If you’ve ever eaten canned food in North America, the can more than likely came from Silgan Containers, the largest provider of metal food packaging in the United States. Silgan is a publicly traded company worth 3.9 billion (NASDAQ: SLGN). With 29 manufacturing facilities strategically located across the country that operate 24/7, producing billions of units. It just doesn’t get any bigger. Silgan is a heritage brand with it’s roots dating back to the Carnation can company from 1899.
Silgan Containers hired Highline Studios to produce a corporate video which showcases the company’s history, corporate culture and their state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. They wanted a video that would generate excitement around their business.
- Creative concept development
- Video production: producing, directing, video editing
- Mood Boards
- Location scouting
- Production design
Our Concept and Approach
At Highline are particularly interested in manufacturing and distribution ops, anything large scale. Silgan is on the bleeding edge of technology when it comes to their facilities, R&D, and their manufacturing process. From the get go, we new there would be an opportunity to shoot some really distinctly cool and compelling footage at each manufacturing plant.
Our approach was to use a small crew and a plethora of camera rigs to capture all the action from various vantage points. Put the viewer in the factory, and let them see the impressive array of synchronized machinery working tirelessly while factory workers dance around the machines in unison.
Over the course of five days we spent two days shooting each facility. On our hump day, the crew made the drive from Wisconsin to Iowa. Gimbals, drones, suction cup mounted GoPro's, dedicated time-lapse, tripods, hand held, sliders... Our main camera was a RED, mostly for it's impressive slow motion capabilities.
Challenges (get your earplugs)
The actual space and amount of machinery is a bit overwhelming at first.
These are huge factories, with roughly 2,000,000 sq. feet of factory floor covered in all kinds of machinery, with forklifts buzzing around you constantly. On top of that the machines run 24/7, 365 days a year, so there is never a quiet moment. The sound from the machinery is punishing. These machines are cutting metal cans, out of metal sheets at a dizzying pace. Thud! Thud! Thud! It never stops. The noise level is so extreme, you have to wear hearing protection (real ear muffs) to protect your ears.
We had in ear monitors connected to our walkie talkie system. Even with proper protection, and the in ear monitors, it was sometimes nearly impossible to communicate. We reverted at times to writing our communication down on pieces of scratch paper and handing them to a team member that was right by your side! After a day on the floor, your legs were wasted, and your ears were tender. Let's go again!