Boiling down the essence of your country into a video is a lot like Mission Impossible. Creating a promotional movie about Luxembourg is even harder as you have to stay away from all the clichés of tax evasion, fiscal paradise, and wealthy people driving around in Porsches.
These, of course, are not the images a country wants to portray when promoting itself.
We, the re.media team, accepted the challenge, and were involved in the concept and production of such a movie, which debuted last week at conference in Beijing about financial security (www.iosco.org). We are delight to share some of our thoughts on the process.
In this case the brief was really straightforward:
The video should promote Luxembourg as a conference destination, and a tourist attraction. It must also weave in the business side of Luxembourg, as is related to the conference. It is an emotional video, designed to peak peoples’ curiosity to discover this country. After watching this video, the audience should want to come to Luxembourg for this conference. Potential attendees will have spouses to whom they will want to show the video, and motivate to come. The event organisers will want to show this video to the industry, to establish Luxembourg as a serious world player in the Securities Commissions space.
Our first task was to get an overview of what has already been done and on how we could achieve something better, providing more value for the country through the video.
First of all, we benchmarked by doing extensive internet research gathering videos from different countries and photo references of Luxembourg. In regards to the videos, we were very disappointed on what has been done, as most of the videos are of very poor quality and mostly consists of TV-style reports with bad music, and a voice over, mostly put up to poorly edited (and old) images.
So the starting point was to do something better!
With a background in filmmaking and motion design, our goal was to have the best-looking movie whilst staying on track budget-wise. We then gathered references (for example: https://vimeo.com/2663191) to have a clear idea of where we were going, and it was clear for us that we wanted to go for a more “filmic” look than the traditional “TV report, tourist info clip.”
The idea of having very close-up shots with shallow depth of field (to give this artistic look), mixed with larger shots (helping to define the scenes) was something we thought about straight from the beginning. These techniques give the whole film a more cinematic look and give “impressions of Luxembourg” in comparison to most films that feature a voiceover with very detailed explanations that are quite boring after 2-3 minutes.
In regards to production, the film was shot on a Canon 5D, which was good for us as the use of a DSLR camera for shooting helps integrate the filmic look as did the grading (colour correction), and the addition of light leaks on the edgy title design. We still kept in mind that we wanted to get a glimpse of what modern Luxembourg actually looks like, mixing images of nature, city, architecture and hotels/restaurants.
So in the end, we didn’t have the possibility to explore the whole concept and link it to global nation branding, but this is certainly a starting point to think differently about how a successful branding video could be done, more specifically, letting go of the everlasting stereotypes most countries have to deal with and look into the future, story wise as well as image wise.
Agency: Kneip Communications
Client: Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier
Production: Remedia.lu / Xavier Parduyns
Production Assistant: Adrien Baudouin
Director: Pol Arlé
Camera: Thibaut Charlut, Maxime Hickenbick, Maxime Percepied, Pol Arlé
Motion Design: Steve Gerges