The Week at Cosmic Joke - 12th Feb 2024

The Week at Cosmic Joke - 12th Feb 2024

Gonna come right out and say that as big NFL fans (well, one of us anyway) this blog post is being written with very little sleep! We hope all those who celebrate enjoyed last night’s comeback win by The Chiefs as they picked up their 2nd title in two years.

It’s actually been a bit of a Super Bowl filled week for us (more on that below), so let’s dive in for a quick overview of all the ins and outs of last week’s video production and post production.

Cocktail Promo Videos (Taylor’s Version!)

It seems like you can’t move for Taylor Swift at the moment, so it’s no real surprise that she caught up with us eventually. Just over a week ago, we had something of an emergency meeting with our good friends at The Cauldron. You might remember we were up in Edinburgh shooting their new seasonal content a few weeks ago and discussing how video assets apply to social media marketing strategies. Well, as we were working through all of the post production of those videos, they were bitten by the Taylor Swift bug - long story short, we needed to change all of the content to align with a Taylor Swift focused menu, as a big marketing push was underway for Super Bowl Sunday. Like the rest of the internet, the Valentine’s seasonal menu had been consumed by the love between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce - so it was time to change tact and get cracking on Super Bowl video marketing assets.

We pride ourselves on being a small, responsive company, who can flex and adapt to our clients needs, so we’d like to think we took this in our stride. When it comes to social media based marketing and internet video assets, things move quickly. The whole point of digital marketing is to harness social trends and bend your brand into the popular landscape of current internet culture. As a result, moving quickly with a moment’s notice has to be part of the job description.

So what did we actually do? The centre of the marketing campaign was transforming the existing, limited edition, Valentine’s menu into ‘Taylor’s Version’. All of the drinks were renamed to relate to Taylor Swift and her music, and a Super Bowl event was added to the calendar, including a Super Bowl and Puppy Bowl watch party. It was over to us to turn the existing assets we’d shot into Taylor’s Version of those assets.

A group of valentines themed cocktails with the title 'Taylor's Version' for Super Bowl 2024
Even The Cauldron's Valentine's cocktails menu have been affected by the Taylor Swift phenomenon

Because we’d already covered off the video production side of things, we only really had post production options to work with. We redid all of the video graphics to have the new Taylor-related drink names. We then added some visual effects to each individual drink promo video to try and tie them further into the Taylor Swift songs theme - for example, red sparkles for the Red (Taylor’s Version) Martini and clouds for the Wildest Dreams In The Dark.

The inclusion of these new graphics and visual effects really falls into social media video strategy, which is what this campaign is all about. We wanted to make sure that the first thing people see when a video pops up on their feed is different to what they’ve already seen and different to any of the other individual drink promo videos. We needed people to get excited about this being a special, Taylor Swift menu that wasn’t the same as the usual drinks menu and was filled with individually creative drinks.

a dark coloured cocktail with candy floss on top and flowers surrounding
One of our faves from the menu, 'Wildest Dreams in the Dark' - a perfect tasting cocktail and one of Tay-Tay's best songs!

To continue this strategy, we edited each video to the relevant Taylor Swift track, but we actually then delivered the video as a silent asset so that the client could add the track natively in the social media platform. When it comes to social media strategy, this will help with reach and engagement, as well as making sure there are no copyright issues and strikes. Top videography tip: make sure to research which section of the track each social media platform favours and edit to that section. That way, when your client comes to upload the silent video, it’s quick and easy for them to just add the default track from the social media library and begin bringing in the likes.

All in all, the campaign was a success that brought in a tonne of guests to yesterday’s Super Bowl parties and will hopefully bring in plenty more over the next few weeks of the special menu. The Swifties getting the win last night is just the icing on the cake.

Music Video Production - Taking a look back at some music video work…

We updated and pushed out our latest music video showreel this week. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you playing at!? Have a look at this…

We absolutely LOVE music video production and we’re currently looking for more bands who might want to partner with us on some new and exciting music video projects. We love making all kinds of music videos, from studio based performance music videos to full blown narrative music videos out on location. We also don’t stop there; we’re able to oversee the whole creative side of a band's output from album artwork to tour visuals, live music promos and merch.

If you want to know more about our music video production, then check out our portfolio for an overview. And have a look below for a bit more of a deep dive into one very special music video production from a few years ago.

On The Road and In The Edit - A quick overview of the rest of this week’s mix of video production and post production

What else have we been up to!? We were out on the road to Newcastle to continue the last round of the talking head videos that we’ve been shooting. This was continuing the scripted corporate video work that we’ve been talking about for the last few weeks and as always, it was great to work with some really interesting people doing great things for others. And of course, travelling around brings lots of fun (and in this instance, at least a couple of bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale!)

In post production work, we put the finishing touches to a referral video for one of our clients that we shot in their Manhattan office last year. This was a fun video with loads of personality. It was essentially still a talking head corporate video, but we kept it really down to earth with some fluid camera work and very active motion graphics.

a picture of an Oliver James employee, next to a shot if New York and the Americanflag
What could just be a talking head to camera is instantly more exciting and refreshing with some motion graphics and and shots of New York

We’ve also been working on the latest episode for a bespoke, high-end, education series in the manner of Masterclass. For this episode, the theme was consistency vs change over time, so in post production, we’ve had a lot of fun on the visual effects and graphic side of things, by creating some bespoke visuals based on changes to technology over time. We’ve heavily themed the visuals over the changing decades, and it’s a great example of how you can bring creativity and life to high-end corporate video production.

various images from the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, including the crew and the shuttle
What better way to showcase the passage of time than through the journey of technology and how far it's come

On the Socials - Club Night Promo Videos and Chinatown Music Video Production

The ‘Eat You Alive’ club promo dropped this week - that was a fast turnaround video promo from Saturday’s inaugural club night. It featured some live music filming and gig visuals, as well as going nuts with lasers and shot drinking. For us, it really captures the down and dirty metal vibes of the night - so a success! Check it out…

As well as welcoming in the Lunar New Year, we took the opportunity on social media to take a look back at a music video production that was filmed partly in Manchester’s Chinatown - Under The Sound by King No-One.

a behind the scenes image of music video crew working on location in Manchester's China Town
Cosmic Joke crew out on the streets of Manchester's Chinatown during filming of King No-One's 'Under The Sound'

This was a big time music video production from a few years ago. When we listened to the track and were pitching ideas, we kept returning to Blade Runner style visuals. So we decided to go with the pitch of turning Manchester into a dystopian metropolis of the future, through some really intense visual effects work. We pinned a thin, mystery narrative to the music video to give it a filmic feel, but at its heart, this was about showing off our favourite city with a heavy dose of visual effects amendments.

We carried out an extensive amount of location scouting and, due to the amount of visual effects that we knew we’d be doing, we committed to shooting the edit shot by shot with no wiggle room. We searched for locations that we could map visual effects to ahead of time - places that had blank spaces where we could insert adornments that felt natural, or places that were already vaguely sci-fi or futuristic in their look that we could then enhance.

a before and after shot of Manchester's Chinatown arch from a music video
We used VFX to take Manchester's Chinatown arch into a future dystopian reality

Because of the connection to Blade Runner, Chinatown was a natural fit for most of this shooting. In the dystopian aesthetics of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi franchise, there has always been an Asian influence, reflective of the rise in cultural and economic significance of Asia as we move forward in time. With its neon signs and moody streets, it presented the perfect home for our narrative music video production and the perfect setting for a neo-noir based in Manchester.

With Lunar New Year bringing Chinatown to the front of our minds this last week, it was the perfect time to revisit this music video, so why not have a look for yourselves?

Looking ahead…

Seems like there’s a lot going on at the moment - we’ve just celebrated Lunar New Year and enjoyed the Super Bowl and then next week, we have Pancake Day and Valentine’s to look forward to! We actually have a week off from shooting to catch up with a lot of website admin, but the post production engine keeps turning and we’ll be updating you this time next week with plenty of new edits!

If you’ve stumbled upon this post by accident, or like what you’ve read and want to know more about us, then we’re Cosmic Joke, a film and video production company based in Manchester. We specialise in music videos, live event filming, commercials and bespoke branded visuals. We create engaging short form and feature length film content that has screened around the world and you can learn more about everything we do here.