Image of Hinds holding up a sprayer.

The making of GO Transit’s newest Safety Never Stops video – And a look at what ended up on the cutting room floor

A lot goes into filming a reminder to customers of all the things GO Transit is doing to make sure that safety never stops – including the measures taken to make that shoot as safe as possible for the actor and those working around him. Here’s an inside look.

It takes effort to keep everyone travelling safely on GO Transit.

It also takes a lot to film a video that shows the many ways Metrolinx is helping GO customers get to where they’re going safely during a pandemic.

Recently, Metrolinx filmed a video segment, breaking down the various new measures that have been introduced to fight COVID-19 – more than 40 health and safety measures we’ve written about extensively at Metrolinx News.

The strategy includes cleaning trains and buses multiple times a day and using antimicrobial germ protection on all vehicles and in stations.

Image of Hinds holding up a sprayer.
Actor and comedian, Darryl Hinds, and one of the many props he used during the shoot. (Metrolinx image)

Packing all this information into a ‘Safety Never Stops’ video takes expertise, a talented performer – actor and comedian, Darryl Hinds – and editing magic that brings it all together by teaming up with ad agency BBDO Canada and production house at Flare.

There’s a skill to combining such a serious message with the easy delivery Hinds and the production team use.

But like the added content to a major Hollywood movie, we thought you might be interested in some of that wizardry, as well as a few bloopers, that go into, and come out of, a safety video like this.

The video was shot on a set using a green screen. While the actor was in the same position most of the time, different props entered in and out of frame. Talking a mile a minute, you’ll notice Hinds’ fast-paced dialogue as he runs through a 150 word script in just 45 seconds.

You’ve likely never counted how many words you normally speak in a minute, but for most people, it’s around 100 to 130.

Hinds tosses up bottles of sanitizer.
Yes, Hinds used lots of props during the safety shoot. (Metrolinx photo)

Creators also rapidly demonstrated the actions Metrolinx is taking on GO Transit by using clever props or sight gags. To capture the best footage possible, the crew did lots of takes – some better than others. How many ways can Hinds spray a bottle? Let’s show you.

This safety video, filmed as we’re all dealing with COVID-19, was even made with safety in mind. The crew had new COVID-19 protocols to follow including limited staff on set, health assessments for the team, specialized protective equipment for the crew, improved cleaning and everyone in non-medical face masks.

Hinds loks at a manequin wearing safety gear.
Darryl Hinds looks over some safety equipment during the video. (Metrolinx image)

“The uncertainty about what to expect and how to stay safe on set was at the forefront of my mind as an actor coming back to my first post-shutdown gig, but the protocols used by the folks on the Metrolinx set quickly put my mind at ease,” said Hinds, who also wore a face covering when the camera wasn’t shooting.

“We had individually prepared and wrapped lunches that we ate outside at individual tables all spaced at least two metres apart.

“And anyone who had to deal in close contact with me – wardrobe and make-up – wore not only masks but face shields and gloves.”

Like safety on trains and buses, as well as inside stations, it may appear seamless, but a lot goes on behind the scenes to make sure that the motto of safety never stops, is true for everyone, every time.

You’ll see these safety measures communicated throughout the GO Transit website and social media channels, as digital advertising across the region, print advertising and even as billboards along the highway.

“We want GO riders in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area to feel assured and know that we’re putting their health and safety first,” said Mark Childs, chief marketing and communications officer at Metrolinx. . “The best way to do that is to explicitly show them what we’re doing to keep them safe.”

To show you what it looks like when all the pieces come together, he’s the final version.

Story by Melissa Crowther, Metrolinx Senior Brand Advisor