Microsoft Underground film
Kept under wraps until now, Microsoft contacted us in February this year after coming across the Growing Underground farm through various international press and news coverage. As part of their now infamous Empowering Us All series of films which heralds innovation and technology, Microsoft pitched us their idea of a film on our farm. We thought about it long and hard for a good 5 seconds before nodding 😉 Already fans of the inspirational films, (remember Estella’s educational bus and little Braylon with his high tech prosthetic leg?) we were so flattered they would think of little old us!
After months of Skype calls with the production team in LA, June hit and we finally got to meet the guys in person when they flew over for the shoot. It was an early 4am start as cars picked us up for Shoot Day 1 down at the tunnel. The entire farm was transformed; a fantastic catering van rolled into the yard with chefs preparing delicious food for the long day, our office metamorphosed into a lush pad for the client (Microsoft) and the loading bay became a makeup room slash edit room where we had our faces and shiny heads powdered.
After a sustenance breakfast of organic bacon, sausage and egg rolls, we donned fetching blue overalls and set about our best attempts at acting or rather, speaking, which is remarkably difficult when there are thirty faces staring at you! Well, we’re used to only looking at each other and a tunnel full of microgreens! That being said the huge crew were extremely professional as you would expect but also a genuinely nice bunch of people. And patient too. Some took to it better than others, like Chris our Director of Horticulture who did his lines in one take, much like he did last year for our crowdfunding film! Surely a lunch of brain enriching omega 3 salmon, delicious salads, fruit and cheese would help us? No. Multiple takes, shots and clapper boards later, the day drew to a very exhausting late night close. All to be ready to go again early the next morning for Shoot Day 2.
Morning came quickly and as the sun rose so did we, heading down early to a London Bridge pub, which was transformed into a film set, complete with extras. It was here that we re-enacted our first conversation of setting up the farm. Next we all headed across the road to bustling foodies haven, Borough Market where we showcased our microgreens being taken to market, ‘field to fork’ if you will. With the thirty strong camera and film crew, and us being dabbed with makeup, the scene created quite a stir amongst the crowd! After another long day it was a wrap and we all finished off with very welcomed cocktails at the uber stylish Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly to celebrate the end of a successful shoot.
Being part of Microsoft’s Empowering Us All series is such a fantastic opportunity and more importantly a great platform to share what we are doing in our small part to change the production of food for the future. The film will be released Friday 16 October to coincide with World Food Day which is a network of campaigns around the globe bringing awareness to the issues of world hunger, food shortage and dire food waste.
We’re really chuffed to even be on the radar let alone to have been asked by such big potatoes as Microsoft to be the focus of their next campaign. And their production guys couldn’t have been more friendly or less patronising, making us feel very relaxed as we repeatedly got our lines wrong – or simply got mind block, ‘rabbit’ and ‘headlights’ spring to mind! The whole experience was glamorous, fascinating, exhilarating and admittedly a little scary here and there! We did feel like stars for a couple of days albeit exhausted stars! That being said, our feet are very much back underground now…
Check out the film below: