Directed by Jeremiah Warren
Produced by Wild & Grey
In December of 2015, Andrew Ochoa reached out to me about creating an Indiegogo video for a product he had been developing for over 2 years. On May 16th, 2016 the Indiegogo fundraiser went live. Within 15 minutes the funding goal of $75,000 had been reached. By the end of the day, over $1,000,000 was raised.
The campaign video was filmed in just two days. I flew to NYC Friday morning and finalized locations for the shoot. I kept the equipment package as small as possible to keep our expenses down and keep setup times at a minimum. I could transport everything but my tripod in a single camera backpack.
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II
Genus 82mm Eclipse Vari-ND Filter
Sennheiser 2000 ENG SK Wireless Lav Microphone System
Sennheiser MKE 400 On-Camera Shotgun Microphone
Zoom Audio Recorder
Saturday morning we filmed the interviews and Waverly Labs team at Projective Space. That afternoon we filmed at DUMBO, Washington Square Arch, Chinatown, and finally a rooftop at sunset. The next morning we filmed at an apartment in Brooklyn, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, and finally, the Oculus at the Westfield World Trade Center. By Sunday evening I was flying back home with the production completely wrapped.
Post-production lasted about a week of time in total. We had an outline and script of what we wanted, so I just had to edit to what we already laid out. I did take one small section out for pacing, and I switched the order of one scene around. My friend John Moore mixed the sound. The music was licensed through Premium Beat (we had a very small music budget).
In addition to the full-length crowd funding video I also created three "ad" versions of the video to be used for A/B/C testing with Facebook ads. Andrew spent about $250 to promote these ads so he could gauge the audience reaction and collect email signups for the launch.
In a single day, this video had been watched over 5,000,000 times on Facebook video.
The original video uploaded to the Waverly Labs Facebook page surpassed 17,000,000 views. It's been viewed over 165,000,000 times if you combine all the Facebook video views from other pages that uploaded their own version of the ad.
Because of the viral nature of this ad we were able to collect over 100,000 email signups from people that wanted to be notified when the Indiegogo campaign was launched. There were people getting up as early as 3 am so they could pre-order once the campaign went live.
From the very beginning of my involvement on this campaign I knew that this product would resonate with people. But even then, I couldn't have imagined a success of this scale. My hope was to reach $600,000-$900,000 by the time the campaign ended. We raised over 4 times that amount.
It's interesting looking back at the different ideas we originally brainstormed over for the video. In earlier drafts of the script we were going to focus on the many applications of the product. For example, we wanted to show business meetings happening in multiple languages. As ideas continued to be developed I suggested we simply focus on an individual traveling somewhere were they did not understand the native language. Viewers would be able to imagine all the other uses of this product on their own.
If I could go back and redo it all I would have rented a Sony A7S II. The 5D Mark II has nowhere near the capabilities of the A7S II when it comes to low lighting and dynamic range. I would have loved to licensed music from The Music Bed, spent more time on the sound mix, and hired someone else to handle the color grade. But most of these things would have put us way past our budget, so, all things considered, I'm very pleased with the end result.