Zachary Hertzman

MTCU: Rebranding the Skilled Trades

A visual treatment by Zachary Hertzman & Amos LeBlanc

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Amos’s father is a carpenter and building framer. From the age of sixteen to eighteen he built homes with his father and brother. Le Blanc framing was their life and family business. He remembers arriving at a job site which was quite literally a hole in the ground, a blank canvas to build on.

After four weeks of work the three of them would stand on the street and marvel at an entire house, complete and whole. That feeling of satisfaction - looking at a now massive structure in place of the empty plot land was a special feeling that will always remain close.

Tradespeople across Ontario share this feeling. For his family it was a new house, for others it’s a wooden boat, a perfect weld, a handcrafted leather saddle. This satisfying feeling, this sense of accomplishment and purpose is what trade jobs offer. An adventurous life - deep, rich, full of inventiveness, independence and creativity.

Let’s shift the discourse by telling the story of the true love of making tradespeople experience each and every day. We’ll elevate their representation in the cultural landscape by portraying them in a way usually reserved for artists, musicians, and academics. We’ll bring outsiders into a facet of the world they wouldn’t usually see, and open their eyes to how things really are.

Let’s reframe the trades and share the love of making with everyone.




Hero Video

We hear music in the background. A cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis is playing. The song evokes a sense of shared cultural nostalgia and weight, already stirring memories and feelings before we even see the first shot.

We’ll work hard to find and cast four to five people with true passion about their work and unique stories to tell. Each with a variety of age, gender, background, and ethnicity.

These aren’t people doing a job; they’re people living and breathing their art each and every day. Manifesting their passions and releasing them into the world in physical form.

We’ll follow their struggle, their hard work. What it takes to truly do what they do. We’ll see how much practice and perseverance it takes to reach their level of mastery. We’ll see joy, we’ll see mistakes. False starts, misfires, early mornings and late nights. And through all the grit we’ll see passion cut through. What looks like hard work, to them, doesn’t feel like work at all - because they’re doing what they love. They’re in the exact place they want to be.

We’ll contrast different trades - indoor and outdoor, large and small, pristine and gritty - intercutting between them all so each shot is unexpected and surprising. Flowing harmoniously in a staccato rhythm. The pacing will be fast and fun, full of energy and moments of delight contrasting the timeless lyrics and music in the background.

After the buildup we’ll revisit each story arc and see the heroes with their finished work, the manifestation of their creativity, their inspiration fulfilled. We’ll pair these climactic moments with subtle in-situ VFX. The finished work animated and in motion, interacting with the environment in a surreal and almost mystical way. As if they’re living breathing things rather than simple objects.

This moment will hit the emotional core, that innate gut feeling that this feels right. That this is where we want to be. That makes us want to run out the door and start something. To build something. To feel inspired. To dream.

At the crowning moment after as we cut between our heroes we hear a VO:

“Love making? Then find the trade that’s made for you”

SUPER: Love making.



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Editorial Videos & Interviews

The editorial videos and interviews will allow us to dive deeper into each story arc we explored in the hero video - focusing on the concept that when you do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.

We’ll spend as much time as possible with each person, getting to know them, and intimately following their daily routine and work.

The interviews will dive deep, going beyond the surface of the individual tradespeople and exploring what inspires, motivates and drives them. We’ll ask questions and prompts typically reserved for interviewing artists, musicians, and cultural figures - questions most wouldn’t consider asking someone in the trades.

The visual portraits will be raw, real, true, and honest - the flaws and strengths equally contrasting and painting an inspiring and beautiful picture. One that the viewer will want to run out the door and chase after.

The visual language will follow and match up with that of the hero video, so each part of the series flows as a facet of the whole.

The fifteen and six second cut-downs will likewise stem from these cuts in a similar manner, playing like fantastic cinematic trailers for the longer pieces and condensing the concepts and ideas into short climactic gems.






Camera & Light

The look for this will be imaginative, genuine, and honest.

We’ll use prime lenses wide open for a natural and crisp look with fantastic background texture and filmic colour tones.

We’ll shoot with a combination of the camera on a shoulder mount / handheld for a documentary feel that will make the footage feel candid and alive, as well as make use of fast and clean steadicam tracking shots for smooth energy and movement.

For lighting, we’ll embrace the natural light on our shoot days and shape it with scrims, reflectors, and use minimal fill light as necessary. This will allow us to spend more time shooting, and less time on setting up.

This will also make our non-actor subjects feel more at ease - documenting them in their spaces the way they actually are rather than under the glare of powerful and intimidating studio lights.



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Production Design & Styling

Let’s treat our locations as if they’re another character in the videos - one that we can use to help tell our stories. Atmospheric detail shots of the locations and backgrounds will subconsciously reveal much about the protagonists and set the tone for each story arc.

The locations we choose should be beautiful spacious workspaces and outdoor sites, showing the inspiring places the trades can take us.

We’ll stay true to the personal style of our tradespeople and use their own furniture and clothing, but choose and style everything so it looks perfect on camera.



When working with non-actors, it’s important to keep the production as intimate and non-invasive as possible. The smaller our footprint, the more comfortable and at-ease our subjects will feel in front of the camera, giving us stronger footage and interviews.

We’ll do our best at each location to make sure we only have the most necessary people on set at a given moment. Keeping the crew nimble will also help us get the most we can out of our shoot days, and enable us to capture our tradespeople as they really are in their natural environment.

We’ll also make sure to have our editor on set with us so they can see what we’re capturing and make notes as we go. They’ll also have a more personal connection to the people we’re shooting and will know their personalities, their movements and expressions. This will make the post-production process much faster, as they’ll already have moments picked out and ready to go rather than starting from scratch.





We’ll use VFX to help highlight climactic points of the story arcs - the moments when our protagonists step back and see their finished work. Each shot will be different depending on the location and individual trade.

The effects will look natural and in-situ, like it’s a true part of their world rather than something existing on top. Enhancing the feeling of the shot, but not overpowering the cinematography.

Rather than work with a post house for VFX and graphics, we’d like to bring on one of our collaborators, Jordan Clarke. Having him on board will help bring pre-visualization of any effects into the pre-production process, and allows us to work on the designs before we shoot. We’ll also have him on set to supervise the VFX shots.




Sound Design & Music

Sound design will be incredibly important to help convey the tactile experiences of the tradespeople. The resonance of sandpaper on wood, the deep rumble of a huge engine, the sound of pencil sketching on thick paper, the sparking of a welder - all will be layered together to create a rich auditory experience enhancing and enriching the visual shots.

We’ll record ambient sound on set, as well as use post production sound effects to create a rich audio landscape.

These videos will also be heavily driven and inspired by the backing cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The song will set the tone and pacing for the piece, and help draw the viewer into the world we’re creating.

As it’s such a key part of the videos, we’d love to be involved in the recording process so we can make sure it flows with the overall vision for the project.



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Thank you

Zachary & Amos