Case Study: Hendrickson
The following was written by Dave Hayward. Dave was the producer/writer/director/editor/animator on this project. Dave is a beast.
Hendrickson is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of medium- and heavy-duty mechanical, elastomeric, and air suspensions; integrated and non-integrated axle and brake systems; tire pressure control systems; auxiliary lift axle systems; parabolic and multi-leaf springs; stabilizers; bumpers; and components to the global commercial transportation industry.
Hendrickson approached RPD to produce a video to market Hendrickson’s ZMD suspension system.
Hendrickson wanted to do something more than showing the product with a list of technical details. To accomplish this, we needed to know more about the product itself. And not just the product, but the company and their culture. After some discovery meetings to better understand the product and company culture, we brainstormed ideas with Hendrickson. We landed on the idea to portray a trucker’s story delivering his shipment from beginning to end. This gave us plenty of opportunities to show the ZMD suspension working while being wrapped into a video-driven by the story.
Once the general idea was agreed upon, we helped Hendrickson flesh out a script. We provided a general outline to push the video forward while providing all the technical know-how and details.
From here, we dug into creating a shot list and schedule. These two things are crucial to the overall production. This is not an area you want to glaze over as it will hurt the final product. More time spent here will actually save twice as much time later down the line.
Production & Challenges
As the script’s final details were hashed out, we dug into all the details needed to pull off the production. This production had several hurdles to overcome. One was the weather. The schedule dictated that this needed to be filmed in December…. in Ohio. Obviously, the cold was something we needed to consider as it affected the camera gear and crew.
Possibly the largest hurdle was how to film a large semi and trailer around the local Canton area. We needed to find several stretches of road that met a few key criteria. Low traffic, spots on the side where a camera could be set up, and most problematic areas at the end of this stretch of road where the semi could turn around for another pass.
Once the route was figured out and the crew lined up, it came down to execution. With solid pre-production and planning, the shoot days become easier with less chance of any “surprises” popping up. After 2 days of filming, we had the footage in the can and were ready to dive into post.
Coming into post, we knew we wanted to push the graphics and animation to another level for Hendrickson. They have a general style of a glass-like trailer that is used in other promotional material, so Hendrickson wanted to incorporate that where possible to keep the branding consistent. We utilized that style as a transition into the 3D landscape to show off the suspension system. Combined with some 2D overlays to deliver key information, we were able to keep the Hendrickson look while interestingly delivering key info.
Check out the outcome, we’re incredibly proud of this piece and the work accomplished with Hendrickson. Our video was nominated and awarded a Gold Addy award at the 2019 ADDY Awards.