The Gate was asked to ‘Take Centre Stage’ and bring life to The Hut Group’s Winter creative campaign for

10 iconic brands, 10 beauty products and a list of 69 deliverables all for use in an amazing multi-platform social media campaign - something we’re being asked to create more and more frequently. Hello Instagram, Facebook and YouTube - bye bye TV! Never an afterthought, The Hut Group briefed us on the need to produce different formats from the start of the project. As a result, we were able to develop the cut down creatives and, most importantly, the shot list with classic landscape (16:9) classic portrait (9:16) and that pesky 4:5 aspect ratio in mind.


Break a leg - The great format challenge

As discussed in our recent blog on shooting for IGTV, Portrait and social media storytelling, we always sit down with clients before filming in order to establish and understand key considerations:

  1. Practical - how do we need to compose the shots?
  2. Organisational - do we need extra time to achieve these shots?
  3. Creative - how will additional elements like graphics work within each format?

Big on social already (check out the brand’s Insta feed), the lookfantastic team were a pleasure to work with, understanding the complexities of repurposing footage for use across their assorted channels.

Making content go further in a race against the clock 

The real challenge on this project was time, and lack of it! Our multi-platform social media campaign required content in various aspect ratios, but there was no time over the two shoot days to flip the camera on its side and cover filming in portrait as well as landscape. So we brought in the Arri Alexa to shoot at 4K, and made sure that the framing for each scene could be cropped.

This time-saving approach meant that we were able to capture all of the required content from the longform 70” film and repurpose for shorter 15” social versions. No additional work needed! Another element we needed to consider was subtitles - the lookfantastic social media campaign would be seen worldwide, and so translations of the graphic frames would need to fit within the frame and not cover or compromise the footage.


Lights, Camera, Action!

Let’s get this show on the road! Headed by producer Laura Harris, Team Gate spent a whirlwind two days taking over Manchester Opera House and treading the boards with director Chris Gaffey. 10 amazing performers and a pile of extras kept the production team on their toes. ‘Never work with children or animals’ they say… well, what about aerial acrobats and fire breathers? Thankfully, ours were very well behaved, but this was certainly not your basic risk assessment. A huge amount of glitter sparkled on beautiful costumes provided by The Costume Department and our backstage theatre set was crafted by the superb Paul Kondras and team. Makeup was expertly designed by Mandi Gaffey and her team of top MUAs to compliment and accentuate the benefits of the associated beauty products.


The Result? Ta Da!

A call to celebrate and empower women, encouraging them to be confident in their own beauty. A razzle-dazzling set of films for a multi-platform social media campaign which showcases some of the best-selling products from the lookfantastic range.

Social success - It's Showtime!

We used a mixture of compositions from the footage to create an impactful series of social versions for use across Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Split screen is a common technique for Instagram videos that we utilised for this project, allowing more content to be seen on screen within a shorter duration. We were able to keep shots of the story narrative and our characters, and position them next to the product packshots to align the cut downs with the longform version. Carefully selected cropped footage stands up to the 4:5 cropping ratio, thanks to the 4K resolution of the amazing Arri Alexa camera. Large text graphics punch over the footage for impactful messaging, and a ‘safety space’ at the bottom of frame were applied to all versions for subtitles so that the client could add translated content for a global audience.

Fashion  Insight