BTS of James Cook University Singapore (JCU) Shoot Videos

You might have seen the recent James Cook University video titled “Empowering Generations From Us to You” that connects people through education. We’ve interviewed Jaypy to share his experiences directing this project. Let’s see what it takes behind creating this marketing video to promote the school to prospective students.

Introduce yourself and how you came to make this video:

I’m Jaypy Pillay, the Director of the JCU Videos (Corporate and Student).

Pre-production meetings are essential for me to understand the clients’ marketing objectives and target audience. This sets the parameters for me to play creatively within. When I get assigned a project, I would read fully about the details of the project so I know what I need to ask the clients, while at the same time start immersing myself in the world of the video by doing market research (analyzing other universities’ brand videos in this instance). This allows me to identify gaps that the university can differentiate itself from its competitors, making it more palatable for them to accept as I’m meeting one of their marketing objectives. Fortunately, they were receptive to the changed idea and even built on the ideas of I and Jun Rong. It was definitely a collaborative environment which is essential to building good client rapport. I strive to be open to feedback to cultivate win-win situations.

(Jaypy Pillay – Assistant Producer & Director)

Inspiration and ideas behind the video:

I knew this was going an important project for me, for it could potentially inspire or motivate prospective students (who was the target audience). Apart from the client essentials that 4-5 courses/careers needed to be featured, I felt the work could build around a story to resonate more with prospective students. As such, the script was essential to strike a chord with the target audience. There was more to build on the existing script, so I asked our staff what they face when choosing a university. I dug deep into my own experience then, and the script was birthed as a result. The introduction was inspired by a local rap song in which I PA-ed in the MV, and the verse struck a chord in me in encapsulating the multiplicities in life, especially at the stage where one has to make a critical decision. Every other line was written with the intention of how I wanted the person to feel, which ultimately was to not be scared cause there is a benign environment in JCU to help navigate through that.

Apart from that, I knew there had to be design elements that identify with the current and upcoming generations. The Lo-Fi girl concept has always been in my library, so it was definitely a good time to use it. I’m fortunate to have an Art Director (Jamie) who is similar to the target audience so she knew what to put in.

Also, I knew I wanted film emulation to capture the warmth and nostalgia reminiscing brings, as well as bring out the personality of JCU. Fortunately, the client was receptive to it.

(Inspired from the Lofi Girl – Japanese-style animation of a girl studying or relaxing)

Challenges/setbacks/limitations faced:

This was definitely a hard video to do, and thinking back I’m grateful to the crew for making it happen.

I intended for the shots to be dynamic in movement (a Steadicam would have been good) but the crew worked with what we had. Cheers to my crew, Sooche (videographer) for making it work. We shot the Alumni Scene first and realised the footage wasn’t that smooth cause of the huge payload. We adapted accordingly and adjusted to put the gimbal on the dana dolly instead for the room scenes we shot the next day.

The Alumni scene definitely need a lot of coordination and there was definitely hard work by Jun Rong (1st AD) to coordinate the multiple movements that were planned. Storyboarding and rehearsals were key to getting it right

The budget was also a limitation, but my Producer Jerena, and Art Director Jamie worked around it to still make my vision happen, which I’m extremely grateful for.

Your goal when creating the video:

My raison detre for making any video is to inspire and move fellow human beings. In this instance, I hope that those who wander are not lost and that this video puts things into perspective in promoting JCU as an option for prospective students. Additionally, truths should be delivered that will comfort people, and set basic standards that all prospective students should seek in their next stage of life. Truly, where do they see themselves in a few years?

(Behind the Scenes – BTS of the shoot)

Website article: https://vicinity.studio/project/james-cook-uni-sg/

Vimeo video: https://vimeo.com/698536317

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Hafiz
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