Seth Lowe: The Innovation Continues
In 2015, photographer Seth Lowe was tasked with shooting the still photography for Precision Planting, a company that develops and markets planting technology for the agricultural sector. After Seth had done a great job with the photography, Precision Planting brought him on to start shooting some video content early last year. At that time, Precision Planting was nearing the end of a big campaign focusing on end-user experiences and the value to the customer. This campaign got Seth thinking about other campaign ideas for the company. As Seth looked through the work he had done for them, in addition to work of others prior to him, he saw an opportunity to develop some new content that focused on Precision Planting's internal team development process and their passion for their products.
Virtually everyone on their R&D team is a working farmer, so they were literally making things that they saw a need for in their own daily lives. Beyond that, they were testing products in their own fields, refining them, and trying to make it profitable for the customer all at the same time. I saw an opportunity to make a really authentic branding piece that would stand out from all of their previous content.
He enlisted the help of friend and fellow DP Jordan Lehman who had previously worked with Precision Planting and together they wrote up a concept to pitch. Precision Planting was sold on their project pitch, and from there they hired storyboard artist Chris Pueler, who dove head first into creating the visuals for the narrative.
Seth and Jordan had so much experience shooting content for Precision over the years that they had no trouble with logistics. Scouting and casting were relatively easy, given their familiarity with the companies' headquarters and employees. On top of that, they also had the bonus of a vast library of content to pull from for their various needs.
The further they got into the project the more excited the team at Precision got. With everyone across the company eager to help out and become involved, the door opened up to a myriad of opinions and ideas on script and content.
The piece was almost as much for the employees as it was for external advertising. There are a few characters in there who invented major projects in the back of their family barn 20 years ago, and getting to be a part of this video was really special for them. It forced some re-writes that probably wouldn’t have happened if those details weren’t so important to everyone, but overall I think it made the piece stronger.
Every discovery and conversation brought about a much larger unanticipated aspect to the shoot. For instance, after the storyboard went out, the client wanted to use some old footage from their archives. Seth found himself going through a bunch of old DVDs and hard drives. Sorting through this archival footage was a challenge because when the script was initially written, they didn't take into account the work beyond the content they had created for the client.
Shooting the recreation moments was really fun. We were mixing it with 10-15 year old footage, plus a little bit I had shot a few months prior in the spring. It was fun to develop these moments without making them just feel like flashbacks. The goal was to make the story feel linear for the viewer, and I think we achieved that.
For Seth, this cumulative effort to work alongside some of his closest friends in the industry capturing narrative content for clients has always been his favorite aspect of shooting.
I love working with real people as much as possible - they tend to be way more passionate about the content, and its super exciting to see their reaction to watching themselves in a shot. Real People, Real Life has been my mission statement for a while now, and this project absolutely fell into that in every way. It really was a blessing to work on this video.
Precision Planting was thrilled with the piece, and the video was aired for the first time at their annual conference a month or so ago with Seth receiving lots of positive feedback. The tagline of their video "The Innovation Continues" is going to stick around for their branded content this year too and Seth hopes that as innovation continues the opportunity for him to create more content will come with it as well.
Client: Precision Planting
Creative Director: Alex Neukomm
Director & Editor: Seth Lowe
DP: Tim Anderson (all recreation shots) & Jordan Lehman(farming footage)
AC: Austin Neff
Gaffer: Chad Gilchrist
Audio: Austin Sego
Colorist: John Carrington
Sound: Tj Syndram
Music: Austin Luhring