posted by Glenn Barton

Big Ideas, Small Crew - The Reality.

Sparkly Light Productions have just delivered a 1min advert for a corporate client of ours, MigSolv.  At the time of writing, the advert is currently playing on a loop as you walk into the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco - host to their industry's annual conference.

Good for us, pat on the back and all that, you might think - but what's so unusual about that?  On the surface, nothing.  But look a little deeper, and a minor miracle is revealed.

In just three short weeks, a two-man crew was able to source three locations, commandeering a residential front room and packing it with unnecessary kit (as props I might add!); taking over an Italian restaurant and it's kitchen during a busy lunch hour; and shooting every angle of a recording studio just off the North Circular in North London. 

We auditioned and selected four actors, one voice-over artist, and an up and coming rap/guitar fusion band.  And this was just what made it to screen.  Countless false promises and dead ends meant we were unable to film at a fashion show, a surgery, a hospital, and a children's show.

In describing the above pre-production effort it shows how much work has to go into the making of such a short piece.  And that was just the pre-production stage.  When it came to shooting and editing, there was the usual back and forth between myself and George as we discussed music choices, sound effects, pacing, grading, and tweaks here and there before sending to the client.

And only then did it strike me - we were actually living out the exact message our advert was intending to send.  As our voice over artist says, "sometimes the greatest achievements happen out of sight." 

So the edit was finished, and we were happy with the result.  Next stage, hit send.  Then comes the silence - that period when doubts and anxiety can creep in.  I haven't heard from them, do they like it?  Are they going to tell me to start again?  All that hard work behind the scenes - the work a client will never know about - is it all for nothing?

And then, the response arrived.  Fortunately, they loved it.  "Sorry for the delay, I was in a 6 hour meeting and then out of the office for most of the week."  And breathe.  No problem - lets face it, everyone has a lot of work going on behind the scenes that clients will never understand.

So, success all round - a happy client, and a happy Sparkly Light team.  It just left me with two thoughts:

1) Would all the work behind the scenes have been less stressful if we were a large production company with separate producers, directors, production managers, researchers, and crew?  Answer - PROBABLY.  But far less rewarding when you're at the finish line. 

2) Why did we script such a creative film involving multiple scenarios showing hard work going on behind the scenes?  Shouldn't we simply have turned the cameras on ourselves to prove what hard work looked like?!  Answer - NO.  It would look boring.  Let's face it, TV isn't glamorous.