Case study - Casambi: Ulster Hospital
Smart lighting, better patient wellbeing
Casambi: Ulster Hospital
Client: Casambi Oy
Collaborative work with Richard Gill (RGill Photography)
Casambi is a company that manufactures sophisticated light control systems. The Ulster Hospital video was the second one I made in collaboration with Richard Gill for the company and it showcased the real-world application of these systems in a hospital environment. But let's start from the beginning:
I met Richard at a networking event in December 2019. Being a professional photographer, without advanced skill in video editing, he asked me whether I'll be able to help him with the post-production of an upcoming big video project. He was commissioned to produce a case study for Casambi and the recent BBC lights retrofit, in which the company played a major part. I was more than happy to come on board.
The project was greenlit in mid-January 2020, and I had several pre-production meetings with Richard, where we discussed the client’s brief and technical aspect of the project. Richard was going to film in two locations – at BBC Glasgow and at the main BBC building in London. There were also three interviews that needed to be filmed in a third location – in the office of one of the companies involved in the retrofit.
We talked about different filming options, about the locations and the post-production, Richard needed some technical advice and consulted me on the equipment needed and the video settings and formats that would work best in post-production. I advised him on how to conduct and film the interviews, and on the microphones and the audio recording system he needed to capture the best sound. We also talked about some other on-location filming equipment – the lights he had, the field monitor he needs to buy, etc.
The filming at the BBC sites went well, but Richard experienced some technical issues, filming the interviews, and they had to be re-shot. I offered my help with that, and we filmed them again together at a new location. My work continued with the video's post-production - I edited the video, colour corrected and colour graded it and added the on-screen texts and animations. Here's what we delivered to the client:
The client was pleased with the result and commissioned us for a second showcase video. This time at the Ulster Hospital in Belfast.
Smart lighting, better patient wellbeing
The Ulster Hospital Acute Block is a new build, and Casambi provided the entire lights control ecosystem of the building.
He had some Zoom calls with the Casambi team here in the UK and in Finland, discussing what they needed, and the structure of the video. We made a storyboard, to serve as a guideline, we discussed different options and the ways they can be achieved. Around that time, I got my CAA certification as a drone operator and a drone pilot, and I proposed to add some drone footage to the video, on which Casambi team agreed.
Having already produced one video for the company, we knew what to expect, and, from a technical point of view, everything was clear. The logistics and the principal filming organisation and schedule were a bit problematic, mostly due to the ongoing pandemic. We had to film four interviews in the hospital, with four different people, that had to be free and able to travel at the same day.
Casambi and the Ulster Hospital team were able to coordinate their staff and a filming date was agreed. As part of the pre-production, as a CAA certified drone operator, I had to prepare all the required paperwork and notify the Bristol airport about the parameters of the flight.
The principal filming
Since both Richard and I, we had to travel to Belfast, we allocated three days for the principal filming.
We travelled on day one and upon arrival, we went to walk through around the block. We choose the locations we wanted to film and agreed on the next day schedule.
Day two was the main filming day. We divided the videography work in two – I was conducting and filming the interviews and I also captured the areal footage and Richard filmed the b-roll and captured the stills.
For the interviews, I used my Canon C100 MKII with Canon EF 24-105mm Lens and Richard filmed the b-roll and the stills with his Sony A7III. We both shot in flat colour profiles, matching as close as possible the cameras’ settings to get consistent footage for the post-production.
The interviews were lit with three LCD panels and an LCD spotlight and I recorded the sound with Røde Link wireless mic on a Tascam DR-60D Mark II external recorded. As a backup, I also recorded it with a Røde NTG4 shotgun mic, attached to the camera. I filmed the first two interviews at one location and the second two at another. Meanwhile, Ricard was all around the Acute Block, filming the b-roll and the stills the client wanted.
After that, I went outside and flew my DJI Mavic Air 2 drone around the building and the surrounding area to capture the aerial footage. With the drone, I filmed in 4K, again with a flat colour profile.
Although we reserved the morning of the third day for filming as well, we got all we need on day two. This is one of the befits of working in collaboration. We were able to reduce the filming time by half.
With all the footage ingested into my main postproduction workstation, it was time to put everything together.
Stage 1 - the interviews raw edit
First, I prepared a raw interview video. I synced the audio and the video and edited a raw timecoded version with all the useful bits included, and I sent it to the client. Casambi team watched the interviews and sent back a list, with the bits they wanted to be included in the video, based on the video timecode. Having a timecode added to the draft helps a lot to communicate any changes and updated the client may want.
Stage 2 - the draft cut
The next stage was to arrange the interview bits to form a story - the backbone of the video. That done, I choose the b-roll bits and the stills and arranged them in I way I felt would best illustrate the narrative. At this stage, I also selected the music and added it to the video.
I sent the client a timecoded draft edit, they had some comments, mostly about what to remove from the video, in order to shorten it. They also sent me all the text they wanted to be shown on screen.
Stage 3 - the final cut
With the edit locked (that means there won’t be any further major corrections), I first colour corrected the footage and, since a was after a certain look, I performed a light colour grading.
All that was left was to prepare and add the on-screen texts and the animations.
I send the new version to the client, there were some last-minute text adjustments and style corrections, and after that, the Casambi Ulster Hospital case study was ready for delivery:
Again, the client was very satisfied with the results and there are now plans for yet another case study in the near future.
The Casambi videos are a great example of a successful collaboration with a fellow photographer and videographer. I enjoy this type of teamwork, the possibility to help each other in any given situation and the ability to offer a wider range of services, reducing the production period in half at the same, is hugely beneficial both for us and our clients.
The Casambi project also shows how my skills as a filmmaker and post-production specialist are used in a real-world situation starting with the initial plans and the pre-production all the way through the delivery of the final video product.
I worked with Stefan on a major video project.
He is very professional and really knows his craft.
He communicated well throughout the project and his editing and post production expertise are excellent.
I thoroughly recommend working with him.
Video producer & Director
CAA licensed drone pilot
Animations and VFX
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