Aimee Mann is a producer at Telly Award Winning Hayden5, a full service video production partner for agencies, brands, and networks. Hayden5 is the innovator of the Video Drop Kit™ and Drop Kit™ Photo.
How did your creative process change given all of the unexpected turns of 2020?
Our creative process changed drastically by implementing an entirely new business strategy: contactless capture. To be able to film safely during COVID19, we realized we needed to strongly commit to this pivot, and thankfully we did . As early adopters of contactless workflow, we invented new systems and workflows, including video Drop Kits™. Video Drop Kits™ are contactless, broadcast quality camera system deployments that come with remote video communication, autofocus facial detection, professional equipment, and a comprehensive pre production process led by a team of seasoned remote production specialists. Drop Kits™ soon after became an industry term. We have captured everything from popular broadcast television shows and commercials to online livestreams and digital content. Some recent examples of our work can be found in everything from the NBC 30 Rock Reunion Special, the Democratic National Convention, live streams for We’re Magnetic, and captures for various clients featuring those who otherwise would not have been able to be on camera.
What’s the most important lesson you learned while needing to adapt to an unpredictable world environment?
The most important lesson my colleagues and I have learned thus far, is to exercise flexibility and adapt to the current needs of the marketplace — no matter how unprecedented. We developed contactless capture expertise based on testing and analyzing a broad variety of deployment strategies. For example, our team developed and tested differing models of capture kits, rigorously detailed pre-production processes, and methodical sanitization techniques to ultimately end with the absolute best tried-and-true solution. Our willingness to change, open mindedness, and speed to test and deploy solutions to the market allowed us to make responsible decisions to pivot the business and have the confidence stick to that pivot.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced and what surprised you about creating during a lockdown?
The preparation and considerations that go into filming during lockdown are significantly different than the preparation one would deploy for a pre-pandemic capture. A unique type of planning and scrupulous pre-production process is required when we are upholding strict safety and sanitization standards, when minimal to no crew is allowed on site, and when we are subject to pandemic related shipping delays. Since this process is entirely different from industry standard filmmaking, a hurdle we have overcome has been educating and training clients, crew, and talent on the different needs and timelines required to ensure successful contactless and/or socially distanced captures. Implementing this system consistently requires steady commitment, as it is crucial not to cut corners when the safety of others is involved.
How do you think the outcome of your work changed given the environment it was made in?
Filming within the confines of social distancing and contactless captures have forced Hayden5 to allow new ways to be creative — how can we tell the best stories without any proper, physical connection. We realized quite quickly that when additional confines and restrictions are created, new storytelling techniques are born. One example – we have strategically shot talent in a way that they could be cut together to have them interact with one another without being in the same room as one another, resulting in a visually stimulating content style that without the need for social distancing may have made more sense to film as a standard two shot.
What do your Telly wins mean to you?
The entire team at Hayden5 is incredibly honored, grateful, and appreciative to be recognized by The Telly Awards, an organization that has led celebrating great storytelling and excellence in video production for over forty one years. It is an enormously humbling experience to be selected.