45-meter set and one-take shooting: how Ajax Systems shot a new product video

Unfortunately, Superman doesn’t exist, and Robocop is a fiction. Fortunately, we have a real superhero that confronts fire, water, and the criminal world every day. The lights go down, grab some popcorn. Ajax is on the screen.

How it all started

The first video about Ajax professional wireless alarm was shot in 2016. That time Ajax Systems introduced StarterKit to the market — a basic security kit consisting of 4 devices for the intrusion protection: Hub control panel, MotionProtect motion detector, DoorProtect opening detector and SpceControl key fob with a panic button.

Instead of making a typical scare-based alarm system ad, the company created a beautiful lifestyle video with the core message “When security is art“. Since Ajax was a newcomer to the market, the message accentuated rather the design than the technical aspects of the system, but it was enough to make people talk about the company. The video became very successful and helped to draw attention of the European community to the Ukrainian product. Eventually, it was often copied and taken as a reference.

However, since then Ajax product line was significantly expanded. Today Ajax is 32 devices, 100+ countries, and over 500,000 protected users. The new task arose — to squeeze the main features of the system into one story, showing the everyday usage of the product and conveying simple values that the audience could relate to. Ajax team decided to make a story that will not focus on our technical achievements and specs but will inspire users to make their lives more comfortable and safe.

New challenges

Ajax team had to deal with the following limitations:

  • Location: it was needed to present as many Ajax devices as possible within one single space
  • Visuals: the picture should be perceived as a global story so that anyone in the world could relate to it
  • Format: it must be possible to replicate the video in different formats for different channels
  • Timing: the team had only one-day for filming. Spoiler: eventually, it took up two.
  • Message: the idea “When security is art” must be strengthened and emphasized with Ajax technological and smart capabilities

The implementation of the idea was entrusted to O0 Design Lab production, launched by the Petcube creative team. It was a 3rd time when 2 companies cooperated together.

We are attracted by O0 Design Lab solid experience in promoting electronics on international markets. And we really appreciate the chemistry and creative understanding which appeared during our joint work. Both Ajax’s and studio’s creative teams worked on the video, and we also invited some experts who worked with us previously. Valentyn Hrytsenko, CMO at Ajax Systems

Maximum preparation

First, the main cases and products that could be combined into one story were worked out. It was essential to reveal in the plot lots of Ajax’s new features, including outdoor security, photo verification of alarms, automation scenarios. The goal was to introduce Ajax as a comprehensive professional security system with smart capabilities which is capable of resisting disasters on its own.

Dynamic set and one camera shooting in one pavilion — those are features of the director’s idea. They helped to present the functionality of Ajax separate components as one whole, forming the ecosystem of Ajax products.

The key concept of shooting was to showcase everything with one-take style, just like in movies “Birdman” or “1917”.

The voice-over text is the work of Ivan Siyak, one of the best storytellers in Ukraine. It was he who suggested the “movie theme”, taking Ajax for the lead role in the video.

Superhero-style realization

How to show that the security system can successfully protect both home and business using one location? The film crew manually created several types of locations: a private house with a porch, an apartment and a jewelry store. 45-meter sliding set with a specially designed shear system was used for this. 

To strengthen the association with cinema, the Iron Man was invited to voice Ajax’s video: the original Ukrainian narration was made by the actor Oleg Lepents who voices Tony Stark in the Ukrainian voice-over of Marvel movies.

The sound design is also modeled on superhero tracks: the musical composition gets more noticeable each time Ajax appears in the frame. The dynamic sound was made by Mykola Makeyev, DJ of the rap star Alyona Alyona.

Speaking of cinematography, the complexity of the one-take shooting involved a camera that was placed on the crane flying through the car window. This stunt was supervised by the videographer Denis Lushchik, who used a similar design when filming “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” music video by Mark Ronson feat Miley Cyrus.

The light was also a challenge. On the set, the video crew had to imitate moonlight, evening room lighting, and highlight the smoke inside the jewelry showcase. All simultaneously as different locations replaced each other during one shot.

The results

Dangerous action scenes in movies are fascinating. Catastrophes, robberies, fires – we feel safe watching them from a cozy chair in cinema. But in real life, there is no second take. We made a movie about everyday life starring Ajax. He is not a master of drama, but certainly the best in the art of security.