Making of the KELLER short film
07. December 2021
How is a company film actually produced? What makes a good film? What are the most important aspects? How long does it take to produce and who is the right partner for this project?
At the beginning of the project, there were a lot of questions we had to ask ourselves and we needed to clarify what it was that we wanted a company film to achieve. To answer this, we watched films from other companies with varying lengths, types of content, protagonists and cinematic qualities. It quickly became clear that we wanted to tell our story in an exciting and authentic way, entertain the viewer and convey an impression of the KELLER world with beautiful and engaging shots. But most importantly, the film should ultimately answer the following three questions:
• Who are we?
• What do we do?
• What do we stand for?
Among the various production companies, a Winterthur-based firm by the name of «zweihund» stood out. «zweihund» produces films with a unique flair and a lot of loving detail for the advertising, music, and documentary industries. On meeting the team, our first impressions convinced us we had made the right choice as the character of their films seemed to be reflected in their personalities too.
«zweihund» then developed an initial concept for the film, which we presented to our two bosses. This was followed by a personal meeting with Tobias and Mike Keller, a thorough tour of our production facilities, an initial, longer interview with the Keller brothers, further concept development and finally an overall plan for producing the film.
There are many factors which must be considered when producing a film of this kind, for example:
• which departments should be filmed
• which employees to ask for portraits
• how each individual piece of machinery should be filmed
• where the electricity is going to come from
• many other things.
First day of shooting: «In the ideas room with the Keller brothers»
The first day of shooting took place in a studio in Zurich. Our bosses had both decided in advance that they would prefer to speak spontaneously rather than follow a script. It was very important to them both to be authentic and say what came spontaneously to mind – as is the case in our company culture. This part would deliberately be filmed in black and white to distinguish it from the colourful world of KELLER, which should of course take centre stage.
Second and third day of shooting:
«Production in full swing»
A precise schedule was set for the two days of shooting in the production facilities, which would have to be abided by. All employees taking part in the shoot were briefed in advance on the scenario and what to wear, were given their slot and enjoyed a pampering by the make-up artist before shooting. The employees in the various departments were relaxed, at ease, spontaneous and helped create a pleasant atmosphere during filming.
After the third day, we went on to evaluate the footage.
Fourth day of shooting:
«Peace. Freedom. Pressure measurement technology.»
The final day of shooting and reshooting took place at the Schützenwiese football stadium, the home ground of FC Winterthur. As a main sponsor of FCW, it made a lot of sense to move our two bosses from the realm of ideas and into the stadium itself. Exerting the right amount of pressure is also crucial in football. And watching and filming all those crosses and headers left us feeling dizzy. It was already late at night when the stadium’s floodlights were switched off and all the footage was in the bag.
Michael and Tobias Keller at the Schützenwiese football stadium
Now the final scenes could be introduced into the rough cut. A couple of small, last-minute adjustments were made but agreement still needed to be reached on the soundtrack. Finally, after the rough cut had been approved, the music was professionally mixed in a studio. Such excitement – just in time for the premiere, we had the finished film (with versions in both German and English).
To make the premiere feel like a genuine event, we booked the largest conference room with the biggest screen and a newly installed sound system. The employees were given tickets to the premiere, and we provided nibbles. Some international KELLER employees were also on site and enjoyed a sneak preview. A lovely afternoon drew to a close and we set about preparing for the launch.
Five days later
World premiere – we are live!