The barriers to entry have essentially disappeared in many creative fields. Anyone can self-publish a book and have it printed on demand. Anyone can start a blog. And in video, what used to require very expensive equipment can now be done with a good HD camera, a Macbook, and Final Cut Pro.
This is mostly a very good thing, but it can make it hard for an organization to choose the right video producer. When anyone can buy a camera and put out a shingle, how do you know you're getting good value?
I do my video production in collaboration with DDC International, because Colby Gottert and his team are obsessed with quality and know how to tell a story. Watch the first 1:25 of this video and join me for a discussion below.
From the opening shot, there is a cinematic quality to the piece. Instead of talking heads, we have dramatic, staged shots of the subjects looking at photos as we hear them speak. It draws us in.
Technically, the work is beautifully done, with exquisite attention to depth of field and lighting. Does it matter? Well, most viewers aren’t going to comment on it, but the overall impression of quality and attention to aesthetics will make the piece more effective.
This kind of video doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of great pre-production work, in which the whole story is planned in detail; outstanding technical skills paired with top-quality gear; and creative editing grounded in a particular vision of how words and images can be used together to great effect.
How to get great results
If you’re planning to use video, make sure you know what you want. People are done with promotional videos that are all about the company or product instead of the viewer. Don’t make one. Tell a story. Tell your unique story, the one that makes it clear who you are, what you stand for, and what you do. Better yet, tell the story of your most passionate customers or supporters.
When choosing a producer, make sure you watch their body of work. Is it great or just good enough? I often find that the price differential between great and good is pretty minor. What’s on the line is the clarity of your brand. I imagine the Stewardship Foundation, the client for whom the video above was made, is proud every time someone new sees their video.
Are you happy with your video portfolio?
If not, contact me and we can talk about your vision and how to achieve it.
An excerpt from a video we made for the Hampshire Regional YMCA.
We produced this video for ServiceNet, a human service agency that serves western Mass.
A short excerpt from an interview we did with Peter Senge at Camp Snowball, an annual conference about systems thinking and education for sustainability.
The Rippel Foundation asked us to produce a short introduction to their work in health care.
I am in post-production with a video about systems thinker Joanna Macy.