You often hear stories about shoots that overcome unlikely odds and challenging situations, but we’re pretty sure even the A-Team would’ve let this one go to voicemail.

When our production director, Nick,  approached Lewis, our DOP, and asked “Lewis mate, you can light and shoot a high key, professional looking ‘first look’ film in a hotel room, in Paris, using only the equipment you can stuff into one suitcase, right?” you’d be forgiven for thinking that he quit and retrained as a landscape gardener. When he also approached our creative producer, Kai, in the same breath and followed up with “…and you’ll have no problem with cutting the film, animating some motion graphics on top, and getting it delivered by 2pm, will you pal?” you’d also be forgiven for expecting to hear the gentle whistling of a Macbook Pro in full-flight across the office.

The thing is, the client in question was O2. We were hardly going to say no, were we? That’s not what we do.

The chaps at O2 were in a pinch. Huawei were due to release their new flagship, the P20 Pro, on March 27th, and they weren’t letting anyone get their mitts on the phone until a couple of days before the official launch. O2, wanting to get ahead of the game, were keen to shoot a “first look” which could be presented at the event and be released on social media later that day. With no time for a studio hire, if this was going to come off, it’d have to be a DIY tour de force.

After a few very slow, very deep breaths, Lewis worked out that he could, through the marvel of LED technology, fit a full 3-point, soft-lighting kit, along with stands, diffusion and extension leads into a suitcase, with room for a trusty Sony FS5 shooting kit. After flying out two days previous (to shoot another film, which we talk about here), at the break of dawn—before having the chance to scoff a croissant—the team had set up and lit the scene. With little time for creative sign-off from the client, all the pressure was on Lewis and his lighting plans to nail the agreed look. By 10am, the shoot was done. Croissant scoffing commenced.

Thanks to some nifty planning, we had created some graphics templates that could be applied to the footage, and with the clock fast approaching noon (and Kai’s fingers melting through his keyboard), we got the edit done. We even had time for a round of changes. Hot damn.

The film went out at the event and later that day on social media. Another Stressful Yet Successful™ shoot in the can.

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Nick Patterson Amy Walpole Natalie Roberts