LOS ANGELES — Sandwich (www.sandwich.co) recently used Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, Blackmagic RAW and DaVinci Resolve Studio to shoot and grade a new online spot for Slack. The project was finished using Lunchbox by Sandwich, a new distributed production service that allows live-action spots to be created remotely.
Sandwich has worked with international collaboration hub provider Slack since 2014. Nearly six years after their first spot for Slack, the creative studio once again helped show how Slack was allowing people to create and stay connected remotely.
With Sandwich staff working from their homes, some in different states, the main challenge was how to shoot a live-action commercial that met their high-quality standards. The answer was to create a mobile production kit based around the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, shooting in Blackmagic RAW, which was sent along with a lens, lighting and audio gear. The kit was sent to Sandwich employees that would be participating and having them shoot their parts themselves. This kit, combined with training and post production done by Sandwich, became the Lunchbox service.
“It’s not easy to produce new live-action work these days that’s full of authentic characters, on message and on brand, without sacrificing quality or relying on stock clips. But we’ve built new methods for doing just that, tastefully, repeatably and safely,” notes Adam Lisagor, founder of Sandwich. “What makes this possible is the firepower that the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K brings us, along with how easy it is to learn and shoot with.”
The new Slack spot shows how dependent Sandwich had become on Slack, especially when it comes to running their business under lockdown. For the spot, seven members from different areas within Sandwich were shot in their homes using and talking about how important Slack was to maintaining creativity and productivity. A quick “how to use” the camera video was shot by Sandwich’s Lowell Meyer, the spot’s director of photography.
“Asking people who usually do not sit in front of or behind the camera to become production people is a lot to ask,” says Meyer. “You want to give them agency, but you also do not want to bog them down. The Pocket was so user friendly that everyone was able to pick it up and learn quickly. And even if what was shot was not perfect, the camera’s high dynamic range and shooting in Blackmagic RAW gave us a lot of data to fix any issues in post easily.”
For the spot, which is being shown on Slack’s site and social media channels, footage was shot by each member using Slack and Zoom, showing how they continued to create as a group from home. Each shot was then sent to Sandwich’s post team, who edited the Blackmagic RAW footage, which was then sent into DaVinci Resolve Studio for grading and finishing.
“We use DaVinci Resolve daily with most of our commercial work, and know how powerful it is,” notes Zach Hobesh, head of post at Sandwich. “Every shot went through Resolve, and because we were using Blackmagic RAW, we were getting an incredible amount of data. Resolve works incredibly fast and efficiently with Blackmagic RAW files,”
After wrapping the new Slack project, Sandwich realized they could replicate the process into a service.
“There will always be the need for big on site productions, but there is also now a the ability, using remote productions, to create high quality, entertaining commercials that people actually want to watch,” Hobesh continues. “It can be done efficiently and economically, and the Blackmagic Design camera and software are a big part of that.”