Gearing Up with South Coast Bikes

Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in Blogs, Philip Berman

We made a video a little while ago about Brighton-based South Coast Bikes, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary this month. To mark the occasion, they’ve re-launched their website and chose to put our video on their home page. We’re chuffed to bits about this, so we thought it was high time to share some insights into its making.

Emotional Narrative

We tried to position ourselves at the emotional heart of the story. In fact we try to do this in every film we make. In this case, it was people’s love of old or second hand bikes. In doing so, we showed the true value of South Coast Bikes’ service to its customers.

Very early into the piece, one of their loyal customers, Phil Jackson, gave us a great quote;

‘He’s the only person I’ve taken this bike to. He’s like a family doctor.’

It’s a spot-on analogy for the service South Coast Bikes provides; personal and there to help all matter of ailments. You can rest safe in the knowledge they’ll look after your old or new bike like it’s an extended member of the family. But to get that quote you have to ask all the right questions;

‘What do you like about South Coast Bikes?’

‘What does it mean to you to have them look after your bike?’

‘What does your bike mean to you?’

Also, never underestimate the power of humour in films. It engages an audience quickly, and gets them on your side. In this case it also shows the close relationship between Phil the customer and Paul, the South Coast Bikes team member we follow throughout the film.

‘There’s play in the hubs, play in the headset…’

There’s play in my body, can you fix that too?’

It’s rare to get such a personalised service nowadays in business, which makes the team at South Coast Bikes stand out that much more.

Visual Narrative

They’re a dynamic bunch constantly on the move, so we created a strong visual narrative to illustrate this.

We see Paul driving to and from a customer, carefully strapping up the bikes to take back to their workshop and taking time to fix them before returning them to the customer. Much better than just a static interview with Paul sat at his desk.

Little details

It’s worth pointing out that while we don’t talk much about the mechanics, we’ve made an effort to show them with some big chunky close ups. The viewer sees Paul test the brakes on Phil’s bike; glimpse its worn handle-bars and chipped paint, and hear the sound of the chain as it spins. They’re small details, but they make the viewer nostalgic for their own bike; remembering how it works and the sounds it makes.

We now live in a digital, replaceable world, surrounded by digital sounds, hidden mechanics and new versions of old products hitting the shelves on a six month rotation. It’s good to see how something functions and hear its organic sounds; and to see it loved and cared for.

It was a great film to make and we hope that South Coast Bikes keep going for many years to come. If you have a bike and it needs mending, you know what to do.

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