TRA Robotics approached us to produce a recruitment video that would serve as a talking-point at their exhibitor’s stand at TechCrunch Sessions 2018 in Berkeley, USA. In their bid to recruit the smartest roboticists and partner with the most promising tech startups in the business, they needed something that would help facilitate their conversations with prospective partners and visually demonstrate some of the absolutely mind-blowing innovations in their field.
The final video intentionally didn’t have a voice over or overly-descriptive captions, and instead serves up strong visuals to catch the eye of passing trade. Being displayed at a live event in a busy networking area, we couldn’t rely on dialogue to be audible. Built to be played on loop to a non-captive audience, the video needed to intrigue and entice event attendees enough to start a conversation with the TRA recruitment team.
A specialist audience
Lots of shiny footage of robots might impress the average viewer, but our brief was to create something that would wow roboticists, PhD computer scientists, and fellow technology startups. To do this, we needed to understand TRA’s offering as well as they did. Two meetings with the UK team, one Skype call with the Russia team, two written proposals, and a week’s worth of conversation on a Telegram group chat, and we were ready to shoot.
A fresh perspective
Working with TRA Robotics blurs the line between reality and science-fiction. As outsiders, we very quickly had to get up to speed with TRA’s business model as well as the inner workings of their robots and the operating process. While our laymen position initially slowed us down, it gave us the advantage of being able to instantly spot TRA’s most exciting aspects for an external audience, as we weren’t bogged down in the detail.
Robots look cool, but some of TRA’s most exciting innovations were either digital or theoretical, and as such weren’t possible or appropriate to film on camera. We therefore took a multimedia approach to the video, utilising filmed footage, motion graphics and 3D animations to showcase TRA.
We used digital glitches to stylistically transition between the animated and live-action representations of identical scenes to show the precision and forethought that went into TRA’s products.
Against the clock
With only two weeks to storyboard, shoot, edit, animate, and gain final approval before the event, we had to work smart. We brought on board creative duo Dylan Drake and Jonny Magowan to undertake the bulk of the production.
Both adept shooters and editors, they filmed in tandem at TRA’s Oxfordshire factory and edited side-by-side at our London post-production suite. Having worked with each other countless times in the past, and being able to oversee the entire production process, Dylan and Jonny allowed us to have a far more streamlined and rapid workflow.
Some clients like to be hands-on throughout production, others prefer us to work with complete autonomy. With TRA, we slipped in seamlessly with their own team, and were given the freedom and authority to dictate what we needed from them, resulting in a true collaboration.
While we directed the overall look, feel, and narrative of the video, the TRA team made themselves available to us to design and render custom animations with their bespoke CAD software to our exact specifications, as well as clarifying technical points.
"We develop complex technologies that are really hard to define and visualise. The CAVSOC team were quick to understand our commercial offering and grasp our technological field, and delivered an excellent promotional film within a short production window. It was a great pleasure to work with them!"
Victoria Raksina, Business Development Manager