Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video A conversation with filmmaker Abigail Honor, part of Filmmaking Forum: Scene Analysis.
- So this is an extremely flashy and creative yet also very educational piece, and so I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the process of what the client wanted and how you were able to ultimately come up with the idea for this. - So in Macy's Herald Square they're unveiling their new store and Clinique has a pop-up shop in this store. It's one of their most successful stores in the world and they were recreating it from scratch.
As well as launching this new store within Macy's, they were launching an entirely new product line, Sexy Neutrals, so what they wanted to do with the product line is to do these tutorials, these how-tos on how to use the product, and what was very interesting is a lot of the traffic is foreign travelers coming in, so we did it in four different languages, and one of the other things about Clinique in particular is that they pride themselves in that their products are for different skin tones, so we needed to do it in four different skin tones.
So the objective of this was to sell product through use and these how-to videos, and it lived in the store on these interactive iPads as a step by step process on how to build a look, and also online on YouTube and on their website. - And as far as the style for what you ultimately ended up with, can you tell us about how you arrived at that? - Clinique has a very unique style. They are one of the brands under the Estee Lauder company, and their look and feel is clean and clinical.
So within the brand guidelines we had to make sure that the faces were very fresh, they all had very similar hair, it's always back, it's always clean, and it's always very minimal. So the makeup also is, besides the fact that it's absolutely gorgeous and perfect, it's critical the way that the product is used, how it's applied, and obviously the end result needs to be gorgeous. So the models were fantastic to work with and we just had a lot of supervision.
We had a number of Clinique makeup artists on set and the client on set making sure that they were absolutely perfect. - And then as far as the planning and pre-production goes, can you talk about the concept drawings, the storyboards, any animatics that you had as far as helping you arrive at this vision? - So what was fun about this piece is they did want it to be a little bit more upbeat, fun, lively, entertaining, so we had the idea of animating all of the products, but we needed to recreate it in 3D, so we made all the products in 3D and they would roll in and move in and slide in, so it was pitched at a younger audience and it needed to be engaging and fun while still have the tutorial element.
So that's why we flew in all the product and built it all on, it was very graphic and patent, and the colors, obviously makeup's fun, so we kind of tried to infuse all of the animations with that fun side. The shoot was incredibly difficult. Because it was a step by step video you had to make sure that you just did one step at a time, and we only had one camera, so you have to take off the makeup and then put it back on, take it off and put it back on, so it was, yes, it took a long, long time because she had to apply it, something would go wrong, you just took it off, apply it again, and then as you build up the eyes, you can't just wipe it all off again 'cause then you've got to put it all on again and then the models' faces would go red.
So we had to make sure that we nailed it almost after a couple of takes each time. So that was challenging. - Wow, and then in post, can you give us the post workflow as far as how you incorporated the video and the motion graphics as far as putting it all together and then ultimately showing it to the client? - Yeah, so, what we would do was, we storyboarded everything out, so we got their approval on the look and feel and the kind of animations that we would make, then we would do the edit, and we would actually do the full animations, and then once we've shown them that first draft where it's all in there, that's when they would make their changes and their tweaks.
So sometimes there were large changes to animations, sometimes they were very small. But it was some products they didn't even have yet, because we were making this ahead of time, ahead of this whole new product launch, so we just had prototypes to work off, and that was tough, but a good challenge. - Do you know the response as far as how it did on the iPads in the store, and the interactive element of people picking it up and learning and figuring things out about makeup? How'd it go? - Yeah, Clinique traditionally has a lot of interactives at their shop and shops, so they've always been on the forefront of that, so yes, they had an amazing, amazing amount of positive feedback, and they actually sold out of all the product within a few months, so I call that a success, it was great.
- I'm not a makeup person but I saw that and was like, that looks fun, I want to do that and wear it to a party. So it got to me. Anything else you would like to say about the Clinique spot, either the planning, storytelling structure, style, client relationships, anything at all? - Our sister company Gluttony actually created the interactive, and what was really good is when we're hired to do the production, that we also had the sister company who can handle all the digital side of things. So it was very easy workflow-wise, and then we had to work with Estee Lauder digital, but from that perspective, 'cause I know that video and interactives, there can be kind of a lot of butting heads, but it was really seamless considering we had so many videos with so many moving parts.
So I think the entire production from beginning to end, including the interactives took four months, which is unbelievably quick.