“…It’s as if someone said to us, ‘Here’s all the footage in the world. Begin.’”
Among the millions of 60-second videos published online each day, there is one that stands out for overcoming a unique editing challenge: How to tell the end-to-end story of a company that offers still and moving images spanning nearly every time period and geography possible.
And make it beautiful.
Enter Editor Crandall Miller and his team at Whitehouse Post, who together with The Motive, Getty Images’ creative agency, brought this vision to life for “In Search of Great.” The piece is the latest work for the visual media company’s brand campaign, and is among several that will be shown during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June.
“Being granted full reign of Getty’s library was like searching through a treasure trove — there’s so much amazing footage and imagery,” Miller said. “Having this unlimited resource gave us the ability to have complete creative freedom, but it was also a huge challenge; it’s as if someone said to us, ‘Here’s all the footage in the world. Begin.’”
To initiate the process, The Motive creative team worked with Getty’s global team of experts to source the right images that would bring the idea to life. Then, teams from The Motive and Whitehouse Post worked together to script an initial outline for the video, which Miller was able to use as a starting point. From there, he let the footage shape the story.
“With a project like this and the amount of footage that you’re dealing with, it’s all about finding these perfect moments and piecing them together to tell a story,” Miller said. “A lot of times you’ll find this amazing shot which makes you reevaluate the storyline, so you have to be flexible with the outcome. You have to let the footage lead you and help you develop the story.”
Miller certainly didn’t struggle to find great clips — in fact, he had too much and had to narrow down his initial cut, which was 6 minutes long.
“You slowly chip away until you distill the story and are left with the best moments,” he said. “Sometimes you have so much great footage that it’s hard to cut stuff out at first, but you just have to sit with it a little. It’s like sculpting or painting, and you’re just adding a little bit each day until it is perfect.”
In addition to showing awe-inspiring moments, Miller also wanted to show a variety of mediums and types of footage in the piece.
“I wanted to show different textures and different techniques,” he said. “The footage ranges from black and white archival film to 4K digital video.”
While the breadth of the footage is immense, it’s the clever connections threading together the narrative that make the piece stand out: cutting from diver to skydiver, for example, or from penguins to people.
“We used the connections as a fun visual story telling technique to shape how the story unfolded,” Miller said. “It took a lot of trial and error. A lot of the time you set off to look for something specific and it triggers a new idea, and before you know it, you’re lost in all the footage and down the rabbit hole. It was really exciting when we did find a connection — like the rocket blasting off and the iceberg collapsing.
“We really wanted the audience to make connections between the footage and lead them from beginning to end through this beautiful story.”
Creative Agency: The Motive
Account Director: Katherine DeTroy
Producer: Hiba Abu-Baker
Creative Directors: John Foster and Kevin Doyle
Getty Images and iStock Editorial Teams: led by Hugh Pinney, Gemma Fletcher, and Brad Ralph
Production company: Whitehouse Post Productions
Editor: Crandall Miller
Music Supervisor: Jessica Dierauer
Music Composition: Life Story by Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm
Sound Design: Mr. Bronx Audio Post
Images: For the full list of Getty Images contributors whose work is featured in the piece, explore the board