Bold content for wildlife conservation | FROM THE FIELD E03

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is a wildlife conservation charity with a bold vision: a world where nature is protected, valued and loved.

    2030 Strategy Social Trailer:

    RZSS are best known for their two main properties, Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. The FoSho team have already worked with RZSS to launch  Dinosaurs! at Edinburgh Zoo, so we were excited to get our teeth stuck into another project.

    RZSS came to us with a few challenges:

    • They wanted to look back and create an inspiring visual representation of their year in review – we well as look to the future with their new pledge – to reverse the decline of at least 50 species by 2030
    • There was a desire to strengthen the RZSS brand, distinct from the already established brands of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park
    • And all of this needed to be communicated through their 2022 Annual General Meeting, a hybrid event which takes place both in person and online

    Behind the scenes with the FoSho Crew

    Here at FoSho STUDIOS, we like a challenge. And we love clients with an inspiring mission to communicate.

    We needed content to convey the RZSS aims clearly and professionally – but also to elicit a sense of pride among members. Emotionally connecting with the audience was key. And because the content would run both in person and online – it was essential to grab attention quickly – and keep it.

    With a tight project turnaround, there was no time to waste. We needed to capture a wide variety of footage and time this for the weather, animals and the park as a whole, as well as sourcing historic and global footage to integrate into the films.

    We had two filming days at Edinburgh Zoo and two days at Highland Wildlife Park with a crew of 3: a self-shooting director, a producer and a sound operator/production assistant.

    They say you should never work with children or animals – but with this project we did both 🙂 We wanted to authentically capture the experience at the zoos, as well as the depth and breadth of RZSS research and conservation.

    We chose a Sony FX6 Cinema Camera as our weapon of choice, allowing us to record at high frame rates (slow motion) to capture the animals’ movement in their dense enclosures. We chose a mixture of prime lenses for that buttery bokeh and some extremely long focal lengths to seamlessly film through obstacles like fences and plexiglass. Much of our content in the nature reserve was captured from the safety of the back of a pick-up truck, pulling over quietly to not disturb the animals in their natural habitats. We also used non-intrusive drone filming to capture sweeping setup shots and show the true scale of RZSS.

    Letting the content loose into the world…

    As a conservation charity, RZSS film their annual review instead of issuing a print copy to reduce unnecessary paper waste – but this was their first year engaging content experts.

    We produced a suite of high-quality content for RZSS:

    • 10 min RZSS ‘Year in Review’ video + 1 min pre-roll. This covered the year that was – a whistle-stop tour of 2021 to elicit a sense of pride among members and close off a challenging but successful year
    • 4 min video communicating the RZSS strategy + 1 min social trailer. This laid out the path forward – to inspire members and depict the bold strides that RZSS will take in the next 10 years
    • 1 perfect pre-roll loop. Informative and entertaining pre-event content to engage the online audience as they waited for the event to start

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the project and all of the content we created please check out the the full RZSS Strategy 2030 project
    By working with FoSho STUDIOS, conservation charity RZSS were able to bring their ambitious strategy to life and make sure it landed with impact. RZSS also now have a suite of professional content on file to enrich their website and social media, plus a bank of footage and imagery that we can leverage for future projects.

    What we learned for next time

    Every time we work with a client, we learn something new. This RZSS project reminded us to never underestimate the edit. With hundreds of clips captured and a very tight turnaround time, we worked day and night to pull the best version of the strategy content together. Pre-production is key to a smooth and successful shoot, particularly one with many locations and tight scheduling.

    Adding VO can also sometimes be challenging so here are our tips for a successful voiceover session:

      • Audience first – make sure the VO artist is really clear on who the content is designed for
      • Provide all materials before the session, ideally a rough cut if possible so the VO artist can envision the look, style, tone and pacing of the film
      • Give specific, constructive feedback – and avoid too many voices in terms of feedback, a director and client should be enough
      • And remember to have fun, it really takes the edge off

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