Boys & Girls Club of Greater Victoria

Raising the Grade

  • CLIENT: BGCVIC

  • SERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 2 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $1,000 - $1,500

We have a soft spot for programs that work hard to help kids, and so when our friend Tyler Olson of the Boys and Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria asked if we could produce a video promoting their Raising the Grade program, we didn't hesitate to get involved and we were happy that they would have us.

The Raising the Grade program is an after-school education program for Youth in Grades 6 to 12 that runs out of the Kaare Norgaard Boys and Girls Club located in Central Saanich. This interactive program allows youth to get homework help, meet new people, and explore options for their future. We also produced a message from BC NDP Leader John Horgan, who used to work at BGCVIC, below.

Our aim was to showcase how beneficial this program is for youth so that they could receive the funds necessary to keep it going. The video, which features a variety of kids and staff impacted by this program, was unveiled at the 2017 Mad Hatter's Ball which was one of the best fundraisers we've ever attended and would strongly encourage everyone to come out next year.

Amanda and friends Tara-Lee and Andrea at the ball!

Amanda and friends Tara-Lee and Andrea at the ball!

Used.ca

Curling Commercial

  • CLIENT: USED.CA

  • SERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 3 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $1,000 - $1,500

You will often hear in our studio, "it's hard to pull off 'funny'" in reference to scripting a video. It's even more difficult when you'd like the piece to be lighthearted, but the television broadcaster airing the commercial has a strict "no-humour" policy. Sounds strange, but it's true, as well as a myriad of other restrictions to boot.

Turns out, the humour didn't have to be scripted for our curling-themed promo with Used.ca - the laughs came naturally with our actor Shawn who was getting onto the ice sheet for the first time. And you can't argue that the man's ability was scripted that way - that's just how he curled, and luckily the broadcasters let it slide (pun intended). This project was also a good exercise in collaboration every step of the way.

We had a lot of fun on this quick and easy shoot and look forward to more projects with Used.ca in the future.

 

Inn at Laurel Point

Hotel Overview

  • CLIENT: INN AT LAUREL POINT

  • SERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 6 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $2,500 - $4,000

If you're looking to truly experience Victoria, the Inn at Laurel Point is hard to be. Located in the provincial capital's Inner Harbour, its views, service, and offerings are unbeatable. Which made it easy to do our job!

When filming such a lovely property, there are countless areas to capture and only so many hours to get them - so it was essential to make the process as fluid as possible by working with professionals. This was a rare shoot where we utilized paid actors, and it showed  Katherine Slingsby and Lance Burrows were top notch.... not to say that our friends and clients have done a sub-par job in the past! ;)

Our concept was a day-in-the-life, which made for the perfect chance to shoot a sunrise time-lapse with our Kessler Second Shooter. It definitely took some early alarm clocks and perseverance to wait for that perfect morning light - but the sun glinting off the harbourfront windows made for the perfect opening sequence.

Thanks to some drone shots of the Inn from earlier in the year, and a few kitchen scenes with the hotel's renowned Chef Ito, we were able to give visitors an inside-out look at one of the city's top properties. The hotel's sales and marketing team are always coming up with creative concepts and we look forward to teaming up with them on many projects to come!

ThinkTank

Fry Feeding Time

It's fitting that the ThinkTank has really sprung to life on the first day of spring. Over the past few days, dozens of salmon fry have been emerging from the gravel and starting to explore their new home. 

The variety between the individual fish is pretty remarkable, with some of the coho appearing ghostly white, and others ranging from silver to tan, brown and even black! 

Now that the fry are using the last of their yolk salk reserves from their time in the egg, we will begin feeding the young fish a high protein power to help them thrive while they learn to navigate the currents in our miniature stream. 

It won't be long before these little fish are big enough to venture out into Goldstream River - we expect our first batches of salmon to return to the river sometime in late April. Watch for details on how your group or company can get involved and join us on release day!


Eggs To Alevin

We're onto exciting times in the ThinkTank - over the course of the last week our batch of coho eggs have all hatched and moved to the alevin stage of their life cycle! The transition didn't come without some concern, though...

Our salmon were well ahead of their expected hatching time, according to the ATU charts we explained when the eggs first arrived at our studio - but it appears that all of the coho delivered this winter are advancing ahead of schedule, and so far our little school is looking healthy and happy. 

Now the young fish will spend a couple of weeks hiding out in the gravel bed, consuming their yolk sacks and developing some the crucial organs and scales that will help them survive in the stream environment over the next 12-18 months. 

As the temperature outside begins to climb we'll also be slowly increasing the degrees inside our aquarium - and already our natural grasses are showing signs of new growth with spring just around the corner.

By early March our coho should begin to swim up from the rocks and go in search of food, which is when our tank will really come to life! 


Goldstream Hatchery

The eggs in our tank, and all of the Stream To Sea programs across Greater Victoria, came directly from the Goldstream River where each year hundreds of coho, chum and chinook salmon return to spawn.

A few years ago we went behind the scenes with the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association at the Howard English Hatchery to create a video for their website. Armed with hip waders, the staff wade into the river each fall to collect salmon of all species to harvest their eggs and milk. While the program raises thousands of fish in their own on-site tanks (as a means to improve the Goldstream stock), they also contribute more than 20,000 eggs to classroom programs across the Island each year.

It's a truly remarkable effort that has helped to maintain and increase the annual salmon run at Goldstream Park and across the Capital Region. The program runs a variety of programs across the city, and is always looking for more volunteers! Check them out online at www.gvsea.com

Soon enough our eggs will be hatching and make their move into the gravel bed to grow and develop as alevin... stay tuned!


Egg Arrival

Our adventure officially began this week when the salmon eggs arrived at our studio door. Fisheries & Oceans Canada Education Coordinator Don Lowen, who has been guiding us through the entire process, spent the last few days delivering batches to dozens of schools across Greater Victoria - and took a few minutes to explain the process for us (see the video above).

Our little bundle contained 200 coho salmon eggs, most of which were already showing signs of development - including little eyes shining through the translucent shells. There has been some concern about the eggs hatching early due to an unknown stress factor this year, and sure enough one of our little fish broke free within minutes of dipping into our tank. But it appears the rest of the bunch are now settled in for another 2-3 weeks of development before hatching and settling into the gravel bed below.

Now we'll be keeping close track of their progress using an ATU (accumulated temperature unit) chart - in which every degree of water temperature in a 24 hour cycle relates to the approximate hatching time of the eggs. The batch was delivered at 341 ATU, and are expected to hatch about 20-23 days later when they hit 450-475 ATU.

Watch for more updates as the salmon move from eggs to alevin in February!


Tank Build

The process of building the ThinkTank began with A LOT of research - ensuring that we created an environment that would be perfect for the needs of the young salmon, but also for the Roll.Focus. studio space. 

With the help of our friends at UsedVictoria.com, we began by locating a 90 gallon tank  that would fit nicely into the location we selected for the project. Because the fish spend the first two years of their life cycle in a cold freshwater environment, we also acquired a chiller to keep the tank at a crisp 5 degrees Celsius over the first few months. 

From there we made a number of visits to Goldstream Park, Mount Douglas Park and the Colquitz River to observe the gravel, rocks and plants that exist in the salmon's natural environment, and develop a plan to integrate those features into our tank.  We also found the root from a fallen tree that would fit perfectly in our tank, adding a fantastic decorative element to the display.

With all of the pieces in place, our next step was to assemble the tank step-by-step. After laying a sand bed for the native plant species to grow in, we placed a layer of gravel and a selection of local river rocks to provide the shelter and substrate the fish require.

Then came the faux-rock background, LED lighting and circulation pumps to simulate the stream environment the young salmon would emerge into. The next step was to fill the tank with treated water, free from any of the toxins, chlorides or heavy metals that may harm the fish in their most vulnerable stage. 

With everything in place, the final stage was to leave the tank running for several days, allowing the water to cool and beneficial bacteria to begin to grow, all while keeping a close eye on the chemical conditions of the tank.

One week later we are ready for our batch of coho salmon to arrive, and can't wait to take you along for the ride!


Project Roots

This idea was spawned (get it?) from a video we produced for the Goldstream Hatchery in 2013, where we had the chance to witness first-hand the work volunteers are doing to revitalize the chum, coho and chinook salmon populations in our local waterways. Ever since working with their team, and other wildlife partners like Eagle Wing Tours and Swan Lake Nature House, we knew it would be important to play our part in supporting ecological initiatives in our own backyard.

Fast forward to a conversation in the fall of 2016 with Don Lowen - who serves as the Education Coordinator for Fisheries & Oceans Canada, running salmon incubation programs in schools across the South Island. We raised the idea of building a tank in our James Bay studio space, that would serve as both an educational tool for our clients and followers, but also a fantastic centrepiece for our work environment.

Within weeks, plans were hatched (heh) to get involved in the Stream to Sea Salmonid Enhancement program, and we can't wait to show you every step of the journey. Hopefully you'll enjoy watching our fish grow from eggs to alevin and eventually fry, and learn something along the way to releasing them back into local waterways!

Victoria Jazz Society

2016 Victoria JazzFest

  • CLIENT: VICTORIA JAZZ SOCIETY

  • SERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 5 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $2,000-$4,000

Where can you hear some of the best tunes in Victoria for ten days straight? Victoria’s JazzFest, of course! Stretching from the last week of June into July, everyone can catch the Victoria Jazz Society’s lineup of jazz, blues and world music from local, Canadian, and internationally acclaimed musicians.

Every year, jazz societies from across the country get together to showcase their festivals to one another, and Victoria Jazz Society approached Roll.Focus. in search of new content featuring their annual performances.

As big lovers of jazz ourselves, we were enthusiastic about taking this project on and getting the opportunities to see so many talented musicians at work. It was vital to capture the energy of these events as well as the wide variety of genres when it comes to jazz, so that is why a wrap-up feature of the event was the video style chosen. We’ve also never had a video that involved so many locations - eight shoot days across six different venues! But it was well worth the effort, and we’re very happy with the end result that celebrates all the talent our city has to offer.

Tyler Bennett - Production Assistant & Editor

Tyler Bennett is a sports broadcaster and production assistant at Roll.Focus. 

Juggling tasks at Roll.Focus. and CHEK News, Tyler doesn't have a lot of free time, but when he does, he loves playing hockey and video games. Born and raised in Victoria, Tyler enjoys experiencing all the trails and natural beauty the Island has to offer. With a passion for sports, both locally and internationally, Tyler loves to be around the rink, hardcourt, ballpark or whatever playing field is thrown his way!

Joe Webster - Production Assistant & Editor

The newest member of the Roll.Focus. team, our English import is a jack of all trades, helping with everything from planning to production and editing. 

Hailing from York in the UK, Joe is a passionate photographer who has expanded into the world of video. His persistent emails paid off earning himself an internship before becoming a fully fledged member of the team.

Photo Credit: One Lion Photography

University of Victoria

Diversity Forum

  • CLIENT: UVIC VIKES

  • SERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 7 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $4,500-$5,500

There's no better way to showcase diversity within a community than by hearing from a wide range of voices. And that's what we did when brought on by University of Victoria's Office of the Vice President Academic and Provost to create a video for their 10th Diversity Research Forum

"Diversity" means many different things to people, and we wanted to get an understanding of those ideas through our interviews. With so many people involved in the video, flexibility with a variety of schedules was key. It was also important to find a way to show what "diversity" looks like in picture, so getting creative with visuals and activities became essential. What could we use to showcase the efforts which UVIC has taken over the past ten years to increase inclusion? Demonstrating interaction among peers from all walks of life was important in this, as well as scenes of communication.

Feedback to the project was very positive, and we thank the team at UVIC for the opportunity to showcase their efforts as well as congratulate them on this milestone.

Shoots are always made interesting with death metal happening in the studio down the hall! 

UVIC Vikes Rowing - Legacy Fund

  • CLIENT: UVIC VIKES

  • SERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 6 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $3,000-$4,000

Since 1965, the University of Victoria has been home to the most successful collegiate rowing program in Canada. In fact, there hasn’t been an Olympics since 1965 without a UVIC Vike in one of the rowing crews.

We were first contacted by a Vikes supporter, John Heron, who was interested in showcasing the program to assist in their bid to raise funds for new equipment. While the women's team is in need of a new eight boat, the men's team needs a new catamaran, a men's two boat, and a straight four boat as soon as possible. It became apparent that former Vikes rowers who could support this program would be integral to the fundraising effort and the best way to reach them would be through a powerful video feature.

We've always admired how dedicated the rowers are for being out on the water at the crack of dawn every morning, which conveniently is also the best time for videographers looking for that 'golden hour' shot. Everything looks beautiful when the time is right! The one challenge of the shoot was that it had to take place principally on the lake, with our equipment precariously perched on a coach boat (with no sides) - although having our gear uncomfortably close to the water is something we have gotten used to! 

To reach a larger audience for the final product, the Vikes asked for our Digital Marketing Plan add-on, which saw their posts targeted and boosted across all social media platforms. 

To learn more about how you can assist the UVic Vikes Legacy fund, click here.


Campus Sustainability

  • CLIENT: UVIC

  • sERVICE: VIDEO PRODUCTION

  • SCHEDULE: 6 WEEKS

  • BUDGET: $1,500-$2,500 

The more elaborate a shoot is, the more preparation is a key factor - and that was exactly the case with our latest University of Victoria shoot featuring the school’s Campus Planning and Sustainability Department initiatives.

Our involvement in the planning stage of the process varies from video to video. With UVIC, they already had a clear idea what initiatives they wanted to feature, so we worked together to formulate a script that covered each of those areas, ranging from the campus community garden to their recycling initiatives to their green buildings.

We worked especially close with John Ho of the Campus Planning and Sustainability Department, who would handle the scheduling, provide us with our actress and assist on the day of the shoots. Weather this autumn was not our friend, and after a literal rain check or two we managed to find a couple days to get the job done. Organization was key with so many scenes to include and it was certainly a team effort to check each location off the list and get the lines right. And no matter how scripted a shoot can be, there will always be changes to the plan, so adaptability is key.

A special thanks to John and the Campus Planning and Sustainability Department , as well as our actress Quinna and all student extras who helped make the process enjoyable and the shoot easy to navigate.