Shortcuts | Barber Better Faster Stronger

His cool, relaxed and hipster lifestyle was bang on


Recently, we created a 45 second commercial for Shortcuts Software to promote their new Barber Software and app. Anattic came up with the concept to create a documentary style advertisement for the app, to showcase an aspirational barber lifestyle in an attainable way.

We didn't want to create a basic, bog-standard app video - there were so many cool features to the app that a 'how-to' video would have been boring and long-winded, plus most of the online content was self explanatory. Shortcuts needed something that would visually, look great and stylish - to attract the hipster market and cool

barbers they were aiming for. We came up with this style of production to hint and suggest that the app could easily fit in with a barber lifestyle without patronising or boring the audience. Given that there was potential to broadcast the commercial, we wanted to create the highest quality advert we could, so we chose to shoot on the Arri Amira. A beautiful piece of kit - the images Dima pulled of through it were stunning. We had a hard time cutting down as we ended up with a lot of nice content to use.


The actual software will help barbers to manage their businesses, take bookings, access client ratings, manage reviews and more. So the advert was developed around the need to demonstrate how a real life barber could use the app within their lifestyle, as a way to manage their clients and ultimately their business. Inky Steve of Barber Barber Manchester was a great representative for the style and vision we had and his cool, relaxed and hipster lifestyle was bang on par with the target market. Given that there is a vast array of apps now, its not as simple as showing a fun, chirpy video about how easy the app is to use. Apps are always easy to use these days, its a given. So instead, we wanted to really sell Shortcut's vision for the app and provide a typical day in the life of a barber who uses the Shortcuts app. Together, with Jam PR, we came up with a style and aesthetic to meet Shortcut's requirements.

Filming began at an untimely 3am in a beautiful apartment near Deansgate, Manchester. Thanks to the security guys and the owner of the apartment for being so great.  We wanted to capture the beautiful golden hour lighting, as the sun rose over Manchester, so an unsociable start was essential but worth it.  We had a lot of kit to ferry in and out of the apartment, on the the 5th floor and at such a late hour, we really had to watch the noise level - great for shooting with sound but not great when lugging peli-cases and kit bags. In the end 4 of the apartment shots made it into the final edit - not many but the beautiful colour of the sky and city at that time in the morning really set the scene! Steve showed up like a legend, no doubt a bit frustrated that we had truly obliterated his natural body clock and the only coffee available was instant, bitter and milk-less. Steve doesn't even like coffee, so that probably made it 10 times worse.


Moving on from the apartment, we moved over to Barber Barber located in Barton Arcade, we then captured the main bulk of our shoot - Inky Steve in his element and the characteristic location of Johnny BaBa’s scoundrels and gentlemen.  We shot mostly before the shop opened, giving us VIP access to the famous barbers. Eventually 9am came around and the (already waiting) customers were granted access. The lighting inside the shop is great, tungsten bulbs everywhere give amazing character and it really feels like you're in a cool, stylish barbers - our life was made easy really.Finally, we headed over to Terrace bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. A few well deserved pints were had and we wrapped around 2pm.

The last scene proved our most difficult to light, midday sun burst through the windows but the bar itself was very tungsten and dark... We ended up gelling most of the in-house lights and experimenting with a couple of HMI's to finally get a bar feel. Time was our biggest enemy in the end, a long day of filming, fatigue after an early start and frustration but we managed to bring together 3 very different locations to create something we're really happy with. More importantly, Shortcuts loved it and the video's getting around 1000 views a week. All-in-all, we loved working with Jam PR and Shortcuts and we'll be working on an extended cut in the near future - Plus more exciting projects coming soon. Check out the advert below.