Red Bull

A promotional film revealing cyclist Gordon Benson’s training tips

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Branded Content Campaign for Red Bull

Red Bull teamed up with Lab Series Skincare to produce a series of sponsored content for cyclists gearing up for their winter training regime. Gordon Benson of Team GB was the athlete chosen to feature in the documentary film series. The idea was for Gordon to share his top tips on getting your bike out on the road during the challenging winter months.

A flexible approach to sports video production

Contra were able to offer a speedy and high quality solution. We proposed a small, flexible crew that could capture engaging interview content and a variety of cinematic action shots of the cyclist on the road.

Our camera rig of choice was the RED Dragon with a Canon zoom lens. The excellent image stabalisation on the lens allowed our Director of Photography to shoot from the back of our crew car, operating handheld. One the one hand, this allowed us to be quick with the setup and gave us the ability to re-frame quickly that would be difficult to achieve using a more complex stabalisation rig. On the other hand, it allowed us to have spontaneous movement in camera to make the viewer really feel like they are out on the road moving quickly with the cyclist.

We decided to shoot the cycling content at a high frame rate for two reasons: it would give us the option for dramatic slow motion in the edit, and also give us the option to speed the footage back up to real time with a sharp and staccato look; exactly the kind of high octane look we wanted for the sports scenes in the film series.

We used a saddle bag car mount to attach the RED Dragon to the front of our crew car. This gave us the option to get shots following Gordon on the road. The rain lashed down onto the lens but we didn’t complain as those rainy textures added nicely to our desired winter aesthetic. Shooting with a cool colour temperature also helped us craft that winter look our client was after.

Creating effective video content for Social Media

Here at Contra our projects always begin by thinking about the final films. Where are they going to sit online? How long do they need to be? Who is going to be watching them? All of these questions allow us to develop a creative approach that best serves our client’s needs.

Red Bull were looking for a solution that would allow them to make the most of these sports films on their social platforms. We proposed an approach that would allow us to create three main films for their website and then a variety of 30 second and 15 second cutdowns for Facebook and Instagram. We shot the main films with a standard 16:9 ‘rectangle’ aspect ratio whilst always bearing in mind that for the social cuts, we would chop the sides off the image to create 1:1 ‘square’ versions. These are fantastic when it comes to grabbing the eye of a viewer scrolling through their social feed.

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