Why A Bike Manufacturer Started Making Face Shields
Thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, Coaster Cycles had to make a fast pivot in their business model, and enlisted the help of SocialFlixx to get their story seen and shared. Here's how it all went down.
Ben Morris and Justin Bruce are the founders of Coaster Cycles, a pedicab manufacturer located in the old saw mill district of Bonner, Montana just outside of Missoula.
In early March of 2020, with state-wide shut-downs looming, they faced the impossible decision, much like nearly all businesses in Montana at the time: laying off nearly 30 employees.
"It was definitely the hardest day of my career", stated Bruce, the company's co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. "We were looking at laying off most of our staff and furloughing a handful of others."
Co-founder and CEO Ben Morris said "One of the things I was focused on... as the pandemic began picking up speed, was this focus around PPE shortage. 'What could we do as a company, and what sort of product out there could we align with?'"
Morris found an open-source design for a simple face shield on LinkedIn. Within a matter of days, Bruce had assembled a few in his home, and soon after, Coaster Cycles began ordering supplies from the same distributors they receive cycle materials from, and were able to bring back their staff shortly there after. You can watch the entire story in a video they hired SocialFlixx to make.
As the Coaster Cycles team transformed their pedicab cycle manufacturing space into a face shield assembly line, Justin reached out to SocialFlixx. The early meetings between SocialFlixx, Bruce and Morris developed what would turn into a concept of a story. They wanted to focus on not only having to make a pivot in their business model, but aligning with community partners and other businesses in the Missoula area to help manufacture over 1 Million face shields for hospitals across the US, all while bringing back jobs to the area amidst mass unemployment.
SocialFlixx cameras were in the Missoula area for a full day in early April 2020, interviewing staff from all levels of the organization, as well as visiting the businesses that agreed to help Coaster assemble these face shields. It was important to Morris and Bruce that the community business partners were featured in the final story.
The overall look and feel of the video was equally important. We shot the entire project in 4K resolution and paid close attention to shot composition, lighting and sound.
In all, it took 11 and a half hours to shoot, and just under 30 hours for editing and a few revisions. In the end, Coaster Cycles received a main story video of 8 minutes in final length, along with several short social media teasers (ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes), all optimized for social media sharing and placement on their new website for the face shield business.
You can visit them at https://www.ccfaceshields.com/ to learn more, watch the video, and catch any updates to the project. Below are some other screen-grabs from the project in a slideshow format.
HUGE THANKS to the team at Coaster for allowing us to help tell this incredible story!