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Production Deep Dive : BrainMD

There is a running joke internally that we have all learned to live off our client's products. BrainMD is one of the front runners. We talk about our supplement regimen being in danger any time we go a few months without working with them.

How We Met:

We've been working with BrainMD for close to 3 years now. We originally met Dr. Amen at a conference for another healthcare client. He was signing his book and none of us knew who he was. He seemed important so I took a photo of him and got his assistant's contact info so I could send it along. That was that.

A couple years later, they needed to refresh their brand assets for web and social. We came up as a referral from that one tiny interaction years prior.

The original project was a full send photo and video production that needed to cover more than 44 SKUS.

Anytime we work with a new client there is an adjustment period. They have their needs and we have ours. Deciding who leads the conversation on budget can be tricky. We are trying to leverage as much budget as possible to make sure we have tons of support for our team - stylists, HMU, wardrobe, PA's, etc. - because it produces the best product. The client is usually pressured by all the different departments within their company to get as much content as possible for the least amount of money.

In the end, they had enough budget for a 1 day shoot but the shotlist was going to take 2 full days. Since it was a first engagement and we thought they had a lot of potential for a long-term client, we extended a second day at a steep discount.

The shoot was a big success and we have shot with them 2-3 times a year since.

Scope of Work:

For this most recent engagement, we had a reasonably paced 2 day shoot.

We shot photo and video simultaneously and used a combination of talent from agency and our local deck.

Meg was our prop stylist for both days. Talent provided their own wardrobe based on our style guides.

We billed for $10k per day + talent and non-returnable props/ingredients, all totally around $25k.

Production Process:

The heavy lifting for a volume shoot like this comes in the pre-pro. We went back and forth with their Creative Director for a few weeks trying to find the balance between budget and deliverables. Once we sorted that out, we started the talent casting process as well as scheduling meetings with our stylist.

From there, we began planning the sets and direction of styling. Stan wanted to create unique camera angles so the images stood out a little more. We also banked heavily on creating use-cases in the background while featuring product very clearly in the foreground.

Stills had been converting for them better than video so we prioritized photo and only shot a few UGC styled videos.

We still needed to shoot through a ton of SKUS but - given previous shoot experience with them - we had a good formula for minor set tweaks and angle changes while being able to hot-swap products.

Schedule Overview for Hale Productions

Our overview gives us a high-level playbook for who needs to be where and at what time.

Schedule Overview for Hale Productions

And the individual shot/talent pages go into more detail. For a busy shoot with a lot of product and a small margin of error we like to block the schedule in 15-30 min intervals and pre-select angles, camera motions, and talent direction.

Day 1 was our big talent and lifestyle day. Which tends to require a lot of energy and focus.

Mostly everyone on our team is proficient in two areas of production. As we finished one scene, different team members were already helping Meg style on the next one. Shooting at Influence Studios has been incredibly helpful as the sets are basically ready to go upon arrival.

Day 2 was strictly product tabletop. We could relax in the physical sense because we were going to be parked in one location. But since we were shooting so many SKUS and offering unique setups we had to plan the day in an equal amount of detail as day 1.

Schedule Overview for Hale Productions

After we made it through our 2 day shoot we hovered over the product table and divvied out the supplements :)


All in, we delivered around 60 still images and 5 short form vertical videos. Plus lots of BTS :)

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