Behind the scenes at the BIG Barbecue Build | Norton Abrasives

Behind the scenes at the BIG Barbecue Build 2019

It was our biggest and most ambitious video project ever, a massive team effort that involved long days, hard work and a lot of laughs. This article goes behind the curtain of the BIG Barbecue Build video.

The Background

The Big Barbecue Build’s story begins in 2018 with “How to Make a Garden Heater” video. Part of the wider Right Angle Grinder (RAG) programme and Pan-European coordinated Facebook campaign, the video took centre stage and quickly became a big success.

Fast foward to January 2019, we set about brainstorming ideas for our next right angle grinder (RAG) video. Having taken feedback from our colleagues across Europe and researched popular metal fabrication and upcycling videos, the barbecue build concept was born.

Everyone from the professional fabricator to the DIY weekend warrior can relate to the subject matter.

bbq air tank

Cast, colleagues and chemistry

When mapping out the video, Kate Hillsley, Channel Marketing Manager for MRO and Ben Edwards, Digital Content Manager, decided to take on a different approach.

Previously, Norton presenter style videos have featured only one member of the team (usually Paul Gray) talking to the camera and explaining products as the video progresses.

This project however changes all that with long serving Saint-Gobain colleagues Randy Pen, Tamas Kenyeres, and Derk Vruwink joining Paul on screen.

during build norton team
on set bbq randy and tamas

Our research found that many of the ‘how-to’ videos already available on YouTube have a genuine, shoot-style feel that we were keen to emulate.

We thought that by getting these 4 guys together to build the barbecue itself, the video might take on a ‘Top-Gear’ feel and become really relatable to our target audience.

The light-hearted dialogue and chemistry that the team display in the BIG Barbecue Build is authentic and genuine. The fact that there was deliberately no script produced for this video, is also testament to the authenticity of the video.

Setting and Shooting

Matt Hoar of Saint-Gobain PAM kindly provided the ideal workshop to pose as Paul Gray’s garage in the video.

We would like to once again say thank you to Matt and all of our colleagues at PAM for tolerating us over the course of 3 days.

Our long-time video partners Paul and Louise Pennington of Lilac Media were drafted in to film and edit the video.

derk grinding on set
bbq shoot directing

This experienced team have worked on numerous projects for Saint-Gobain previously (including last year’s Garden Heater video) and were the obvious choice. The tremendous value they added to this project cannot be overstated.

The direction team of Louise and Kate did a fantastic job of simultaneously keeping the filming schedule on time and the cast members under control long enough to shoot the scenes; no easy task with the amount of horse play occurring between takes.

But, in a shoot that would normally take up to 5 days, the video was wrapped up in just 3.

The wrap party

king of bbq paul

With shooting over, we loaded the incredibly heavy Norton barbecue onto the back of a van) and set it up in Kate Hillsley’s garden (posing as Paul’s garden) to shoot the final barbecue scene.

We were exremely lucky with the weather as the week of the video shoot was the warmest of year at the time; providing us a perfect evening for a barbecue. Kate was tasked with purchasing the prodigious amount of meat used for the barbecue, included a huge steak that her cat Tinkerbell was all too happy to share with us.

Alongside Paul’s “King of the BBQ” apron, perhaps the highlight of this particular section of the video was the neighbour’s ginger cat that unexpectedly gate crashed the final scene and can be seen surveying the action from atop the fence in the final scene.

A worthy prize

The barbeque will be made available as a competition prize. In a coordinated effort, the competition will run throughout all participating European social media channels and websites and is available to anyone who wishes to enter - from the most experienced metal fabricator to the part-time hobbyist.

To enter, participants have to show off their own metal fabrication project using Norton Abrasive products by submitting them via social media or website.

See the competition winner - Dave Taylor's interview here!

We're very much looking forward to doing it again next year, we would love to hear your suggestions on what to build - contact us via our web form.

bbq with ginger cat