Behind the Scenes with LuMind IDSC Foundation: Uncovering the Creative Process behind their 2022 LIFE-DSR Recruitment Video

SVG is a full-service Boston video production agency, and we value providing as much help as we can “from concept to content. When we develop sustained partnership with our clients, we can tailor projects to their particular video marketing content. We are always pleased when a client likes our work well enough to come back for more! In the summer of 2022, we got a call from the marketing team at LuMind with an opportunity for a new video production project.  Go behind the scenes with LuMind IDSC, and learn about the process of production for their LIFE-DSR recruitment project.

In September of 2021, Skillman Video Group originally joined forces with the non-profit health foundation LuMind, to create a complete series of more than 20 introduction and training videos. LuMind,  which began in 2004, is committed to supporting those with Down Syndrome and funding research to better understand medical conditions related to Down Syndrome. LuMind’s video project focused on training clinicians to administer the component studies correctly, to obtain usable data, and optimize the experience for their participants. 

The year after our initial Boston video production with the foundation, LuMind wanted to produce a video to promote participation in their LIFE-DSR study. The LIFE-DSR study, or the Longitudinal Investigation for the Enhancement of Down Syndrome Research, aims to analyze observational data from adults with Down syndrome. The study observes the changes that those with Down syndrome experience as they age. LuMind specifically focuses on developments of Alzheimer’s disease in those with Down syndrome. “People with Down syndrome have a 95% chance of developing Alzheimer’s by the age of 65,” and it is currently the leading cause of death for individuals with Down syndrome.  

LuMind aims to increase participation in this crucial clinical study that addresses several health needs. It accommodates the unique challenges of a population that often already presents varying degrees of physical and cognitive impairment. It collects clinical data that can measure individual and group rates of change in a way that’s consistent for scientific research. It ensures that those with Down syndrome won’t be left behind in studies and development of therapies to treat Alzheimer’s.  

For this project, LuMind wanted to raise the Down Syndrome (DS) community’s awareness of the LIFE-DSR study and encourage participation, with an appeal to caregivers. The marketing team at LuMind wanted to show the process of a study visit, walking through it with an actual participant. The participant, John Cronin, and his family are DS community ambassadors who were eager to collaborate with us and LuMind to fulfill that vision.    

Behind the Scenes with LuMind IDSC: Shooting the LIFE-DSR Boston Video Production  

One of the  hurdles to surpass in this project was the process of filming the LIFE-DSR Boston video production. The LIFE-DSR study occurs within a hospital setting, and to show components of how the study might run in real-time, the project needed to be filmed at a clinic in downtown Boston, MA. In most cases, the SVG team would have brought at least a producer, a director of photography, and a sound engineer, perhaps also a dedicated lighting technician and production assistant.

However, the LIFE-DSR promotional project with LuMind took place in the summer of 2022, when the threat of spreading COVID-19 within hospitals remained a major concern. Because of this concern for safety, the LuMind marketing director, served as a producer, and only one crew member, SVG’s videographer, was permitted to be present at the visit. While these circumstances threw an obstacle in our way, we did not hesitate to adapt, and figure out the best course of action. 

It became clear that we needed to provide LuMind with someone who could capture high quality footage on the fly, while also paying close attention to the sound, lighting, and all other creative elements in the field. After negotiating with the client about what could be accommodated on location, our solution was to shoot the promotional video in a documentary style; the videographer would follow the subject, John in this case, as he went through the motions of participating in the survey. The documentary style gave the video an authentic feel, while providing a practical way to capture the footage with only one crew member.  

The videographer was able to reference stills of the location and join a planning call in advance to get a sense of the space where he’d be shooting. He also had a schedule of the day that served as a call sheet and shot list, with the names of everyone who’d appear in the video and where he’d record them at what time. He could determine when he would be following the cast around with a Steadicam, filming John arriving and interacting with the clinicians and during simple physical assessments.

He could then determine when he’d have windows of opportunity to set up the camera on a tripod with more lighting and microphones in a meeting room to capture live interview footage of John, his family, and some of the clinicians. The plan was to get whatever he could get for primary footage and b-roll throughout the day, and we’d work in post-production to match it as best we could to a script outline. LuMind also provided stills and self-shot footage from John and his family introducing the study and their day, some final flourishes we could use to start assembling the video.  


Creative Direction and Post-Production

Our past video production with the organization incorporated very technical content yet featured real people, and our team at Skillman Video Group had been able to offer as much support behind the scenes with LuMind IDSC as required to create video content that was as high-quality sound and picture editing as it was detailed and accurate. For this new promotional video, there were some necessary changes to the usual production process that we follow, which challenged us to approach the project differently.  

Creative direction is an integral piece to the video production puzzle; with the help of a creative director, our video content is elevated and refined to produce the best product possible. This role would normally be filled by Christina Skillman, our Creative Director and CEO at SVG. However, for the LIFE-DSR project, the marketing team at LuMind came to us with a creative direction and plan for their creative vision, the genesis for the documentary style shoot. Because of our familiarity with LuMind, and our dedication to broadcasting their important message to their audience through the video medium, we were pleased to tailor our approach to assisting them on this project to their needs and work from their creative vision. 

Nonetheless, we made sure to offer creative consultation wherever we could in this Boston video production. Though they brought an outline for a script, we helped them articulate, “what are your key messages and what is it that you want your audience to feel? to know? to do after watching?”

One sophisticated technique for conveying messages through a video medium is showing instead of telling. This practice includes conveying the messages and invoking specific feelings in the viewer, without explicitly talking about them or stating point blank that they should, or will, feel a certain way. Here at Skillman Video Group, we understand how to do that effectively and we offer our clients an outside perspective and critical lens on content that they are extremely close to.  

We discovered while working behind the scenes with LuMind IDSC on the LIFE-DSR project, that one of the messages that they wanted to portray was that the study was both important and easy. How we portrayed those characteristics needed to be tailored to the audience and intent. The original creative brief wanted to convey the message of “ease” by showing one-each scenes of ten or so facets of John’s three-hour visit, chronologically, showing that these were quick and painless. Yet in watching the rough cut, trying to include the scenes step-by-step was more technical, like their earlier training series. It drew out the runtime and submerged some of the most emotionally compelling clips that conveyed “importance” of the study.

We believed that they could convey both ease and importance in a more concise runtime in a way targeted to their audience. We were able to work together to refine the creative brief and resulting editing. We decided to cut out some of the scenes of the appointment and instead more prominently feature sound bites by John’s parents and b-roll of John and his family socially interacting with the clinicians.   Having tried it both ways, once they compared the options, LuMind liked the latter heartfelt personal appeals approach for their intended audience – comprising other caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome like John’s parents. 

Thoughts Beyond the Finish Line

In the end, the LuMind team worked closely with SVG to manage the quality, delivery timeline, and budget, according to their needs, to finish their Boston video production with content they were pleased with that they could distribute for their campaign to raise awareness and enrollment.

We worked to give LuMind access to excellent resources in any area of the project possible and continued to honor our value of excellence so they could end with content that showcased the LIFE-DSR study as they desired.   They wanted a Boston video production that highlighted and reinforced their messages as they deserved, and our team was thrilled to assist in that process, by offering our expertise in the capacity we could.  

We understand that our clients are experts in knowing their own business, defending its initiative, and representing their mission with passion. Our goal as a dedicated Boston video production agency is to provide quality service, and act as the video production arm of their marketing team. This is one of the reasons why we believe forming strong ties with our clients is of high importance.

As we worked with LuMind to get to know their foundation, their cause, and their ways of working together on a video production project, we were able to adapt to circumstances of the LIFE-DSR project. We delivered a piece of content by providing technical guidance, with LuMind taking the lead in creative direction. Our ultimate goal is to get to the root of our client’s mission, and help the world see the significance of their study through the video medium.  

Click here to see our completed video production about the LIFE-DSR study!

Behind the Scenes with LuMind IDSC Foundation: Uncovering the Creative Process behind their 2022 LIFE-DSR Recruitment Video 7