Brinkmann Constructors Safety Video – Part Three – The Final Product

Worker safety throughout a job site is paramount at Brinkmann Constructors. This new safety video delivers that message in a compelling way.

Worker safety throughout a job site is paramount at Brinkmann Constructors. This new safety video delivers that message in a compelling way.

Safety is the responsibility of every worker on every job site at Brinkmann Constructors.

These days, workers are getting that message loud and clear thanks to a new safety video that’s shown at the beginning of every safety orientation meeting when a new building project gets underway.

The video, titled, “I Could Have Saved A Life That Day” is the result of a true partnership between Brinkmann Constructors and the production team they hired to create the video that consisted of Pickett Productions, (which is now known as CG Studios) Mike Martin Media and BloodLInes Creative.

There were two, full, on-location shoot days, two green screen shoots at Mike Martin Media and another shoot held at a funeral parlor in south St. Louis. The plan was for Mike Martin Media to go through the more than three hours of footage and assemble the rough cut.

From there, Carl Braun, who is the Creative Director at CG Studios, began working his computer graphics and editing magic, doing a lot of color correcting, and adding graphics throughout the video to enhance or emphasize key points.

Graphics depicting Hazardous Materials grab attention and help tell one aspect of the safety story.

Graphics depicting Hazardous Materials grab attention and help tell one aspect of the safety story.

The proper angle to set a ladder is re-enforced via these graphics.

The proper angle to set a ladder is re-enforced via these graphics.

Carl and I have been working together on projects for more than 15 years. So there was a real comfort level as we worked as one to try and plus the rough cut that Mike Martin Media had sent us.

The graphics Carl used throughout gave a contemporary feel to the overall video and were also in line with Brinkmann Constructors’ new brand guidelines, which were recently developed by TOKY.

Brian Satterthwaite, President of Brinkmann Constructors delivers the closing message of the video with graphics representing the new corporate branding.

Brian Satterthwaite, President of Brinkmann Constructors delivers the closing message of the video with graphics representing the new corporate branding.

We also worked hard to enhance the most dramatic part of the video – the plunge of a worker who wasn’t tied off, resulting in a fall off the second floor of a building under construction. The end result was quite convincing.

Not being tied off when you're working above ground can have fatal consequences.

Not being tied off when you’re working above ground can have fatal consequences. This was one of several quick cuts used to help make that point.

According to Tim Myatt, Safety Coordinator at Brinkmann Constructors, the entire video does exactly what we all wanted it to do – it tells a very convincing story of the need for safety at every job site.

“When we first showed the video at an internal presentation, I looked around the audience to see what the engagement level was,” said Myatt. “The whole audience was dialed in.”

“Now, every time we do a safety orientation, I know we’re going to grab attention and deliver our safety story in a way that will be seen, noted and acted upon. Workers are getting the message, loud and clear,” said Myatt.

The second poem that is read in the video is called, “I Know I Saved A Life That Day.” The last scene in the video is of the worker who stepped up and made a difference by telling another worker he wasn’t tied off while he was working on the second floor. The video ends with that worker watching as the man climbs into his pickup, ready to go home for the day.

The man responsible for saving his fellow worker from a potential fall thinks about the impact he made by standing up and stepping in.

The man responsible for saving his fellow worker from a potential fall thinks about the impact he made by standing up and stepping in.

Thanks to this video, that could be the end result, many times over.

This is the third of three blogs regarding this project for Brinkmann Constructors. BloodLines Creative works in partnership with a variety of creative resources. If you’re looking to tell a story via video, or have any other marketing communications needs, we can assemble the team ideally suited to get the job done – on time, on budget and with big idea thinking delivered in an impactful way.

Brinkmann Constructors Safety Video – Part Two – The Shoot

When Brinkmann Constructors hired our team to write, shoot and produce a safety video that would be unlike any other safety video, we knew there would be a lot of challenges along the way.

For starters, there was a lot of information that had to be delivered – and delivered in an attention-getting, impactful way. But there was a lot more to it than that. This video was designed to tell a powerful story.

It’s the first video I’ve been involved in where we actually staged a death – and we needed to pull that off in a believable way.

A construction worker was going to die – all because another worker could have stepped in and said something – but failed to do so. As a result of one worker’s inaction – another fellow worker would fall to his death. Chaos would ensue. There would be a funeral to attend.

And it was all totally preventable – a point that is easily demonstrated in the second half of the video where we see the worker step in and do something about a potentially dangerous situation.

We had the makings of a powerful story, directly tied to two different poems that we would see unfold, line by line to make a powerful lasting impression on the construction workers who would view this video as part of their overall Brinkmann Constructors safety orientation before any project work ever began.

Long before the shoot days ever arrived, we needed to narrow down the script that I had written – my first draft was 19 pages long and timed out to about a 23-minute video. That was a little too much. So working with Tim Myatt, Safety Director at Brinkmann as well as Miranda Hill, Preconstruction Coordinator, we eventually got the script down to a manageable 14 pages which we figured would end up being about 18-20 minutes long.

Still, that’s a long video – and we had a lot going on throughout. OSHA requirements, worker’s rights, hazardous material recognitions, individual worker responsibilities, safety gear and specific, on-site safety precautions all needed to be covered.

Once the script had been finalized, Mike Martin and Michelle Anselmo of Mike Martin Media developed a shot list. We proposed two days of shooting on location at two different sites, a shoot inside and outside of a funeral home and two different shoots at their production facility to capture some green screen footage featuring safety gear along with capturing a closing message delivered by Brian Satterthwaite, President of Brinkmann Constructors.

I didn’t know if two days would be enough for the on-site footage. But I also had never seen Mike and his talented crew in action before. They were the very definition of a run and gun offense. There were two cameras in use throughout, one to capture the principal action, the other for B-roll footage and to provide another angle for key scenes.

Day One was slated to capture all of the dialogue of the safety coordinator who is the central character delivering the Brinkmann safety story. We shot on-site at an actual Brinkmann Construction project – all during a normal construction day. That in itself took a great deal of coordinating on behalf of Tim and Miranda.

Matt Deichmann, the actor we had chosen to play the Safety Coordinator, was a natural. Reading from a teleprompter isn’t always easy – but he pulled off the dialogue like he’d been doing safety orientation overviews his entire career. When the 10-hour shoot day wrapped, I was amazed. We had pulled it all off without a hitch.

Matt Deichmann was very convincing in his role as Brinkmann Constructors' Safety Coordinator.

Matt Deichmann was very convincing in his role as Brinkmann Constructors’ Safety Coordinator.

The second on-location day was at a different site and though there wasn’t as much to shoot, the challenges were perhaps more daunting. We needed to coordinate the arrival of fire trucks and ambulances. We needed to realistically stage a fall from a second story ledge into a collection bin below. And we needed to stage essentially the exact same situation, only this time, the danger would be averted. There was B-roll footage to grab as well.

Staging the actual fall involved some creativity and Mike and his crew were up to the task. They shot the scene from below. And they shot the scene from behind the worker, looking out over the second floor. Some tight close ups of the worker’s construction boot slipping and the camera almost dropping down into the storage bin below all eventually showed up in the final edit.

Several shots in sequence helped convey the potential fatal consequences of not being tied down when working anywhere near an opening on a construction site that's on a second story or higher.

Several shots in sequence helped convey the potential fatal consequences of not being tied down when working anywhere near an opening on a construction site that’s on a second story or higher.

Having an ambulance and fire truck arrive on the scene helped create an air of authenticity.

The Chesterfield Fire Department provided a fire truck and an ambulance to help make a more convincing scene showing the aftermath of a fatal fall at a construction site.

The Chesterfield Fire Department provided a fire truck and an ambulance to help make a more convincing scene showing the aftermath of a fatal fall at a construction site – a key element to the safety video.

Ultimately, there was more than three hours worth of footage from the two job site days. The afternoon spent at the funeral parlor, staging a funeral with visitors and family members and the worker who could have saved a life that day also went off without a hitch.

Ted Quinn portrayed the superintendent who failed to take action and had to deal with the pain of attending a fellow worker's funeral.

Ted Quinn portrayed the superintendent who failed to take action and had to deal with the pain of attending a fellow worker’s funeral.

Finally, there were the two shoots at Mike Martin Studios. The green screen was the perfect backdrop to the graphics we later created, helping tie-in to the new brand look being launched for Brinkmann Constructors.

Overall, we had everything we needed to make a great video. And it wouldn’t have happened without total cooperation from everyone involved – from the production team, to the city of Chesterfield, to the paid actors, right on down to all the extra Brinkmann workers and even family members who volunteered to be a part of the production.

Teamwork works.

This is the second of three blogs regarding this project for Brinkmann Constructors. BloodLines Creative works in partnership with a variety of creative resources. If you’re looking to tell a story via video, or have any other marketing communications needs, we can assemble the team ideally suited to get the job done – on time, on budget and with big idea thinking delivered in an impactful way.

Brinkmann Constructors Safety Video – Part One – The Assignment

The Brinkmann Constructors' safety video tells the powerful story of taking action versus standing by when it comes to safety.

Brinkmann Constructors’ safety video tells the powerful story of taking action versus standing by when it comes to safety.

Brinkmann Constructors was in need of a new safety video.

Safety is a key component of everything that Brinkmann Constructors does. This employee-owned construction company, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Kansas City and Denver knows how important safety is every day, at every job site, with every worker – especially since many of those workers are contracted. So with every new project, there’s the potential to have a whole new crew of workers – and it’s vitally important to assure that these workers know all of the safety measures that need to be taken to assure each one of them goes home at night.

So they wanted a safety video that wasn’t your normal safety video – one that told a powerful story and that wouldn’t be ignored two minutes into the overview.

Like many projects that I work on, it was a true collaborative effort. In this case, I was called in by Jeff Fuelling, president of Pickett Productions (In the past year, Pickett was bought and is now known as CG Studios.) Jeff was the project lead and had also brought in Mike Martin and Michelle Anselmo of Mike Martin Media as part of the team.

I would be the copywriter/Creative Director on the project, Pickett Productions would supply the graphics and post production and Mike Martin Media would handle the shooting, casting, voiceover recording and the initial edit.

At our first meeting, we met with Tim Myatt, Safety Director at Brinkmann along with Miranda Hill, Preconstruction Coordinator and Ted Hoog, Brinkmann’s Vice President of Operations. They provided an overview of the Brinkmann safety process and emphasized the need to do something different with this video that would keep the viewer engaged from start to finish.

One of the items Tim mentioned were two related poems that he would read at the beginning of each safety orientation overview and at the end. The first was titled, “I could have saved a life that day”. The second was, “I know I saved a life that day”.

The poems deliver the exact same scenario at a construction site – the only difference being the actions taken by a construction worker. Rather than stand idly by when they see something going on that they believe is not quite right, they take action. And by taking action, they help prevent what could have been a life-altering accident.

Tim mentioned that everyone always seemed to pay attention during those parts of the presentation. The meeting wrapped, and we had our assignment. Create a video that would grab and hold the viewer’s attention from start to finish.

We were bidding against two or three other production companies. All had essentially been given the same download. Our task was to deliver a concept that would win us the job.

The creative process began. I researched other safety videos. I researched safety statistics regarding the construction industry. Initially, I had about five approaches that I then narrowed down to three. One followed a worker from the start of his day through the end, telling the safety story from a first-hand experience while still delivering all the key info that had to be covered. The second approach was very graphics driven, with key facts and statistics being emphasized as well as a range of different workers shot in off-site situations providing their particular reasons why they work safe each day – because there’s a lot of ball games still to see, graduations to attend, meals to enjoy, etc.

We were fairly confident going in that the third approach would be the winner. The idea was simple. Take the two poems, and deliver them throughout the video, interspersed with key safety facts and figures. The viewer wouldn’t just be read the poem, they would see the poem brought to life – seeing the fatal consequences of not acting and the positive consequences of taking action.

Our production team worked out some budget parameters and developed a rough timeline. We made our presentation.

A few days later we received the news. “I could have saved a life that day” was a go.

Then the real work began.

This is the first of three blogs regarding this project. BloodLines Creative works in partnership with a variety of creative resources. If you’re looking to tell a story via video, or have any other marketing communications needs, we can assemble the team ideally suited to get the job done – on time, on budget and with big idea thinking delivered in an impactful way.

I Could Have Saved A Life That Day was written by Don Merrell
I Know I Saved A Life That Day was written by Jim Morgan

 

 

A return to broadcast advertising

Early in my career, about 60% of the work I created was broadcast advertising.

At Kenrick Advertising, we were always working on some new TV commercial or radio spot. Budgets were solid and radio and TV were by far the best way to make an impact on an audience.

Oh, those were the days. The older I’ve gotten, the less broadcast I’ve had the chance to work on and when you have your own company and you’re dedicated principally to serving the communications needs of smaller clientele, broadcast advertising generally just isn’t in the picture.

That’s okay. I have always loved the creative process and whether I’m working on a new website, or blogging for a client or creating a small space digital ad, there’s still the challenge to creatively solve a problem, tell a story and hopefully, make an impression that ultimately leads to more business for your client.

But when the chance to work on some broadcast concepts comes along, I’m all in.

Such has been the case with a recent round of work where I’m partnering with an agency to develop a new TV, radio and ultimately an online campaign for a new product.

Unfortunately, at this time, that’s as much info as I can reveal. But it’s been a blast and a true partnership where everyone involved has added to the core concepts. And when we presented to the client, the client had their own significant contributions which will plus the work in the long run.

We’re still in the developmental stages but it has been a very welcome blast from my past. And I can’t wait to see these concepts turned into reality.

If your business, service or organization could benefit from some big idea thinking, we should talk. Because I guarantee, I can help.