Creating Impact: Framingham FORCE’s Brand Video Production Journey Amid COVID-19

Since returning to set in mid-August, after five months of remote work due to COVID-19, Skillman Video Group has been extremely busy with various shoots.

Recently, we worked with Framingham FORCE, a new nonprofit organization fostering opioid recovery. This shoot is a great example of our storytelling skills and ability to succeed in video production during the coronavirus.

We were happy to take FORCE through our six-step production process to contribute to their cause and help them achieve their goals.

Discovery: Becoming Informed

Interview set up

FORCE is a new nonprofit company; they are still figuring out where exactly their services fit into the opioid recovery ecosystem. I

n order for us to help them do a bit more soul-searching, we learned as much about their company as possible during our discovery meeting. We asked questions, such as:

  • What is your mission?
  • What is your voice?
  • Why are you here and why are your services needed?

We worked with FORCE to clearly answer those questions because they are so new to the scene and we wanted to help them tell the best story possible.

We discovered that Framingham FORCE is a group of community members engaged in increasing awareness, prevention and compassion surrounding the opioid epidemic.

They combat the opioid epidemic through compassion and education and aim to create a community free of stigma surrounding opioid use disorder.

Learning more about FORCE’s core values helped us figure out how to transform their mission into an impactful and educational brand video

Strategy: Prepare for Impact

The Strategy phase involves developing the key themes and messages of our client’s video project.

The key themes and messages establish an overall tone and serve as the backbone of the video. Without key themes or messages, there is no clear direction for a video.

After gaining significant information on FORCE’s value proposition from our Discovery meeting, we worked together to decide what kind of video to produce.

Director of Photography

Framingham FORCE’s key themes for the video that would be communicated through visuals included:

  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Awareness
  • Action
  • Empathy

Framingham FORCE’s key messages followed the same tone. We decided that the core values that would be narrated in the video included breaking down the stigma behind opioid addiction, increasing awareness that recovery is possible, and highlighting that compassionate care is key.

FORCE especially wanted their audience to understand that our community needs to be an ally to people who are struggling or in recovery and to the people who love them. 

Creative/Concept: Connecting Values and Visuals

Shoot day broll

We begin to decide how to visually reinforce the key themes and messages in the Creative/Concept stage.

Due to COVID-19 and the number of people that were going to be involved, we chose to hold the entire shoot outside.

Framingham FORCE was interested in making the video conversational, as to reflect that our community should be having conversations about the opioid epidemic, rather than treating it as an offense.

We decided to interview our client and capture testimonials from people in recovery to help foster this conversation.

We thought it would be a good idea to shoot all the footage using a tripod. A tripod provides a firm, static shot, which appropriately communicates the serious tone of the video.

By using a still shot for interviews, the audience is able to focus on the matter at hand without any distractions from fancy camera movements.

Planning/Pre-Production: Representing the City

Before our shoot day, we had to make sure all the logistical details for our crew were set. We kept in mind that we had to keep our gathering small so we followed COVID-19 guidelines. Even so, we knew we needed to bring along an audio operator to control the noise that comes with shooting outdoors.

Additionally, FORCE wanted to represent all of Framingham in the video. We planned on shooting interviews from several different locations in Framingham to encompass the whole city and bring about a sense of community, as stated in Framingham FORCE’s key themes for the video.

Production: Joining the FORCE

As with previous shoots this month, our shoot day did not look quite like it used to. Our crew and talent wore face masks and we all had to practice social distancing, even outside. Due to our in-depth planning process, the shoot ran smoothly.

Framingham interview

Our audio operator worked around the noises of traffic and people talking around us to get the best audio possible.

Additionally, because we were outside, our director of photography had to work around the sun to ensure we were getting a clean shot. We shot in various locations around Framingham that were relatively close to each other.

In conjunction with shooting interviews, we also shot b-roll that was relevant to FORCE’s core values, such as capturing FORCE members holding up a hopeful sign.

After our shoot day came to a close, we began the Editing & Finishing stage. This stage is where the magic happens and Framingham FORCE’s video comes to life.

We were thrilled with the outcome of the shoot, and more importantly, our client was too!

We were able to keep our talent and crew safe while artistically documenting an empathetic and educational video for FORCE, which is very important in the new world of video production.

We helped Framingham FORCE tell a meaningful story and our crew joined FORCEs in more than one way. We look forward to continuing to grow our production skills in this new environment and help clients like FORCE.