for our next scene. Our photographers and camera operators had to take all of this into consideration while attempting to get the asset coverage required by our shot list. Our video camera operators did an amazing job at not disturbing the photo sets, even though their presence was a last minute addition.
The main goal of every production is to make our clients happy. When they tell us, in the middle of a shoot, that they love our content so much they want to add content to the campaign, that sparks joy deep in our bones. Stay tuned for another pharmaceutical video case study on the second portion of our shoot with Attention and Abbott.
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