Dreaming up the design of a space is exactly that — a dream. Getting a rendering on paper, a physical representation of what you’re looking to do, is another thing entirely. And, when done right, a quality rendering is exactly what it takes to knock a client’s socks off. That’s why so many architects look to 3D rendering software for help. It’s a way to let your prospective client (and your team) walk around a building before even laying a single brick! But, again, looking through the hallways of a planned building is exactly that — a look. What about how it sounds? Will you be able to hear what’s going on inside of that board room? What about the front desk, will the receptionist be able to hear herself think in that gigantic, busy atrium? The workability of a space is often directly related to how it sounds to be in it. With that in mind, auralization, or 3DListening (3DL), takes the guesswork out of how a structure will sound when it’s completed. As experts in this field, Acentech’s consultants know that this is the wave of the future. In fact, it’s amazing that this isn’t already a standard practice!
Just as 3DL looks to take the guesswork out of acoustics, we wanted to take the guesswork out of figuring out what 3DListening is! Although the work behind it is highly technical, the general idea can be explained easily if you have the right tools. So, when figuring out a way to exhibit this innovative field to laypeople, Acentech chose to grab a camera and show instead of tell. Videos are perhaps the most digestible way to explain abstract concepts to anyone, even to middle school kids (remember how fun it was to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy?).
This project was a first for us – creating a professional, yet fun, video for one of our fields of expertise had never been done before. Throughout the process of planning, producing, and editing the video, I’ve kept some notes for myself and my colleagues to make this process easier in the future.
DO Use your network. (AKA marketing connections)
Since Acentech doesn’t have a professional videographer on staff, we had to look for help from an outside firm. We utilized our network of connections (thanks SMPS Boston!) to get recommendations, and meet with three firms to discuss our plans. Ultimately, the best fit for our needs was the team at Shave Media.
DO Create a budget and a timeline before you begin.
Seeing the forest through the trees was essential to keeping everything on track. We started this process in late July 2015, and planned for a 3 month production schedule. Storyboarding, recurring meetings, and an open dialogue between the marketing and consulting departments kept the wheels in motion (and prevented any of them from getting to squeaky). Although marketing was overseeing the whole effort, this video is a tool for our consultants to explain the technology to clients. After all, our consultants are the 3DL experts. Shouldn’t they have key input into the script?
Whether you’re shooting a video or baking a pie, nothing ever goes exactly as planned. But don’t worry – this is why you hired professionals to help you out!
DO Be prepared for the unexpected!
And in this case I mean… be ready to be on-camera. I went into our two days of shooting prepared to help out where I could and be the off-camera interviewer, but I ended up playing more of an on-camera role than I expected! Dress neatly and professionally. It’s always helpful to have an extra body available for background shots and b-roll.
DON’T Forget the script
This is where all of your meetings, all of your planning finally pays off. A script provides structure for everyone working on set, maximizes time, and is a reassuring reference point for those on camera.
In our case, it was helpful down to the last word. Literally. Acentech recently rebranded the 3DListening platform, and the clients we were interviewing were used to using the old name (auralization). Don’t be afraid to make suggestions and remind people of what they need to say — it’s important that you get what you want out of your video! Each of our featured speakers took multiple takes on each question, and that was totally okay. We planned for a hiccup or two!
DO Be Flexible!
We originally contracted for two days of shooting for one video. However, we were able to make the most of those two shooting days, and ended up recording footage for a second video, which wasn’t even in the original plan! For an additional flat editing fee, we now have two professional videos on our website, explaining who Acentech is, and why we’re the best at what we do.