With the best will in the world, when a global pandemic strikes, even the most well established systems need to be adjusted. Put simply, when social-distancing and shielding rules come into play, access to film the ‘talent’ is going to be tricky.

Understandably, this kind of barrier would bring most projects to a halt – however, when working to a tight deadline, it’s the job of your production company to find a solution.

We were already a couple of weeks into pre-production; the script had been agreed, locations found and the ‘talent’ (in this case, Doris – an 80-year-old lady) was in place.

Time for plan B

The great thing about animation is that production can take place anywhere in the world. As there is no location shooting, actors or presenters required, production isn’t affected by ‘social distancing’. Another advantage is that there are no limitations of the built environment. No external variables come into play; poor weather conditions, ambient noise or challenging traffic to compromise quality.

The project in question was a promotional video for a domiciliary care agency. Castle Home Care Services provide domestic and personal care for service users inside their homes. When Covid struck, the decision was made to change the format from location-shot video to animation. No problem.

The treatment had already been agreed: following the story of two characters – the carer and her patient. The audience would learn of their bond; an emotional connection formed through many years of service provision. Castle Home Care are a proud provider of care services – and Doris was an actual ‘client’ not an actress.

Converting Doris into an animated character posed no problem. We would simply create her. Her environment would also be designed and built, along with the Castle Home Care carer (and her house, car and family…) Now we could control the weather, the light, the emotions, gestures and location!

By bringing control of all aspects into production, we successfully created an animation which effectively communicates the bond between Doris and her carer. As the story builds, we understand how Doris relishes visits from her carer; it’s the part of her day she most looks forward to.

No doubt, had this project been delivered as ‘traditional’ video, it would have still looked amazing. However, in this situation, we were able to adapt the production format and still deliver against our brief. The animation now lives online, will be used within presentations & digital marketing campaigns and surpasses the marketing objectives Castle Home Care services requested. Our client was over the moon – and we’re also really happy with the outcome.

The moral of the story is to surround yourself with an experienced team, so that when forced to deviate from the initial path chosen, you’re able to adapt – and most importantly, your production stays on track.