To collaborate or not to collaborate, this is often the great question for a creative small business. Collaborative work can be incredibly valuable. And it can also be a giant pain in the neck. So how do you decide when to pull in a partner as opposed to going it alone?
- Are you producing something broad-based or specific? The more facets involved in your project, the more valuable collaboration will be. As the old adage says, “Many hands make light work.” While that’s true in a literal sense—it’s easier to set up, run, and take down equipment with more than one set of hands—you can always hire an assistant. In a more figurative sense “light work” is true as well; different technology, equipment, and professional skills make for a more versatile and efficient team. At the very least this makes for an easier product, and it can often mean a significantly better product in the end.
- Is your project based on your vision or a client’s? If your project is based on a client’s vision, collaboration may be very helpful as you seek to put forward the best expression of that vision possible. But if your project is based on your vision and you want to own it and love it and call it yours at the end of the day, then collaborating may be tricky. Hiring an assistant might work better if your project includes creativity that you feel possessive of.
Recently, Clear Summit Productions did a promotional video for Christian Record Services for the Blind. It tells the personal story of a woman who lost her sight and makes sure to share the value of what she receives from CRSB services with the people around her. This video was done collaboratively with Stenbakken Media and is a great example of collaborative work at its best.
Collaboration between Stenbakken Media and Clear Summit Productions on this project meant that neither company had to wrangle all the gear. And while one concentrated on audio intake, B-Cam, and moving shots, the other didn’t even have to think about those things. Instead they were free to concentrate on A-Cam and static shots. It was the best of both worlds from inception to final cut. The result? A very happy client!
Don’t be afraid to own your own work—sometimes a one-man show is the way to go for a creative project. But don’t be afraid to reach out for help either. In a win-win, collaboration can turn out a better project with less heavy lifting by each person involved.
Avery Collins is a runner, but not your average runner. He runs far. REALLY far. Oh, and fast. He runs REALLY fast! Avery competes at a very high level in Ultra Running. In fact, since filming this video, he won the Georgia Death Race, A ‘golden ticket’ race for Western States 100. Avery will be racing Western States this June and competing with the best Ultra Runners in the world on Ultra Runnings biggest stage.
What is Ultra Running? Ultra Running by definition is running any distance farther than Marathon distance (26.2 miles). There are many distances (50k, 100k, 50 mile, 100 mile, and beyond), but Avery prefers to race and compete at the 100-mile plus distance.
This story is not about how he got into running or him sharing what shoes he wears. In this story Avery talks about what running does for him, how it makes him feel, and what he goes through to prepare for races this daunting.
He also shares what inspires him about Colorado and how it feeds him and keeps him going.
There is much more in there and some stunning scenery. You’ll have to watch and see it for yourself!
The Relationship Between Time and Quality
When people think about hiring someone to shoot professional video for them, oftentimes their primary concern is money. Nothing wrong with that—anyone in business knows they need to make sound financial decisions with their income.
But is there a point where low cost translates into a noticeably low-quality production? If so, where is that point? The last thing any business wants to do is paint a picture of themselves as “cheap” instead of “financially responsible.”
Let Good Quality Speak for Itself
You’re a sensible business with a good-quality service or product. Whether you’re non-profit or for-profit, you believe in what you do. Here’s a secret to professional video—a little more goes a long, long way toward making a good impression.
An Example—Vista Ridge Academy
Recently, Clear Summit Productions did a publicity video for Vista Ridge Academy. Vista Ridge is a non-profit school, so their advertising budget isn’t huge, but they wanted their finished product to convey the dedication to quality that is one of their pillars of operation. How did they do that without breaking the bank? Simple—they allowed CSP more than bare-minimum time to get the job done.
In real life, more shooting time translated into a couple things:
- The ability to gather more interviews than we needed; and
- The ability to add technically interesting video footage to the video.
Extra interview footage allowed them to select only the very best footage to support their cause and discard the rest. And the time lapse and aerial segments we created fill the piece out and give it a more robust feel and look. All of which comes together into a more professional end product that better reflects the quality the client was trying to show.
Let’s be honest here, CSP could have shot this job in one day. We could have edited it together nicely and still produced a respectable piece of professional video work. BUT…the extra time this client gave us allowed us to schedule more interviews with people who couldn’t all make the same day, and add some extra touches to the finished piece.
This client stretched their dollars by purchasing more time and dividing their shoot time into half-days. This allowed them to pre-produce smaller segments at a time, at a higher level of preparation, with higher quality results. It also allowed CSP to focus on a smaller shot list at each scheduled shoot, which in turn allowed us to use more interesting shots.
The price point for these extras is no higher than the cost of the videographer’s time, and isn’t as daunting of a difference as you think. So next time you’re purchasing professional video, go ahead and dream a little bigger. Say things like, “I have this idea—tell me what this would mean in terms of cost on your end.” Ask those questions and get the facts. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how affordable the extras are.
Recently, Clear Summit Productions, a drone videography company based right here in Lakewood, Colorado, completed a video ad for Denver roofing powerhouse, d7.
d7 is a very successful company that has been in business for over 20 years. They have offices across several states and handle roofing jobs of all sizes with high quality work, certified crews, and tight price quotes that they honor.
But Enough About Them…
We here at Clear Summit are very proud of the video we produced for them. I mean, look at it. All that soaring aerial camera work, snappy ground footage, and crisp graphics… It’s beautiful!
This ad is an example of a video that we produced exclusively. Everything was done in-house. Talent casting, scripting, shooting, scheduling, music, voice-over, etc. If you’re a hands-off client who wants to sit back and let us do the work, only stepping in to give approval/disapproval at critical points in the process of video development, we can work with you easily, just as we did here.
On the other hand, maybe you’re a client who would much rather take part in the creative process. Maybe you want your words to be the script, your staff to be the ones filmed, or maybe you’d rather handle the scheduling and music choices yourself. Whatever the reasoning and whatever the level of involvement you prefer, Clear Summit can and will work with you. We’ve done projects with all levels of client involvement and if we may be perfectly frank, we have the skills to make your project look good no matter what.
Comfort Levels for All
In a win-win scenario, our client comes out the finishing end of a Clear Summit gig happy. They have a product that represents their company well and that will capture the attention of their intended market. And we come out of that same project proud of our work. We’ve made something that looks good and sounds good, and we have a happy client.
We really aren’t too worried about the process by which we get to that win-win end point. We’re flexible in engagement style, but own the technology and have the skills necessary to produce high-quality work in just about any setting.
We’re happy to do the heaving lifting for you, or we’re happy to hand parts of the work off to you to manage yourself. We like to make sure the client is comfortable, and that means us being involved as much or as little as you want.
Yes, we can do it all. But we don’t need to in order to make sure your project ends up just how you want it.
Drones offer the chance to create and use high-quality aerial video footage for a variety of purposes. Entertainment, property surveying, project management, marketing, sporting events, even weddings can all benefit from the great visual texture that footage shot from above provides.
Clear Summit Productions is a local company that provides drone videography services in Denver, Colorado, and the surrounding areas. Our pilot, Jeremy Jacob, is fully certified and has been flying a drone for a number of years now. He is familiar with UAV and flight regulations, as well as the no fly zones in this area.
Full Service Videography
What’s more, Clear Summit Productions is a full-service videography company. If you are looking for a local company that can provide beautifully shot video footage that includes a mix of ground and aerial views, CSP can deliver that package of work to you at competitive rates.
There are a fair number of Denver drone companies around, and a fair number of Denver videography companies. But only a select few produce both types of work. Talk to us today about your project needs. We can provide you with examples of local work we’ve done and a fair project bid on your idea.
What Type of Drone Work do We Do?
Since drones are relatively new to the market, allow us to provide a brief description of the types of UAV work we do.
- Film and TV, Cinematography: Any time you want to add dramatic sweeping shots of a city at sunset, a swath of river, or a car chase to your film project, a drone and a good drone pilot can provide the footage that takes your work to the next level. Adding eagle eye or God-view footage adds high-end visual appeal to even small creative projects.
- Advertising and Marketing: Whether you’re a summer camp that wants to display the glorious scenery of your property, a fair that wants to show off their packed arena and excited crowds, or a city that wants to showcase what they have to offer to the surrounding areas, drone footage offers just the dramatic shots you need. Perfect for voice-over work as well.
- Tourism and Hospitality: In 2014, Google confirmed that online usage of travel videos was increasing hugely. If people are planning to travel, they usually go online and check the place out before buying tickets. If a travel destination wants to be competitive, they’ll put video footage of themselves up to show potential customers what they have to offer.
- Weddings: First wedding photography expanded to wedding videography. Now wedding videography has expanded to include drone footage of the ceremony, reception, and crowd. Imagine having beautiful moving footage of your special day that includes above the crowd vantage points. Stunning!
- Property and Real Estate: The best aspect of property for sale isn’t necessarily the street view. Sometimes it’s the one-acre back yard that you want to be able to show in just a few seconds, the sweeping view of local scenery, the nearby walk paths, or the creek that flows through the southwest corner. Shooting real estate property with a drone allows the real estate agent to put the very best aspects of the property on the market affordably.
- Sports: You’ve probably already seen drone footage of professional baseball and football games mixed in with standard ground footage. But think what drone footage can do to provide footage of a marathon, a half-pipe competition, or downhill skiing. Great views, without having to get a cameraman in place for one limited shot of the action.
As you can see, UAVs can be used in many fields that thrive on video footage. Clear Summit Productions is one of a small handful of Colorado UAV companies that has plenty of experience as well as all the required licenses in place.
Trust us with your drone project. Call or email us today for more details.
Recently I got the opportunity to help out a friend of mine and his wife with a promotional video for her Photography company. She is transitioning to more of a wedding photographer and really wanted to highlight the advantages of going with Her and Her Husband as your wedding photographer.
It was a ton of fun to shoot, and a type of video I have been wanting to for awhile now.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
95th Annual Greeley Stampede video! This video was shot to promote the Greeley Stampede in their 95 year celebration. We had a ton of fun working with the people at the Stampede and highly recommend heading over there this 4th of July to enjoy the biggest 4th of July Rodeo in the United States.
Now we have Objective 4, creating action in your target market. Customers who take action are good.
What action or actions do you want your audience to take once they’ve seen your professional video production? The answer to this question will help decide how your professional video is shot and edited.
Do you provide a service? (Think health care, dentist’s offices, plumbers, accountants, attorneys, ahem…northern Colorado professional videography services, etc.) If so, you need to create the ubiquitous Top of Mind Awareness, so that when a potential customer’s need comes up, your information is the first thing they think of.
Do you make widgets? (Shoes, custom perfumes, catalytic converters, thingiemabobs, etc.) If so, you actually need your customers to “click here to order.”
Do you need traffic to your website so you can stay on page one? If so, you need regular shareable content that will make people subscribe to follow you and share what they see.
Know what you need your customers to do in advance. It’ll help you craft your commercial video.
Tips from Higher Education
In 2007, Princeton University did a study on what makes people take action. What brings average folks from having an opinion to stepping up and doing something about that opinion? They discussed taking action from social/political, social/humanitarian, and God/evangelical angles and here are the trends that they came up with:
- People are primarily relational – get them connected. Make them see that either other people are taking this same action, or that taking this action will be a good thing.
- Make the connection as personal as possible. Move your audience with individual-driven emotion.
- The feeling of collaboration is important. Again – connectedness, but from the viewpoint of everyone being part of the goal or the fun.
Basically, create emotion and connection and they will come.
Bringing it All Together
Alright – recap:
1. Know who your target market is. Once you that you’ll know what to say to them. Keep it simple.
“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” – Dianna Booher
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” – Winston Churchill
“Stories open the hearts of your listeners, and then their wallets.” – Arvee Robinson
How This Applies to Hiring a Professional Videographer
Think of it like buying your first car. Or planning a wedding. Or planning for retirement. When you start the process you need to already have a good idea what you want. You hire the professional to make sure it’s done the absolute best it can be done.
Your identified need + their expertise = a good end result for everyone.
Welcome back to our series of discussions on what it takes to produce a highly effective commercial video. Thus far we have talked about the importance of determining your target market, then how to go about teaching your target audience.
To summarize – who are you talking to, and what do you need them to know in order for your business/service/product to make sense for them?
The Weirdness of Human Thought
As most of us already know, people aren’t the most logical creatures around. Quite to the contrary, humans tend to be prickly, opinionated, defensive, and a bit rigid in their thinking.
Even those of us who truly believe we are objective thinkers, aren’t. Study after study shows that both as individuals (psychology) and as groups (sociology), we act on our feelings and search for reasons that justify what we are doing or have already done.
1) Personal Psychology: A smoker will often convince themself that smoking isn’t actually harmful to them. Never mind the statistics, never mind decades of public information that everyone else knows…smoking doesn’t actually represent a health risk.
2) Group Sociology: Modern fast food proves daily that the average consumer will choose a sub-standard product given to them quickly, predictably, and cheaply over a product that looks better, tastes better, and is better for them.
Emotional Pull Trumps Actual Thinking
Think about that for a moment. As a business owner or marketer, you need to really understand that.
Where does that leave a company that is getting ready to have a professional commercial video made for them?
Sounds complicated, right? If people can rationalize smoking, fast food, the holocaust, and low-rise skinny jeans, what real hope do you have of interrupting that thought pattern long enough to deliver your message and have it stick?
Make Them Feel Your Message
“There is only one way…to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
People are creatures of feeling and emotion and want. Make sure they want what you have to offer.
- Highly educated audiences want to feel smart and admired (professionals);
- Family-based audiences want to feel the cozy love that family represents (church groups, towns);
- Audiences without a choice want to feel reassured that those in power are making good choices for them (schools, government, utilities);
- Young, hip audiences want to feel that their dreams are understood and attainable (clubs, education, dating sites, fashion)
If they feel your message, they’ll follow your message.
Yes, you should provide other information, like price points, convenience, credentials, etc. Information gives your audience reasons to follow what they want. It seals the deal that attraction starts.
How This Applies to Hiring a Video Production Company
“Think of every contact a customer has with your brand as the most important encounter of your life.” ― Dane Brookes, Content Marketing Revolution: Seize Control of Your Market in Five Key Steps
A professional videographer will not know your target market as well as you. It will be up to you to explain what you need to the videographer so that they can use the tricks of their trade to add high impact to your message and voice.
How would you like your target market to feel when they see your video or think about your company? Treat it like an SEO project – develop a list of keywords that you would like your audience to free associate with you.
Your videography company, once they understand your message, will bend all the power of their tools to creating that feeling for you. Those tools include:
- Color tone,
- pace in video editing,
- choice of music – or silence,
- depth of lens used,
- movement of shots,
- even simple things like how many people are on camera at a time.
All this (and more) added to the information displays discussed in last week’s blog come together to create the feel of a piece of video work. And that feel is the key to your success.
Remember, if they feel your message, they’ll follow your message. For a portfolio example of a commercial video that makes good use of pulling feelings from the viewer, check out our McKee AED video.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog, Video Objectives, Part 4.
Clear Summit Productions is a Colorado-based video production company that produces video for private, public, and non-profit companies. See our Portfolio page for some of our latest projects.
Last week we discussed why it’s so very important to do market analysis and know who your target market is (if you missed it, you can check out the blog here). Not only should you have that information for yourself as a business owner or marketing specialist, but you should be able to clearly relay that information to any production company that you hire to provide video services for you.
The professional video company will combine your message with their skills to reach your target audience as effectively as possible.
To that end, you should expect the video production company you hire to ask you several very succinct questions.
Like this one:
What do You Need Your Audience to Know?
The answer to this question is the knowledge portion of your marketing platform.
Whether you are filming a movie, an advertisement, or a training video; whether you are writing the next great American novel, an academic presentation, or a blog; whether you are speaking at an international business symposium, a local church, or to your children over the dinner table, your target audience needs to know certain things when you’re done communicating.
What are those things? What is the baseline knowledge that your target audience needs to have in order for the rest of your message to make sense?
Do they need to know that your prices are better? That your service is environmentally friendly? That your credentials set you above your competition? That quality is your primary focus in production?
What is it? Be clear and be brief. As Forbes said, “Specificity is better than Ambiguity 11 times out of 10. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing.”
How Would You Like to See Your Information Displayed?
Now that you’ve identified what you want your target market to know, you’ll need to figure out how you want that information displayed for the highest impact possible. Be prepared for a professional video company to discuss this with you at length during project development.
Some display method options to think about:
- facts and figures,
- real life impact or verification stories,
- engaging/trust-worthy verbal presentation,
- actor dramatization,
- corroboration by public figures to build confidence.
How This Applies to Hiring a Video Production Company to Produce a Video for You
Video production is a multi-sensory form of communication. Music, voice, lighting, script, and much more work hand in hand to create a captivating and memorable communication experience – part of which is simple knowledge.
Not your knowledge, mind you – your audience’s knowledge.
Giving them this knowledge gives them intellectual reasons to choose you over your competition; to remember you in amid a sea of businesses offering the same service.
A few years ago Clear Summit Productions produced a series of videos marketing an after-hours radiology service to hospitals. Our client had a high amount of very technical information to convey to his target audience – an audience who is made up primarily of medical directors and officers for hospitals.
In other words, extremely busy professionals already possessed of a high degree of intelligence and field-specific knowledge.
Here is a link to the last of his series of videos. Our client was precise, informative, and efficient, which was exactly what his target market needed to make a fast, informed decision.
Next week we’ll continue our examination of the legs supporting your marketing platform. Stay tuned.
Clear Summit Productions is a Colorado-based video production company that produces video for private, public, and non-profit companies. See our Portfolio page for some of our latest projects.