One of my favorite parts of producing is working with the team. VFX Artists, Colorists, Directors, Editors – it’s that collaboration and real-time problem solving that I’ve found the most rewarding.
Then Covid-19 happened.
Luckily our team was able to get up and running remotely fairly quickly. VFX generally requires some remote logging in anyways (gotta check on those overnight renders!). As a producer, I found my role was amplified quite a bit working remotely as it required a lot more coordination in terms of managing everyone’s time and client expectations. A 30 second in person conversation turns into a 2 hour Slack message chat, and then an inevitable video call to clarify. At first I found this super challenging – I’m a very hands on producer and being isolated from my team and them from each other forced me to rethink the way I approach project management.
Once we all found our groove (and I understood the slow-downs so we could prep both our supervisor and client expectations accordingly) we really nailed the projects that came through. Remote supervised edit/color sessions and screen sharing video calls really helped everyone feel comfortable and that they were still getting to collaborate in the same way as we would have Pre-Covid. In the end, Trust plays a huge role in producing. Do I trust my team to do everything to the best of their ability in the time they have been given? My team at Chimney was super reliable – we had some great talent and seasoned artists, so my answer was most definitely yes, I can trust them.
I’m super proud of my team – they put in some late nights and long hours into these in order to get them turned around quickly. Below are a handful of projects that we produced while in the beginning stages of WFH.
Wear a Mask, New York.
We created this PSA with a small 5 person crew and did all post production fully remote. We did location scouts on bikes (has anyone else been biking WAY more than usual nowadays?) and kept our crew socially distanced while wearing masks throughout the day. All the talent (minus our masked hero) were Chimney staff or close friends/family members. We wanted to create a piece that encouraged New Yorkers to wear a mask, while putting a fun twist on the usual ‘we’re in this together’ montage.
Ajinomoto – Take out Hate
Partnered with Edelman and post produced this poignant video encouraging viewers to “Take out Hate” and support locally owned Asian businesses. This was remotely shot by ArtClass and was a fun video to be part of.
Schick Intuition “Me Time”
Restricted production turned a lot of clients towards executing their ads fully through post. Mullen Lowe came to us with their idea to turn their live action production into a full CG campaign – and we were happy to help! Working with teams in LA, NY and Poland, we produced a series of “Me Time” videos while we all worked from home. Lots of look development on bubbles, but we’re happy with the final result!
Unilever – Passing the Baton
This piece was one of the first we did post-Covid. Our team produced full remote live action production (a DP and first AC as the only crew members) with a live feed to camera that the director and clients/agency were able to view. We also did remote edit/color sessions and VFX cleanup throughout. This was a national broadcast campaign as part of Unilever’s launch of May 21st Day of Service.