Once upon a time, there was a young and unheard-of Russian start-up. But all of a sudden, here come more than a hundred online articles and reviews, and more than 200,000 YouTube views. The world’s leading tech blog, Mashable.com, posts an article about the project, which immediately enters the “What’s Hot” list with thousands of reposts. Wired.com follows suit. U.S. television becomes involved as well. What was it that triggered this buzz?
It was Mercator’s honest film about the start-up.
You may get the idea that we created a virus. No, what we did was create a simple, yet interesting and honest film. And that film became the virus.
How we made the film is a story that is worth turning into a movie. An odd man came into our office a month ago, and he spoke for an hour without interruption. He was a layman and his speech was sometimes incoherent, but it appears that he accomplished what he came to do. We all wanted to make a film about a cool Russian start-up... to tell the story of researchers who have created a very helpful and effective device in the back office of some factory — bringing augmented reality to bike helmets. With grants provided by the Skolkovo Foundation, the Moscow government and the Foundation for the Facilitation of the Development of Small Enterprises in Science and Technology under the Russian government, they created a prototype and the optics and developed software. The money wasn’t really that great, but they came up with a working model — you could touch it, hold it and play with it.
Andrey Skvortsov, Mercator CEO:
«It is a true story, which makes it even more amazing. We have true innovators, we have state support, and we have a result. And it’s not just another online aggregator, but a cool and useful gadget. It is just a prototype model, but it works! We couldn’t pass on this chance to make a film about it. And we made it! This film will tell the world about the Helmet».
As of today, we can say for sure that our hard work has not been wasted. First, the video is already online and is raising money on indiegogo.com (apart from regular meetings with investors). Second, the YouTube video had more than 200,000 views during the first week alone.
Furthermore, the largest Russian and foreign media outlets have written about the project. Reviews have been published in seven languages on nationwide tech blogs in Portugal, France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece and Kazakhstan.
First official presentation of the bike helmet:
Andrey Artishchev, LiveMap CEO, wrote us an emotional letter as soon as we posted the fund-raising video:
«They’ve just added another $100! Check out the page — we received 1,200 shares in just one hour!! THIS IS @@@@@@@@@@*!!!! WHO HAS EVER DONE THIS IN RUSSIA? NO ONE! BUT WE — MERCATOR AND ART-BUSINESS — HAVE!»
That’s the way a good, honest story about a good and honest start-up works.
Tatyana Mitchenkova, Mercator Director:
«We were all intrigued by this slightly crazy idea of a new bike helmet. Those engaged in the project were not just doing their best during their work stages, but also made proposals about how to improve the helmet, and how to promote the video. We were all very emotional when it came to the presentation. For me, it wasn’t a regular order, because when we completed the film, I felt that I was part of the LiveMap start-up, as if it was my own product that we were promoting! I’m positive that our team will keep an eye on how well the helmet does — whether it will sell. We’ll see».
The shooting process:
The Mercator team believes that the developers of the new bike helmet will succeed, whatever the difficulties! We were happy to help them in doing so!
Our production team:
General Producer — Andrey Skvortsov
Host, Narration — Peter Dick
Director, Scriptwriter — Tatyana Mitchenkova
Director of Photography — Andrey Novikov
Cameras — Aleksandr Belov, Nikolay Trushin
Engineer — Sergey Solovyev
Light — Aleksandr Shuvayev
Music — Vladimir Sayko
Design — Ekaterina Sidorova, Natalya Pustynina, Egor Shulgin
3D Graphics — Eduard Davletyarov, Anastasiya Ryazanova
Sound Effects — Stanislav Tatarenkov
Composing, Animation — Anastasiya Ryazanova, Dmitry Misharin
Editing — Andrey Shatskikh
Production Director — Stanislav Onishchenko
Executive Producer — Elena Cherchik
Project Manager — Elena Nagornaya
Project Director — Evgeniya Demidova
Project Supervisor — Katerina Miroshnikova
Spokesperson — Anastasiya Kashapova