Today we’re taking a look behind the scenes on a video production our team completed for Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa and Convention Center. If you didn’t catch our first article in which we discuss steps to consider even before you hire a video producer, you can check it out here.

It’s All About the STORY…

In the Summer of 2018, we produced a brand essence video for Chateau on the Lake, a resort hotel on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. The hotel was under new ownership and there was a need for a bit of a brand refresh. At first glance one might assume that given the top notch amenities available at Chateau, that our video production team might try to create a video that felt a little more high end – one that was aiming at a particular high-end clientele. However, that wasn’t Chateau’s need at all. They expressed to us a need to help their property feel more accessible. A place for families to stay and enjoy themselves together and to be close to the outdoors. There’s also close proximity to Branson, Missouri shows/attractions/shopping and then just a few more miles away was, well, this little theme park called Silver Dollar City – one of the top theme parks in America. The core of the video centered on Chateau on the Lake’s connection to the outdoors, in particular, design features within the hotel that helped bring the Ozarks indoors.

The Indoor Aerial Challenge

One thing that was made perfectly clear by the client going into this is that they wanted to see drone footage and we were like “yeah sure we do drone footage! We’ve got guys that do that all the time – specialists – people with insurance and they can handle it all”. Then they expressed a desire to capture drone visuals INDOORS. Hmm…

It might sound simple enough, however, if you know anything about drones you know that they’re rigged with all sorts of proximity sensors and things to warn them of danger and sometimes they happen to just shut down when they’re in a dangerous situation because they sense the proximity to ceilings, walls, structural supports any number of things. Therefore we called our go-to drone operator Jason Preston with 417 Drone Imaging. We went in ahead of time and we scouted out the location with several drones to see which ones would work best in the challenging situations. Planning is key to any production, and this one would hinge on the ability to gather the indoor drone photography the client desired.

The Unglorious Meat and Potatoes: Ground Shots

The shoot required a few days. We captured aerials in both morning and evening light, and in between we captured ground shots or amenities with the rest of our crew that didn’t require aerials. Yes, we could have created an entire video with drone photography… but that’s really not an option for closeups and detail work.  So much of a hotel/resort video is about selectively revealing the DETAILS: food, beverage, and decor – as well as people’s positive reactions.  Many of those shots were captured with tried and true cameras, supported by tripods and dollies.  No snazzy tech or propellers required.

As an added bonus, I was able to acquire (what was at that time) a newly released electronic gimbal stabilizer/camera combo that was small and light enough to be able to walk through the hotel and get our ground shots that we needed, but was still sensitive to some of the low-light areas that we had so we wouldn’t have to set up tons and tons of lighting to be able to capture really great shots.  This rig was used selectively for wide ground shots where big sweeping moves were necessary, but the use of drones wasn’t practical. Nowadays, those small camera stabilizers are commonplace. How fast technology moves in just a few years…

You can view the full video the links in the description down below. Click on it and give our client Chateau a few more clicks. They’ll appreciate it.

So what did the client think of the final product? (Spoiler: they loved it) It’s made an big difference for them in the sales efforts at their hotel. Mission accomplished.

Jason Spencer

Author Jason Spencer

Jason Spencer is a director, editor and cinematographer who serves as managing partner of Digital LunchBox, a creative agency and video production company based in the Missouri Ozarks. He has worked with agencies, production companies, and TV networks since 1998, unleashing awesomeness on literally hundreds of productions. +Jason Spencer

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