Project:
A Slice of Time
Client:
Harvest
Year:
2013
Ambition:
Create a narrative brand film for Harvest's best in class time-tracking software, featuring an original story and a set of characters inspired by actual Harvest customers, promoting the software to studios and freelancers everywhere.
Services:
  • Concept
    • Screenwriting
    • Treatment
  • Pre-Production
    • Casting
    • Locations
    • Crew
    • Gear
  • Production
    • 1 week of shooting at a variety of NYC locations
  • Post-Production
    • editing
    • color grading
    • original score (by Judson Crane)
    • final mix and master
    • bonus content for website

“Here at Harvest, we want to do a video to show how people use Harvest today. Not a ‘product demo’ type of video, but an emotional one.”
— Danny Wen, Harvest Co-founder

We've admired the Harvest team and their finely tuned product for about as long as we can remember, even before getting to know Danny over some friendly card games. So when we heard that they wanted to create a film about Harvest, grounded in the emotional core of the product experience, we responded quickly and enthusiastically. One phone call later, and we were heads down on an original screenplay and treatment.

The direction was clear: tell a great little story, give it cinematic appeal, and make it relatable to an established set of key customer personas; specifically, we were speaking to studio managers, project managers, designers, and their industry comrades. This wasn't about a direct flyover of Harvest's features, though the product would need to make some handsome appearances. This was about the very heart of the product's value proposition: time well spent.

Our first draft told the story of a scrupulous watchmaker who commissions an up-and-coming architecture firm to build a cabin for his wife on the occasion of their 50-year anniversary. The Harvest team loved the screenplay, but wanted the story to be a little more grounded for their customers. Everyone felt it was important to extend the story beyond conventional working relationships, and focusing the story around a "love" project felt right. So we changed the architecture firm to a design firm and decided that the lead designer's father would be the client. The design firm characters were played by real-world web industry veterans (including Happy Cog CEO, Greg Hoy, as the studio manager) and we recruited one of our favorite restauranteurs—Paulie Gee of Paulie Gee's Pizza in Brooklyn—to play the client / father.

Harvest website screenshot

With the story in a good place, we completed pre-production and commenced an intensely fun (and occasionally harrowing) week of production in NYC. Paulie graciously offered us full run of his pizzeria for a day, and members of the Harvest team joined us for the filming of the final scenes in which many, many pizzas were vanquished.

Harvest website screenshot

With the shoot wrapped, we dove into a few weeks of careful finishing work—editing, color grading, and the creation of an original score by one of the best in the biz, Judson Crane. Last but not least, we collaborated with Harvest to provide some bonus content for a custom-tailored page to tell the story behind the film, which their team designed and built.

A warm hug

Meet the finished product