COIN: beta testing one of the most anticipated products of 2015

Coin needed a piece of content that would do two things. First, they wanted to let backers know that a product was out there, it was live and it was working. They wanted to get people excited for product shipments, which were imminent. 

Second, they wanted to show that the Coin was being used by real beta testers, and that the company was hard at work making improvements all the time to revolutionize a system that had been working the same way for decades. 

To do that, HardPin, director Christopher Markos, and Coin partnered to document some of the official Coin beta testers in San Francisco. 

We had only a few weeks to get the shoot organized, so time was tight. We thought we could organize about four shoot days with a limited budget of around $50k. So we needed to keep the look top-notch, but also keep the crew light and the locations minimal to make it doable within the timeframe and budget. 

Keeping the crew and the gear setup minimal has an additional benefit. When filming non-actors we find it important to keep the shoot flowing from scene to scene and make sure the talent isn't feeling pressure to perform. We want them to relax and be themselves as much as possible.  When the crew is quick to change gears, it minimizes time in between takes and therefore keeps talent engaged with the shoot more consistently.

The final piece published on the Coin/Amazon Facebook page along with an announcement about an update to the Coin itself. Within the first few hours, 25k views had already been logged on the piece. 


Instagram for Small Businesses

As Instagram looked to highlight small businesses that use their advertising products, they came to HardPin for a production partner that could deliver their message. Instagram identified four small businesses in Berlin, Oxford and London, that would be a good fit for this campaign.  Alongside producers from Instagram  HardPin deployed a team with a light footprint to capture those stories over the course of a week. 

As always, we looked at how the stories of people can drive the narrative around a messaging goal. We wanted to mix narrative storytelling with a piece that accomplished Instagram's business objectives as well. 

The trick here was balance. Too much messaging, and you get a dry piece that people won't watch. Too much narrative, and you won't get the point across. 

Another important part of production, one that's not often talked about, is controlling your production footprint.  At HardPin, we got our start in the campaign world where making the most of scarce resources is the name of the game. We needed to shoot 4 stories in 8 days in 2 countries, which meant we needed to keep the production manageable and nimble enough to travel without driving up travel costs or inviting logistical problems.