Twilio, or “How to Make a One-Shot”

Simplicity is Harder Than You Think

We recently had the awesome opportunity to work on a complicated, yet elegant video that unveiled Twilio Cloud Communications’ new partnership with Google.

A photo of the Director at work.
A photo of the Director at work.

The goal was to create a spot that shows how simple it is to get set up with their new system. Setup involves literally unboxing your Chromebook, opening the laptop, putting a bluetooth headset in, and bang-o Bob’s your uncle, you can get on workin’. Well, at least that’s how we pitched the idea, I think.

Anyway, we worked with the Twilio team to come up with this idea of a single dolly shot in which we see all this simple action unfold in real-time. Creating something that looks so effortless actually takes a lot of planning and choreography.

In this little video we put together, you can see a taste of our process from tops to tails. We created an animatic from our storyboards (created by Ian Chase), then we built our set — a contact center — at the Twilio offices. You can see behind-the-scenes video of us running the down almost 100 feet of track as we curve and swerve to keep up with our call center agent (played by Cort Bevins).

At the bottom, you can see our before-and-after final shot. The bottom left is the original footage, and the bottom right has color correction and a little bit of stabilization to keep our focus on the product.

Director of Photography Jesse Dana framing the ending position of the dolly shot.
Director of Photography Jesse Dana framing the ending position of the dolly shot.

We talked to our Director of Photography, Jesse Dana, about creating a visual style that felt intentionally focused on the technology and the product, and let the people take second stage, but you know, in a good way. Our goal overall was to make something that felt stylistically innovative.

From there, we layered in our sound design: foley, music, and voiceover. The final result is something that hopefully seems completely effortless to bring in a new era of fantastic call center technology. Oh, and peep the little logo animation we created at the end. Yum.