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Case Study: Partnering with Breakiron Animation for Cotton, Inc.

Updated: Jun 14, 2018

Cotton Headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. Photo by Ryan K. Hamlin

I have a pretty cool job. Working as a professional videographer, my business takes me all over the world. I get to meet all kinds of people and see all kinds of things, but sometimes the coolest opportunities are born right in my backyard. Meeting Charlie from Breakiron Animation was one of those opportunities. Through his bad-ass animation company, my fellow filmmakers at Drawbridge Media and I got the chance to make something pretty cool. Check it out.

Charlie and his incredible crew provided all the animation for this project. They’ve won several awards for their innovative designs, and it was great working with them.

The Drawbridge Media crew handled all the video production, and this is what we really love to do. The production was done in two major steps. We did a large portion of the shooting at two local cotton production plants here in the Triangle area, not far from our office in Raleigh, North Carolina. For this shoot, we used both of our Red Epic-W cinema cameras, which shoot in 8k resolution. You read right, 8k. Most of us still have at least one 1080p TV laying around the house. You would need 16 of them to be able to view all of the detail that 8k can see. These cameras are insane.

But enough geeking out.

We shot a ton of incredible footage at the Gildan and Frontier cotton plants. Manufacturing is fascinating, but it also makes for some of the most interesting footage.

Gildan cotton production facility. Photo by Ryan K. Hamlin

We then took our operation to Lima, Peru to film some of the cotton plants there. The interesting part, as always, was getting there. When we travel internationally, the hardest part is choosing what equipment to take. Space is a hot commodity.

We ended up bringing our Red Scarlet-MX cinema camera with us, as well as all our other bare necessities. Packing for us is always interesting. Imagine playing Tetris, but in 3D. And, oh yeah, there’s also a weight limit. Nevertheless, we made it to Peru, and had a great time filming there.

Cotton production facility in Lima, Peru. Photo by Paul Frateschi.

Everyone was extremely friendly, and it was interesting to see some of the similarities, along with the differences between domestic and international cotton facilities.

Peru is an amazing country, and beautiful. But some areas are still rather depressed. The facilities in Lima definitely had far fewer bells and whistles than our local plants did, but their attention to detail was unwavering, and each plant had a determined commitment to quality.

The coast of Lima, Peru. Photo by Paul Frateschi.

All in all, the crew at Drawbridge Media learned so much about the cotton manufacturing process, and had a great time capturing that process on film. In terms of industrial videography, this was one of the most exciting opportunities ever given to us. Partnering with Breakiron Animation was a great experience, and we were thrilled to begin our relationship with an amazing company like Cotton, Inc.

-Ryan K. Hamlin


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