audiovisual

SiliCycle @ Analytica 2016: Corporate video production by ericzone.com

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eric_video_silicycleTime flies! A year has already come and gone since I began work at SiliCycle’s marketing department in Quebec city! You might have guessed by the lack of regular publication on my blog that I’ve been a very busy video editor/graphic designer (add photography, audiovisual production, audio mixing, branding and social media to the mix). Indeed, not only have I been blessed by my every day entourage, but also spoiled by a long list of inspiring multimedia projects. Ideally, I would have had the time to publish a blog to accompany each completed assignment worthy of mention. Sadly, this was not the case.

Among all of the past projects I collaborated on, the first one was possibly the most important. And so, here’s a quick look at the production of a 30 minute corporate video which was used as a promotional tool during Analytica 2016 conference, in which SiliCycle participated in May 2016.

Analytica 2016

Quick overview: Analytica is a major international convention in the field of laboratory technologies. For the 2016 edition of the event, which took place in Germany, SiliCycle had a great corporate booth, designed by Mathieu Bertrand and Geneviève Gingras‘ marketing team. In addition to being represented on-site by SiliCycle‘s president, Hugo St-Laurent, the company also had to be equipped with impeccable video support.

Hit the ground running

It is in this context that I was mandated to create a corporate video that would enable SiliCycle to showcase its wide range of products as well as its many departments. Always inspired by great challenges and confident in my abilities as video producer/graphic designer, I embarked on this project with enthusiasm. On a personal note, the delivery of this mandate appropriately coincided with the end of my three-month probation. It was therefore imperative that I deliver the goods on time.

Several film shoots

The film shoots went very well. At the risk of offending the more timid (especially myself), I rushed in my shooting schedule (slightly improvised), with my equipment on my shoulder (Nikon D7100 and Canon HFG20) and my creative spirit in full hilt.

In hindsight, I realize that this first project was ideal for me as a new employee. In effect, it enabled me to familiarize myself with SiliCycle’s products, but it was also the perfect excuse to meet the people and to visit the different departments.

I worked on this major project for several weeks, always encouraged by the support and constructive feedback of my colleagues in the marketing department. A great many thanks to my colleagues for establishing the content structure and for writing the texts (Aurélie, Geneviève and Valérie). I have a lot of good memories of filming in the laboratories with Valerica Pandarus (SiliaCat technology), Simon Bédard and Denis Boudriau. Filming with Marcel Plante, in the shipping department, also revealed some beautiful sequences during the loading of a delivery truck. In sum, this project brought me hours of creative satisfaction, while I got acquainted with great people in a positive ecosystem of professionals.

Delivery

Despite the fact that I somewhat under-estimated video encoding time, the project was delivered within the deadlines. In retrospect, I am very satisfied with the final product. This task allowed me to not only distinguish myself as an audiovisual specialist, but also to apply my knowledge in graphic design and branding. During the week of the conference, we were happy to receive by e-mail, pictures taken during Analytica 2016 . Our colleagues on-site were inspired by the positive reaction of visitors at the SiliCycle booth. From feedback i received afterwards, it seems that the video presentation was also greatly appreciated. Mission accomplished.

Broadcasting

I am proud to say that this video now spearheads SiliCycle’s YouTube page. In the inevitable event that it should be replaced, here is an alternative link to the 30 minute video. I am very satisfied with the result and the infomercial look of the video. It efficiently showcases SiliCycle’s product range as well as the company identity and its employees. I had a great experience and I graciously thank everybody who participated and welcomed me in a friendly way.

I invite you to take a look at the photos of the event on SiliCycle’s web site. There are a few images of the shooting in my photo album on Flickr. For more information about SiliCycle, visit their Facebook page or their web site. As always, I invite you to consult my www.ericzone.com portfolio and to visit my Facebook page. Don’t forget to click like. You can also find me on YouTube. Have you sent me a contact request on Linkedin?

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Xmas office party tradition alive and well at SiliCycle

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eric_17dec_avatar1Xmas time is here. The merry time of year when people everywhere get to spend loving moments, pulled from one family gathering to the next. For many of us, xmas also means office parties. Sadly, successful office parties have become a rare breed of event. I’ve been fortunate in my life, however, to have witnessed a couple of worthy office parties. I can’t help but reminisce on those now legendary Ubisoft Montreal parties, during which I had the opportunity to film and to create a series of memorable videos (I was only able to salvage one of those videos; you can probably find the rest on Ubitube, if it still exists). This year, I was privileged to be a part of the xmas party at SiliCycle, the company in Quebec City where I am currently employed. Here’s a little rundown from a video producer’s point of view.

Family affairs

Founded in 1995, SiliCycle® Inc. is a worldwide leader in the development, the manufacturing and the commercialization of high value silica-based and specialty products for chromatography, analytical and organic chemistry (yes, I copy pasted that from their official website www.silicycle.com). The company itself is a tightly knit core of individuals that seem to have made a conscious effort to include a strong sense of family in its activities. Whereas monstrous Ubisoft events were fueled by raw Montreal geek energy and pride, SiliCycle is yet small enough to infuse its events with a true sense of camaraderie. At the core of SiliCycle is a group of friends from university who, if i’m not mistaken, mostly come from the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec, Canada. Considering the strong traditions in Gaspé, it’s no wonder that there is such an authentic family bond which permeates most activities at SiliCycle.

Inspiring Christmas video mandate

It’s in this context that, as video editor/graphics designer, I was mandated by Geneviève Gingras (head of SiliCycle marketing), to produce a series of homage videos. The objective of these videos: highlight the years of service of four SiliCycle employees during the 2016 xmas party. And so, I threw myself into this mandate with every intention of contributing to the mood of the upcoming event.

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Nicolas Bilodeau, dressed up as a news anchor for one the SiliCycle hommage video entitled ‘SiliaNews’

Green screens and roasts

Aside from offering multimedia and audiovisual support, I delved into each production with an open mind and a readiness to create. For me, each new project is the occasion to learn and to exchange with interesting people. To make a long story short, preproduction talks brought on great sketch ideas and scripts. Everybody involved had a great time contributing and filming the videos. I was also happy to get further acquainted with my colleagues. (read more about my arrival at SiliCycle in March of 2016)

My past work on various projects such as the Blackburn Podcast, coupled with my years as video editor and my diploma in audio techniques, gave me the tools I needed as production moved forward. Aside from this unique opportunity to participate on comedic/roast videos (which I seldom have a chance to do), I was eager to further my understanding of green screens. (One of the skits was set in a newsroom with an animated background borrowed on Youtube and integrated in After Effects … have a look at some of the production photos in this Flickr album)

Last minute preparations

Early morning, December 17th 2016, I accompanied colleague Renée Jacques (administrative assistant to the president of SiliCycle) to the Quebec City venue called District St-Joseph in order to prepare ourselves for the evening’s festivities. With 10 videos to show and a busy schedule, we needed to make sure everything was ready. We were greeted by District St-Joseph owner, Alain Marceau, who was kind to give us the time we needed to set up.

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Eric Mailhot – Saturday December 17th 2016 @ District in Quebec city. In the background, Renée Jacques and District people preparing the venue.


A night to be remembered

After i was done filming the evening and had shown the videos, i sat at the bar for a while, wearing my red xmas tie.

I was pleased that my colleagues enjoyed the homage videos and that my work contributed to the general mood of the evening. Somewhat an introvert, I always prefer playing the quiet observer (maybe I was an anthropologist in a past life). The evening reminded me of my true motivation as an artist. Undeniably, making people feel positive and happy is my principal incentive in any of my endeavours.

Headlining for the evening was singer Valerie Clio and a group of talented musicians (Samuel Lussier on guitar). Her stage presence was energetic and her voice was incredible.

A great many thanks

Many thanks to Renée Jacques. She skillfully took on the task of executive producer for the project, guiding each separate production and making sure everybody was in tune. After giving her a crash course on lav mics, she often took charge of mic setup and was great help with lighting for each shoot. Thank you also to Geneviève Gingras for this great project. And thanks to everybody for their participation, support and feedback before and after the reveal!

Feel free to go and have a look on my Flickr page at some photos from the evening and check out the Flickr album for the video production photos. For more information about SiliCycle, visit their Facebook page or their official website. As always, visit my online portfolio at www.ericzone.com and visit my professional Facebook page and click Like in order to keep in touch. You can also find me on Youtube. Have you sent me a contact request on LinkedIn?

Quebec City 2016 – Ericzone @ SiliCycle Marketing

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eric_quebc_iconIt is now official. I have become a truly nomadic marketing artist. As a graphic designer specializing in audiovisual production, i’ve spent most of the past decade on the island of Montreal, working for great places such as Ubisoft and Wapikoni Mobile. I’ve been privileged to work with many inspiring people, editing video for cool clients such as Pierre Blackburn and designing the logo for e-cigarette boutique La Vapoterie. In 2013, after obtaining my audio techniques diploma at Musitechnic, i was infused with a sense of purpose. This paved the way to the ‘‘Blackburn Podcast”, a francophone web show i produced with Chantal Paquin in 2014. Now, a bit further down the road, here i am in Quebec city for this latest episode of my thrilling multimedia adventure.

Winter is coming

To make a long story short, i arrived in Quebec city in early March of 2016 and was greeted by 10 foot high snow banks that towered over the cold streets of Ancienne-Lorette. I hadn’t seen that much snow in a long time. Offered accommodation by a colleague at work for the first few days, i tried AirBnb the next week, living with an architecture student and her awesome cat. The third week, i was lucky to find a cosy room in the basement of a house in a suburban area.

Every move got me closer to work, albeit too close to the polluted highway. I felt exhilarated by the new professional challenge but, at the same time, i was disappointed at how difficult it was to access Quebec’s High Tech Park on foot. I dreaded the early morning walks in the cold on the somewhat dangerous path to work. Nevertheless, i thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the unknown. I was also quite lucky to be blessed by friendly colleagues who often gave me lifts. Thank you!

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When i look back on the past few months, i realize just how much my move to Quebec city was worth the effort. The uncertainty of my somewhat precarious living situation was inevitably eclipsed by the excitement that i felt in my newly discovered work environment. Mostly doing freelance in recent years, i had almost forgotten the thrill of contributing to a working group. It really is a pleasant vibe to be a part of a large professional ecosystem. It is equally great to be surrounded by the friendly people at SiliCycle.

The work itself is exactly what i’m meant to do at this point in my life. My experience in graphic design, branding and video editing enable me to completely immerse myself in the many inspiring projects thrown at me. At this point, i feel that i should give credit to the person who initially found me and took the time to look at my accomplishments. Geneviève Gingras had the insight to see how i could contribute to her marketing department at SiliCycle. I am grateful she reached out to me and i am equally enthusiastic to have joined her team of awesome people.

The months ahead will no doubt be productive and professionally fulfilling. I look forward to keeping you up to date on the upcoming marketing projects. SiliCycle has its roots here in Quebec and i find myself happy to be on-board and to be a part of the latest chapter in its history.

Feel free to go and have a look on my Flickr page at the photos i’ve been taking since my arrival in Quebec city. For more information about SiliCycle, visit their Facebook page or their official website. As always, visit my online portfolio at www.ericzone.com and visit my professional Facebook page and click Like in order to keep in touch. You can also find me on Youtube.