What’s that? Another kick-ass promo film for Focusrite? You betcha. If you’ve been keeping up with some of our past work, you would realise by now at this point we’re pretty much BFFs, and could probably think that this latest project for Vocaster is simply the next part of our flourishing relationship. But actually, this was the project that kicked it all off. 


Over a year ago, Focusrite got in touch with us to create an advert for a top-secret product that was in the works… what can we say, we’re a curious bunch, so how could we say no? That product was the Focusrite Vocaster, a brand new interface designed specifically for podcasters and helps bring studio-quality sound to people’s living rooms.

As you can’t rush perfection, by the time the Vocaster was ready to launch, we’d already completed the Never Stop Creating campaign for the Focusrite Scarlett which went down a treat. So when it came to the brief, they were keen to keep up the momentum and spirit of the Scarlett film as they entered into the new realm of podcasting.

Focusrite has always centred its product development on creating usable and accessible interfaces for creators everywhere, but this is the first time they have created something specifically for a niche audience. Going after and creating the go-to podcasting tool was a bold strategy, and so we needed to create an advert that would match that. 

A glimpse into just how much creative planning went into this one

Our initial challenge was a pretty big one. How would be able to create a high-energy advert that demonstrates the excitement of creating a podcast with something that is essentially a couple of people sitting around a microphone?

The answer: make everything else more exciting. 

We wanted the film to flow like a podcast, with a melee of characters interjecting the main voiceover who acts like a host and a flow between the showcased contributors. Once the scenes were connected, we amped up that energy by focusing on visually interesting transitions and lots of camera movement.  

The Vocaster’s main customer base is in the U.S., so although the film should appeal internationally, we wanted there to be a distinct ‘American’ feel despite it mostly being filmed in Cardiff, Bristol & London. So to do that, we used an American voiceover, scouted American design locations & made sure to include North American podcasters as part of the spotlights.  

But when it came to shooting FNA Van Life, we knew that flying them over here and shooting in Brecon wouldn’t cut it and we needed that true US aesthetic. So that meant we’d have to remote direct alongside Priscilla Jimenez in the middle of Vasquez Rocks. Remote directing is always one of those unique and exciting opportunities Josh revels in, even if he did have to stay awake until 4am. 

Pictured: 1 (one) sleepy boy

During each shoot, we were fundamentally filming four things at once:

  • Footage for the main ad of the podcasters using the Vocaster
  • Footage for the individual product feature videos
  • A mini-documentary of each spotlighted artist and their process
  • And enough ad-hoc moments of the artists to pepper in personality throughout

Because each shoot session was only one or two days, that meant that everyone would have to be on top form to get everything done. Sometimes saying ‘the crew were great’ can feel a little redundant, because we wouldn’t have picked them otherwise but for this project, it deserves a special shoutout… so GO TEAM 🎉

Once back in the editing room we had roughly 100 deliverables to complete, so you could describe it as a beast. But you know, the fun kind, like the one from Xmen or the one that skates with a candlestick during Disney on Ice. 


The end result was something we’re extremely proud of, but what did the client have to say about it?

Some glowing reviews, names omitted ofc as it was a private chat

How about something a little more specific

Working with Storm and Shelter on this project was quality, from start to finish. The outcome speaks for itself and the we’re so proud of what we’ve made together.

Alex Green, Video Production Manager, Focusrite

Thanks Focusrite, it’s always a pleasure.


Credits

Director
Josh Bennett
Producer
Matthew Sterling
US Producer
Priscilla Jimenez
Executive Producer
Nick Patterson
Cinematographer
Lewis Jelley
Art Director
Bendy
2nd Camera Op
Tom German
Gaffer
Matthew Dunford
Stills Photographer
Jack Ford
Colour Producer
Suzi Grochala
Colourist
Cam Sander
Post Sound
Cranc Audio
Voiceover
Da'Nelle Grier

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Nick Patterson Amy Walpole Natalie Roberts