Recently, Russell Chadwick (my business partner at Wild Collective, a multimedia production company we founded) and myself caught up with nature photographer Roy Toft. Roy recently released a new book on a spectacular wilderness area in Costa Rica known as the Osa Peninsula. The challenge for Roy – as all for all of us photographers – was how to get the word out about a project which was about a very specific region of the world.
As a former marketing guru in the movie business, the first instinct that kicked-in for me was to identify the market that this book would appeal to and to develop an approach to how Roy’s story would be told. Russell, myself and our lead graphics/editorial director Matthew Hoelter all sat down for a creative meeting and pored over Roy’s images. Strong images, no doubt, but we had no behind-the-scenes footage, no interviews, in fact we had nothing but the images in the book.
We decided that the best thread to knit this story was Roy himself. Since he is relatively local to our production offices in Los Angeles, Roy was kind enough to make himself available for an in-person interview which was shot on the Canon 5DMKII. Sound is crucial so our on-location sound technician not only put a mic on Roy’s lapel but also captured sound with a shotgun and field recorder as well. We used a black background knowing that would give us more of a dimension to work in later when putting the images on the same screen as talking-head Roy.
Once we had the interview, we had our story, our script. This is so often the most overlooked aspect of strong multimedia and one we’ve put the most emphasis on as a company. With that in hand, our in house team slices and dices the best bits from the interview. Everything for this multimedia was created using the latest version of Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects. Then our designers and editors meet to discuss how best to visually support the story being told, working to bring all the textures and colors of the rainforest to our audience. Our composers and sound designers then work to to find a tone and ambience for the piece. All these elements come together in the edit suite and bringing Roy’s story, and the story of the OSA, to life and to viewers everywhere.
Now Roy has a new tool – a 2-minute multimedia that gives people a taste of his photography, his new product, the Osa book, and an experience that can be passed around on social networks and websites around the world.