This Monday and Tuesday saw the AP crew on the tiles – not drinking or dancing, but helping Ardex demonstrate the cool factor of their new product.
Tiles can be a massive pain to install. You have the tendency for sand to scratch the polish, and unless you’re extra careful, you’ll wind up with lipping, which is when one laid tile raises up so it isn’t flush. It looks bad and feels worse, and we demonstrated the effect by sliding a 10c coin across the tiles, where it bounced back.
Anyway, Ardex’s new product does away with the problem. Using plastic washers and a revolutionary formula, the Simple Accurate Levelling System (SALS) pushes every tile into the adhesive at the same time. It’s amazing to watch…and challenging to film.
Despite a rehearsal last week, having two cameras going at all times, working non-stop and being proactive on what else needed to be done while, say, the floor was being put down between shots, we underestimated how long the job would take. In some ways, that’s the hardest part of the process – you might think something will take half a day, but in this case we were dealing with live products, which dry out and require fresh batches to be made up. In the end it took a day and a half, but the results will be worth us taking our time to do things right.
What we’re aiming for is a YouTube-style tutorial that demonstrates the benefits of the product. We’re pitching it above other, amateur DIY videos but below a commercial advertisement. It has to be useful as a guide for people using the product, of course, while also making sure the logo is visible, the shots are tight and – most importantly – we’re explaining why the SALS is superior to competitors.
Audience Productions has worked with Ardex since late 2010, so we know what they’re after. Our knowledge of their products and corporate image helps make these videos look great, and this time we added two pieces of equipment to ensure they were even better.
The first was a pocket jib, which adds a fluid, dynamic and “premium” look to the videos. The second was Ashleigh’s hands – because he was the only guy on set who wasn’t covered in adhesive. When you watch the finished product, you’ll see why he earned the nickname “Ladyhands”…and why he added a Hand Model Surcharge to the bill.
This week saw us disrobed and terrified at the book launch of Naked And Afraid star Ky Furneaux, who has released Girl’s Own Survival Guide through Penguin. As the title suggests, it’s a book aimed at women, about training themselves to deal with unexpected situations – not just in the wilderness, but also in the urban environment and life in general.
If you haven’t seen Naked And Afraid, it’s a Discovery Channel show where two strangers, a man and a woman, are dropped into a dangerous environment with no food, water or clothes. Ky’s episode was set in the Louisiana swamplands, which are full of alligators and cottonmouth snakes. The producer was bitten by one of these snakes while scouting locations, and ended up with necrosis rotting away his leg.
We met Ky while on our travels in a safer part of America last year (LA), where she and her partner Neil put us up, showed us around Hollywood and drove us to and from the airport. After all that generosity, we were first in line outside the bookshop for the launch, laden down with cameras and lapel mikes.
Joining us was Audience Productions co-founder Ben, so it was a bit like having the old team back together as we worked two cameras and filmed heaps of coverage.
The launch kicked off with complimentary wine, followed by Ky’s speech about the book before she moved to the signing table. Taking a fly-on-the-wall approach, we captured elements from every stage of the night, which included an anecdote about the first person to get a book signed…on behalf of fellow survival legend Bear Grylls!
Afterwards, we sat Ky down for an interview, asking more about the actual book than had happened in the mainstream media – who seemed more interested in finding out about her Hollywood stuntwoman career, and who was good to work with etc.
Look out for the finished product here on the AP site!