Producing Training Videos with SOLO Labs

Between March and April of 2019, our Media Production students were invited to Solo Labs in Kutztown, a manufacturer of a orthotic insoles, in order to document one of the first steps in the production line.  Originally we tested the ideas of filming the thermoforming process in 360 in order to provide an immersive experience, but after location scouting and discussing what would work best for Solo, we used a more traditional documentary style approach to the project.  Additionally, due to the tight confines of the workstation, we opted to shoot the entire project on smartphones, using image stabilizers and tripods to achieve a few key shots. No onset production audio was required, therefore negating the need for any microphones. 

 
We spent one day working on determining the proper sequencing for the workstation, compiling a shot list and then, using their original documentation, redrafted the piece in order to give our voice talent a script to follow.
 
As a consequence of the work done on the scouting day, the actual shooting day went very smoothly and we were able to import all footage and begin a rough edit that same afternoon. 
 
The longest part of the project was editing and refining the onscreen instructions.  We went through three different iterations and a lot of back and forth communication with Jon Naugle at Solo before mutually deciding on the final cut and were able to use some of Solo's own previously unused footage, most notably the drone shot and animated logo at the beginning of the piece. We had attempted a drone shot akin to theirs but unfortunately weather conspired against us. 
 
Our own Gage Sicher provided the voiceover narration and ultimately the final edits were made by Kyler Beckett and Jacob Baran.
 
We hope to continue working with Solo in the fall on additional documentation projects.