How Fred & Farid shot Webtoon ad film under quarantine

Fred & Farid Webtoon

To create Stories To Obsess Over for Webtoon, Fred & Farid Los Angeles devised a virtual set that all entities involved could access in real-time.

As Los Angeles braved through preventive self-quarantine measures, new opportunities opened up for those involved in publishing online. Webtoon needed the campaign to promote their offerings — stories people would like to binge (and obsess over) during quarantine — and Fred & Farid Los Angeles found the motivation (read: challenge) to create it using the best innovations at their disposal.

For the first episode in this series of films, the agency tapped actress Alia Shawkat, director Kevin Phillips, and a team of video conferencing specialists to execute the creative.

The agency and the production company, Ways & Means created a virtual set that allowed clients, agency, crew and talent to stay in constant communication throughout the process, from pre-production meeting to filming. A professional-grade camera, along with a sanitised filmmaker fit was delivered to the Shawkat’s home the day before the shoot. The technology used made it possible for the agency and clients to virtually attend the shoot, and see exactly what was being captured, as if they were viewing a camera in a traditional video village.

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Experts were on standby to troubleshoot technical issues while a camera assistant remotely controlled aperture and focus from miles away. To make the experience as ‘real’ and ‘on-set’ as possible, craft services were sent to clients via delivery service. Even family members pitched in: Shawkat’s brother doubles up as a production assistant, helping move the equipment from one setup to the next.

After the remote shoot, production delivered a Phantom camera, lighting equipment, and an assortment of props to director Phillips’ home. With the goal of making the film feel as cinematic as possible, Kevin shot a number of slow-motion macro shots which were intercut with Alia’s dialogue in the final edits.

“There’s a solution to every problem! This new way of shooting remotely could re-shape the way creative work is done for the foreseeable future” says Chelsea Steiger, Creative Director on the project. “Now we know that we can pull-off a broadcast-quality production safely, without making sacrifices creatively.”