Recently, Southend Films had the opportunity to collaborate with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office on an exciting project: filming their latest recruitment video. Despite facing numerous challenges and a limited budget, our dedicated team rose to the occasion, demonstrating their creativity and problem-solving skills.
This particular project was like nothing we’d ever done before- from car chases to filming scenes in the local jail, this production was exciting, challenging, and ultimately gave us all the #topgun infused with #cops vibes.
From the outset, we encountered obstacles that tested our adaptability and resourcefulness. One in particular was a last-minute change of location from the Battery in Atlanta to the Marietta Square. This sudden shift affected the entire production and crew- it also required us to rework our lighting plan and adjust our equipment needs, affecting both logistics and budget. Thanks to our flexible, creative team we were able to pull it off. There’s never a dull moment…especially in the world of film production!
Another significant challenge was obtaining permissions to film at multiple locations (including the local jail, courthouse, and firing range), each with its own set of requirements. The scheduling process demanded meticulous attention to detail, as even a slight change in someone’s availability would affect the entire production timeline.. Maintaining constant communication and responsiveness among the crew was vital to ensure a seamless production.
Creative Problem Solving:
Despite the constraints, our small but mighty team proved to be adept at creative problem-solving. As we dove into the project we realized quickly there was a lot more to the Sheriff’s Office than we realized. We thought the Sheriff’s department = police. Little did we know the Sheriff’s office consisted of such a broad range of departments.
Our mission was to condense this expansive range of operations into a concise 30-second ad.
The production presented a unique set of filming challenges. Think 2 trucks full of gear, driving all over the county in a matter of a few days. We had to capture scenes in live locations where real-life activities were ongoing. One example was filming inside the Cobb County jail, which added an intriguing element to the project. Additionally, high-speed car chase scenes, drug dog interactions, and live weaponry required detailed planning to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Another noteworthy aspect was the client’s decision to feature actual employees of the Sheriff’s Office instead of professional talent. This approach not only added authenticity to the video but also helped us stay within the budget. We strived to balance the realism required for the recruitment campaign while ensuring an engaging cinematic experience.
The Key Players:
We had a lot to cover in a short period of time so we knew our crew had to be the best of the best. We knew we had to go all in to put together the best crew to accomplish the vision, regardless of the budget. Chris Fake, our Director of Photography, brought his expertise in aerial and car footage, elevating the production quality significantly. His skill set and contributions were invaluable in capturing the creative visuals.
Our Creative Director, Joe Thompson, crafted a powerful script to move the viewer through the story. Collaborating closely with the Cobb County Sheriff Department, we blended their creative input, including uniforms, firearms, and safety protocols, with our own cinematic vision. Balancing the recruitment objectives while maintaining film-worthy aesthetics proved to be a fulfilling challenge.
While the client had a general idea of their vision, they placed great trust in our creative process. Joe reflects on this, stating, “We had to think creatively on their behalf, which can be quite challenging.”
Our inspiration? Federal government recruiting campaigns- think the Marine Corps and Navy SEALs meets Top Gun and The Fast and The Furious.
The Final Result:
The culmination of our efforts was a powerful recruitment video that tells a compelling story. Southend Productions thrives on challenges, and this project quickly became one of our favorites.
From high-octane car chases to intense firearm sequences, we crafted a visually stunning production that exceeded expectations. Nathan Cheuvront, our Head of Production, shares his thoughts, saying, “This project initially appeared to be a mountain, but as we started climbing, we conquered it. The view from the top is pretty sweet.“