Normal people telling their stories is one of the most compelling ways to promote a service or product. Sometimes, the most interesting characters are real people, not paid celebrities. Often these folks are the most reluctant to appear on camera. A great interview technique can go a LONG way toward making people unaccustomed to media feel at-home “in the hot seat”.
A significant part of my business model is “normal people talking about things they care about”.
A couple of years ago, I traded visual production services with a good friend of mine, Vancouver promotional photographer Wendy D. I produced a series of short video clips focusing on various aspects of her business. We sat down and chatted about what her business model was casually over coffee.
About a week later, we arranged to set up a chat on-camera. I went to her studio apartment that doubled as her photo studio and shot the interview component of the video. I attended a promo photo shoot for a short film a short while later to get more material for the videos and shot for about an hour and a half using my “fly-on-the-wall” style.
After a couple of minutes, nobody even noticed I was there any more. In fact, at one point someone who had reservations about having a “video guy” there suggested “Hey Shaun, do you want to come in and get a shot of this??”
I requested a series of photos from Wendy, based on specific requirements: I gave her a list of some topics, some demographics and some frame requirements and she picked her favourites from her body of work within those parameters.
A couple of days later, I sent her the link. Her recommendation on my LinkedIn profile says it all:
“When I saw the final video I was blown away, Shaun made me look and sound great with the interview, the footage from the shoot was amazing and the way he put all the elements together went far beyond what I was expecting. ”
Sometimes it isn’t a business that could benefit from a bit of promo.
Some very good friends of mine from back when I lived in Winnipeg put on a series of tabletop wargaming tournaments in three Canadian cities and one in the United States, with the blessing of the game company themselves. In fact, their tournaments are seeds to the Grand Tournament in Las Vegas now after many years of working closely together.
I showed up to the Vancouver tournament in 2010 with camera in hand and little else. I was AMAZED at the quality of the painting and detail work of all the gamer armies in general but one army stood out above them all.
Marshall Reeves is well-liked in the gaming community for being an all-around great player and ambassador. One of his armies won the distinguished “Best Painted” category at the Grand Tournament in Las Vegas in 2011.
Who better to speak on his involvement in the game.
The website for the Tournament is here:
Even working musicians understand the value of promo…
A number of years ago I was approached by the management of Star Syndicate, a (former) Winnipeg hard rock party band, to produce a marketing video NOT aimed at their fans but at club owners and promoters. Star Syndicate was a band that understood the business of live music and wanted to showcase all the marketing the band did around upcoming gigs in order to make their live appearances more profitable for the clubs that booked them, thereby ensuring repeat performances.
The piece originally was delivered on the web as well as on DVD to club owners and agents and garnered the band new support. Long by today’s standards but given the demographic, the tool was the right one at the time. Owners and agents wanted to see performances but also wanted to understand how the band was working for them to draw fans into the clubs they played.
Sometimes we just need to celebrate our own successes. We were approached by Acumen Education to produce a series of web videos for their company, which are available at their website at:
The company’s founder felt so strongly about the “character driven storytelling” approach that he had this to say about us…
We are humbled by the response to what we do. Character driven storytelling is an honest and sincere way to get your corporate or event message across.
Talk to someone who specializes in this type of video. Like us.