Oct 9, 2015

Medalta's View On "If These Walls Could Talk"

After wrapping up my latest video for Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat, Alberta this summer, there was no question that this project had taken a lot of energy to complete - see my post on the debut here. Medalta could not have been more supportive throughout the production process, and Quentin Randall, Medalta's Marketing Director, brought up the idea of sharing what the experience had been like on his end. The following words are his own.   

How Medalta Ended Up With "If These Walls Could Talk" by Quentin Randall

During Pecha Kucha Night on September 26, Medalta unveiled its newest and most ambitious video, titled “If These Walls Could Talk.” The anticipation internally and praise from our community has been awesome. We were so excited to finally share it with the world.

We had really high hopes for this video. We wanted it to be creative. We wanted it to capture our personality as an organization that enjoys life and doesn’t take itself too seriously. We want everyone to know that Medalta is more than a museum or a Market. And we want everyone to share their Medalta experiences with us through our #MyMedalta hashtag.

So how do we do all that in a short video? How do we get somewhere really creative and fun without dictating to the videographer? Or alternatively, letting it all go and hoping for the best?

This was what I struggled with and it’s part of the reason it took a few extra months to complete the project. But with a stunning end result, I want to share what I learned throughout the process because I’m sure Luke has a lot of prospective & current clients who want the very best. I want you to get there – I want to see the bar raised for everyone.

In meeting with Luke for this project (who has produced a few different videos for us), I tried to encourage creativity. My goal was to create a structure where he felt safe taking creative risks. The underlying goal for the video was for it to be fun, carrying a message that Medalta does A LOT of great things.

From there, everything sprouted.

Scripts were written and re-written many times, with input from a handful of my Medalta teammates. When we got to a place we were all satisfied with, I asked my team if they were comfortable with me taking it to Luke and finishing the project off. Luckily for me, Medalta has an unbeatable team who placed their trust in me.

Armed with that trust, Luke and I were able to work freely to create something really fun. I took inspiration to him, we bounced ideas back and forth and it felt like it was starting to take shape. Then for a long time nothing happened. I’d check in. He’d check in. There were delays. Progress was happening, but slowly.

We joked that this was turning into Luke’s version of Brian Wilson’s Smile: a legendary project that waited decades to be released.

Failure was definitely on the table – especially as the project dragged on. But I had trust in Luke, and I knew Medalta trusted me. We all knew where we were heading – what the overarching goal was for this project. That was important.

And in the end, we ended up with something that I haven’t seen in Medicine Hat before. It is excellent. It is different. It really is a wonderful piece of work and it hits all the points we wanted to hit.

It’s hard to trust people in business sometimes, but what I learned through this process is that if you can find someone you trust, that person is invaluable. We were lucky to have trust all the way down the line – from Barry, my Executive Director – all the way down to the guy in his apartment at 3am with a Slurpee, cutting footage into something great.

The bottom line for me is that if you are working with good people and have open, clear lines of communication, you really just need to trust that they’ll deliver. It’s not always easy because it means giving up a lot of creative control, but I know first-hand, it really is rewarding. If These Walls Could Talk really proves that.

I hope you watch it and I hope you enjoy it.

Oct 8, 2015

Canadian Museum of Rail Travel: Part 1

Beautiful train cars, memorabilia and railway history is brought to life at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook, British Columbia. They have done, and are continuing to do, some amazing restoration to historic train cars to showcase this important chapter in Canadian history. Many communities across the West owe their existence to the arrival of the railway, and the preservation of these train cars offers a unique glimpse into rail travel in its heyday.

Featuring a variety of train cars from the early to mid 20th century, the guided tour offers insight into the design, particular histories, and even some of the etiquette aboard the different trains. This museum is continually improving on itself with lots of glimpses into the restoration process. Many of the cars are beautifully presented and maintained, but I also enjoyed getting to see some of the cars in rougher states with discussions about how they intend to bring them back. If you find yourself in Cranbrook, the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel is a must-see.

Despite touring some beautiful historic train cars, I was still decked out in my gear from 4 days at the Shambhala Music Festival. My friend Brandie and I were making our way back to Alberta from Salmo, BC and stopped off in Cranbrook to check out this museum. We had a few laughs about how we must have looked and smelled to everyone else on our tour. I had to get a quick snapshot of myself in the mirror as we made our way through one of the train cars. 

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