Sometimes you have to go looking far and wide for inspiration. Sometimes, it’s right in your backyard. This was the case when we worked with South Sound Together last year on a series of inspirational, somewhat unorthodox “tourism” videos.
South Sound Together, a group put together to help promote a region that has long been in the shadow of Seattle proper, approached us early last summer about putting together an ambitious series of videos that would promote South Sound from within. Rather than trying to draw people to South Sound in the typical manner, these films have been designed to inspire those that live within South Sound to dig deeper into their roots, and to realize just all that their area has to offer. If that inspires them to tell their story beyond their community, well then, all the better.
South Sound came to us with the scripts already largely written and we could tell it was going to be a tall order to get in all of the locations, all of the businesses, the eateries, the vistas, etc. that they had in mind. Director AJ Winslow, a long time helmer at the Crank, took to the project with gusto immediately seeking out visual narrative arcs for each of the scripts that would allow viewers to feel truly engaged with the beauty and potential of the region.
The scripts called for “connectedness” above all. Connections between businesses and the arts, education institutions and healthcare, tattoo artists and software engineers – all of these needed to be included to show the true breadth and quality of life in the South Sound area. And all of the connections had to feel visually interelated.
In the end, AJ shot for 6 days using a mixture of RED cameras, Sony FS7 and A7, and a few different cinematographers depending on whether he was shooting headshots, large vistas, or intimate interiors. 18 films were made in all. The stars of the films include kayakers, port workers, doctors, teachers, and homemakers to name only a few. “What was really cool was meeting all the different people during the process,” said AJ. ” It really opened my eyes to all the parts of South Sound that you often don’t think about.”
The video style is anthemic and aspirational. The trick is keeping that authentic and genuine at the same time. “You’ve got to balance with the real,” AJ notes. “Have people feel inspired and proud of where they’ve and check out places they’ve never been to.”
Take a watch of some the videos yourself and see if you’re inspired. South Sound is starting to roll these out far and wide via social media so you’ll be seeing them soon, no doubt, if you actually are lucky enough to live in this region!