When you’re a national brokerage with teams in hundreds of Canadian cities, how do you even begin to capture the spirit of the hard working brokers representing your brand? In the case of INVIS/Mortgage Intelligence, the answer was simple. You go to them. With a camera crew in tow.
Over the summer of 2016, the Double Barrel team was thrilled to film across Canada, documenting the passion and the people behind the INVIS/Mortgage Intelligence brand. In one of our most ambitious documentary projects to-date, we filmed in six provinces and seven cities, capturing the camaraderie that makes INVIS/MI truly unique. From wineries in Kelowna, to line dancing at the Calgary Stampede, from charity golf tournaments in Niagara to boat cruises off the Halifax harbour. Through it all, what stood out the most was an overwhelming sense of community and caring. Brokers that truly care for their clients, and each other, working exceedingly hard to ensure their happiness.
Double Barrel is thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Invis/Mortgage Intelligence, documenting this beautiful country and their world class teams from coast to coast to coast.
This completed piece screened at the INVIS/MI annual gathering, to rave reviews. And it’s easy to see why! Invis Mortgage Intelligence has successfully built the only true full service brokerage in Canada, attracting top brokers that are continually diversifying and developing their craft to deliver the best support possible. That’s something to cheer about.
Hamilton Code Clubs is a trail-blazing program that sees industry mentors introduce local youth to simple software computer programming, through a blend of interactive and hands-on training. The ultimate goal is to teach students to develop a love for the subject and begin integrating code into the classroom in a fun and engaging manner.
For many students, this introduction can open up career pathways and 21st-century learning skills.
With the tech industry in Canada expanding at a breakneck pace, Hamilton Code Clubs represents a critical link between the classroom and the real world, with mentors working to spark an interest in our youth and develop our next generation tech workforce.
At Double Barrel, we know the importance of a solid education in digital literacy for our youth. That’s why in 2015, we worked to create the #HamOnt Forever Digital Literacy fund, a Hamilton Community Foundation administered fund that will distribute grants over the next 15 years for digital literacy initiatives in the Hamilton area.
This year, we are proud to continue that legacy by providing an amazing organization like the Hamilton Code Club with this recruitment video free-of-charge, to inspire the tech community to continue to grow and help ensure that kids are realizing the amazing career opportunities around coding at a young age.
If you’re in the software industry and keen to help out, you’re in luck! They’re in need of volunteers! If you’re interested in volunteering for Hamilton Code Clubs, contact email@example.com
So happy to wake up and see Team Double Barrel featured in the Spec! Short but sweet little piece about the Cobalt Connects Creative Directory (psst – if you’re not in there, you should be!) – and the fact that the creative industries represent the fastest growing employment sector in the downtown core. Good to hear since we move into our new space on King William Street April 1st!
Many thanks to Jeremy and the crew at Cobalt Connects for making this happen!
Real artists ship.
This maxim, attributed to the late Steve Jobs, revolves around the notion that creation of great creative work depends upon the ability to overcome obstacles and come up with the best possible result. Ideally (in the context of video production) – a piece that will in some way emotionally resonate with your audience, given a limited amount of time.
Content creators can empathize with this quip. ‘Shipping’ (or in our world, ‘producing’) requires said producer to weigh messaging and artistry against obstacles to produce a piece of communication that will resonate with a wide & varied audience. Usually needed by, like, yesterday.
Last week I sat on a small panel of industry judges for McMaster University’s second annual 24-Hour Film Competition – a fantastic local event, held inside the Joey & Toby Tenenbaum Pavilion at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
These competitions are a crash course in the ‘real artists ship’ mentality, as students race against the clock to develop their original stories into fully fledged short films in just 24 hours.
Sitting in the centre of the crowd at the jury table, I felt an immediate kinship with these students. Double Barrel evolves into a kind of 24-hour film crew on each production we undertake, paratrooping into storytelling situations and determining obstacles – developing the best way to get a client’s message across in a limited amount of time. In our world that’s usually about two months from script to screen, nowhere near the suffocating 24 hours of the festival.
Similarly, marketers, brand managers & professional communicators are consistently hit with this same challenge when trying to get their messaging across to a wide demographic. Especially via video.
The winner of this year’s McMaster 24 – the giddy, oddball short ‘What are you STAIRING at?’ quickly emerged as the best film of the night. Its creators – McMaster alums ‘Mobhouse Crew’ won over the jury due to their ability to incorporate the unique messaging (one line – “do you want some more of that? I don’t think so”) with locations and props required by the film fest (a chair and a set of keys) while still taking us, the viewer, on a full circle ride complete with understandable arc and well thought out ending.
The audience gave four minutes and forty-four seconds to the filmmakers, and they rewarded us with a cleverly scripted film complete with original musical score and tight ending.
So – what can marketers/brand managers and content creators learn from this mother-of-all meat grinder of creative production? Three things.
1. Determine your constraints and work within them.
As any 24-hour film fest-er will tell you, it all starts with the script. Getting real with your limitations and having fences around your ideas actually allows you to be free creatively once you’ve determined what they are.
Are you tight on locations? Budget? Actors? Does the video need to be a certain length? What does it need to get across and to whom? On what distribution platform? These are all constraints that will ultimately make your production that much better once you’ve figured them out. Make sure you’re clear and honest up front with the things you have to achieve (and the limitations you have) in order to make the production process smooth and satisfying for all involved.
2. Be laser-focused in your vision.
In the world of 24-hour film, there’s no time for distraction. Once you’ve determined constraints, go after your story. Full throttle. It’s easy to fall prey to fun and flashy, so stay true to a ‘Top 3 List’ of focus points and messages. If your finished piece doesn’t clearly communicate a message and have some sort of story arc that your audience can follow, it’s not going to get you on the podium.
3. Stick the landing.
This is the absolute without-a-doubt most difficult part of a piece, and also the most rewarding when it’s done well. This year’s winner “What Are You Stairing At” absolutely sold us with a perfect ending. I’ve heard that people only remember the last thing you’ve said, so keep that in mind and go into your production with a firm sense of what you want the ending to be and make sure everything else lines up.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Roz Allen is a partner and director at Hamilton’s Double Barrel Studios.