An Insider’s Take on a Video Shoot at The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is nestled in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. When CUA’s university advancement team reached out to us about crafting a video to help them with their fundraising efforts, we leapt at the opportunity. They had a powerful story and plenty of touchstones for us to draw from.
Along with the client, we settled on the concept of “Light The Way” as a direction for both visual language and script, driving home parallels between illumination and Catholicism’s view of god as a guiding light. Some of these similarities were simple to achieve, such as lights coming on as someone enters a room, or seeing window lights at night. Others were a little more challenging, like the electrical illumination of Earth or multiple large spotlights shining on campus. Piece by piece we prepared for the visual metaphors until we reached a place where it was clearly communicated.
For the actual filming, we drove eight hours to Catholic University’s campus. Picture a family road trip, complete with snacks, frequent bathroom breaks, car sickness, and at least one coffee stop. In D.C., we traveled all over the campus, usually working for 12 hours, sun up to sun down, to capture as much of their wonderful environment as we could. On every shoot, but especially one far from home, we want to make sure we get all the coverage we need. Driving the whole team back to D.C. to pick up shots we missed wasn’t going to be an option. However, with nearly 4TB of 5K footage and having checked everything off our shot list, we were pretty sure we captured everything we would need. Catholic made its mark on us and we won’t be forgetting its unique campus any time soon.
But it wasn’t the Starbucks Reserve that we went to eight times in five days, nor the car rides with so much equipment that a 20-foot van felt uncomfortable that made the trip memorable. It was the people.
You can be shooting your dream project for a million dollars, but if it isn’t with good people, it isn’t going to feel special. We’ve been exceptionally fortunate to have many people tell us how remarkable our work is to them, how beautiful the shots are, how a piece we made impacted them. What makes Madhouse deliver every single time is the people. We know each other well, work well together, push each other, and make each other better.