The National Gallery

'Gold' Case Study

The National Gallery in London houses one of the greatest art collections in the world. When NextShoot was invited to produce, film and edit their 2017 Christmas advertising campaign ‘Gold’ it was the third successive year we had been entrusted with the responsibility of communicating the heritage, elegance and authority of this world-renowned museum.

The campaign consists of four videos exploring the significance of Gold in the gallery’s collection, from specific examples of gold leafing in the early and medieval collection, to seeing the gallery’s scientific and framing departments at work, restoring and preserving priceless works of art.
Following the success, popularity and high level of engagement of their previous Christmas video marketing campaigns across social media channels and their website, the National Gallery commissioned NextShoot to produce and film a series of four videos. Working with the gallery’s social media team and experts we identified four central themes which would make for powerful video content.

The first video ‘Gold in Paintings’ would explore the process and techniques involved in applying gold to pictures. ‘Framing Gold’ would look at the work of the Gallery’s framing department in maintaining and restoring old frames and creating entirely new ones. ‘Dressed in Gold’ would take a look at some of the amazing costumes depicted in works in the gallery’s collection. Finally, the ‘Stories of Gold’ video would be posted just before Christmas, focusing primarily on depictions of the birth of Christ in paintings in the gallery’s collection.
The National Gallery Gold Campaign The National Gallery Gold Campaign
The National Gallery Gold Campaign The National Gallery Gold Campaign
Our initial object was to work with the gallery’s specialists to identify which works of art to focus on, where they fell within each of the four identified themes and to decide which of their experts and curators would deal with each subject, artist and painting.

Works selected include The Wilton Diptych, a stunning rare survival of a late Medieval religious panel painting from England. It was decided to film an interview with the gallery’s Deputy Director in front of the piece in the Sainsbury Wing.

One of the main challenges was the scheduling of interviews, selecting locations for interview film and capturing supporting b-roll and, of course, working to incredibly tight schedules outside of opening hours. To create informative videos that viewers would really engage with, we decided to stage a practical demonstration of gold-leafing and framing techniques and also film in the gallery’s scientific department.

We were also able to use a dedicated room within the gallery to capture additional interviews during the filming day, making the most of our crew's time on location. For these interviews, we constructed and lit a stunning gold backdrop, allowing us full control of the look of the film.
Each video includes interview content with curators and experts from the National Gallery. The interviewees move from the earliest works in the collection, where gold is actually used to decorate the painting itself and to surround it with elaborately constructed and leafed frames, to later works where gold is depicted in oil paint to capture an incredible sense of depth and lustre in some of the clothing and objects portrayed.

In addition to the interviews we were granted early morning and late night access to the gallery’s main rooms capturing filmic shots of these magnificent locations with a steadicam, moving with the interviewees on their journey through the gallery, and in some instances, conducting their interview next to the work they were discussing.

Our directors and producers have many years of experience in conducting interviews. They are able to guide interviewees, helping them to navigate complex subjects for a video audience, to perform to the best of their abilities and to communicate with their audience in a succinct, relevant and effective way.
The National Gallery Gold Campaign The National Gallery Gold Campaign
The National Gallery Gold Campaign The National Gallery Gold Campaign
We created an eye-catching and colourful title graphic for the video series. Each of the films was transcribed and captions created as SRT files for use across various social media channels. Teaser versions of each video were created showing some of the visual highlights of the filming.

The campaign was exceptionally successful. Teased with a 15 second trailer on Twitter, one video was then released each week in the run up to Christmas on the National Gallery YouTube page and on a dedicated section of their website. The campaign was a huge success, delivering over 1.3 million views across the full length films, social shorts and teaser. Over the campaign period The National Gallery won 31.1k new Facebook Likes and the #ArtGold Twitter day saw the hashtag trend for 8 hours, peaking at number 4 in the UK, above #royalwedding.

NextShoot has the expertise in delivering high profile projects with national and international institutions. The value we bring is not limited simply to state of the art equipment and filming techniques but also the logistical planning, production process and research.
Guide to Arts Video Production
Arts Video Production

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