Shoot Production: Walmart In-Home
Working with the agency Ueno, The Auxiliary sought an art production team to help find a photographer, coordinate a production, and acquire stock photography for Walmart. They were about to launch a new website to promote Walmart’s In-Home grocery delivery service, and they needed content showcasing every step of the process, from online ordering to delivery, and even entryway hardware installation. They also wanted to present cityscape images showing where the service would be available, as well as images of customer service agents in a call center.
We started by identifying appropriate photographers and working through the bidding process, which included many rounds of revisions as the project continued to evolve. We laid out multiple options for both production approaches and licensing/usage, and we ultimately chose Melanie Acevedo as our photographer. Once we settled on fees/expenses, we were off to the races.
Our first order of business on the production front was location scouting. While a kitchen with an open floor plan was definitely a priority, we also needed to find a location where we could capture family lifestyle images both inside and outside, as well as a location where we could capture content that appeared to be at a child’s soccer match, among other requirements. We worked with Andrea Raisfeld and On the Mark Locations to gather multiple options just outside of the New York City area. With multiple in-person visits and questions to homeowners about their properties, we landed on an option that provided as many amenities as we could find in one home, to reduce the need to do company moves over the course of the two shoot days.
A residential location considered for the shoot.
While location scouting was underway, we started the casting process and brought on Donna Grossman Casting to help us find the right mix of people. We needed to cover a wide range of ages and ethnicities, and they helped us find and book 11 actors/actresses to assume the various roles of Walmart associates, homeowners, and family members.
As we continued to progress through pre-pro, we started to line up crew and identify a styling team that would be integral to the success of the production. In addition to line producer Bryan McNulty and Melanie’s preferred assistants and digital tech, we brought on hair/makeup stylist Maggie Connolly, prop stylists Anthony Asaro and Kendyll Legier, wardrobe stylist Morgan Gibbons, and food stylist Brett Kurzweil, all of which had tireless assistants to lend a hand along with a few additional PAs.
While we continued to line up all of the details for the production, we also had the other task of researching and identifying stock content to fill the gaps on two shots that we knew wouldn’t be accomplishable as part of the shoot. We needed to find an image of the Kansas City skyline and an image of a call center representative. Fortunately, we have a database of 23K+ photographers at our fingertips, and we sent out a stock request to appropriate photographers to help find these images. We also researched traditional stock resources like Getty to identify potential images as well. Ultimately, we licensed a skyline image of Kansas City from photographer Tony Thompson and purchased a photo of a customer service agent from Getty Images.
Stock research and the content ultimately licensed.
When the shoot dates finally arrived, we had a final shot list and clear creative direction, and we had done a walkthrough of the location prior to the two-day shoot. We utilized just about every inch of the house to capture shots inside, outside, and even across the street in a neighbor’s backyard. With so many shots to accomplish, the production had to be a well oiled machine, and we were always two steps ahead of what was being captured in terms of styling and set-up so we could seamlessly transition to the next shot without delay.
In the end, we nailed 28 unique shots over two shoot days, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our incredibly hard-working crew. After selects were made, we managed the post-production process with Versatile Studios, who worked quickly to handle all of the retouching requests, both big and small. The new website launched a few weeks later, and Walmart received an incredible amount of publicity as they announced the new service.
Here are a few of the final images:
And here are a few additional behind-the-scenes shots: