Case study: Shooting a TV commercial

Or: How to Fit 3 Locations in a Single Shooting Day

Got this cool gig to shoot a TV commercial for the local cable TV provider. They wanted something unique, and of course, they were on a tight schedule. We're used to it, so we said yes and dove into prepping.

Instructions were crystal clear: three locations, one day of shooting. So, we knew the heavy lifting was in the location scouting and script - the pre-production jazz. Sat down and brainstormed. How do you showcase a cable TV and internet provider's offerings best?

Speed test? Nah. Channel surfing? Not quite it. What's the one device we're glued to every day, besides the TV? Yep, good ol' mobile phones! So, why not have our actors in different situations watching TV on their phones? That sounded like a winner.

Found the perfect spot with three locations in one – Kalemegdan fortress. Luna park, fortress, and downtown district, all within a 10-minute stroll. Luna park became the first spot where we watched TV on our phones (yep, we also starred in the commercial) while cruising in bumper cars. Then, off to the fortress, where we chilled under a giant dinosaur as a "family," and finally, downtown. Everything fell into place, and we wrapped up just before the golden hour.

Moral of the story? Plan your shoots, nail the location scouting, and craft a detailed script. Smooth sailing in production, guaranteed. Don't take our word for it; give it a shot.

Case study: Balkan Hidraulik

Or: How Much Involvement in the Client's Industry is Enough (or Too Much)?

Alright, so here's the deal – when you're crafting a website for someone, knowing a bit about their industry is like the secret sauce. It's not just for making things look pretty (that's UX/UI for you), but also for talking the talk and giving killer advice when your client needs it. Now, the burning question: how deep should you go into the client's world when you're building their website?

Let's be clear – we're talking web design here, not the nitty-gritty development stuff, which is a whole different ball game.

Picture this: We once had a client dealing with heavy construction machine parts. Easy, right? Wrong. When it came to figuring out what goes where on their homepage, we were drawing blanks. So, we went on a deep-dive mission. Checked out CAT, Volvo, SANY, XCMG – we practically stalked their websites looking for a magic formula. Spoiler alert: there wasn't one.

Now, faced with a tough choice: do we become industry masters or roll the dice with something unique? We went for a mix. Some parts of the design had rough edges, giving off a vibe like, "We're tough and strong."

How much did we really know about heavy-duty machine parts? Enough to not get lost in the weeds and sacrifice time we could spend on other cool projects, but also enough to tell our hydraulic springs from our lifters. There's something oddly satisfying about learning the ropes of something you knew zilch about. It gave us that cool, calm feeling when we wrapped up the project.

And guess what? The client noticed.

We didn't brag about our crash course in heavy machinery lingo, but the client's first reaction to the homepage draft was, "Have you worked in the industry?" Boom! That right there told us we nailed it. Another successful mission under our belt, and now it's time for a well-deserved beer. Cheers to rocking the web design world!

Case study: Shooting an independent short film

Or: Do what you love and you will not have to work a single day

All of us in Medusa are crazy about movies, truly. Movies inspired us to start a creative agency in a way. So, one day after shooting our Xth commercial video, we sat down, and someone had an idea: Why don't we make our own short movie? There was bliss in everyone's eyes immediately.

At the time, we knew what it meant to shoot a commercial video but not what it meant to shoot a real movie. We needed to prepare, cast actors, gather more crew, and rent additional equipment. And all of that needed to be done alongside our other projects.

What was the location? We decided it would be in the forest. The crew? No more than 20 carefully chosen professionals who would wear multiple hats. Story was about a guy searching for the clean source of water in the near future, on enemy's territory. We agreed on a date and started with all the preparations needed to finish such a complex production. The screenplay was already done, and rehearsals started happening big time. The only thing we didn't have was a place to stay at the location.

At one moment, our DP said, "Do you want to camp during the shooting?" Wow! Of course, we said yes because most of us hadn't seen a tent in our lives. We agreed and added one more thing to our preparations: getting tents for the people.

And then, finally, the day of the production came.

We arrived at the destination, and it was more beautiful than when we went on a location scouting. The forest had accepted us. We placed our tents on one of the meadows and started with the costume rehearsals, so after just a few hours, we were ready for the first shot.

The best way to start the shooting is from the easiest possible scene (depends on the shooting plan) so the crew can warm up and gain some momentum for the rest of the day. We did exactly that, so again, in a few hours, we had our first scene wrapped. We were feeling great! Just 20 more to go, and we would be done. Tirelessly, we continued to shoot until the evening, and that repeated the process the whole next day, then one day more. Time flew by in an activity that all of us loved to do, in our own way.

And that was it

We just did it. Tens of hours of recorded material were ready for post-production, and we had the time of our lives. Even to this day, it looks impossible that all of that was done in such a short period, and without noticing, we have done it.

Today, that movie won several awards worldwide, and is still one of the most interesting projects we've ever done. So, there is no moral to this article. Just a short story we wanted to share with you, to inspire you to do what you love as much as possible. Because we are.

Case study: Neurokard

Or: Sometimes, simplicity is the key.

Every business should have a website, and that's a fact. Additionally, considering there is a website for every 8th person in the world, it's hard to be innovative.

But do we always have to be innovative? Perhaps, sometimes we just need to present the right information, list our services, and include several pictures and a contact section. At the end of the day, no one will care about fancy animations if we don't convey our business with the right information.

So, should we make websites without CSS?

Absolutely not. The point is that it's entirely fine to have a website that's simple, clear, and done on a tight schedule. Neurokard was one of these websites. The client called us and wanted to have a website done ASAP, which we are very accustomed to. We began to explain to him how it is important to respect the website creation procedure.

However, he told us to stop. He doesn't want any of that. He just wants to have a clean-looking ID-type website that gives him a basic presence on the internet. And he needs it fast. So, we skipped a few steps in the design process and listened to his inputs, which gave us the result done in just three days. He was happy, we were happy. What's there not to be happy about when everyone got what they wanted?

In the end, that was the reason we left Neurokard on our portfolio. To show that it's okay to have a simple website and that we're proud of every single project, no matter how small it is.

Case Study: Rock music video production

Or: Pushing the boundaries of budget video production

Serbian rock musician with a long CV, Bob Vidaković, reached out to us for a chat about a new music video. And we were delighted about that! Needless to say, every creative studio (with video production in their portfolio) wants to create music videos.

Bob wanted to have the video done in a quarry, with a CAT machine and a bunch of extras on the set working manually. However, when we discussed the budget, it became clear that it couldn't be done with the money he allocated for this project.

So, what's the solution?

To improvise! It is said that during the long course of evolution, the most adaptable had the most chances to survive, not the strongest ones (jellyfish or "meduza" in Serbian are immortal because of that). So, we sat down and thought. What was our biggest asset in this video? The location itself! And on top of that, we had a giant CAT machine on-site.

But, we needed it to work.

We called the owner of a querry (who happened to be a very cool guy) near city of Arilje and asked him a very unusual question: "Do you want to act in the music video?". He told us that we're crazy. After that, we told him that his role would be to operate the CAT and look cool, so he couldn't say no. The game was on!

But wait, that's it? Guy operating a CAT and band playing, really?

Of course not! We are very experienced in storytelling, so we created a cool backstory. The cool guy comes to his quarry and finds a cassette tape player on the seat of the CAT machine. He puts it on and starts to play. As the music starts, members of the band appear in various places in the quarry, playing the music he listens to. And that was not all.

To top it all off, we placed a drummer with a full set on top of the CAT machine, taped him and the set so it wouldn't fall down during movement, and shot it with the drone! He presented the cool and fearless nature of the guy operating the CAT, and at the same time, it was the most interesting shot in the music video. The rest of the band was in various locations playing their instruments, and the setup was perfect.

Oh, we haven't mentioned the time restrictions. We had just half of the day to do it, so we woke up at 5 and started shooting by 6:15 AM. Shooting was done by 4 PM, so we packed our gear and went to eat a well-earned "Kompletara," a specialty in that part of Serbia. It was a successful day.

What's the moral of the story? Don't limit yourself or your client with things that he/she is not able to afford at the current moment. Adapt. Improvise. Go beyond the obvious. After all, that project is your baby also. You gave it a life, and it's something you should be proud of.

The amazing final product can be found here.

Case study - Novi Dorćol

Or: Maintaining websites doesn't have to be boring

Novi Dorćol is a fancy new block in the center of our beautiful Belgrade, and they wanted us to maintain their website. Of course we accepted! After the initial talks and agreements on what should we do and how often, we started with the work and discovered one thing: it's pretty straight-forward. Do we like straight-forward? Sometimes - yes. In this case - not so much. Why? Because we knew there is potential for something more.

What can be exciting in maintaining websites, for god's sake?

Everything! For example, you have to add new blog post with several images and few CTA. Why don't you make a responsive slider out of images, with headlines over them? Or, CTAs can be so much more than a link. They can be blinking piece of text which can't be missed. Now, tell me that's not exciting!

Maps can be fun too. Instead of having all the stores and commercial spaces listed in one boring, black and white list with the names we decided to make a map with their logos. Now, people will have no hard time navigating long hallways looking for the store 27B.

But, be careful.

It is important to know your boundaries. So we didn't went too far and changed the UX of the website because we're bored with some simple maintenance. No, we kept it interesting but still did a lot of backups and other manual tasks that had to be done. At the end, someone else did the website and it would be not fair to mess that work. We are here to help and make it perfectly safe, with a few helpful tweaks, and that's it.