With 10-plus years of experience in the business of shooting stills and film for national agencies and their clients, Katrine Naleid and Stephen Austin Welch of KN+SAW
now happily find themselves involved in just about every aspect of that creative process. As Katrine told us recently, "In our experience, the agencies we work with are bringing us in on projects much earlier for a stronger collaboration throughout production. We welcome having a bigger role in both concept and strategy." As they have become more and more involved in the honing of the creative message, Katrine and Stephen find that the creative call, written treatments, mood boards, and script rewrites are all now essential parts of a very collaborative process. All this work on the front end is what creates brand cohesiveness and also helps to create a sense of value by formally expressing all that is involved both tangible and intangible. And, once awarded the job, preproduction can move forward with everybody on the same page.
Striking a balance between film and motion production is another essential aspect in orchestrating a project, and KN+SAW have learned through experience that separating the TV spot and the still shoot is the wisest approach. It actually helps in better budget management and yields stronger creative results. With resources essentially the same, after a TV spot is completed first, they are able to shed about half the crew for the still shoot. Setups are faster on still shoots, which helps net a greater quantity of quality imagery. And any photographer who has been assigned to shoot stills on a film set knows how difficult it can be to get the job done effectively in the middle of a broadcast shoot. KN+SAW chooses to estimate the broadcast and print separately so that the agency and the client see where the efficiency and savings are.
Currently for KN+SAW, business consists of an even mix of stills and motion, with one third of jobs a combination of motion and stills, one third still photo only, and the remaining third solely directing jobs. Their growing list of clients includes Leo Burnett for Eggos/Kelloggs and /Special K/Kelloggs, Saatchi & Saatchi X for Walmart and Proctor and Gamble, Pitch Agency for Burger King, and Moroch for Stage Stores, among others. One of their most recent jobs was a combination broadcast and still production titled "Let's Bond," for SBC Advertising/Elmer's Glue and incorporated everything KN+SAW is best known for: authentic lifestyle and storytelling. In the initial script, the agency had moved away from a message touting the technical properties of the product to opt for a fresher, lifestyle approach. In their treatment, Stephen and Katrine suggested a rewrite that took the concept even further to include three families instead of one, a dad or two, and three different home environments to capture more real moments in both formats. After the rewrite, each shot was storyboarded so the client was well informed of the evolution. Stephen and Katrine contributed to the final agency/client edit of the spot but also have an editor's cut that captured a few more spontaneous and quirky moments that we have included below.
In a business which is changing so rapidly, it is clear that photographers and directors, as well as their agency peers, have all taken on more responsibilities. But as Katrine says, "We would encourage photographers to look at it as an opportunity to put their stamp on the work they are hired to create.....Maintain having your voice, because they hired you for your vision." With this sort of commitment, the work is bound to be good.
Let’s Bond (Elmer’s) directors’ cut