We arrived in North Carolina on a Tuesday evening, ready to eat, understand, and film sweet potatoes in all their natural splendor. The eating went well (so, so well), and the understanding was a success (I didn’t know sweet potatoes are so delicate!), but filming the splendor, well, it rained pretty much from touchdown to take-off. Alas, no sweeping shots of glorious sweet potato fields or macros of a sweet potato being pulled from the earth.
Sweet potatoes aside, from our partners (whose sweet potatoes we were eating, understanding, and filming) to the area farmers, Southern hospitality, I learned, is alive and well. Everyone was so incredibly nice. The rain may have damped the ground, but definitely not our spirits. Our hosts took us to their favorite BBQ hole-in-the-wall, and Sweet Sue (who was selling sweet potatoes before selling sweet potatoes was cool) and her cohort Coco at the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission gave us not only the state of sweet potato industry but also some amazing sweet potato hats!
The food was great and the hats helped protect us from the rain, but come hat or high water, I went to North Carolina to film sweet potatoes, and that’s what I was going to do. So we adapted and took our planned shoot indoors to capture some of the potato packing process.
Fortunately for my filming, sweet potatoes can stay in dark, temperature-controlled storage for up to a year (which is why you can get sweet potatoes all year round), and once they’ve cured, they’re ready to be packed at a moment’s notice, which is what I had and what we took advantage of. I ended up getting a lot of great footage, so I assembled a brief cut of some B-roll. This isn’t the intended final piece, of course, but it’s a good reminder that even the unplanned, unglamorous parts of a company’s process can be communicated in a compelling way given the right tools and an understanding of narrative structure. That strategic creative, that combination of story and technical skill, sums up well so much of what we do at MarketPlace. If your brand is in need of strategic creative, do get in touch, as we’d love to hear more about your company and discuss how our storytelling (visual or otherwise) could help.