Oxford Made to Measure
It wasn't my thinking to post official commercials onto this blog, however, this commercial showcases a business I personally am very fond of, in a location that I'm equally fond of! This video production is also a nice little example to write about as it involves a lot of small technical and creative implementations...
Oxford Made to Measure, an off shoot of Oxford Alterations, has just been launched. They make some remarkably good suits at immensely fair and reasonable prices, allowing everyone to consider getting something bespoke. The last service in Oxford of this price point that I remember was Austin Reed, although we all know how that panned out... After a long overdue wait, we now we have this wonderful new service that falls snuggly within this gap in the market.
To launch the service Oxford Made to Measure asked me to put together a small fashion video, something to showcase one of the bespoke suits within this quintessentially Oxford environment, whilst also showcasing a little of what can be expected during the "made to measure" process.
Often when filming, one needs to rise before the sun in order to catch that perfect morning mood. Needless to say, Oxford is one of the most stunning cities to film in before working hours (it's surprisingly empty), filming at this time allowed us to capture some iconic, beautifully "Oxford" shots. It's important though to notice that our shots, albeit containing iconic parts of Oxford, do not showcase the locations in your typical touristy manor... We are part of Oxford, this brand is part of Oxford, as a result we do not need to humour ourselves by showing typical Oxford post card shots!
Let's talk about the shoot; Firstly focusing on the sunrise at location one. We didn't need to implement a lighting crew, just myself, our model and the ball in the sky... As you can see the majority of shots position the sun in a certain place relevant to our talent, yet every shot differs slightly in composition and light to encourage a strong dynamic within the video. Although if the light differed too much we would end up with a rather poor looking shot that lacked depth and would distastefully light our subject. I can't go too greatly into specifics as I like to keep people guessing, but simply put, it's important to know your way around the sun and what type of light suits the scene.
Moving further into the day, approximately late morning (in Jericho), the sun is far more prominent, meaning I'm in even more need of ensuring every shot is perfectly composed and the light falls exactly where needed, and we mustn't forget the inevitable bounce effect of the light coming off the stone walls and surfaces of the Oxford architecture. Taking all this into account and having produced the below images, I must say that I felt the evident change in lighting certainly helped separate the scenes from one another, albeit using the same techniques. Here the harshness of light as well as colour tones are what helped pull the images apart from one another.
Looking at this video from a narrative point of view, you may think there isn't one. You'd be right. There is no specific story, however, the edit still follows a narrative in its own right. You'll notice in the full length video (the version that includes every scene) that the 3 scenes cut and intersect with each other in ways that reflect previous/following shots... By this I mean; we see Robbie (our tailor) measuring parts of Macauley (our model) during the consultation process before cutting to that part of the final product, in this case instantly showcasing the before and after of the suit. It may sound a bit confusing on paper, but it's immensely simple and wonderfully effective. Small examples like this really help to pull a video into a deeper level of engagement and overall quality.
Looking at the project as a whole I feel this video is a lovely example of a simple yet effective product showcase, using the resources you have to hand, combined with ones cinematic knowledge to create an engaging piece from visual composition to the cut in post.
I strongly recommend checking out Oxford Made to Measure's service, like I said at the start of this blog, I am immensely passionate about this sort of business, in this case I am even more so due to the services they provide and the wonderful team that they are. It always feels great to help those within the Oxford business community.