By Emilio Germino
…and action! A day in the life of a brand producerBy Milda Sukyte and Sophie Connolly
Our Brand Team is Delivery Hero’s in-house creative agency, working on everything from online campaigns and company videos to TV commercials and billboard designs for both our global brands and corporate image. Developing and releasing so many designs and assets is only possible thanks to a strong team effort, and everyone contributes in their own special way to the final results – which you’ll see below!
Overseeing every in-house production is our brand producer Milda Sukyte, whose job involves planning and coordinating video and photo shoots as well as supporting the editing process. She’s kept on her toes every day with all the different projects coming in, collaborating closely with the campaign managers, motion designers and content creators to produce creative concepts that make our brands – and Delivery Hero as a company – stand out from the competition.
To get a real taste of her role, Milda invited us to join her behind the scenes of a food photo and video shoot for a campaign launched by several of our brands. Read on to find out her key tips and tricks for anyone venturing into the world of production themselves. Our key takeaway: it’s always good to be prepared!
Practise time travel
As the shoot producer, I always do a short ‘time travel’ exercise when planning the day. I close my eyes and visualize each step of the shoot, from waking up (is anyone likely to oversleep?) and traveling to the location (what if there’s a strike and the trains don’t run?) to coffee breaks (enough milk options?) and setting up equipment.
Then comes focusing on the outcome and making sure everything is right. For example, if it’s a food shoot we need to think about lighting, props and how the colors in the shot interact with one another. Going over every detail gives me enough guidance to share with the photographers and video team; after all, if the vision for the shoot isn’t set, the crew won’t have a direction!
Pre-production is like camping
Before a shoot I pack my bags with the optimal amount of items to be ready for all possible situations, be it a thunderstorm, heat wave, accident, delay, allergies, mosquito attacks, migraine, thirst or sand storm. In these cases a little bit of negativity actually helps. Always think ‘what if’ and try to predict the worst case scenario and what you can do ahead of time to prevent it. Once your solutions are all set, forget the bad scenarios and shift your focus to the work ahead.
Wear your running shoes
No, I don’t go for a jog during the job, but I am constantly on my feet. You’ll be running to get to the location first, then running in between photo and video set-ups because they happen simultaneously. You may have to sprint to a nearby shop too if an item is missing or if you have a great last-minute idea, from swapping the table cloth to buying a new plate as the one you’re currently using doesn’t look great on camera. No matter what the weather, you’ll have to run somewhere, so pick your comfiest pair of sneakers which offer support for the long day ahead.
Get the energy going early
It’s best to start the day on an energetic note with your go-to morning drink and a sturdy breakfast as this sets the pace for the upcoming hours. I always ensure there are plenty of snacks to hand and that a proper lunch is organized (the food on camera may look yummy but it’s not for tucking into after!) Equally important is charging batteries for the equipment and bringing enough back-ups so you’re in control of electricity. One time we lost electricity due to an overcurrent and we couldn’t find the fuse, which taught us the essential lesson of locating all essential areas inside and out before every shoot.
Be prepared to swap hats
During most in-house shoots, as the producer I have to be ready to take on more roles. I’m never surprised if I find myself doing other tasks, such as vegetable casting in a grocery shop, polishing a table or designing an indoor shop stall. I become a Jack of all trades, prepared to go that extra mile if need be, which not only makes the results more rewarding but teaches me a lot every time.
Fake it ’til you make it
It’s no secret; filmmaking isn’t as glamorous as it looks in the finished product and sometimes a bit of fabrication is needed. But having control over a frame allows you to do wonderful things and produce exactly what you want the audience to see, whether it’s a grocery store or cosy apartment.
This requires attention to detail, checking everything appears clear and attractive behind the lens and keeping that pesky fly from photobombing any scenes. And don’t be surprised if the end-results take your breath away; in my first food shoot the tiramisu looked so good and tempting that it became my favorite dessert. You know it’s effective marketing when it gets you!