A Sydney-based video production and creative collective.
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Breaking Down ‘Optus Gurus’

Posted on 15 June 2015 by No Pool

In September of 2012, No Pool’s Ben Hasic was briefed by M&C Saatchi to produce a series of help & support videos for Optus’ YouTube and Social Media channels through Optus’ internal production team.  The brief was to take analytics from frequent queries and complaints, and use them to create a series of videos to answer them in a video FAQ.The hope was that this could be an asset that Optus Customer Service representatives via phone, text, and online chat, could refer customers to these videos if it were relevant to their issue, with an overall goal of minimising customer complaints and service queries via phone.

The approach would feature a friendly presenter speaking to the audience in a colloquial and casual tone, while quickly going through the issues.  Originally, there were to be a whole cast of presenters to match different demographics related to the issues.  M&C Saatchi came with a very specific visual direction.  For the ‘How-To’ style videos, the presenter was to stand in a 3D space, next to what was described as an ‘digital chalkboard’ which supporting imagery and iconography would be displayed on throughout each video.  This meant that the presenters would need to be shot full-body on greenscreen to be composited into this space afterwards.

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The original pilot of four videos were shot on Friday September 14th 2012, with all post production for each video completed over the weekend for a fast delivery of Monday.  Four motion graphics artists were tasked with bringing each video to life in the short timeframe.  These videos were shot at Optus’ in-house production studio on the Sony F65 CineAlta Digital Motion Picture camera with the Arri Alura 18-80mm 2.6 Studio Zoom lens with Peter Beeh serving as Director of Photography, and were produced and directed by No Pool’s Ben Hasic.

After the initial run, the team worked on further updating the CGI environment, introducing brand cues, realistic finishes and perspective.  More than 60 individual videos were produced in this style and hosted on Optus’ YouTube channel with thousands of views and a large reach.

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The CGI environment was developed and designed in Cinema4D, with compositing and additional retouching completed in Adobe After Effects.  Production days would see 10+ individual video topics being recorded, usually with two alternating presenters.

Through the ongoing development of the video series, we encouraged M&C and Optus to shoot on-location when the topic was relevant, as we felt that the studio setting wasn’t fitting when discussing several of Optus’ products, namely products related to home entertainment.

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This opened us up to great opportunities, showing off great locations as well as producing consistently high production value video content for Optus that effectively and accurately displayed their products.  Some of our favourite looking content came from some of these shoots.

But as the on-location approach wasn’t appropriate for all topics, the in-studio and CGI environment was in active use.  This environment was especially appropriate for tackling topics where the product wasn’t something physical or tangible.

With Optus’ rebrand in 2013, we had another opportunity to make improvements to the CGI environment, which saw even more detail put into the space.

By 2015, more than 100 Optus Gurus videos had been created, each one produced and directed by No Pool’s Ben Hasic.

We’ve put together a quick video breakdown to show the work that went into creating the most recent 3D environment for the ‘Optus Gurus’ video series.

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Check out Optus’ YouTube channel to see other selected Optus Gurus videos.

Cheers,

Ben & The No Pool Team

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