• Lucas Chambers - Director

UEFA Congress Corporate Video - Behind the Scenes

Join us for a close-up view on corporate video production for the European Football Association

When discussions with UEFA began back in early February, the client was seeking a six-minute corporate video to introduce the 19 members of the UEFA Committee . These are 19 members who oversee every facet of the beautiful game, from ensuring that the highest refereeing standards are maintained to the implementation of the UEFA Women's Champions League frameworks and beyond. The goal was to examine the achievements of the committees and to look ahead to what's next whilst continuing to support the pillars of the UEFA Strategy.

Behind the scenes with SmartCuts Producer Dominique Lambert on UEFA's 2022 corporate congress video.

A corporate video production challenge

The challenge was to hatch an idea that was different from those used in previous years. SmartCuts Creative has been doing UEFA’s annual congress corporate video since 2019.

This year, we wanted to produce something that, above all, had some serious stand-out appeal — we wanted a concept that harnessed some of the latest techniques in corporate video production with a fresh contemporary feel. Hence we looked at presenting the committee update in the form of virtual event, using presenters and our green-screen studio.

The most challenging part of the project was to create something that really looked authentic. There was a risk that the presenters who were filmed in green-screen isolation and superimposed in a virtual set would not look real. This is where Paul, our special effects video editor, really stepped up to the mark and showed his prowess. Using Fusion, the world's most advanced compositing software for visual effects, broadcast and motion graphics, Paul was able to seamlessly marry the green-screen footage and virtual set so that the two became one. With Fusion’s partner NLE, called DaVinci Resolve , he superimposed UEFA branding onto a set purchased online, and he calibrated the color balance to replicate UEFA’s brand palette. What seemed at first to be a technical impossibility was executed beautifully — the result is top notch.

UEFA's 2022 corporate congress video produced by SmartCuts Creative.

The Concept – Blending Video with Animation

In addition to this, we wanted the individual stories of the committee members to appear in between the studio footage, and to be unveiled like that of a football team lineup at the intro stage of a live game. The individual member profiles were thus revealed in animated form with supportive team jerseys to give the impression that they were part of an active team that was due to take center stage on the pitch. The graphics were designed and developed separately in Adobe Photoshop and imported into the video timeline. All video footage pertaining to the individual committee members was supplied by UEFA and edited down so that the stories kept to an equal length, ensuring consistency and pace.

It was crucial that the video, to be shown at the annual committee gathering on the 11th of May in Vienna, keep the audience engaged from beginning to end. As is often the case with projects of this nature, there’s invariably an element in production that brings about an unexpected turn and a minor blip in the road, so to speak. As UEFA was keen to maintain a European tone of voice throughout the video, there were bound to be challenges as our two presenters had both Australian and American accents. So how do you get your presenters to deliver in a European accent, and what is a European accent anyway?

SmartCuts presenter Arianne Alcorta at work with Tony Johnston of www.tonyjohnston.tv

After a pre-production briefing and a number of takes, we were able to get them to tone things down somewhat but we still faced some uncanny pronunciation here and there. I’m sure our highly polished female presenter, Arianne Alcorta, will long remember re-recording the word “support” numerous times in a variety of different European accents. We got there in the end, much to the amusement of the sound engineer.

Mission accomplished

I’m relatively new to the world of corporate video production, but my years of working in advertising and creative direction in Dubai and Singapore really helped me to visualize and craft the concept. I think years of being confronted with creative changes brings about an intuitive sixth sense that no problem is insurmountable. What is important, in my humble opinion, is that once a concept hits the storyboarding phase, there be a strong feeling of what’s going to work and what’s not. It’s there and then that you’re occasionally faced with a “tear it up and start again moment”. I’m glad to say with this concept I knew I was on to a winner. It was really just a question of giving it some love, and of course of tapping into the know-how from our expert video technicians.

In conclusion, I think without any doubt the highlight of this project was the overall finished product. The seamless transitions from virtual studio to telling the story of the work of each committee really do look stellar. Work in some great audio and some special effects wizardry here and there, and you’ve got a corporate video that engages from start to finish.

Hope you enjoy it.