Google Next is Google’s biggest event ever; bringing together over 4,000 people to the ExCel centre to learn about the future of Google’s latest platforms. The event is held across 3 days and consists of keynote speeches, interactive exhibits and immersive experiences for everyone from executives, customers, partners, developers, IT decision makers, and Google Engineers.
Our latest collaboration with the Google team was being launched here too – on Google Cardboards!
At the end of last year, we were invited by Google to tell the story of how Google G-Suite transformed the workflow of the iconic brand of Gant during the launch of their new concept store. For us, the perfect medium for a behind-the-scenes, access-all-areas insight into the heritage brand was 360 video. The audience would be immersed in the whole story from start to finish, from the design office witnessing the creative process unfold, to the factory seeing the shirt being manufactured and finally at new store opening for the first time.
GANT loved the idea of being under the many lensed spotlight of 360 camera rigs, so we worked closely with their shirt team to co-ordinate the story, filming and access. Opening a flagship store can take a year. GANT were doing it in three months with one team working seamlessly (forgive the pun!) across three countries to meet incredibly ambitious deadlines. Using a small team we shot in all three locations; Gant HQ in Stockholm, their manufacturing factory in Porto and their flagship store in London. Mathew Wood, at the time then Gant’s newly appointed Creative Director provided a voice-over with the right balance of intimate insight in to the company vision. We interviewed him in Stockholm HQ just after he returned from a hectic 24 hours of back-to-back meetings in New York about the next season’s fabrics. The fashion world is always a season or two ahead.
360 shooting is unusual because you choreograph the action, but then during the actual filming have to go and hide out of shot. We must have looked to be the wierdest film crew the GANT team had ever seen. Experiential viewing is also a lot slower than normal 2D film; so the experience of a 360 director is vital to not only select most engaging placement for the camera, but to create the right pace for viewing.
The final film’s YouTube release coincided with the NEXT event whilst a shorter cut down teaser ran in a Facebook campaign and a panoramic still was used to generate excitement on twitter. And NEXT for us – we’ve just returned from our latest 360 VR piece that combines the two worlds of Kenya and Newcastle in a very innovative way. (And it didn’t involve any hiding!)