“Every corporate video is different,” says Rob O’Farrell, Co Managing Director of Clean Cut Media. “But this was the first time we’ve produced a 3 minute film involving a light plane, a skyscraper and a moon landing capsule.”

We filmed these three very different elements for a new corporate video for Aon Benfield, the world’s leading reinsurance intermediary that has more than 80 offices in 50 countries.

Clean Cut Media has worked with the company since 2012, creating a number of corporate videos, including filming on location in Monte Carlo and producing a series of short 1.5 minute films to promote Aon Benfield’s products.

“We’ve established a really good working relationship with the guys at Clean Cut Media while working on a host of different projects,” says Alexandra Lewis, International Head of Marketing & Communications at Aon Benfield. “We knew they would be able to transform our brief into a slick and inspiring film to be viewed by colleagues and clients alike.”

Lavish production values on a budget

The brief was to produce a short 3 minute film to bring to life the ‘innovation’ aspect of the Aon Client Promise. The film would follow three employees and showcase how they embody the spirit of innovation in their everyday lives. Our client wanted the highest quality production values possible within the budget, to create a lavish, glossy, filmic look.

During a brainstorm with the client, we came up with ideas about how to get the innovation message across and really engage with viewers. The project involved three days’ filming and it took us two weeks from receiving the brief to delivering the final product. Here’s what we did and how we did it.

Take a flying lesson, take a risk

The video opens with footage of Adam, a keen amateur flyer who heads up the Impact Forecasting team at Aon Benfield. As he talks about the importance of taking risks to innovate for clients, we see him looping the loop in a bright orange two-seat sport monoplane over White Waltham airfield in Berkshire.

“Adam’s lesson only lasted for an hour, so we had a pretty short timeframe to film this section,” says Rob. “We dealt with this by planning out all the shots beforehand on a storyboard. On the day, we brought along a powerful telephoto lens that allowed us to get great shots of the plane as it was flying. And of course we made sure the onboard cameras were firmly attached so we didn’t infringe Health & Safety regulations.”

Fresh thinking in the Cheesegrater

Next we see Nicola, who recently joined the School Leavers’ programme at Aon Benfield. She describes how the Claims team focuses on fresh ideas and innovative solutions for clients.

We filmed Nicola against the backdrop of Aon’s offices at 122 Leadenhall in the City of London. Popularly known as the Cheesegrater, this skyscraper has become one of London’s newest landmarks. The building itself represents innovative thinking, as its distinctive shape was dictated by the need to preserve the view of St Paul’s Cathedral across London.

“This shoot involved a lot of movement, as we followed Nicola through the building,” adds Rob. “To capture this effectively, we used two cameras: one handheld camera with a gimbal system that acts like a steadicam, and the other on a slider to produce smooth tracking shots.”

Catching an early morning spacecraft

In the final section, Andrew, MD of Aon Benfield’s ReSolutions team, explores the Science Museum in London and talks about why innovation is the engine of evolution. We see him looking at iconic objects in the Energy, Aviation and Space rooms, including a replica of the Apollo II lunar excursion module that landed on the moon in 1969.

Once again, the Clean Cut Media team had to find creative ways around certain restrictions.

“We had a two-hour filming slot from 7.30-9.30am before the museum opened to the public, so there was no time to waste,” explains Rob. “We were outside the Science Museum at 6am rigged and ready to go. And as there wasn’t time to light every room, we used a camera that adapted well to indoor lighting.”

Post-production wizardry

Once the shoot was over, we applied some magic in the edit suite to give the video the rich, filmic look that our client wanted. We also ‘tracked’ inspirational elements of the voiceover text so it appears to run up the side of a building or along the wing of a plane. This reinforced the central message of innovation in a subtle, understated way.

The final result

“These videos have been touted as some of the best we have created at Aon.”

“The series of films was launched by our CEO and achieved over 600 hits in the first 24 hours.  These videos have been touted as some of the best we have created at Aon and have generated a buzz around the firm – plus celebrity status for the stars! All this was made possible due to the impressively detailed and professional approach from Clean Cut throughout the process. The team’s ability to then create 90 seconds of inspiration enables us to really engage with our colleagues and clients through material that helps to set us apart as a dynamic firm,” says Alexandra Lewis, International Head of Marketing & Communications at Aon Benfield.

And how can we help you?

If you need help with how to produce a corporate video, please get in touch. Whatever the budget, whatever the project, we’d love to hear from you. Call us on 020 8973 0958 or email us at production@cleancutmedia.co.uk.