Brief

There’s a skilled trade shortage that’s only expected to grow - but it’s not a shortage of demand, it’s a narrowing of perspective.

People see the trades as lower skilled, even dangerous jobs. Less valued than other work and without a long term career path.

But the trades are important. Tradespeople are highly skilled artists, entrepreneurs, risk takers, those who carve their own path. They’re the foundation upon which everything is built. They’re people choosing 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.

 
 
 
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Hero Video

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

We open on a young welder only a few years on the job igniting a torch, the flame and sparks brightening up a dark room like fireworks as she fuses two pieces of metal into one. She lifts up her mask and we see her expression as she inspects the weld. Her face smudged and gritty, but her eyes warm and bright.

An older goldsmith with a lifetime of experience pours molten metal, the colours shining bright as it flows into the shape of a ring. He holds it up to his face and we see the glint in his eye through the circle of still raw and unpolished gold.

A crane operator works at sunset, she walks towards the the giant piece of machinery framed on the horizon like a sleeping giant. We see a her from the top of the crane looking down, the scale and magnitude amplified by how small she looks beside the machine. We jump cut to a closeup of her face looking up, her scale suddenly amplified, her figure heroic. She walks inside and powers it up, and is immediately in her element. The giant device tamed and in total control. Her hands move fast, the machine like an extension of herself as she begins her work.

A boat builder shows his younger daughter how to properly sand and shape curved wooden planks on a tiny child-sized boat she’s building. In the background, we see the full sized boat he’s working on. They sand together, the dust catching rays of sunlight coming in from the window like magic. The daughter makes a mistake and her boat tumbles, her father comes over, smiles, and helps her set it right. We see the rays of light on their hands as they work together.

A barn door opens and we see a saddle maker silhouetted as the sun rises behind her, she takes a second to bask in the light, a serene moment of clarity. We jump cut to her approaching a bucking horse with a saddle, making adjustments to the harness, and then heaving it onto the horse. She soothes the animal, calming it before climbing on it’s back. The saddle - a perfect fit. She rides into the morning light.

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 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.

findyourtrade.ca

 
 
 
 
 
 
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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, 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 normally reserved for interviewing artists, musicians, 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Camera & Light

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

We’ll shoot with prime lenses wide open for a natural and crisp look with fantastic background texture and natural 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 way we can spend the more time shooting and less time setting up. This method 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.

We’ll also shoot some of the footage on 16mm cinema film to cut in for detail shots along with the digital footage. The raw texture and feel of film will help add a rich contrasting element to the videos and make them feel more warm, honest, and natural.

 
 
 

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.

We’ll stay true to the personal style of our tradespeople and use their own furniture and possessions, but have a set dresser on hand to make sure everything looks perfect on camera.

In the same light, we’ll have our tradespeople wearing their own clothing and accessories, but we’ll bring in a wardrobe stylist to pull and put together outfits we love from their own closets.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Crew

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.

 
 
 

VFX

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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.

Four musicians we’d recommend for this are Little Scream, Joseph of Mercury, Hannah Georgas, and Nyssa.

 
 
 
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Hannah Georgas is a Canadian pop/rock singer-songwriter, based in Toronto. She was nominated in the categories of "Best New Artist of the Year," "Best Alternative Album" and "Songwriter of the Year" at the Juno Awards. Her new album coming out this fall was produced by Aaron Dessner of The National.

 
 
 
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Joseph of Mercury, Toronto-based singer, songwriter, and producer creates stylish, brooding pop that merges austere electronic habitats with emotive pop crooning. He’s recently collaborated with Majid Jordan on "Something About You" and done vocal production on Blood Orange and Nelly Furtado's beautiful "Hadron Collider."

 
 
 
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Little Scream is the stage name of Montreal-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumental musician and artist Laurel Sprengelmeyer. Her musical style has been described as a blend of folk, pop and art rock. She is based in Montreal and has close ties to Arcade Fire, Feist, and The National.

 
 
 
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Nyssa is the producer and performer of her own sequin-encrusted beats, powerhouse vocals, and picaresque persona. Raised on the glitz and glam of yesteryear, Nyssa flips the script on masculinity in rock and roll. Nyssa is based in Toronto.