We just wrapped up a pair of new projects for Alloy Therapeutics, a biotech startup that’s working to democratize drug development by making access to research tools much easier. Alloy’s mission is to aid the curing of diseases, and that means making sure small firms (and not just the big pharma companies) can create and test new drugs quickly.

In addition to a short, animated video outlining their first product platform, the Gx Mouse, the Alloy team asked us to create a live action video featuring their founder and CEO, Errik Anderson titled “Hello World.”

You read that right. We’re talking real people. Filmed. With a camera. No animation.

Oh, and did we mention this video was going to be used as a launch video? As in the launch of their entire company? Yeah, no pressure.

For help with production, we turned to Bagamor Media, headed up by Dan Lovering. Dan is a super talented documentary filmmaker and journalist (and if you haven’t seen his short film, Motorcycle Man, you should). We learned a ton from Dan’s team during the production process, and his shooting, editing, and sound design skills were vital.

Obviously, over the course of this project, we found there are some differences between animation and live action. Mainly, we found that unlike animation, live action documentary production is a process of subtraction. You go through some pre-production with the client and establish the kinds of shots you will need to effectively tell this story, and you use your shoot days to capture as much usable footage as you can. The video doesn’t find its true shape until you get into the editing room, though, after several rounds of careful revisions.

By contrast, with animation, the editing happens in advance of the production. Because animation is so labor intensive, the “editing” happens first in the form of a precise script and storyboard. Only after those are approved do we move on to the production phase of the project.

At the end of the day, though, no matter the visuals — live action or animation — a great video is driven by story. And stories have always been what Plant Nutshell is all about.

So… did we pull it off? I think so. But take a look at both these videos and let me know what you think.

Once again, we owe a big thanks to Dan and his team for their support with “Hello World.” And of course, our animation team was expectedly amazing in the Gx video.

Stay tuned, though! Because we’ve got more live action projects in the works, and the next one actually combines live action and animation in a single package. Get excited! Because we sure are.