Alverno College hired us to film two commercials to broadcast in the Milwaukee area. The shoot was budgeted for one day to complete the job. Considering the travel and logistics, our team had to prepare with a robust preproduction process and flexible production team.
Alverno wanted to highlight two programs – their online doctorate for K-12 education and higher education leadership, and their MSN nursing program. The college prides themselves in using authentic marketing, which means using actual students and faculty in their videos and photos. The upside of this strategy is the inherent authenticity and in most cases a cost savings as opposed to sourcing actors and models. The downside is the talent is “greener” which can require more directing and they are working for the institution as a “favor.”
As a result, we were not able to do a traditional casting call and only met the cast when we arrived for the shoot. We had to execute an “on the fly casting,” where we met and interviewed potential cast members the morning of the shoot. Our team had to make quickly assign individuals to certain roles based on the script, their fit and applicable wardrobe.
While scouting, we witnessed an actual leadership team meeting on campus. We approached the group and asked the team’s facilitator if they would allow us to film some of their interactions for b-roll. They were really kind and allowed us to stage our assigned actress in front of the committee.
Still from the Alverno College PHD Program Commercial.
Still from the Alverno College MSN Program Commercial.
What was funny was that the actress we put in front of the team shared that she had experience in stand-up comedy. This was really helpful in eliciting various emotions from the leadership team members. The actress’ jokes kept the mood light-hearted and fun. This helped us to film the perfect natural and interactive shots we needed for the commercial.
This time-sensitive project required the Video City Productions team to follow a strict timeline, be flexible, and think quick. Our team was able to step up to the challenge, and found some natural talent that worked great in the commercial. See the finished projects below.