Executing Storyboards: On Set with Hopper
In video production and filmmaking (and in life), it’s usually good to have a plan. At Opalite Media, every project we have has a plan, though they are often quite different. With dialogue or narrative audio, sometimes it’s essential to finalize a script before a single frame is taken. Other times, it’s better to interview key voices without a script, and hear from subjects in their own words. We might also implement a kind of hybrid approach, where there’s a loose script but the subject is able to deviate, allowing for unscripted moments. This also applies to the visual side as well - depending on the project, we might specify every single shot ahead of production, or choose instead to map out only the locations, allowing shot ideas to materialize on site. The decision about how prescriptive to be in the pre-production process depends entirely on the goals, audience, and creative concept for a given project.
Opalite recently partnered with Hopper, a widely used app for booking travel for flights and hotels, on a video project to highlight new features within the app. The Hopper team was looking for new video content that would feature the app’s capabilities in booking both flights and hotels. The team was looking to create videos that would serve as stand-alone pieces, social media content, as well as b-roll for television segments featuring the app. Based on these goals, we developed a creative concept around the idea of two friends booking travel together. Because the team wanted to repurpose the footage in a variety of ways, we chose to create a series of visual sequences that included on-screen text, rather than speaking audio. We planned every shot ahead of time using a storyboard, which specified the subject, location, and type of shot. We then created a plan for the filming day that showed how and when we’d film each shot, and how it corresponded to the storyboard.
The final result were 3 main videos, showcasing Hopper’s features in booking flights, hotels, and car rentals.
We also created a portfolio of social media content from the same video shoot. This included shorter cuts of the videos, formatted for social platforms.
For this particular project, it was all about visual planning. Each shot needed to be mapped out ahead of time so that we could plan the film shoot in the most efficient way possible and continuity was ensured throughout the story. Though the process might look completely different for another project, thoughtful planning is an essential part of the bridge between creative ideas and a finished video product.