The moment you look up, you see the skies, unobstructed in all of its vast glory. Clouds drifting lazily along. You see a plane passing by. It’s heading for a destination unknown and soon disappears into the clouds. The skies continue to extend out for miles ahead, past the red roofed dwellings and pristine white apartment blocks.
From where you are, they look like miniature figures, densely placed yet seemingly arbitrary. The sky finally meets the sea, the eternal parallel forward into the horizon. In that moment, it is almost impossible to relish in the view and to admire this moment for a little while longer.
Too dramatic? Well, you just have to experience it for yourself.
AN EXCLUSIVE INVITATION TO THE GLADES AT TANAH MERAH
I had the golden opportunity to do so during our video production for Keppel Land earlier in April, as part of their efforts to show appreciation for their staff this Labour Day.
As an ongoing video partner with Keppel Land, we sought to find out more upon receiving the brief, so as to best bring out the heartfelt message they’d like to convey with this video, that will be distributed over social media.
The focus of this particular video was on the staff of The Glades condominium. Also known as the Customer Focus Unit, this customer-facing team works tirelessly to provide the best services and quality of housing for homeowners before they receive their properties.
We were introduced to two of the staff members, who are featured in this video, and treated to delightful anecdotes and heartwarming stories of their experiences in serving the residents.
Let us pull back the metaphorical curtains, or in this case, the showroom curtains, and give you a sneak peek of what went down in our production shoot!
Our filming location was of course set in The Glades condominium. The filming took us across the property, into several residential units, showrooms as well as their clubhouse.
Everything about this place is totally #housegoals, beautiful down to every corner and detail, tastefully curated and full of character.
Seriously, it’s hard not to do a double take and wish that this was my very own home!
Okay, enough swooning about beautiful architecture and picture-perfect interior designs. So, back to business…
WHEN RUGGED FILMING EQUIPMENT MEETS DELICATE DESIGN
For the uninitiated, filming equipment can be quite heavy-duty and rugged. Yet at the same time, certain gear requires the most delicate of attention. So in any given shoot, every crew member is always mindful to treat each piece of equipment with the respect and care required.
However, in a high-end showroom like the one at The Glades, we became the proverbial bull in the china shop. For example, when we’re treading across brand new, beautiful marble flooring that looks like this:
It’s like trying to walk on still water.
Feeling nervous yet?
Let alone a group of filming equipment that needs to be moved around here and there. Filming is all about doing it in the most efficient way possible, but health and safety always precede anything in filming. So, filmmakers are always conscious about doing things carefully.
So, how did we do it?
Pro tip 1: Socks!
Yes, similar to the ones we don on our feet, we improvised and found some mini socks for some of our heavier equipment. They not only make the equipment ridiculously cute (we picked the striped versions for a reason), but also make them safe and scratch proof – bonus points all round. No amount of dragging would damage the flooring, but still, be careful.
Pro tip 2: A simple piece of cloth.
If a piece of equipment can’t fit into socks, then laying a piece of cloth down for the equipment would do. It’s that simple! As long as there is something to prevent the equipment from making direct contact with the floor, it would ease the stress of damaging a pristine new apartment’s interior.
ROBOT RONIN GOES ROGUE (AND HOW WE MASTERED IT)
A saying goes in the film industry: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’ There are always new challenges and problems that could arise in a film shoot, sometimes unpredictable, hence our team is always alert and observant. If something is preventable, protective measures would already be in place, but if something unexpected does pop up, it would be dealt with swiftly and effectively.
For this production, we decided to incorporate an additional piece of equipment that we felt would really add value in bringing out the spaciousness and beauty of The Glades.
Meet the DJI Ronin, a handheld 3-axis camera gimbal that allows us to produce fluid and stabilised movement shots while moving freely and origanically around a space. The result: dynamic visuals with cinematic effect.
This device, however, is extremely fickle and delicate. High-end as the internal mechanics are, it still takes an experienced crew member to do the calibration and balancing for different combinations of cameras and lenses, for it to perform with the intended precision.
And so it happened that the Ronin decided to be a little moody and erratic on our shoot day (I swear some of our equipment are sentient beings in their own right!) – it was a nerve wrecking moment for everyone on set, as we coaxed, begged even, to get it to cooperate.
The struggle was real.
Perhaps it sensed our sincerity (or desperation?), or maybe it’s because of our methodical troubleshooting, the Ronin soon got over itself and rejoined us as part of the team. Which allowed us to proceed with our plan to capture the sweeping shots we had intended that would totally do justice to the space we were in.
We would like to say a big thank you to Keppel Land, as well as the CFU staff from The Glades whom we’ve had the pleasure to meet and feature in this video.
For more about the corporate videos, commercials and video marketing work we do at Intuitive, please visit https://www.intuitivefilms.com
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This article was contributed by Si Hui, Apprentice Assistant Producer at Intuitive Films.