Fri, 11 Feb 2022 08:02:00 GMT
What does a hug mean? During the Covid-19 pandemic, the way people think about hugs has drastically changed. As lockdowns have come and gone, there has been a collective strain on relationships, forcing citizens across the globe to limit their connections with loved ones. Immigrants in the U.S. have been particularly affected by this separation. Even beyond travel restrictions, obstacles like financial burdens, work engagements, political instability, and racism all play key roles in preventing them from returning home.
While video calls certainly help, a new three-part documentary-style campaign from COX Communications shows us that physical touch is irreplaceable. COX Communications sent Wi-Fi enabled hug vests to three U.S. immigrants from three different countries so that they could share a hug with their loved ones back home. The campaign has a clear message: that technology can mend the pain caused by distance.
“10 years ago, I did not know what a hug could really mean. But today, it means everything,” Rashvinda, who emigrated from Malaysia, expresses in one of the videos.
U.S. production company Picture North teamed up with three other production service companies, Nicaragua’s Goodgate Productions, Malaysia’s Passion Pictures, and Russia’s Bazelevs, to capture each story. It’s rare that four international production companies unite to produce a single campaign—another example of how technology can bring us closer together.
The campaign is intimate and personal, creating an emotional connection with the viewer immediately. To accomplish this, the production teams had to maintain a cohesive look while operating thousands of miles apart. To preserve the authenticity of the reactions, the hugs had to be captured live with two production units coordinating via multiple remote video streams across several time zones.
“There was a moment before the shoot where we gathered all the producers on a single zoom call to tech-check the vests. It was 5 AM in Los Angeles, 7 AM in Nicaragua, 4 PM in St. Petersburg, and 9 PM in Kuala Lumpur. We filmed for three days, but it felt like six because of how long the days became. After juggling all those details in so many different languages, it was so rewarding to see these guys wearing the vests and reconnecting in this unusual way. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share their stories, especially as an immigrant myself,” said Martin Rodahl, director and executive producer.
Despite the tough logistics, it was well worth it.
Executive producer Neha Schultz comments: “With our experience producing across the globe, Picture North was thrilled to partner with FCB on this campaign. Martin hand-selected the right international creative partners and delivered cohesive and beautiful visuals with production units spanning 4 countries. He’s also a master of capturing authentic moments with real people and found a way for emotions and human connection to transcend technology and time zones. The result is a campaign that feels both elevated and full of heart.”
The shoot took place over the course of three days in Los Angeles and New Orleans domestically and Malaysia, Nicaragua, and Russia internationally. To find out more about Picture North, visit their website or connect with them on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Agency: FCB Chicago
Agency EP: Ximena Aguirre
Agency VP: Josejuan Toledo
Agency Copywriter: Andrew Wernette
Prod. Co.: Picture North
Director/EP: Martin Rodahl
EP: Neha Schultz
Head of production: Matt Bobbitt
Producer: John Gomez
Prod. Supervisor: Elisabeth Compton
Asst. Director: Joe Lewis
DOP: Simeon Pratt
1st AC: Gabriel Velasco
2nd AC: Calvin Blue
DIT: Philip Piediscalzo
Sound Mixer: Eric Ledet
VTR/Streaming: Dominic Rivera
Script Supervisor: Sandy Parker
Gaffer: Iain Brook
Swing: Tim Jones
Key Grip: Lucas Porterfield
Props Master: Sherri Korhonen
Location Manager: Tara Martin
Malaysia Prod. Co.: Passion Pictures
Line Producer: Jaan Kit
Passion Pictures Producer: Kwek Weng
Passion Pictures DP: Wong Chun Leong
Nicaragua Prod. Co: Goodgate Productions
EP: Philip Bolus
Producer: Cristina Campos
DP: Alvaro Rodriguez
Russia Prod. Co: Bazelevs Company
Producer: Valeria Baburina
Producer Asst.: Alesya Stratonova
DP: Yan Yasinsky
AD: Maria Bachinskaya
Genres: Documentary, People, Storytelling, Drama
Categories: Utilities, InternetPicture North, Fri, 11 Feb 2022 08:02:00 GMT