We were contacted by Proximity Moscow to help them create a compelling piece that speaks to the dangers of distracted driving, for the insurance company InTouch. What they knew was, they wanted us to build a Rube Goldberg machine, full of all the various dangers of the road. The only other stipulation we got was, it needed to be shot as one continuous take…
With this information in hand, we girded our loins and entered into the clickity-clackity world of Rube Goldberg. We started by finalizing a list of potential distractions such as: Coffee, cellphones, stop signs, skateboards, etc. We then worked with an engineer to build each element from scratch. The overall piece needed to be over a minute, which when you think about it, requires a lot of elements to fill the time. We had 3 weeks to conceive & build, before we got down to shooting. We brought on an engineer with experience in this field and got down to work.
Over the following weeks we had regular skype talks with client to show our progress, and regular check-ins with the engineer to identify any potential issues with the machine. We worked to ensure every elements of the machine reflected the InTouch brand & colours. We wanted the entire piece to be unmistakably their own.
When it came down to shoot day(s), we had a stripped down crew, to allow us to remain nimble. We chose to use the Movi camera rig, to allow for a fluidity of movement and ease of use. Because of the general set-up of the machine, it required us to have two camera operators. One that would handle the front half, and the second for the back half. They too had to coordinate their movements to allow for a subtle hand off, that wouldn’t be immediately noticeable in our footage. Because of the basic laws of physics (thanks a-lot Newton), the machine was completely unpredictable when it came to speed & reaction time. These are all common items that were being used for props. Meaning, there was no way to predictably ensure that they’d react as planned, every time, at the exact moment we needed them to. Not typically a big deal, except when you need to capture the entire piece in one continuous take. In the end, it required 3 days and 250 takes to get the one that worked. However, our persistence paid off with the end result.