Times Radio launch. A brand film made within Lockdown restrictions.

With the launch of the new radio station ‘Times Radio’, owned and run by The Times news group, we were set the challenge to develop their brand launch film, and create an interesting and fun film, all within lockdown restrictions.

The complex brief tasked us to cut a film that replicated the sound of one of their many jingles, using the sounds from self-filmed clips of each presenter and layering the sounds to emulate the ‘Times Radio’ jingle and create a cohesive soundscape and visual experience. So it was critical our editing and music production was on-point, as their promotional branding was centered around the way the sound integrated with the visuals. That’s not to say however, the visuals could fall to wayside. We still had to consider featuring each presenter and be as inclusive and fair as possible, even if some sounds of the shots were better than others and some great looking shots had no sounds all.

Because of lockdown restrictions the presenters were going to shoot all of the footage required themselves. Fortunately they’re all media trained personalities, so that was one aspect taken care of. But some really strong direction was needed from ourselves and to be sure they performed in the way we needed. 1. for the quality of visuals and 2. for the quality of the audio, which of course is an incredibly important aspect to this project. We detailed out very specific storyboards and direction for each presenter, with shots, angles, sounds and the movement of ‘camera’ for them to adhere to. All captured on their phones, we knew we needed to be meticulous with our description so that the shots would fit our tight brief.

Luckily as the planning for this film commenced, the lockdown restrictions lifted enough so that we were able to send a pro-cameraman to the houses of many of the key presenters, meaning some visuals and audio were captured professionally. As ever though, the storyboards were absolutely key in the process, even just to explain to the camera crew what we were trying to achieve.

Throughout the editing process we constantly worked with the client, going back and forth with different versions multiple times a day. This was key, as with an edit like this, you commit a shot to a certain sound in the song, the sound might be perfect for that song, but the presenter may have been featured too frequently for all manner of other reasons. So having an open and ongoing dialogue with our client meant we never built huge sections of songs with shots we could actually use. This illustrated how incredibly important clear and open communication was.

The final product includes some high energy, interesting and diverse shots from the ‘Times Radio’ presenters, cut to the rhythm of their  jingle, and some selected sounds, such as the electric toothbrush and razor, pitch shifted to sound similar to the melody.