One of the most exciting and interesting projects Studio 84 has worked on to date, The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Recruitment video, proved not only to be a privilege, but a challenge as well.
The Studio 84 crew with Sheriff Rowe
As we began the production process, we could see through our research that most of the recruitment videos for other departments around the country were pretty bland and dry, generally consisting of a slideshow and a stand up with a few department personnel. We began to think of ways to make this video have quality and flare , while still communicating the message desired by the client.
Discussing the plan with Lt. Stewart
Preproduction began with numerous meetings with Sheriff's Office personnel in order to decide what divisions needed to be covered and how to capture them with efficiency. We knew the Bomb Squad, K9 and SWAT divisions would easily add the high-energy glamour that most people would expect from a job in law enforcement, but the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office is much more. From dispatch to warrants, medical to clerical, there are many areas within the Sheriff's Office that an average civilian, who may watch law enforcement shows on TV, may never think about or see. For this project, a wide range of jobs and skill sets would need to be shown in order to properly convey all of the opportunities available to a new recruit of the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office.
Reviewing footage with the DRT team
The acquisition stage of this project consisted of an intense three-day, highly coordinated shooting schedule that began at the Detention Facility and expanded to include the firing and bombing ranges, training facilities, the courthouse and various field offices located throughout Lubbock County. It was through this process that we began to see the surprisingly wide range of personalities and talents that work together to form the men and women of the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office.
One of the most exciting sequences to shoot was the tactical team making an explosive entry into a house. It's one thing to watch this on a reality TV show but its totally different when you are there, feeling the anticipation of the flash grenade followed by the smell of burned gunpowder as it fills the air. Our crew was in the middle of the action, within feet of the blast; once for the exterior shots and again for the interiors.
TACT team breaking into a house
Another memorable sequence was with the K9 unit. Being dog lovers ourselves, you would think that our crew members would not be scared of these creatures, but it's a different feeling when you realize that these dogs are trained from birth to chase and subdue you at any cost. As we watched the footage in playback from the trainer's point of view as the dog runs toward him, we began to sense the certain terror felt by any suspect who chooses to be on the wrong side of those teeth.
Watching the meticulous work of the Crime Scene Investigator, or the dedication of the support staff, there are just too many great memories of the acquisition stage of production to share here. I could not begin to communicate the pride and professionalism that exuded from Sheriff Kelly Rowe and each and every officer and support staff member we encountered.
The post production process was difficult if only for the fact that we had so much great footage to use but such little time to fit it in. We started with finding appropriate and motivating music, knowing this would set the mood for the entire production. After putting the music together, the shot selections and editing fell quickly into place, first with the major hits including explosions and lunging dogs, and then filling in with SWAT, suspect arrests, cell extractions and everything else. The hardest part was not showing all of the hard-hitting footage too soon, but using it to help sustain the attitude of the project throughout its entirety.
The recruitment video project for the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office was a new adventure for us. It allowed us close access to interesting subjects and new situations. It also allowed us the great opportunity to meet many of the men and women that work to protect the citizens of Lubbock County. This was more than just another project, it was a chance to challenge our talents and at the same time push the conventions of what a video of this kind could be.
The Studio 84 crew with the sniper team
Photographs courtesy of Linda Schilberg Photography.
We asked Linda to come along to document this project. This project was a blast to work on and we knew we would get to see things that we would probably never see again. Although, we did joke around about who was the most likely to see the inside of the detention center again :) Linda did a great job, got the images we wanted and was a pleasure to work with. Here's a little about Linda:
It all started out with a wooden camera my dad made me and dreams of running off to California to pursue my other passion: surfing photography. But it wasn't until my senior year at Texas Tech University that wedding and portrait photography captured my heart. I dove right in and haven't looked back. I live by the phrase "Photograph Your World®". My camera enables me to keep moments of time from running away. Photography is the way to my heart.
Linda Schilberg Portfolio