Maltesers: Isolation Life

How do you go about recording pristine audio in multiple locations under lockdown conditions? Kaspar and Jim show us the way...

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

With conventional film-shoots and face to face voice overs in studios becoming more difficult, our entire industry has been forced into a revolution of its own. We adapted to the voice-over challenge by delivering high quality recording setups to actors and directing them remotely. At the same time, nearly every social interaction shifted to Zoom’s grid view and virtual quizzes reign supreme.

Art and advertising reflect life as much as it shapes it; so soon we were asked to help out our friends at Outsider with a film for Maltesers directed by James Rouse. The spot features four actors having a catchup online to stem the tide of lockdown insanity.

We supplied microphones and laptops with remote support software pre-installed to each of the four actors, who were all in different locations across the country. All they had to do was unpack everything and we could dial-in and control the laptops for them. This allowed them to concentrate on acting. The whole production crew was on one Zoom call with the actors and kept themselves hidden and muted.

After a two-day shoot, we had pristine webcam footage and audio recorded from the source using USB microphones, as well as the video/audio from the Zoom call itself. We decided to use the Zoom audio as a base - for its recognisable degraded quality, and used the higher quality recordings to smooth over any unintelligible glitchy parts. The charm of the spots came directly from the performances, so keeping it authentic was key - the less bells and whistles... the better! It was good fun helping bring the project together - and it was all done with most of the crew and actors not leaving their front doors!

Kaspar and Jim