Farmer Stories

Client: BASF

Director:  Baldwin Li
DoP: Thomas McNaught

Armed with a skeleton crew of four, we travelled to Doncaster and spent two days with arable farmer Nigel, as well as his daughter and successor Eleanor.

With Christmas approaching, BASF asked us to capture some of the challenges farmers face in preparation for the winter months, and their innovative solutions to overcome the obstacles. Their goal was a one-minute video to be shared via social media, hoping to raise awareness of farmer's persistence to the biggest job on Earth. Above all, it was vital to them that the environment was not portrayed cinematically.

Baldwin's vision was to keep the camera moving at all times; giving the audience a feeling of being in the fields with the farmers. He decided to use natural light so that the environment would be represented realistically, and intertwine in-the-moment interviews with fly-on-the-wall b-roll.

Baldwin stressed the importance of sound for this shoot, as he wanted to ensure casual conversations between the father and daughter were recorded for use in the edit. To comply with this, our sound recordist affixed radio mics to the farmers, and kept recording for the entirety of both working days.

Over the two days, our A and B cameras captured the farmers performing their actual tasks so that the actions never appeared staged; this, combined with their casual conversation, would allow his edit to be as realistic as possible.

The techniques employed on the shoot resulted in an abundance of content, and saw us deliver a total of five films to BASF for scheduled release on their social platforms.

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