Video Production Brief

Our videos sell your products, your services and your ideas.

One of the key components of sales is overcoming objections. This SMART Fix video for AGCO Reman is the latest in a number of videos we’ve made that are designed to overcome objections before the customer can articulate them. 

On top of this video is an exceptional medium for explaining complex products or concepts. Which makes it particularly perfect for a product such as Reman. The audience for this film is farmers who are already aware of what Reman is, but for the reader here we thought it was worth explaining.

So, what is Reman? Reman is short for remanufacturing. Imagine you’re a farmer whose beloved and well-used tractor unfortunately needs a new engine. That’s a costly replacement and a lot of work. Reman can reduce this cost for a range of replacement parts. At the point of purchase a farmer can choose to buy a Reman engine (or other parts) and their existing engine would be swapped out for one that’s already been remanufactured, so it’s frictionless at the point of purchase.

This engine then gets sent away for remanufacturing and here’s the fun part. The part would be stripped down to every last component part. These are all then cleaned to an incredibly high standard. Any wear parts such as seals or belts, or faulty components are replaced with new and then the part is rebuilt and tested to the original specifications. 

The cost of a Reman part can be up to 30% cheaper than new and there’s a significant environmental benefit by recycling significant used parts. It’s not just engines either, there’s a huge range of parts such as clutches, turbos and more.

Despite all of this, it’s a relatively new process and the agricultural market is unsurprisingly, highly cost-sensitive.

Driven by a detailed knowledge of their market and direct dealer and farmer feedback, AGCO wanted us to make a film that addressed some of these objections directly.

Creative Filmmaking

The requirements for a response to briefs on creative video production can be highly varied. Sometimes clients give us a very open brief. Given the length of our relationship with AGCO that’s how it often works, even down to sometimes just being given ‘the problem’ that needs solving with video. At the other end of the scale, often when working with ad agencies the concept is clear, storyboards are ready and it’s our job to add a final layer of directorial flair to an existing idea. It’s incredibly satisfying to work on the former, seeing your own ideas go from concept to completion but people don’t often talk about how hard that kind of creativity is can be.

In this case though the marketing team had not only identified the exact problem they wanted to solve but a specific idea of how they wanted it solved. We were given some references for thematically similar films and asked to provide a script.

Video Production – Product Film

The shoot would consist of two distinctly different elements. 

The Hollywood maxim ‘show, don’t tell’ is based in science. According to research people remember 80% of what they see and hear, compared to just 20% of what they read. This is why we knew it was important to not just address the objections directly, but also to show what the finished results could look like. We used a previous example of some of our close up work on product videos to show how we could spend some time in the studio making tractor parts look sexy.

This would be part one of the shoot. Film studios offer a range of key amenities that make filming easier such as sound proofing, vehicular access, different levels of electrical power and catering. But what we were shooting didn’t require a lot of this stuff and we wanted to ensure the budget wasn’t used wastefully.  As we didn’t need the amenities an actual studio offers we opted to shoot the close up work in AGCO’s training centre. There was no audio so no sound proofing was required and close up work doesn’t often require big lights so we didn’t need hefty 32 amp power circuits. Plus the training centre maintains tractors so vehicular access wasn’t a problem and there was already catering on site. We pride ourselves on the smart use of client’s budgets and making use of what’s available.

A range of reman parts were provided and we set to building our own little studio with a backdrop, turntable, a couple of close up lenses and some cool lighting and gels. We spent the day making clutches and cylinder heads look awesome. Honestly, stuff like this is loads of fun.

After each set up the film crew would step out and the photographer would step in, grabbing stills for the other elements of this campaign.

That was part one.

Video Production – Advertising

Part two was a more traditional promo shoot featuring actors delivering lines. Location and cast were pretty important to this. 

We can and have shot all over the place but sometimes there’s a home field advantage. Producer Jen happened to know a pig farmer in Nottinghamshire. We recce’d the location and it was perfect, providing enough different kinds of location that we could make it look like a number of different farms. It also addressed many of the other key requirements that inexperienced filmmakers don’t think of such as easy access, access to power, toilets and other amenities. Also, parking. Between film crew, photography crew, cast and client we were looking at around 40-50 people, many of whom would be travelling individually. It’s things like this that catch the unprepared out. 

Casting was also vital. Popular culture is awash with incorrect stereotypes of farmers. We’ve got a lot of experience here so we didn’t fall into any of these traps. But we did need to find a number of different actors to play the different roles of different farmers in different farming tasks. All of which had to come across as authentic, everyday people.

Safety is paramount when working on a farm, particularly when it’s not your everyday experience.  Our regular crew are probably more experienced than most at agricultural filming but we still took every effort to ensure everyone was briefed and dressed appropriately. Safety boots, high vis, abundant tea and good, hot food are the key to a safe and successful video production on a farm.

Again, working alongside a photographer shooting concurrently, we worked through a tight but efficient schedule, got lucky with the weather and had another fun day filming on the farm.

A man standing in a hazy kitchen during a video production shoot

Post Production

When a production is heavily storyboarded and prepped in this fashion, it really needs to work. Each scene leads into the next and if during post production you find that some element of the concept doesn’t work then there isn’t really anywhere to hide, as you haven’t shot a load of other footage that can be used to fix the issues. But conversely, having something well storyboarded and prepared then you should already know that it works. 

As with about 95% of our projects we did the post production internally. Having editors and motion graphics in house gives us a much greater degree of flexibility and responsiveness to client changes, allows us much more control over the process and overall provides a much better experience for the client.

In particular on these kinds of projects the number of deliverables has gone up significantly in recent years. We provide a number of different language versions and re-racks for different aspect ratios (e.g. 9:16 for stories and 1:1 for Instagram). Managing a process like this through an external post house or different freelancers would be tricky at best.

The result was one of our favourite films of recent years and was nominated for Best Promotional Film at the 2023 Royal Television Society Awards.

If you’re looking for a corporate video production company with plenty of experience working with startups and innovation then please do get in touch.