Our penultimate blog post in our business series with Leith-based film production company, Freakworks

In the fourth of our business blog series, we interviewed Donny (Andrew Donaldson) from Freakworks. Donny was the Senior Creative on our project from the Leith-based TV and film production company, Freakworks.

Freakworks 2016 Logo Symbol Centered on Black

The beautiful film that is shown in our Sense of Scotland Room as part of the tour experience was shot by Freakworks. Our visitors regularly comment on the quality of the imagery shown in this emotive film and this is reflected in mentions across our social media and review platforms.

Sense of Scotland - Copy

…Then off to a room to see an immersive film about the whisky producing areas and the beautiful Scottish landscape.  TripAdvisor review, October 2017

Then you move into a theatre where you watch a wonderful IMAX style film about the regions/landscapes that produce the various types of scotches. You feel like you are soaring over the beautiful Scottish countryside.  TripAdvisor review, August 2017

Well presented with film of the different regions which showed Scotland at its best. TripAdvisor review, April 2017

Q1: The aerial shots are really stunning, capturing moments of beautiful light, rolling waves and flowing rivers – how many hours of filming was needed to create this? 

For the Sense of Scotland film we shot more than 4 Terabytes of stock over 9 days.

Q2: The vast landscapes and regions that were filmed must have posed many a challenge, in terms of windy coastal locations, to bustling cities. What was the main challenge that you were faced with when filming The Sense of Scotland regional film? 

The main challenge we faced when shooting The Sense of Scotland was the weather! It was crucial to keep our crew as small and agile as possible to be able to move at the shortest notice. Luckily Scotland can look just as beautiful and dramatic with blue sky as it can with broody mists and grey clouds.

When we asked visitors ‘what they would most remember about their tour, they told us:

“Beautiful scenes of Scotland”

“Beautiful video tour of the regions”

“Description of Scottish whisky production, regions and landscapes showed, makes you want to come back to Scotland for more!”

November 2017 customer satisfaction survey

Q3: The animated content for the Blender’s Sample Room uses a unique design to tell the story of how blended Whisky spread across the world. Where did the inspiration for the design style come from?

The main animation in the Blender’s Sample Room was a bit of a different concept because we had to animate without a final voice-over. This meant we had to leave enough time for the guide to be able to keep their own pace without feeling too rushed. The inspiration for the design was to keep it fairly simple so the visitors wouldn’t lose track if they look away at their whisky or any of the other props in the room.

Q4: We love the holodrams which you created in our Blender’s Sample Room. As a new concept that hadn’t been done before, how did you make the art of blended whisky come to life in this way?

We started leading the creative ideas for the Blending Room when the challenge was to add an extra WOW factor that wasn’t something ‘in your face’.

Having worked with many Pepper’s Ghost effects and pseudo Hologram projects in the past, we suggested that Holographic boxes should become that route.

The main idea behind them was that they weren’t supposed to be the star of the show. They were the ‘surprise and delight’ element in the room. We hoped some visitors might not catch them at first and there might even have been a bubble of wonderment throughout the room as they appeared. We spent many a long hour working out exactly how to map the bottles properly and how best to represent each element. We were very happy with the outcome.

holodram - Copy

Q5: Which section of the film is your / your team’s personal favourite and why?

Our favourite part of the whole experience is the Sense of Scotland film. We think it delivered over and above what it was meant to. It gives a beautifully clear picture of the landscapes of Scotland and how each region plays its part in the flavour of the whiskies. Even although we have lived here all our lives, we all agreed, it makes us want to go and explore Scotland more.

Q6: The feedback we have received from our industry partners and visitors on the quality of the film and the way it makes you feel inspired to visit the rest of Scotland is a real credit to your footage, how did you select the landscapes that were chosen to be featured given that Scotland has an abundance of beautiful locations to choose from?

Each region has its own unique story to tell from a whisky producing point of view. For example, we focused on the river Spey in the Speyside section because of the unique characteristics the river has and how important it is in the production of Speyside Whisky. We shot around the coastline and harbours of Islay and Campbeltown because of how important the salty sea air is in the flavour of Whisky in the region.

The short film afterwards was very interesting and shows the different whisky regions of Scotland and how you can recognise them by smell! TripAdvisor review, April 2017

Q7: What were you most proud of in the project delivery?

We were most proud of the West Room (Blender’s Sample Room) and how we managed to make so many elements work seamlessly together to help create an excellent environment to tell the story of blended whisky.

Q8: Did you learn anything new from the experience?

It is always interesting for us working on a range of projects, learning more about the whisky making process was a bonus.


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