The creative calibre of healthcare advertising is high, with agency briefs are increasingly open – they are rarely clichéd and we more often than not get given the opportunity to do something evocative and eye-catching. Our work for Saatchi & Saatchi Health’s latest campaign for AstraZeneca, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, was no different.
Having handled the complete production on this project, nicknamed ‘Heart Hands’, TJ was in charge of everything from casting to final delivery. Our latest ‘Creative and Digital Media Apprentice’, Matthew Guthrie, was on set and takes readers behind the scenes for the creation of this campaign, used to promote AstraZeneca’s services at the British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference, 2011.
“I was thrilled at the chance to be on set with the rest of our photography team, and Saatchi & Saatchi Health’s creative team. It was all hands on deck from the start- so I had no other choice but to the get stuck in!
“TJ was asked to create an image that would promote the image of a healthy heart. By using 6 Hand Models, each with different ethnic backgrounds, the objective of the day was to capture each shade of each individual’s natural skin pigmentation and/or colour. With the right shots, the ultimate goal would be to retouch the images and bring the hands together (various fingers of each Hand Model) to create an illusion that would form the sacred shape of a heart.
”The day began with setting up the equipment; two of the most important pieces to the puzzle were setting up the proper backdrop and solid lighting. The set up, at first, seemed to appear quite complex but after closer inspection, I came to find that it was kept quite simple. Having our own internal photographer present, and having commissioned LJ Hopkinson for the shoot, once on set, we got to work on pulling together the backdrop. We placed 2 C-Stands (held down with 2 sandbags) about 6 to 8 feet apart from each other in the darker and more secluded end of the studio. Tightened to the C-Stands was a rectangular frame that would be used as the backdrop. Once tightened into position, a black fabric was draped over it, cutting a couple of slits through the material, allowing for the model hands to be poked through.
“LJ set up the camera, which was tethered to her laptop, allowing the team and the client to give instant approval or position changes from the shots taken. Kate, our Lead Retoucher, also set up a space for comping the various elements together. This allowed the rest of the team and client to see how it might look as a final piece and if it matched the brief.
“Before the six chosen hand models arrived, we had to run some very important tests. To set up the right angles/lighting, LJ used a couple of us already on set as hand model mimics. Snapping photo after photo, LJ moved the lighting around to bring out the finer details of our hands and fingers. By this point, I had been given a Canon 5D to take “Behind the Scenes” photos for the website.
“Each model took up to 30 minutes to shoot; conducting their hands in various positions poked through the hole in the backdrop. We cycled through each model quite smoothly, calling them back if needed. Once we had photos of each set of hands, we began to double up sets of hands, having different combinations of models hold their hands together through the backdrop. This enabled Kate to compare the different proportions and shapes of each hand that she would be able to work with.
“Soon enough, after a long photo processing session, Kate was given some shots to play with to help give Saatchi Health an idea of what the end project may look like. Our client was happy with all of the final shots! After 6 ½ hours of shooting, it was time to break down the set and handover to retouch- where they would be comping the images together, giving the different fingers a seamless and refined look in the shape of a heart; picture perfect.”
See what our clients had to say about our services, visit the ‘Heart Hands’ project page.
Our latest healthcare feature for PMLive (pharmaceutical marketing) has been published, head on over to their site and read it. To see more of our pharmaceutical/healthcare work, visit our All Work page.