Create an engaging 'journey film' for a brand

Moving Brands set about creating a journey film to document the creative process behind the studio's branding for Indian startup, Housing. Director and editor Jimmy Irwin walks through the process.

Housing is India's fastest growing startup. In revolutionising the local real estate market, Housing has grown, in under three years, from a small team in Mumbai to 1,500 employees in 45 cities across India.

Moving Brands worked with Housing as its lead creative partner. The project ranged in work from brand story and identity, experience design, animated films and launch communications.

When the brand launched in February 2015, we wanted to celebrate the work and our role within it.

We created a 'journey film' – a short edit of the 'best of' the project, sharing Moving Brands' process and creative output. Posted to Housing's YouTube channel, it received over two million hits in its first two days.

In the video walkthrough above and the steps below, I discuss how we make journey films, using Housing as an example, touching on everything from setting the brief and selecting the music to ensuring the pacing and tone are just right.

01. Know your purpose

A journey film comes at the end of a significant project and is intended to be a celebration of all of the great work that has gone into a project. It helps us share the story of how we work with our clients, and the thinking and process behind the creative output.

02. Set the brief

I work with the project's creative and strategy leads to better understand the project. It's likely they will have been working with the client for months (or years) but because of the distance I have, my role is to act as an editor, deciding what is necessary and finding a focus for the story.

03. Document the process

Continually capturing key meetings, crits, workshops and works-in-progress throughout the length of the engagement makes for a much stronger film. We have guidelines on how to shoot these different stages, so anyone on the project team knows what and how to capture strong, useful content.

04. Curate content

A journey film is a chance to share some of the more exploratory work and alternative creative routes that weren't selected. The film should plot a clear path, from early thinking and creative work, right through to final deliverable. A large part of the process is selecting what will make a coherent edit.

05. Select music

Music is a really important element, as it sets the tone and mood of the film. We often use a site called The Music Bed to find and license tracks. I edit the track to fit what's happening on screen, but try to do this with as much respect for the original music as possible.

06. Achieve the right pacing

Pacing is very important; we pick the key moments that the film is building up to carefully. In this film, which charts the journey of creating a new brand for our client Housing, it's a reveal of the final brand mark.

07. Introduce wayfinding graphics

Communicating months, or years, worth of work in one minute is a challenging prospect. To ensure the audience can keep up with the edit, we'll use title cards, animated text or voiceovers to set up the premise of the project and land key points.

08. Get the tone spot-on

We pay careful consideration to crops, grading, the mix of content used and timings, so the tone feels considered, but not overly orchestrated. It should feel like a journey – not an overly slick advert.

09. Launch the film

Whether we're creating a film for ourselves or for a client, the timing of the launch is everything. It was great to see the views on this film go from zero to over two million in the first two days.

This article first appeared inside issue 239 of Computer Arts, the world's best-selling design magazine. Save up to 59% with a subscription here.

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