As the 2012 Winter Olympics approached, RBC saw an opportunity to not only promote the athletes they supported (through the RBC Olympian Program), but to also make their journey more relatable to the average person. Their digital agency, Proximity BBDO, brought us in to help bring these stories to life. From the outset, there were a number of creative, geographical, & logistical challenges we needed to face, before the cameras even started to roll. When it all broke down, this is what we were faced with:
10 Athletes | 12 Edits | 6 Cities | 2 Official Languages | 1 Month on the Road
So where to start? Well, as always, we began by getting to know the brand and what the desired end result needed to be. Both Proximity BBDO & RBC wanted to create a series of portraits that not only told of the athletes Olympic dreams, but also their financial realities. As we found out, a great deal of struggle & sacrifice goes into the 4 year run up to the “big show”, and these athletes were working with very limited finances. Just like the rest of us “civilians”, these Olympians needed to plan, budget and keep their end goal in sight, in order to fulfill their ultimate goal.
Our schedule would see us skipping around the country, from one city/province to the next. In order to fulfill the timeline set by the agency, we would be required to edit as we shot, delivering rough edits, the day after each shoot was complete, and all while continuing to gather more footage. To ensure efficiency in shooting we utilized storyboards when & where we could. By pre-planning our shots, we were able to ensure our timelines were kept & our stories would be coherent. What this also allowed for, was more time to create additional shots & sequences on the fly. Once our boards were captured, it allowed our team to experiment even more.
In order to orchestrate such a large shoot, while retaining the full vision, we assembled a small, core group of 2 shooters, 1 Director & 1 photographer, that would be consistent throughout our travels. Along the way, we were able to tap into our peer group throughout the country to bring on additional crew members as required. This not only saved us time but also additional costs in travel & accommodations.