Skip to content

CRM Studios Blog

Nokia Disaster Scene Project | CRM Studios


Nokia needed to promote their emergency communications device, the Mobile LTE Antenna, and its potentially life-saving advantages.  This mobile antenna is compact yet powerful and can be easily and quickly deployed in situations where normal means of communications have been disabled or destroyed, allowing emergency personnel and first responders to communicate and coordinate with one another.

Harry Bouton from NextWave Creative needed a production company who could shoot on location and in-studio, creating a project of enormous scope in very little time.  Having worked with us on a previous project for Nokia, he knew CRM Studios had the resources and creativity to pull off a corporate marketing video that would play out like a mini-movie.

Most importantly, we needed to demonstrate the ability of the Mobile LTE Antenna to quickly deploy to hard-to-reach places and coordinate rescue and emergency response efforts by activating “FirstNet,” a dedicated public safety network utilizing data from a wide variety of available sources, including body cameras of first responders.

The Road to Ruin

Constraints loomed large, and it was NOT the rainy season in the DFW Metroplex.  CRM Studios had to create a disaster scenario large enough to gain national attention, yet authentic enough to be believable at every level of the response. The project budget allowed for only two days of shooting and the turn-around time for the entire project was about two weeks. 

The shoot was structured in such a way that all location shots would be done on day 1, including day and night shots. We settled on a tornado as our disaster of choice, since they are fairly common to the Shreveport-Bossier area where our scenario took place.  We considered and rejected a flood scenario since the memory of Hurricane Katrina was still so strong in the region. We wanted to avoid any distraction or offense that particular scenario might cause. Any appearance of capitalizing on or making light of such a tragedy would have been counter-productive at best. That’s why it was very important to establish the circumstances with informative opening graphics.

A Recipe for Disaster

still frame from Nokia's "Smoke Jumper" corporate marketing film, produced by CRM Studios.

CRM Studios, Harry, and NextWave Creative worked together to design a video that would combine a series of “live” news-style interviews with national “experts”, on-scene reporting from both the disaster site and the emergency operations center (EOC), and stock footage of previous tornadoes and storms.  We booked an outdoor location in a dilapidated industrial section of town to stage our tornado damage and a community recreation center a few miles away for our EOC.  To maximize the shoot day, we shot our scenes in reverse order, beginning with the “day after” shot “live” from the EOC. 

Professional storm chasers and emergency crews were booked to give an added layer of authenticity at the disaster site. Actual former news anchors were chosen to man the desks of Channel 7 News, a fictional TV station CRM Studios created to avoid any conflict with existing news affiliates in the area. We were even able to rent a genuine news set from our good friends at Fox Sports Southwest and branded it with Channel 7 News colors and graphics.

Our tornado damage was created by loading a 16’ box truck with branches, insulation, cardboard and other debris— along with a massive length of hose to wet everything down— and driving it all out to the location.  We framed the shot with emergency vehicles and larger pieces of debris and scattered all the remaining flotsam and jetsam appropriately. Having everyone working hard in the background while our “Channel 7 Field Correspondent” gave his report added a sense or real immediacy to the whole situation.

Finally, pick-up shots and interview portions were filmed on our soundstage, and the whole thing was given over to our editors and animators to work their magic. 

Picking Up the Pieces

In addition to the Channel 7 branding, our editors added music beds, graphics, video effects and well-placed stock footage to finish out the project.  Combined with the original footage and interviews obtained on days 1 and 2, the post-production elements really gave the project an enormous sense of scope and a powerful flavor of authenticity. When Nokia and NextWave were ready to create a corporate marketing film for Ultra High Density Networks and a newer version of the LTE Antenna respectively, the video production company of choice was CRM Studios once again, and that’s the best kind of endorsement.

Do you need a disaster you can count on? Contact CRM Studios, and let us do the dirty work. Or see more corporate marketing videos here.

Posted in
Scroll To Top