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Watch This Space: Filming at a Social Distance



Ardmore creative director Chris Lyttle talks through preparing and delivering a TV video shoot for Lidl in the age of social distancing

Watch This Space: Filming at a Social Distance

Chris Lyttle, creative director at Ardmore gives a rundown of the process of creating their latest Lidi campaign whilst social distancing.

Lockdown has given us plenty of challenges - and opportunities!

Just like we’ve all adapted to our new ‘everyday’, as a creative team, we’ve had to think quite differently about how we deliver our clients’ messages. Our digital capabilities have allowed us to create fun, dynamic and engaging content. But when it came to Lidl’s Big Save BBQ campaign, we knew real-world videography was going to make for the best execution.

So, with our new safety protocols and hygienic measures in place, we made it happen!


Readying the location

BBQ season is upon us and the (mostly) brighter days have arrived. We kept everything crossed for the weather to be in our favour, and we weren’t disappointed! We made the most of the sunny skies and filmed a classic family BBQ. The family garden was perfect, and it allowed for plenty of space so that everyone could keep a safe distance apart.

As the stars of our shoot, the McMaster family have been in self-isolation together throughout lockdown. So, we were able to mark out a safe area in their own back garden where they could interact and enjoy the BBQ together. The most important thing for us was to allow the family to feel comfortable and safe (and have fun!).

The crew was kept to a bare minimum, all travelling separately and arriving at different times to avoid contact and ensure space was available to unload any equipment. Our client services team made sure that everyone was provided with their own allocated workspaces, gloves, hand sanitiser and face masks – it was a well-oiled operation!


The right equipment

Planning is always important for any shoot, and no less with this – wardrobe briefs, art briefs and food styling were all vital. We wanted to allow the McMasters to feel comfortable with the equipment they were using to film, and so used their own iPhone along with a handheld gimble to give a more steady and slick feel. Once the boys got the hang of the gimble, there was no stopping them - they have been creating their own videos ever since! The footage strikes the perfect balance between authenticity and quality, so this is truly a ‘home movie’ but with the finesse that a TV production deserves.

Given that the family were operating this camera independently, we were able to have the gimble delivered safely to them before the shoot, giving them some time to get the hang of it., again limiting any unnecessary contact. To add an extra level of reassurance, we worked with our Videography team to help educate the family on the technology ahead of filming.

Normally, our clients would be with us on a shoot, but as another measure to keep the number of people on-set down, we were able to jump on the video call bandwagon and have the team at Lidl dial in remotely. Having real-time contact is integral to a successful shoot and this set-up was such an efficient way of working together whilst staying apart.


All in good time

The smooth running of any shoot comes down to a well-planned-out schedule. Allowing for time has become more important than ever. In the same way that we’ve all grown accustomed to queues at shops and the dodgy wi-fi signal dropping out once in a while, it’s a simple fact that socially-distant shoots are just going to take more time and we need to adapt. That would be the main learning for us out of this project.

Our shoot was taking place outside on a beautifully sunny day - which can bring its own issues. But on this occasion, it helped us by minimalising any lighting requirements (another time saver!) and it gave us all the daylight hours we needed.


A spectacular result

This was a new experience, a new challenge, but also a chance to re-think the wheel, evolve our processes and push the boundaries of what we as an Agency can offer in-house. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the finished ad and see the results for yourself:


Agency / Creative
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Genres: Dialogue, People

Categories: Retail and Restaurants , Supermarkets

ardmore, Thu, 04 Jun 2020 14:51:35 GMT