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  • Bryan Bakker

GRIT Python Case Study

Updated: May 4, 2022

The Pandemic hit the world in late 2019 but it did not hit our little corner of North America in a real way, meaning local cases and lockdowns, until March 2020. Like many in the gig economy and the service industry there was a dramatic slowdown at Bizbio as uncertainty set in with many of our clients.

The question became for us all: is it possible to turn this into a net positive, in a business sense anyway. GRIT owner and CEO Greg Collins certainly was thinking the same way as he decided that during this time he wanted to innovate and begin the long roll out of the first of their “non-hockey bag” products called the GRIT Python.

The new GRIT Python Coil Tech hockey glove in front of a blue screen
The new GRIT Python Coil Tech hockey glove

The GRIT python is a brand-new way of thinking about hockey gloves. Instead of the flaring cuff it utilizes a coil tech design, perfected in house at GRIT, to make the gloves more comfortable, more protective, and yes, cool looking. Greg reached out to me to help him brainstorm out an approach to launching the glove to their loyal customers both here at home and around the world. This is where the project we called the GRIT Python Hype was born.

The above video was part of a bio series we did for GRIT in 2021, about a year after the GRIT Python shoot this Case Study outlines.

Greg had already been talking with an amazing hockey savant named Zac Bell who has a massive Instagram following due to his ability to manipulate a puck on the end of his hockey stick like a Circus du Soleil acrobat. He has skills that were off the hook and he had already tested out the prototype for the gloves. Greg wanted Bizbio to produce some high-quality videos featuring Zac Bell to launch his new product.

Derek Lamoureux and Nik Pilecki on the Bizbio GRIT shoot directing Zac Bell

Immediately I knew this was a great starting place to jump off. Zac was visually stunning to watch and an immediate plus for any project. After conferring with our team, we brought Greg back a few ideas. After discussion we all decided on producing three videos in all. Two commercials and one behind-the-scenes story video. The commercials would be the thin edge of the marketing wedge; tools we could use to draw viewers to the website to learn more. The third story video would give them an entertaining video to watch once there, essentially an interview cut of Zac mixed with the making of the “Hype” videos.

Nik Pilecki on Bizbio's GRIT Python shoot
Nik Pilecki on Bizbio's GRIT Python shoot

With a plan in place, I worked on building our team. With myself as producer Derek Lamoureux was brought on as the director, Nic Pilecki as the cinematographer and Brian Chambers as the Hype video editor. I would help with all aspects primarily shooting the behind-the-scenes footage and the edit of the story video. Coordinating with Zac we set up a shoot day in Zac’s hometown of Gravenhurst Ontario and the schedule was set.

Derek Lamoureux and Nik Pilecki on the Bizbio GRIT shoot directing Zac Bell

The shoot was fun, and Zac was great. Rarely do any of us get the pleasure of meeting such a talented person with his feet so firmly planted on planet earth. As with any shoot we had a variety of set plans and shoots we wanted to achieve but we also wanted to take advantage of opportunities that came along, and we did that too. I always say a shoot day provides a million opportunities and we will only get to come away with a small fraction of them. We ended up getting all the footage we needed plus allot of extras and I couldn’t have been more please with how it turned out. The weather was even on our side as it had been cloudy all day but just as the sun was setting, we were able to get that iconic silhouette shot of Zac doing his master puck manipulation in front of a beautiful sun set. With the footage in hand, we came away very happy after a very long day on-location and on the road.

The above video was part of a bio series we did for GRIT in 2021, about a year after the GRIT Python shoot this Case Study outlines.

After coming away with a wealth of such strong material, including a stellar interview with Zac himself, the footage was compiled and handed-off to Brian Chambers for the primary edit. Nick was the one who set the tone of the final video’s look by rendering out the best key shots fully colour corrected. Brian then pulled it all together with his trademark high end vibe and “Nike like” approach. His sound design really put the piece in focus and after a few weeks of back and forth we had a cut I was thrilled to share with our client.

Derek Lamoureux and Nik Pilecki on the Bizbio GRIT shoot directing Zac Bell

As it is with any project, giving the client their first look at a cut is a bit nerve racking. Even though we had gotten confirmation on the approach, were set on the length and the feel and even though we had a lot of confidence in what we were seeing come together – you just never know what a client might say. Well, I’m happy to report that Greg over at Grit was thrilled with the results and, in the end happy to use the cuts we gave him as the finished versions. A version I’m super thrilled to share with you below

After the release of the two Hype videos, one fourty second and the other twenty seconds, it was my turn to step up to the plate. The third video in the series was the ‘story’ video and this was indeed a fun challenge to take on.

Building off the work of the Derek, Nik and Brian I began piecing together a longer video that filled in some of the behind-the-scenes fun we had, utilizing out takes from our shoot day, and Zac’s interview. Who was Zac, why did he do what he did and how was it that he came to use the GRIT Python gloves?

The above video was part of a bio series we did for GRIT in 2021, about a year after the GRIT Python shoot this Case Study outlines.

Zac is a true inspiration and spoke in his interview like the media master that had made him into the social media influencer in the first place. Creating a story that touched on the gloves but centered around Zac and his humanity I worked to find a balance that was both entertaining and informative while keeping the gloves in the visual story line and telling the truth of their innovative design along side Zac’s personal truth of his love for family and hockey.

How did I do? You be the judge.

Before signing off from this case study let me once again thank Zac, our entire production team and of course GRIT Inc. for their faith in us to get this done and make it memorable. It was one of the most interesting and fun gigs I’ve ever been part of and I’m very proud of the result and the relationships that were cemented along the way. Cheers!

BONUS: Below you can find a couple product videos we did for GRIT at the beginning of our relationship. Thanks again for watching.


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