TRAVELLER DENIM / PROFILE APPROACH
We recently had the opportunity to create a profile for one of our favorite companies, Traveller Denim, and we just couldn’t pass it up. Their background and commitment to the unique design of their denim is a story we knew we wanted to tell. We saw their profile piece as a personal story that conveys the identity and handmade quality of the clothing, but it’s also a story about the people who create the clothing. It’s a story of two guys, Erik and Tony. They came from film sets and construction sites, with no fashion or textile experience, to design truly original clothing. We think the small batch mentality of the company, incredible machinery in the micro-factory, and beautiful craftsmanship in the products, help provide a visual structure for the piece. We believe this basic narrative, along with the creation of the clothing in their store and micro-factory, creates an intimate and specific view of the Traveller story.
TRAVELLER DENIM / STORY APPROACH
Story research began long before we shot any footage at the Traveller factory. This approach involved on-location interviews of Erik and Tony, asking questions about the Traveller process and backstory. We wanted to find the small details and quirks of what made the process and the people unique. When we see someone being measured in the store and then see their jeans created in the micro-factory, we want to be able to tell that journey in details: the machines, the small processes, and of course the beeswax. The naturalistic and conversational narration of the guys describing the process, as we see the attention to detail, distinct visuals and sounds of the machines in the factory, would be the bedrock for the Traveller profile.
TRAVELLER DENIM / VISUAL APPROACH
We scoured a lot of material with our cinematograph, Drew Xanthopoulos, to find the influences for the look of the video. It was a great opportunity to move away from the more traditional and possibly played-out looks of other maker-based pieces we’ve become all too familiar with. We wanted to avoid a hand-held, impromptu style and work for a more composed, formal look. This approach would involve more preparation and patience from the Traveller folks as we planned out dolly, boom, and light strategy. Thankfully they were game for whatever we wanted to do, and we feel like their engagement shows in the finished product. The idea of slow push-ins and tracking shots to add gravity, style and formality to the piece fit nicely with the theme of Traveller’s approach. Spending time researching in the Traveller space also helped influence our visual approach. The use of diffused, soft light sources helped convey the visual comfort found in the store and the micro-factory’s wide-open workspaces. The video’s look is inspired by the texture of the space, as well as the measured attention to detail shown in the clothing.
TRAVELLER DENIM / MUSIC & FINISH
Thanks to the incredible cinematography of Drew X, there wasn’t a lot of heavy lifting to do in the color-correction process. With the video’s look pretty much made in the camera, we created supporting graphics to fully outline the detailed history of the Traveller machines. The nuts and bolts of the manufacturing process sometimes gets overlooked, but we’re suckers for the history and function of these machines. We created motion-graphic elements that not only complimented the theme of the video, but also serviced the practical story with operation details of several machines at the Traveller micro-factory. The animation is also coupled with an approachable and hypnotic score from composer James Jones. We knew we needed to stay away from the tired “maker-video” music route we’ve all heard in the past….slide-guitar, mandolin and hand-claps (enough with the hand-claps). James provided a supportive score that was electronic, modern and playful.
TRAVELLER DENIM / THE TAKEAWAY
When it was all sewn up (sorry), we came away with a piece that we think is both personal and illuminating. Any good profile piece is just as much about the people behind the process…without forgetting that the process can also be a pleasure. We can’t thank all of the kind and giving folks at Traveller enough. They let us pry, snoop and question every step of their approach and were generous with their time and their experience. We owe just as much to our talented crew who braved wax-hungry bees and cold (for Austin) February mornings to craft a unique story about a great bunch of folks. Want your own pair? You can visit Traveller’s micro-factory or try on a pair at Revival Cycles. Now go get a great pair of jeans!
ABOUT REVELATOR: Revelator is a full service film & video production company in Austin, Texas. We like to write, produce, & edit projects for t.v. and the web. We specialize in brand films, corporate identity work, as well digital advertising and t.v. broadcast advertising. If you need help with your script, production, or just an idea, give us a call.