Ever wonder what goes into making a television commercial or short film? The quick answer is A LOT of hard work! To develop a signature piece for PEI Seafood, we first met with our industry to capture perspectives and key statements about who we are as a brand. We also peeked at competitors to see what they are doing with origin marketing in order to elevate our presence in the marketplace. We packed our findings, chose a production company, and the creative process began.
Our initial meetings focused on vision and core messaging and we worked closely with Producer, Director and Writer to develop a script that nailed the message. Our Director, Brent Foster, flew in to PEI and with our Producers, we spent long days travelling around the Island visiting harbours, scenic locations, communities and introducing our team to industry. Pre-production was officially underway, with intense days of location scouting, meeting industry, and connecting with potential cast. With four weeks away to filming, there was a lot of ground to cover: storyboarding the scenes, hiring crew, ordering equipment, locking locations, technical scouting, sourcing wardrobe and props, and many many conversations with our cast, all of whom are part of the industry.
The night before, we arrived in Tignish and the production team gathers to review, plan, and make any final adjustments to the big day ahead. The project became surreal to me as I looked around the room and saw how many people come together to make this project come to life. The Director, Producers, Art Director, Director of Photography, drone operator, grip/swing, 1st assistant camera operator, 2nd assistant camera operator and production assistants all getting ready to make an epic video.
At four am we drove to the wharf to prepare for the first scene, a re-creation of “Setting Day”, with approval from DFO, of course! A huge thank-you to the people of Tignish who showed up as extras on set that cool morning. The community spirit is outstanding and their support of the industry is second to none. From there we drove to our second location, Miminegash, home to our dream clothesline. Yes, this home has a clothesline with an iconic Island view and just the right amount of wind. We finished the day with a closed-set in Norway where we honoured the life of Lorry Gaudet, an incredible man who died at sea exactly twenty-three years ago. A sincere thank-you to the Gaudet family for allowing us to share this intimate moment.
We are filming at a cottage in Canoe Cove where it was quiet and peaceful as the trees rustled and the kettle whistled. This was our opportunity for our voice over talent to make his debut in the piece and give a storyteller angle to the video.
We set sail with a mussel crew out of Red Head Harbour. With torrential rainfall and no sign of clearing skies, we pushed forward happily – our weather is not always predictable nor is it perfect and this is exactly what the world should see. We dried off and back on the road to Souris for our evening shoot at the harbour. Our filming focused on the behind the scenes work that happens off the boat: repairing traps, boat maintenance, and the tasks required in order to meet industry standards.
We arrive in North Rustico harbour before sunrise and jump aboard two oyster boats. It was pitch dark but this blue hour was perfect, sun softly rising with an oyster boat cruising along the calm waters, ready for a hard day of work. From there, we trekked across the Island to Orwell Cove where a historic home was rented for a good old fashioned PEI kitchen party. This home happens to be one of the original kitchen party houses in the Orwell community over a hundred years ago. It was an incredible evening!
The production team arrived at Skinners Pond to capture lobster harvesting and underwater camera work. The underwater camera requires a lot of special equipment and expertise. A diver cameraman was hired to operate the equipment at the surface and underwater. The evening was extra special as we had our Editor and Assistant Editor here from Toronto and this was their first experience on a fishing boat. We are sure that they will not forget sitting on the floor of the boat cabin as we head back to shore to ensure the production crew is not seen on camera in those final shots.
Our last and final production day. The crew was back out on the mussel boat with the underwater camera team to get some mussel lines in the water column. Once this was wrapped, the crew headed to French River to jump aboard the final boats for some drone work. On completion, it was time for everyone to say their goodbyes. The six days of filming flew by and everyone was proud of what they accomplished together with industry.
Coinciding with this, an original score was developed by a composer. This music helps to drive the emotions of the viewer as they watch the piece. Once the score was complete it was time to enter the sound studio. This process is like a juggling act where there are three key pieces: music score, voice-over and sound effects and they need to flow together but not compete with each other. Paying attention to all these intricate details is what makes the video come to life and sweeps us all along for the ride.
You take a deep breath and realize all the hard work has paid off and the project is complete… and that is what goes into the making of an epic video. A huge thank-you to all the following individuals, companies and businesses that allowed this video to come to life. We are so excited to share this with the world.