A chance meeting at a neighbourhood street party led us to work with Elizabeth and the team at New Mac Video Agency on a short brand film for Plyroom. After getting to know Elizabeth and discovering our shared interest in small space design, we saw an opportunity to work together on a video that captured Plyroom furniture in an intimate setting—being lived in with people (and their animals) at home.
Check out the video here.
As well as acting as a producer for New Mac, Elizabeth also contributes to the platform Never Too Small (an exploration of beautiful small-format living) and is co-author of Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living.
We spoke with Elizabeth to learn more about her work as a storyteller and share some of the behind-the-scenes details of our very special video project.
What can you tell us about your work on Never Too Small?
I feel very lucky as my work on Never too Small is so varied. In terms of our regular YouTube episodes, I don’t contribute a lot, except a little voiceover work every now and then. Outside of that, I had the pleasure of co-authoring Never Too Small’s first book, which we published in late 2021, Reimagining Small Space Living and I also co-wrote and worked as an associate producer on our first limited documentary series, Small Footprint, which was also released in 2021. More recently, I worked with the team to put on our first show as part of Melbourne Design Week, which was a huge amount of fun. The show was focused on small footprint furniture design, and interestingly, plywood played a huge role!
What kinds of stories are you interested in?
Wow. What a great but tough question! I guess at both New Mac and Never Too Small, at the most basic level, we’re drawn to stories about good people doing good things. People who are doing things differently and going against the grain are also a great source of inspiration and interest for us. We like our stories to be positive and hopeful ones, and have beautiful visuals too, of course!
What were some of your considerations when producing a brand video for Plyroom?
Plyroom has such a great origin story, but it’s a brand that’s evolving too, so we wanted to produce something that reflected and celebrated both of these aspects. There needed to be a quietness to it all too, which is familiar territory for us at Never Too Small, as we seek to bring this quality to all of our episodes. The idea is to let the design speak for itself.
We’re exposed to so much visual content these days, and it may be easy to forget how much work actually goes into producing a high-quality video. When we see a New Mac video—like the one you’ve produced for Plyroom—how many people have worked on it before it goes live?
On this particular project, we had an Account Manager/Producer (me) leading the project on our side, and then Colin and Nam took the creative lead as Director and DOP (Director of Photography)/Editor, respectively. Typically we would have a separate editor and DOP but it was lovely to have the creative continuity of having Nam work across the edit and post-production. On the production days though there were stylists involved and talent as well, of course (both human and canine!).
How long did it take to shoot, or how much footage does it take to before it gets edited down to the 2 ½ minutes we see?
The shoot itself took a day and a half and after that we had about 45 minutes worth of footage.
How does your team select the music? How do you go about finding the right track?
Our editors will typically select the music, unless Colin or another director has a strong feeling or a specific track in mind. In the last five years or so, royalty-free music has improved exponentially and the quality of music tracks available through the better subscription services is very high. In this instance, Nam had a clear sense of the sort of mood he wanted to create, so we started with a track in that realm and then worked collaboratively with Elise at Plyroom to find the right instrumentation and tone.
Was there anything interesting that happened behind the scenes during the making of this video? Was the doggo as well-behaved as she looks?
A beautiful cream rug from Halcyon Lake featured as part of the shoot. And while lovely Peggy was indeed extremely well behaved, there was a degree of anxiety about her coming into contact with the rug. You’ve never seen such clean paws on a dog on account of all the precautionary baby wipes that were being applied!
That aside, the shoot was extremely relaxed, it was hard not to be relaxed in that beautiful home. All the crew ate lunch together out in the beautiful garden, which could not have been more idyllic.
Do you have a favourite part of the process?
Seeing the first cut is always pretty special, seeing how it all comes together on the screen.
Is there a particular moment or shot in the Plyroom video that you liked, personally?
I love the shots from the workshop. The natural light in there was magnificent and it came up beautifully in the edit.
Image credits Elise Scott