In late August, the film fam stepped outside of our comfort zone and created a thirty second commercial for the School District #73. With the new school year approaching, it was important to start reminding drivers to be aware and to brake for buses. Covering the Thompson Nicola Regional District and airing across British Columbia on local television stations, we are really happy with how this finished product came to be.

This shoot was a challenge for us as we worked with twelve school aged children on a hot day in a rather remote area. We had to obtain permits to restrict access to a frequently used highway and work with a third party traffic control team to monitor the roadway. Another obstacle which seems to be a recurring problem for us, is the weather and the amount of smoke in the summer air. Luckily, somehow – I don’t know how – but the weeks of heavy smoke lifted for this shoot and it was a safe, manageable environment to breathe in. So awesome. 

Here’s what the team had to say about our experiences with this project:

“The Brake for Buses video shoot was a great exercise in working as a unit. My role was primarily to ensure traffic was closed off for safety and to relay communications to our traffic control crew. We only had a max of 10 minutes each time we closed the roads off to do any shooting so it was important to make sure that everybody knew what they were going to do ahead of time. Josef and Liam had a very detailed storyboard and shot list which made this process go smoothly and was absolutely necessary to for the shoot not only on the editing side of things, but in also keeping us on track with our tight schedule.”
– Neil, Graphic Designer/Jack Of All Trades

“The Brake for Buses shoot was a great example of pre-planning and execution. I couldn’t be more proud of how our team performed on the day (and the weeks leading up to it… Thanks Hope!) From wrangling a bus load of kids around, to traffic management, to getting every shot we had planned it went as smooth as one could hope. Being able to trade off filming with Joe definitely made the process a lot easier as one of us would direct the shot while the other setup camera and vice versa. Very lucky to be working with a team that has open communication and enthusiasm for what we do, makes it very worth while!”
– Liam, Cinematographer/Editor

“Aside from working with a busload of children, the biggest challenge was filming on a road. Although we had traffic control blocking oncoming vehicles, they could only hold traffic for 10 minutes at a time. For many of our setups, we had to take 10 minutes to set up cameras, children, and the bus just to block out the scene, then take everything down to let traffic pass, and finally set everything back up to film the scene. This took LOTS of communication, timing, and precision, and we nailed it. It has been one of my favourite experiences at Joy Factory so far.”
– Josef, Cinematographer/Editor

Overall, this commercial was a great exercise for us to work as a team. For me, there was one pretty cool moment… where all four of us were on a ladder lifting up a Ronin, capturing the perfect shot of the two children running up the driveway. (See commercial for reference!) I loved seeing the sound design and Josef’s crazy talented VFX techniques come alive with this project. It was a very neat feeling to see a project that we all exerted SO MUCH effort into turn out the way we envisioned.

Check out the video below, and don’t forget to #brake4buses!