SmartCuts – Exhibition & Museum Video Production Showreel
Video production for exhibitions and museums is unique in that the goal is often to capture the essence of art, which is obviously extremely difficult to do. We have been asked to promote painting exhibitions, for example, without being allowed to play with the content of the paintings. This means walking the fine line between showcasing the art without denaturing it. We have got quite good at this, using notably animation, shadow-play and interviews as video techniques to achieve compelling results.
La Fondation de l’Hermitage Museum
For years we have been helping Lausanne’s renowned Fondation de l’Hermitage Museum promote its upcoming exhibitions. The challenge is not only to showcase collections without transgressing the integrity of the paintings themselves, but also to keep finding new and innovative ways to promote exhibitions. The work we did before the launch of the English Painting exhibition is among our best. By carefully detaching various elements of photos taken from the paintings, we brought these to life by animating the elements.
La Fromagerie des Franches-Montagnes
The cheesemakers’ association, Miba Genossenschaft, in the Jura region of Switzerland mandated SmartCuts Creative via the firm Thematis to produce a series of 10 videos for the Fromagerie des Franches-Montagnes, in Noirmont. This cheesemakers’ museum not only aims to promote the region’s craft of making cheese, but also the whole lifestyle of the farmers who provide the milk for this production. Among these videos was a documentary on these farmers, as well as a historical explainer video we had to put together with little access to archival footage.
Diego Smaniotto first made his career in optical illusion paintings for architecture projects and private houses. But as a Michelangelo aficionado, he has a keen eye for large-scale mannerism nudes, mixed in with more contemporary abstract backgrounds. He reached out to SmartCuts Creative to produce videos and a documentary to promote his art. Among them is this showcase video for an incredible series of paintings reaching 100 meters long in total.
Cultural Video Case Study
Filming l’Hermitage Museum
Cultural Video Production for La Fondation de l’Hermitage Museum
Over the years, we have done a lot of video production for the exhibitions held at the well-known Hermitage Museum in Lausanne. All about painting, these exhibitions clearly lend themselves well to video, but there’s a catch.
Though we were always allowed to film the paintings, we were most often forbidden from playing around with the results in any way that might portray the art in a different light than what the artist had intended. This is, of course, very open to interpretation, but it does put a number of constraints on our own form of art, which is, in such cases, totally devoted to promoting the original masterpieces.
Nevertheless, we have been able to showcase the paintings put on show at Lausanne’s Hermitage Museum using various video techniques successfully. One of these tour-de-force was the video we produced to promote an exhibition of English painting. Our crew began by filming the paintings, and taking photos, from which they then extracted various key elements by a technique called contouring. By separating the various people and objects present in a given painting, our video editors were then able to manipulate these with keyframes, which are the backbone of computer-generated animation.
With a well-crafted sound mix to support the work, the video vignettes brought the paintings to life in a way that everyone found compelling. The museum was thrilled and the collaboration was a big hit.
In this case study, you will find a couple of other examples of video production we have done for the museum, to generate a buzz in the lead up to its exhibitions, notably on social media and in advertising around Swiss Romande. We continue to work for Lausanne’s Hermitage Museum, doing both video and animation whenever called upon to help showcase the foundation’s cultural activities.
Cultural Video Case Study
Video production for the Cheesemakers’ Exhibition in the Jura
Cultural Video Cheesemakers’ Exhibition in Franches-Montagnes
La Fromagerie des Franches-Montagnes, located in Noirmont in canton Jura, is a relatively new establishment that one might consider a museum, though it is attached to an actual cheese factory, where visitors can see how cheese is made and buy the resulting products.
In order to promote the whole culture and savoir-faire surrounding this tradition, Miba Genossenschaft, the region’s cheesemakers’ association, mandated Thematis, a cultural engineering firm, who subsequently mandated SmartCuts for all the audiovisual production related to the work at hand.
The result was a series of ten videos ranging from animations on the science of cheese to a full-blown documentary on both the cheesemakers and farmers of the region. The job had our crews embedded with local families and travelling to various parts of the country to shoot interviews and gather footage.
We collaborated with the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR) to obtain archival footage of the Abbaye in Sainte-Ursane and dressed up as monks to re-enact the traditional way of making a cheese called Tête-de-Moine.
It was a sweeping project that came off very successfully. The results can be seen today at the Fromagerie des Franches-Montagnes in Noirmont, where thousands of visitors a year watch our videos to learn more about cheese and about the Jura’s Franche-Montagne region. Video for such exhibitions requires careful planning, as the films most often need to take into account the context in which they will be shown: sometimes on multiple screens spread out over two adjacent walls, sometimes on small screens in a booth. We have experience taking these factors into consideration and making sure that the videos come out right the first time around. This saves time and money and allows museums and cultural centers to focus on other important aspects of their exhibitions.
Cultural Video Case Study
Artist case study: Diego Smaniotto
Cultural Video for Diego Smaniotto
During the years they worked together, SmartCuts’ videographer, Jean Chessex, and the painter Diego Smaniotto became quite close. The latter felt the former’s sensitivity to his art was a must and would not forgo his services.
The mission required close connivance and understanding between the artist and the videographer. We are proud to be able to offer this level of service at SmartCuts Creative. Jean shot and edited numerous videos to promote this local painter’s art, notably a full-blown documentary. This sort of work requires more than just video skills. As this case study reveals, to do it well, this sort of video production requires a DP (Director of Photography) who “gets it.”
In order to portray paintings in a manner that does them justice, one must understand what one is promoting. Jean Chessex, son of Switzerland’s arguably best-known author, who was also a painter, has what it takes to translate art into video in an accurate and compelling way. He has also put his skills at the service of musicians and, indeed, writers.
This case study shows how video can be used to accompany painting, so that it takes on a new dimension, notably one in sound and not just in imagery. Careful attention to light is also key, of course, in work like this. Capturing paintings on video is like giving a picture a new life, a life in which it can express itself differently.
Q&A on Video for Museum and Exhibitions
Why cultural video production?
Museum and culture video is a specialized category of video production. Museum and culture videos need to recreate the atmosphere and mood that is felt when you attend a cultural event, such as a musical and dance performance or an art exhibition. Special care needs to be taken to let the art and/or artists and cultural speakers and heritage locations breathe and tell their own stories. This is accomplished when experienced video producers know not to over-produce a video with audio and graphic content that are at odds with the content in the spotlight. Fascinating stories translate into captivating, dynamic, and visually stunning films with a high-end feel when given the right treatment. Greater liberty can be taken when shooting museum and culture video in framing the shot and using specialized recording equipment, such as drone or crane-mounted cameras. This type of video storytelling is so important today, to give patrons remote access to an entire event, or for online promotion. Impact your community by engaging the young and old in your heritage, museum or culture events with professional video production.
Why with SmartCuts Creative?
Understanding the world of art and history, and particularly the place museums hold in it, is key to producing powerful videos for visitors. The team at SmartCuts Creative has been doing this sort of production for years in the Lausanne and Geneva area. Our work has been picked up by local media, such as RTS, and has provided several museums with quality material to showcase their exhibitions. We strive to capture the essence of your art in our video production for museums. Listening to you, our client, is a big part of the process, as is taking the time to absorb the mood and meaning of the art, cultural location, and/or event. Translating it into video is our job. Whether it be for videos integrated into an exhibition itself, or tailored to build up anticipation on TV and social media, we have the skills and experience to deliver professional results.
How does it work?
If you want a captivating, dynamic, and visually stunning film to highlight your museum or cultural event, contact SmartCuts Creative today. Our team of experienced camera operators and post-production editors, including animators, look forward to starting new projects every day. When you bring us your museum or culture event, we can begin problem-solving as to how to meet your video production goals. Our scripts and storyboards, along with timelines and budget estimates, are presented for your feedback, and then it’s off to the races… or more aptly the exhibitions. We plan our shoots and show-up with the crew and equipment needed to capture high-resolution video content. This content can then be produced to meet various applications such as creating long-form video documentaries or social media clips under 10 seconds in length. It’s up to you; SmartCuts Creative is at your service. We garner financial support, interest, and the participation of the public, in cultural projects, through well-honed video production.