Shooting off-location for Skype

The charms and challenges of shooting remote video - a three part case study

We are at a crossroads it seems; on one hand our desire to connect, and on the other, our inability to do so. For brands visual language and communicating messaging through video is still a priority. However as the world has become increasingly restricted, and businesses move online, the necessity for working remotely has become apparent. Which leads to the question, what is the future of video production and content creation?

For the launch of Skype real time multi-language service Translator, Third Channel Director Marcus McSweeney and Third Channel Creative & Strategy Director Brad Finlay took on the challenge of finding stories which bridge the language divide. Developed over a series of separate films, the two captured a number of human stories to demonstrate how relationships can flourish when the language barrier comes down.

Brad Finlay was the then Creative Lead on the Global Brand team at Skype, and was looking to highlight and amplify the benefits of Skype’s new translating capabilities in new and interesting ways. McSweeney and Finlay were able to develop a good working relationship which has gone from strength to strength. The team is able to channel their energy, building the successful outcome from a project with a loose brief.

Film 1 – Translator launch – Mystery Skype between classrooms in Mexico City and Tacoma, WA

Having a good focus on brand and brand strategy was also key to the project. Enhancing the product by finding the right story to complement it. The ability to communicate with someone in their own language adds a sense of familiarity and warmth, essential when forming bonds in stressful, work related, or competitive situations. Finlay and McSweeney wanted to really explore this dynamic. Holding human connectivity at the centre of each film.

This ethos came through in abundance in the video Skype Translator preview opens the classroom to the world where Skype aimed to enrich the classroom learning experiences and make it more digital and global. The Mystery Skype Game, where students tried to guess where in the world the others they were video chatting with were based, was used as a case study. Testing their geography and history skills and also showing the power of a good public relations strategy. The team married the human with the tec heavy product.

Film 2 – Skype Translator – Pru Mujer Charity – Empowering the woman of Latin America

The Skype project was conducted across eight countries in three different continents. Using McSweeney’s network and ability to communicate and direct secondary language Talent and crew. The Arabic Translator film sees the Skype technology bringing out the best performance out of Firas Warda, a previous junior cycling champion of Syria now living in Europe, as his coach is able to communicate with him fluently remotely using the technology. Jessie Ayles, now represented as a director by Third Channel, produced the Arabic translator film.

Film 3 – Skype Translator – Racing to Freedom – a junior cycle-champion’s journey from refugee status

It is currently a very interesting time for the sector. With social distancing and remote communication at the forefront of business, the remote videos produced for Skype are the perfect case study for a new and exciting video production model.