The Prostate Cancer Centre (PCC) in Calgary approached us in March 2019 to do a few video and photography projects, including an animation.
It was the start to a journey we knew we could travel, but didn’t foresee all that would come our way over the next seven months before the final project debuted before a few thousand Calgary Hitmen fans during a Bret The Hitman Hart themed night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on November 2, 2019.
We didn’t have the How to Share Your Story process in its current format. I know we would have saved ourselves a lot of heartache, months of corresponding back and forth and about 10 script revisions if we had this process locked down.
I went into the first meeting with some of the foundational questions, and over the next two hours with three of their staff, we came up with a script idea and creative direction for the animation.
Despite having buy-in from their communications team about creating a personified prostate character to educate and guide potential patients through the process of getting checked and why viewers should, the feedback from up the chain led things in a different direction.
A second ideation of the script, mainly led by the client, depicted an average-Joe character encouraging men to know their numbers for prostate health. The PCC envisioned wrestling celebrity and Calgarian Bret Hart voicing the character. That script was kicked aside, but a new one was crafted following our guidance around the character of Bret The Hitman Hart’s journey with prostate cancer.
It wasn’t an easy process, but after three script versions, and about 15 drafts, we nailed it.
I had the honour of meeting Bret on August 8, 2019 to record the voiceover.
He was such a humble, kind professional, and that day will live in my memory forever.
The animation proceeded with avatars of Bret Hart’s likeness by our graphic artist, Gonzalo. Once we had the character approved, we proceeded with sketching out the scenes and laying them out with the voiceover in Boords, an online platform that allows us to create storyboards and animatics like the ones below.
Music selection was our next milestone. We were hearing 80s metal in our head in tribute to Hart, but soon realized his theme song, Hart Attack, was what we needed. Thankfully, our communications friends at PCC were able to ask Bret to pull some strings and we got the rights to the song for the animation. We used it for the beginning and end of the animation, and another song to fit the mood in the middle.
The nearly three-minute animation was presented to the client through Frame.io, an app where we upload footage, collaborate and comment on revisions. With minimal changes to animations of the inner workings of manhood (we’re not doctors here, but we had lots of supplied graphics for reference), we had client approval.
November 2 was met with much anticipation as we headed to the game that night, myself, my wife Jocelyn, and Joel with his wife Kayla (pregnant with their son Kaius) and two boys, Aeson and Ezra.
The puck went in and the Saskatoon Blades won the good ol’ hockey game, but we got to see our video played twice on the jumbotron.
This animation has been the biggest challenge in my career so far, but it’s also been a catalyst for so much growth as a company. Through this process, I rebranded from iEvolve Photo to iEvolve Media, offering photo, video and animation services with my excellent team. It’s also responsible for pushing me to develop a better process to guide clients better from concept to final product, whether it’s a photo, video or animation.
We’ve had more animation projects since, and are looking forward to more!
"Britton is so great to work with! We use him with Junior Achievement Southern Alberta for various events throughout the year with our high school students. Not only is he professional and the photos always turn out great, but he works so well with the students! Always a ton of fun! Thank you for all of your continuous work with JA:)" (Tiffany moved on from Junior Achievement, but we continue doing work for them as we have since 2013.)
Hayloft Restaurant video promoting their producers: https://youtu.be/R5I2pDNib
It was a pleasure to work with Britton on a video project for our restaurant, highlighting our local farmers and ranchers. Britton is professional yet personal, and takes great care of his clients. He listened and captured shots that expressed our message beautifully. Britton is creative and has an eye for detail in his work. We are very happy with the final product as it turned out exactly the way we hoped it would. Thank you for all the hard work and we look forward to future projects with you!
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