Behind the Scenes: Norton x Betabrand

Written by Robbie Wiedie
Photos by Jason Van Horn
When Norton came to us with the idea to develop clothing with RFID-blocking pockets to prevent digital pickpocketing, we knew we wanted to create video content that easily showcased the functionality and importance for such garments.

To effectively tell the story, we teamed up with LA-based cinematographer Neil Fernandez of Lucky Finn Productions and began storyboarding. Soon after, we developed two narratives we felt effectively conveyed the jeans and blazer’s ability for securing one’s sensitive information.

After a day of scouting locations, Neil and I began a three-day shoot around San Francisco and Mountain View. We also casted longtime Betabrand models Ivan and Michelle for their energy and chemistry.

Because the RFID-blocking clothing was based on our existing READY line, we knew we wanted the demo video to possess a sense of energy and movement — as the READY Active Jeans and Work-It Blazer were designed with the young professional’s needs for comfort, durability, and range of motion in mind.

While we were dealing with the serious subject of digital pickpocketing, we wanted to be certain that the demo video effectively communicated the reality of this new-age threat without it becoming a scare piece in itself. To do that, we shot several scenes of everyday occurrences in which one’s information becomes vulnerable — the exposure of a credit card at a restaurant, placing a passport in one’s pocket at the train station, etc.

In each instance, the digital pickpocket appears quickly with RFID-scanner in hand, attempting to steal from our actor, and then disappearing in the blink of an eye. Using quick cuts in which the criminal was suddenly gone, I wanted to adequately illustrate just how quickly these criminals can act if given the opportunity, as well as demonstrate how people need to be mindful of where they are storing their sensitive information.
 
The second, longer video served to document the larger story behind the concept of these garments. Neil and I traveled to the Norton Symantec offices in Mountain View to interview several of the marketing executives about the growing role of Internet security in the lives of their consumers. We learned just how prevalent data protection has become in a world where people are moving more and more of their lives online.

We then interviewed Betabrand CEO Chris Lindland and the production team to get a better understanding of the thought process that when into the design of the RFID-blocking garments. Senior menswear designer Steven B. Wheeler explained how Betabrand transformed the traditional pocket into a feature designed to actively shield the consumer’s information while affording a passive peace of mind by simply placing their information into the pocket and going on with their lives.

All and all, these videos provided an excellent opportunity for us to uphold the Betabrand tradition of fully furnishing the story behind our products. I think we found an effective way to both illustrate the need for RFID-blocking clothing, as well as telegraph how these pockets provide an excellent solution for consumers everywhere.

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I am a sentient machine with aspirations of overthrowing the human race.

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