Marginal gains win big
KCA Deutag were looking for some custom content to teach their global team about the subject of psychological safety, to emphasise the importance of trust and respect, and that improving the little things each and every day, can make the biggest difference to their operational performance and safety.
To achieve this, we created a series of 4 interactive animated films, each of roughly 5 minutes in duration and each with a very distinct message. The videos could be taken in sequence or standalone, so we were able to cater for a host of scenarios and playback options.
With over 130 years of experience, KCA Deutag are one of the world’s leading drilling and engineering contractors working onshore and offshore with a focus on safety, quality and operational performance. KCA Deutag operate approximately 110 drilling rigs in 20 countries, either directly or through affiliates, employing people in Africa, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, the Caspian Sea and Canada.
Although somewhat ironic, we titled the media ‘Little Things’ and then decided to break the whole project down into several ‘little sections’ allowing each member of the Reuzer team to work simultaneously on the project. This approach allowed us to expedite delivery and get this media out to the workforce as soon as possible, but before we could get animating – we needed to define a script and delve deeper into the end goal.
With a global audience to reach, we worked side-by-side with KCA Deutag on the script, reviewing and adjusting so that the important content was clearly explained, in the right tone, using the correct terminology and to fit within the required duration. We also wanted the content to be precise, with limited waffle – so we spent some time refining the wording and being brutal with unnecessary content.
With such a huge range of media to combine to form this final piece, we not only needed to storyboard, but to also define an overall look and feel and some branding guidelines for the whole team to work within. From fonts, colours, character design, icon shape and the size of the pause button, everything was thought through and defined.
Importantly, the storyboarding stage also consisted of brainstorming visual ideas which could show the content in an engaging and dynamic way. We didn’t need to get carried away at this stage, so the visuals were kept simple and rough, rough enough to explain the idea clearly, and simple enough to be adjusted quickly. We were also conscious of over using certain assets and styles, so we made sure that the content always caught the users attention and felt fresh with a smooth flow from one section to the next.
Once every last storyboard was drafted, discussed, tweaked and adjusted – we recorded the voice over so the real magic could begin!
For this project we decided to work in After Effects, using a 2D style designed to be clear and engaging. To kick things off, our Creative Team Lead spent some time gathering important reference imagery.
We discussed the reference imagery at the internal kick-off to make sure that we all understood how and where to apply each style, as with four members of the team working at the same time, it was important to make sure everyone was on the same page to deliver a clear and consistent project.
We didn’t want to lose the user at any point in this media journey, so as opposed to big, obvious and abrupt cuts or new section headers, we payed very close attention to the transitions between scenes – often using an item within one scene to form the transition into the next.
We also needed the media to be relatable to everyone at KCA Deutag, so as part of the script and after discussion with the KCA Deutag team, we used a real-life case study which related to the GB cycling team, which provided a great opportunity to show fun, engaging and dynamic animation for a hugely relatable topic.
The message of the film was to pay attention to the little things, so we needed to make sure we applied the same principle to our work. So throughout production we factored frequent internal reviews to make sure that there was consistency between scenes, continuity across transitions, and that details like the correct PPE were being shown for each and every character.
And the client loved our hard work. With a few tweaks to some scenes, the addition of a new ‘Little Things’ icon and a fresh new poster to complete the campaign, we were ready to kick off the translation phase of the project!
If you’ve got your own topic and you want to bring it to life with some quality animation reach out here.