Sometimes It Isn’t Easy To Get the Right Shot. That’s When You Need Creative Storytelling.
Recently, a production for Gozio Health required a little creative problem solving, or creative storytelling.
Whatever you want to call it, we needed to create a product demonstration shot, and ran into some technical glitches.
This is the solution I came up with.
First, a little background. Gozio Health has this amazing wayfinding app for hospital patients and visitors. It’s like Google Maps on steroids.
Gozio doesn’t just tell you how to get to the hospital, it tells you where to park, which building to walk toward, which elevator to take—every step, every twist and turn you need to take to get from point A to point B.
When Gozio first called about doing a brand video, I realized it needed a product demo—it should show the actual app in action. It was visually interesting. A blue dot on a map that moves as you move.
There was just one problem—the app only works on location. It reads sensor data at the hospital to track the exact location of your phone.
That gave me an idea—why not shoot the phone screen as I move through the hospital?
A Custom Camera Rig
To create the shot, I needed to shoot the hospital corridor and a smart phone screen at the same time.
So I designed a camera rig. I started with a tripod on wheels. This gave me smooth camera motion just rolling down the hallway.
Then I added an extension arm with a clamp to hold the phone. While shooting, I was able to adjust the angle of the arm, and position the phone in front of the camera.
The result: a perfectly smooth point-of-view shot, with the phone in the foreground and the corridor in the background.
The best part of the shot is when turning a corner—just as the camera rotates, the map on the phone flips 90 degrees.
The client liked the shot so much, we did additional versions, including one in the hospital parking deck.
Of course, we could have created this in After Effects, layering the phone and the map footage into the scene.
But why? This solution achieved it live, in camera.
No Expensive Effects
I love finding simple in-camera solutions like this to create effective shots, without having to spend hours in post.
All it takes is a little creativity. And the result—we’re showing the actual product in use, not faking it.
So it’s a more organic solution that avoids the expense of animation. That keeps production costs down, and is more authentic to boot. What’s not to like?
A big thank you to Barbara Kragor at Gozio Health for this interesting brand video project.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions. Before starting his business, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.