We cranked up the heat for this safety training video that follows two workers pushed to their limits. | Heat Stress Awareness
Make a thrilling short film about the dangers of heat stress in the workplace? Challenge accepted, Skillsoft. Writer Cameron Shaw had a clear vision of the video from the start, taking inspiration from Western classics like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, as well as Mad Max: Fury Road and more. The general aesthetics and the terse rapport between the two primary characters were set from an early stage.
One of the chief struggles, however, fell to Producer/Director Jordan Nowlin in the form of finding the perfect location for our tragedy to play out. We needed to find a place that was industrial, yet wide open and dusty in order to accommodate the ultra-wide, desert-evoking shots we wanted. We needed these characters to feel abandoned and exposed to the elements while still maintaining a realistic work scenario. We truly hit gold with Lifecycle Building Center, an awesome company here in Atlanta that not only shot beautifully and checked all our boxes from a production standpoint, but also does incredible work in their own right, recycling building materials from all over the city and, frequently, film sets!
We didn’t have to do much to make it seem hot on our shoot day: the thermometer was registering 95 degrees at times, so it really was a lesson in avoiding heat stress. Luckily, our team was smarter than the hapless stars of our video and we escaped the wasteland unscathed.
In post-production, Cameron Shaw returned to edit, creating a slow-burn sense of dread. He also worked closely with Colorist Alesso Graci and Animator Seth Johnson to craft a look that made the setting look hot. Seth used Maxon’s Universe Heatwave plug-in in Adobe After Effects to add ripples of rising heat to the ground, and Alesso added a red cast to the air outside that made it look stark and uninhabitable.
Our clients at Skillsoft were blown away by the tension and the overall quality of the video, making it one of our most engaging and successful “instructional narrative” videos to date.