Behind the Scenes of CMG’s Halloween Shoot
It was late September when our team first met to discuss ideas for our annual Halloween video. Last year, we had a blast creating an “It” themed video to promote Colossus and our services. After a few brainstorming sessions, we had finally settled on our idea: the rebranding of Frankenstein!
Our story begins with a zombie apocalypse… numerous dead bodies wander our company grounds on Fort Monmouth while entranced by the social counts displayed on their phone. We then introduce the star of our video, Frankenstein! Frankenstein lacks the strong social following due to poor brand management in the past. Luckily for him, Colossus’s specialty is creating digital marketing success, we happily take Frankenstein on as a client and rebrand him into a suave new monster.
Once our idea was developed, we got to writing a script. We then settled on a date for production, put out a calling for ‘zombie’ actors, and purchased necessary props. It was almost time for our shoot and we couldn’t have been more excited!
Back in March, Colossus switched to a work-from-home culture as a result of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. It had been about 7 months since all of our employees gathered together as a team. Everyone was so happy to be back in the office for our Halloween shoot. Our two new content managers, Taylor and Nicole, who joined the team virtually this past summer fit seamlessly into the team dynamic. They got to meet their co-workers in person and visit the office for the first time!
We had a variety of scenes and locations to tackle during our shoot, which reflected in equipment choice. For the first outdoor zombie shot, Caroll used the Canon c200 with a 24mm Rokinon Cine Lens, supported by a Flycam Flowline. Rocco set up as a focus puller for the first shot with a Nucleus-M Control System, which allowed Carroll to intensely focus on just the camera movements.
Carroll broke down the Flycam and changed the rig to the DJI Ronin M, but we fell into a problem with this new setup. The camera was way too heavy for this rig with the follow focus, rails, cage, etc. So, he put the rig back to the original setup with the Flycam and continued with the next shots.
One of our favorite pieces of equipment is our DIY book flip rig built from scratch by Caroll and Matt A. Carroll saw this rig in a music video and instantly fell in love. Knowing he had to create one for Colossus, he and Matt A. set out on a mission. They went to Lowes in search of the necessary parts and equipment.
After the shopping was complete, they got to work assembling the massive rig.
Imagery created with this rig is similar to opening a book on a table and it starts on one side and flips open to the other, a book flip rig allows for this type of seamless and unique transition, which is exactly what we were able to accomplish. Caroll and Matt used the rig in order to piece together the montage portion of the video.
- 2 Dracast LED light panel set to 5000k at 90% power, on a c-stand with an arm and knuckle over the talents
- An Aputure Light Storm C300d Mark II LED with a softbox as a fill light
- A Canon C200
- a 24mm Rokinon Cine Lens
- a 50mm Rokinon Cine Lens
- 70-200mm Canon Lens
- A Flycam Flowline
- A Nucleus-M Control System
- A DIY book flip rig
- A DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone
- A DJI Ronin M Stabilizer
Our team and actors started to arrive at our office around 8:30. Carroll, directed our actors where to wait while Matt A. took behind-the-scenes photographs of the production. Before we could start filming, we needed to transform our actors into zombies. Taylor and Nicole got to work covering our actors with face paint and temporary tattoos to make them appear colorless, decaying, and zombie-like. The last step was to splatter the zombie’s with fake blood. We covered them in the red goo until they looked unrecognizable, our zombies were ready to go!
We loaded up the Colossus van with our state of the art equipment and headed down the road to a more secluded and scenic area of Fort Monmouth. There we filmed various shots of the zombies aimlessly walking around and even got to feature our beloved CMG Challenger. These zombie’s knew how to act! They groaned and dragged their feet along the pavement with ease.
To best capture this scene, Carroll switched to a 70-200mm Canon Lens to really compress the Challenger driving down the road to reveal our Frankenstein. This was one of the toughest shots of the day because he had to accurately track the car during its run and land effortlessly on Frankenstein’s boots. Needless to say, WE GOT THE SHOT! Once we had a sufficient amount of shots, we broke for lunch and sent our actors home with gratitude.
The final scenes were all about CMG and the rebranding. We have to give a special shoutout to our very own Brandon for tackling the starring role of Frankenstein! We got a simple shot of Frankenstein walking up to our office, then shaking hands with Dom at the door.
The Final Product
We finished up production and said goodbye to our fellow coworkers. From there, Carroll took the footage we shot and worked his magic to create a comical yet informative video. And voila! We had our very own frankenstein creation!