Walmart Interactive Crafts

Published by Jason Milligan on

Walmart Interactive Crafts

Craft videos are often deceptively simple, and remote production added a new layer of complication to the process.

We’ve done several projects in conjunction with Buzzfeed and Eko, from our multiple-choice cat adventure, Pickles Goes to Silverlake, to a series of interactive Buzzfeed quizzes that covered everything from picking your Boss Look and finding your dream career to teaching your baby sign language. With numerous choice points and multiple endings, these projects are always incredibly fun and breezy—in the typical Buzzfeed style—but surprisingly labor-intensive, since each choice-point can lead to numerous branches of additional content. What seems like a three-minute experience can often involve five times as much produced and finished material in order to give the viewer the satisfaction of a variety of different paths to follow, and make the content fun to replay and enjoy over and over.

“Thanks to our network of talented creatives and our aggressive use of the latest technology, we built a workflow to efficiently produce and deliver a tremendous amount of content on deadline and under unprecedented external constraints.

So, with this previous work under our belt, we were ready to jump into our most ambitious Eko project to date, this time on behalf of Walmart’s CAMP initiative! Working hand-in-hand with a talented and energetic team of creatives, we created some beautiful crafts for kids and adults to enjoy through the Walmart CAMP app. To achieve the cheerful and pop-centric look of the show, we used ARRI Skypanels to throw a bright wash of color on our white cyc, with each activity’s background color corresponding to the category of craft. It was a simple but effective way to stay on-brand with CAMP’s overall aesthetic. Graphics and music choices all helped reinforce the family-oriented, nostalgic branding of CAMP’s Make it Awesome series.

But craft videos are often deceptively simple, and remote production added a new layer of complication to the process. Because of Covid restrictions, we created a camera set-up that could be partially controlled remotely to minimize the number of crew on set. Fortunately, since we never had to show our talent’s faces on camera, everyone on site could remain masked at all times, but we still put top priority on keeping talent and crew safely distant.

We also streamed our production set-up externally, so that clients could watch the process and weigh in with notes and feedback in real-time from off-site. Using Vmix Call, our most reliable digital call-in service, we could loop in execs and creatives from around the city and across the country to make sure that we were on track with every move along the way.

Since we couldn’t work with our typical team of in-house editors as we had on previous projects, we took the post-process entirely remote, handing off shuttle drives of footage to our team working from home in the peak of quarantine isolation. Thanks to communication tools like Slack and Zoom, questions and concerns could be quickly routed to the team, and updates on progress, or changes to strategy were rapidly and effectively communicated. 

 We couldn’t have done this project even a year ago, but thanks to our ever-expanding network of talented creatives, and our aggressive use of the latest technology, we had the flexibility built into our workflow to smoothly and efficiently produce, film, edit and deliver a tremendous amount of content on deadline and under unprecedented external constraints.