From the very beginning of the process the precedent was established by the team at NBC to create an extremely collaborative environment between departments, which is incredibly difficult to pull off with such a massive organization. Part of our development phase was to set the off-channel side of things in the right direction before focusing all of our energy into on-air applications. We worked with the NBC team in charge of print, outdoor, and web applications of the brand to develop some early structural guidelines. After that, most of our time was spent with the on-air package.
One of the first things we had to figure out was honing in our content and making the transition from the non-show-specific slices of life that we used in our pitch to actual, show-specific content. Of course, the execution was still meant to be based on our color meanings with special care to make sure we were always conscious about what emotion the chosen color palette would communicate.
The plan for acquiring this content developed with several factors in mind. Traditionally, NBC has done what they call a “mondo” shoot to acquire content for packaging and promos. It’s fairly expensive to set up and the results aren’t typically evergreen. Also, it’s usually been paired with complicated post-production to composite actors into context. We didn’t want the material to feel too posed or artificial, and we never wanted the viewer to feel like they were seeing the actor rather than the character. We wanted to capture personal, intimate character moments that the viewer would identify with and that would build a sense of affinity for the characters / stories / shows.
We came up with a way to capture those moments and to quickly acquire content and save NBC money at the same time. Rather than having the actors from all the different shows come to us (which is what happens on a traditional “mondo” shoot) we were able to get onto their sets and grab a few minutes with the talent, in context.
We had to be extremely mobile and adaptable. Often we arrived on a set, quickly scoped out locations where we could shoot without getting in the way of the actual show production, and had usually 3 to 5 minutes with each actor/host (sometimes less) to explain what we needed to get, to make them feel comfortable, and to capture some great moments. This new approach was all pretty uncharted territory, so it was a learning process for us, NBC, and the shows themselves. We’re thankful that they trusted us enough to do a lot of the decision-making on the fly, which was necessary due to the organic nature of the process.
Aside from the show-specific content we acquired on set, we also did a number of custom insert shoots of props, croppings, and specific action details that we handled at Capacity.