2020 has been a year for the history books. We learned, grew, adapted, and persevered. We bonded, we took endless Zoom meetings, and now we're here at the end. This week on the blog, let's take a look back at 2020 through some of our favorite films (to make) of the year.
December has always been a month of reflection. People slow down, take some time off, and take stock of what all they accomplished this year. But in 2020, that looks a bit different. We're all just glad to have made it through. It's not a year to traverse the cliffs of success, it's a year to buckle down, try your hardest at the things you can control, and lean on each other to make it through the rest.
For Casual Films, we count ourselves as extremely fortunate. You don't have to look too far to see how businesses across the world have closed, employees been furloughed, and people just generally struggling. Back in March of this year, we went through those same motions, those same worries. As difficult as this year has been, it's been extraordinary that we are all sharing such a common experience.
As we stand here at the end of December, we just want to say thank you. Thank you to our staff of 45+ across London, New York, and Los Angeles who have persisted in creating for our clients. We launched our Ariel production system. We figured out how to film remotely, film UGC content easily, film on COVID-safe sets, and keep making great films no matter the circumstances. We played team-bonding games, we bantered on Slack, we bonded (virtually).
We're grateful for the relationships we've built to see us through these tough times. We're thankful that we can look out for each other, lean on one another, and begin 2021 with a bit of hope. Here's to the New Year being kinder to us all.
In the spirit of reflection, let's take a little trip down memory lane & see which films Casual-ers most proud of in 2020.
UNHCR - Nansen Awards
Often videos that deal with weighty topics are overwrought and can feel melodramatic. The relative intensities of the subject matter and the visuals were well balanced here. - Edward Beresford, CFO | London
This year's Nansen winners are truly inspirational people and learning about the achievements of these incredible women put a lot of things in perspective. Projects like this don’t come up too often at Casual and felt very lucky to work on the series with a group of very talented people. It was great to see the team go the extra mile to deliver the films and to see the reaction of viewers, who were equally in awe of these amazing ladies! - Emily Lay, Executive Producer | London
HSBC - Technology and Innovation
My favourite film to work on this year was 'Technology and Innovation' for HSBC. When working on a film comprised of stock footage and client supplied content often as an editor you are very restricted by the content you have to work with, and the quality of the film can suffer as a consequence of this. However HSBC were able to supply fantastic video content and were very open to a more creative visual style and trusting of our ability to do so, allowing us to add our creative flare to the project and thoroughly enjoy doing so! - Dan Hankinson, Head of Post Production | London
A fun animation project that demonstrates an intangible digital product. Simplifying the more technical language using abstract shapes and sound design...even a pinball machine! Bet you didn't know you had that going on behind the screen. - Lexi Mounsey, Executive Producer | New York
Haringey Council - I'm Out
It's strange to think that exactly a year ago we were shooting these films, and only finished filming in February 2020. I know I keep going on about this project :) but I do think it was an amazing example of our team coming together to achieve something challenging, and wonderful. The added bonus was that we worked really closely with both the client and the young people who the issue affected, and involved them in the whole process which was so rewarding. The limited budget, the timescales, the sheer anount of organising needed to film a fight scene (with a knife!) on an estate, and all of the post work, including composing music and fantastic sound design, a lovely (but challenging edit) and a beautiful colour grade, I could go on... was a huge testament to everyone giving their all for a project that we were passionate about. - Tarryn Paul, Producer | London
GoDaddy, Roundtable Discussions
My favorite film of the year was the 'Roundtable Discussions' series we created for GoDaddy. Filmed remotely in the height of lockdown, these discussions featured Black entrepreneurs across all industries, sharing their experiences, advice, and thoughts on finding success as Black-owned businesses and helping others in their community.
The films were some of the most urgent, topical ones that we made this year - publishing in step as the U.S. (and the world) had a national reckoning on our perceptions of race.
We also produced these in the height of lockdown. Without being able to film in person, we shipped iPhones and a small tripod all around the U.S. so folks could film themselves easily. A simple, useful filming technique we've since used for several other clients. - Sanica Apte, Producer | Los Angeles
New York State Dept. of Public Health, Wear A Mask PSA
One of my favorites this year was our Wear A Mask PSA for the New York State Department of Health. A project our editor, Aaron, put together in May that sort of marked the beginning of our “new normal”.
Also, shout out to us receiving an honorable mention from the State on this–whoop, whoop! - Fritz Polax, Production Coordinator | New York