Making a Campaign Video Series for an Alcohol-Free Spirit Brand

Throughout 2023, we’ve had the pleasure of partnering up with non alcoholic spirit-brand Crossip on a new campaign that has (at the time of writing) JUST LAUNCHED. 

Head of Marketing for Crossip Drinks, John Logue said ‘Choosing a non-alcoholic drink when the rest of your party is drinking is still considered a bold move, one that can often be met with questions and the occasional eyebrow raise.

Founder of Crossip Carl, making cocktails

The Unapologetically Bold campaign launches with three episodes, where we meet a mixologist, business founder, musician and photographer; who have taken risks, faced doubts and been dragged down by the naysayers. They talk through shaking it all off, and doing it anyway in the name of their passions and thirst for the extraordinary.

Founder Carl, of Crossip Drinks

A large part of the pre-production for the three launch films was finding the right locations in order bring these inspirational stories to life. Coolbox’s Production Assistant Jessica spent time researching, contacting and booking theatres, photography studios, cafes, cocktail bars and recording studios. 

Each Unapologetically Bold Ambassador’s (UBA’s) interview had a setting/location that was relevant to their story. Earl Wan’s lively and bubbly attitude was represented in a living room environment, with plants, personal effects and soft lighting. Carl’s mixology talents were matched with a stylish London cocktail bar; framed to subtly display a fully stocked back-bar behind him during the interview. Talie’s music connection is highlighted by a recording studio location, with band equipment in the background and use of intense red lighting (think, ‘red recording light’). 

Actor Earl Wan, in his London apartment

During Earl’s shoot, we had four different locations to film at in a single day. Starting off at Earl’s flat in London, we began with his two-camera interview set-up, then captured some b-roll afterwards. With Earl sitting on his couch watching some of his favourite classic films projected onto the wall, we set up a second projector directly at Earl’s face. The images flashed across him and his surroundings, resembling the light from the first projector, spilling back over him. This resulted in a really unique, edgy shot that visually represented Earl’s passion for classic Asian cinema. We were really grateful that Crossip gave us plenty of creative freedom to explore unusual and inventive visual concepts during this project; the projector set up being a great example of this.

Earl watching classic films on his home projector

Of course, despite all the meticulous planning and pre-production, not everything always goes to plan. We’re filmmakers first, Problem-Solvers second. The ability to work around these obstacles is what makes a crew strong and dependable. On one occasion during the project, one of the locations we had hired was not visually what we were expecting when we arrived. Rather than stick with something that was subpar, we opted to make a quick, on-the-fly edit to the script and cut this particular sequence from the film. Overall, losing this scene helped the film’s pacing and ensured the visuals stayed consistent throughout. Adapting to these changing circumstances is critical in filmmaking.

Production Assistant Jessica and Director Marc, filming Talie in the photography studio

Talie’s shoot started at a recording studio in London, where she regularly practises with her band; Tieger. We conducted Talie’s interview in the studio, as well as capturing b-roll of her playing with her fellow band members. Although a nice space, the size of the studio however was problematic. It was a squeeze to get all our equipment and crew members in, while giving ourselves enough space between Talie and our cameras (to create nice depth in the shot), as well as space between Talie and the background (drum kit, amps, etc). 

The photography studio on the other hand was massive! Talie brought in a model that she had previously worked with, so we could film her capturing portrait photography (her ‘day job’). Thankfully, due to the combination of studio lighting and the ambient light creeping in from outside (it was insanely sunny that day), no lighting was required on our part – meaning that we could shoot right away and capture some really nice, naturalistic content of Talie directing the model. 

Talie looking through records

The ‘record shop’ scene was an interesting one. Arriving in Camden, it was so small but had plenty of lovely natural sunlight light filling the little record-filled room. We simply followed Talie leafing through some records, whilst our Director Marc (with the Sony FX9 on his shoulder) captured her movements. This was the most naturalistic scene we shot, and really captured Talie in her element. This type of scene is required to balance out the other more ‘curated’ scenes, which can sometimes feel a little ‘set up’, or contrived if not approached in the right way. 

UBA Talie

Finally, the crew followed Talie through Camden Town, looking out for a nice backdrop to film the ‘photo scene’. This sequence involved Talie holding up some prints of her photography towards the camera; it acts as a transitional element, to cut from her ‘hero shot’ to a montage of her band photography. The majority of the film is very ‘docy’ in style; the crew acting as a ’fly on the wall’, while Talie goes about her daily life – this particular scene is the only instance where Talie was directed to look straight into the lens; breaking the fourth wall. We approached a scene in Earl’s film in a similar way – as he walks through the park, he snaps a picture on his DSLR, lowers it from his face and looks directly into our lens. It’s a strong visual and helps connect the audience to the storyteller.  

UBA Earl

The creative flexibility the Crossip team offered us was the most satisfying part of working on this project. It’s lovely when a client has the confidence in our abilities as filmmakers to let us run wild and create something visually interesting and unique, while staying true to the brand’s brief. 

The Unapologetically Bold series is all about digging a bit deeper into this awesome brand and the team that created it. Finding more people that share those values and have engaging stories we can bring to life with the help of the fantastic Coolbox, has been a real privilege.’ – John, Head of Marketing at Crossip

The first three UBA (Unapologetically Bold Ambassadors) films have premiered on the Crossip Drinks website, with more currently in production with Coolbox.