Behind the Scenes of Re-flow's Christmas Advert - “The Gift of Time”
For Re-flow, 2023 has been full of milestones. From signing on several industry-leading businesses, to moving office and greatly expanding their team and client base, the ever-expanding field management business has gone from strength to strength.
To mark the conclusion of another successful year, the team at Re-flow are slated to debut their first, fully-produced commercial this Christmas season – The Gift of Time.
Built on years of feedback from clients and industry professionals alike, the short story encapsulates the common pain points businesses working in construction-related fields face, and how Re-flow has been proven to help.
Through their regular case studies, testimonials, articles and reports, the team is used to talking about the big picture of the industry – statistics, numbers, and data. This time, Re-flow wanted to tackle a more personal story taking place behind the scenes of these large, overarching industry trends.
Following the main character, Doug Jones, the manager of a construction company struggling with inefficiencies, the story set out to chronicle how these realities affect professionals on an individual level, making bringing the office home an unfortunate necessity.
Director, Ashley Wing, put his experience in filmmaking to use as he guided the Marketing team throughout the production of the commercial.
With exception to the cast of talented actors, the advert was produced completely in-house by Re-flow’s marketing team, written, and directed by Head of Sales & Marketing, Ashley Wing. Putting his background in film production to work, Ashley headed up the team throughout the shoot, which spanned several days over multiple locations.
“Being able to bring film production into Re-flow marks a pivotal milestone for our team. 'The Gift of Time' is testament to the collective skill, passion and dedication each member provides within marketing. Together we created and executed a narrative piece on a professional level. To be surrounded by so many talented individuals is inspiring and exciting and we can't wait to get stuck into the next project.“
Ashley Wing, Head of Sales and Marketing, Re-flow
The crux of the shoot took place in Doug’s home, proving to be the most logistically challenging part of the production. Though only a single location, the story called for shots both during the day and night. With a short two-day shoot schedule, the team had to get creative, using tricks and lighting to achieve their desired effect.
Under the guidance of Ashley, as well as Assistant Director, Ellen Cotter, the crew transformed the daytime set into the dead of night, using only bin-liners, tape, and a lot of clever lighting. Ashley collaborated with Cameraman, Patrick Tinkler, to ensure that each shot had interesting lighting, aiming to create a visually engaging yet believable final product.
The team worked to a tight schedule, requiring airtight organisation to set up equipment between shots and achieve a visually engaging final product.
This part of the shoot would also feature the entire main cast. James Cotter, who plays Doug Jones, was joined by Joanne Rogers, as well as the Director’s son and niece, who played the roles of Ellie Jones and the couple’s children, respectively. With only one spoken line, the shoot provided a unique challenge for the actors, having to express the character’s emotional state solely through facial expressions and gestures.
Even with such an unconventional set of circumstances, the cast did a fantastic job, bringing Doug’s family to life and expertly conveying his emotional journey throughout the short story.
“I enjoyed the family stuff we did on day one, that was really nice - being in the Christmas pyjamas, all matching. The kids were great, and working with Joanne has been brilliant. Really, really enjoyed that.”
- James Cotter, Actor
Additional shooting took place in the Re-flow office, which served as the fictional base of operations for Doug’s company, Foundations. This allowed Re-flow team members, Josh Sims and Mikolaj Pawelczyk, Marketing Executives, who usually stay behind the scenes, to cameo as background extras.
The final filming location was a remote worksite, which was kindly provided by long-term Re-flow client, Glanville Environmental. As real works were ongoing at the time, these shots were captured by a smaller crew, as not to cause potential hazards for the operatives at work. Once more, the entire Re-flow team would like to extend a huge thank you to the Glanville team for opening their site to us and participating in this production.
Once filming was completed, the team was on a tight deadline to turnaround the final edit, including visual effects and music. Editing was mainly done by Patrick Tinkler, who was also the main cameraman on the shoot, with additional edits by Director, Ashley Wing. At this stage, the team had to select the best shots from the shoot and condense the story into a succinct 1 minute and 30 seconds.
The entire Marketing team at Re-flow contributed to the production, both on and off-set. From left to right, Josh Sims, Mikolaj Pawelczyk, Ellen Cotter, Nick Cox, Ashley Wing, and Patrick Tinkler.
One of the final stages of the project was the soundtrack. Composed by Siddhartha Barnhoorn, the soundtrack captures the classic Christmas spirit, while reinforcing the emotional journey of the main character. As the last stage production, adding the soundtrack was the cherry on top that brought the entire production together.
With the production complete, the team is now preparing to debut the advert on Tuesday, the 21st of November, at 8:30AM. To watch, subscribe to Re-flow YouTube channel or follow the company on social media.
To learn more about Re-flow’s award-winning field management software, visit www.re-flow.co.uk or call 01392 574002