My latest video production is complete. It was quite a journey, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is always fascinating to peer behind the curtain and see how global brands operate. But the best part is figuring out how best to tell their stories, and do it in a manner where the personality and the “real factor” shines through. This video is designed to be a handshake reaching across the globe to Japanese executives who are thinking about doing business in the United States. Even now, Georgia is home to more than 500 Japanese facilities employing over 30,000 Georgians.
Footage was captured at the JapanFest in Atlanta, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, and company locations in Norcross, Peachtree City and Monroe. But the crux scene is at the restaurant. I was able to get each of the companies to Nakato, the oldest Japanese restaurant in Georgia, for a tatami-style dinner. Even the owners of Nakato, along with their daughter, joined us for a very special evening.
The culture and tradition of Japanese people is one of humility and respect, and it was an honor to work with all of the individuals it took to make this project a reality.
My goal is always to practice what I call “real marketing.” In other words, leveraging the perspectives of your end customers or stakeholders to tell future prospects why their lives will be better using you, your products and/or solutions. Therefore, I have invested considerable dollars and time in to pursuing thought leadership in videos, case studies, articles, whitepapers, profiles, etc.
Most of the videos I produce are from the perspective of real executives speaking to the facts. But in the case of this most recent video, which highlights the strengths of Georgia’s cybersecurity, fintech, health IT and general information technology sectors, I needed to take a more commercial approach. Why? Well, part of the reason is due to how fast technology companies change. The other is because cyber and fintech companies are reluctant to share too much information. I wanted this video to be as evergreen as possible.
So instead I leveraged my 15+ years of experience in software development and interactive marketing to convey these strengths with real statistics, a tight script, and some visually stunning graphics. Much of the imagery runs contrary to one another in the natural world, and yet, they metaphorically relate in this context. The bonus is that it works really well on a really big flat screen at tradeshows even with no sound.
My most recent video production is the culmination of many other supporting video projects that have taken me across the state of Georgia, and behind-the-scenes of some incredible companies, over the past 5 years. In essence, I took a limited budget and made it in to a $250k production.
But I could not have done it without the great guys that make up the band, The Quiet Hounds. Their talent and genuine personalities carry the diverse scenes that are tightly edited to inform the next scene, and the next scene, and so on. I feel lucky to have been able to ink a sync agreement with them for this perfect song. I followed them to Athens, Georgia to record the live performance at the Georgia Theatre, and we spent a long night together at a recording studio in Midtown Atlanta. It has been a pleasure getting to know them.
How do you encapsulate an entire state in one video and do it well? That was indeed part of the challenge. I knew it could not be everything to everyone. Sure, there were sacrifices and difficult decisions along the way. But positive emotion is the great equalizer.
The video is now featured on Georgia.org and its affiliated social media properties – at all the Visitor Information Centers across the state – and baggage claim in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
I hope this experience provides you with a taste of the authenticity, beauty, diversity and “southern charm” that I have come to find in Georgia . I feel it. The band feels it. Georgians feel it. I hope you do as well.
Do me a favor. Pop the video full screen and turn up your speakers.
A special thanks to the Quiet Hounds for lending their creativity, time and music to this piece.
“Southern Charm” Lyrics
All the gardenia on the sideway dropping like they want you.
I’m a believer on the highway when they’re playing our tune
driving up slowly though the gravel nothing stopping Sunday
Summer love songing in my longing we can do this our way
Hot city you are mine
Storms on your shoulder and I call it Paradise
Everyone knows this thunder only means bright lights for us
Hot city you are mine
So pretty on my arm
Hot city you are mine
So pretty on my arm
Tell me that you’ll make this rainstorm ours
make it ours
dancing through the black night
Hot city you are mine
Oh say that you are mine
This is where my southern charm will lye
This city home, this home is you, you are my summer love song
how do you do it, how do you make it hum
My heart is warm, my blood is red, this sweat is all I have to make it up to you, make it up to you, love.
The annual communicator awards have been announced, and I am pleased to be one of them for this video production:
The winners of the 23rd Annual Communicator Awards have officially been announced by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. With over 6,000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. Please visit www.communicatorawards.com to view the full winners list.
The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 600+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current AIVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: AirType Studio, Condè Nast, Disney, Keller Crescent, Lockheed Martin, Monster.com, MTV, rabble+rouser, Time Inc., Tribal DDB, Yahoo!, and many others. See aiva.org for more information.
“We are both excited and amazed by the quality of work received for the 23rd Annual Communicator Awards. This year’s class of entries is a true reflection of the progressive and innovative nature of marketing and communications,” noted Linda Day, executive director of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. She added, “On behalf of the entire Academy I want to applaud this year’s Communicator Awards entrants and winners for their dedication to perfecting their craft as they continue to push the envelope of creativity.”
Generally, I am an advocate of letting clients speak on your behalf verses cutting a straight commercial with voice talent and nice music. I call it real marketing. But in listening to my client I heard that what they really needed was a video that would set an energetic tone – more of a wow piece – that could also be highly informative. In addition, it would work well as a 15 or 30 second promotional spot.
Since I had already produced this Telly award-winning video for Trade that did have good testimonials, it was decided to pursue something different. This piece uses heavier animation work and a fast-paced rhythm to hopefully incite the target audience to take action. Because the International Trade team is predominately women, I was keen on using a female narrator of which I auditioned several. I was also very particular about the script and balancing practical information with some sales sizzle.
Here is my latest production. An inside look in to the lives and businesses of three German companies who fabricate elevators you ride, industrial systems you need, and most of the world’s pressure gauges you depend on. It offers a little mountain biking, Mexican food, running, welding, robots and virtual reality.
As is often the case with these video productions, it provides me the opportunity to meet new people and get behind-the-scenes of what makes global companies tick. Before a video camera is ever turned on I have done quite a few things:
An extensive amount of research on the company’s brand, operations, employees, and competitors.
Met with company executives and stakeholders.
Thought very carefully about the target audience and any cultural nuances.
What kind of supporting locations and footage would bolster the story?
How much can I realistically cover with the budget available?
What are possible risks that I may face?
How much crew do I really need?
What permits do I need?
What will effectively tie the piece together?
What will be the timing for each shoot and where?
And the list goes on. But one key factor that I think is often underestimated is getting very busy executives to open up their lives and their companies. To potentially spend a whole day with me while we get this shot, and that shot, and that quote and, can you say it again but like this?
Don’t ever discount what your mom and dad taught you about being a people person. These productions require a lot of moving parts, and the coordination of many different people.
Once the video shoots have taken place there is a considerable amount of time spent:
Selecting the right scenes and quotes.
Making sure the international translations have the right message, tone and inflection.
Developing the script.
Listening to dozens of voice talents if the piece requires professional narration.
Carefully choosing the right mix of music tracks and sound effects.
Ensuring that each scene informs the next scene for a seamless story.
Sure, I’ve had many 5:00am starts, flipped an ATV, crashed a drone, equipment malfunctions, no shows, bad weather and host of other issues, but it is all part of the process in telling a great story and learning a few things along the way.
One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is seeing what makes companies tick. Getting behind the scenes and meeting the entrepreneurs that drive the Georgia economy. The vast array of industry sectors provide so many different strategies and business processes, and telling a part of their story via video is always an interesting experience.
A few tips when planning for a video shoot:
If you can, scout before you bring a video crew along. A host of surprises can jump up unexpectedly, and you want to be prepared with a back up plan. It will also give you ideas, shot angles, interviewees, and potential props to make it even better. For example, I’ve used lift cranes, fork lifts, bicycles, planes, conveyor belts and a host of other items to get a shot.
Really investigate the DNA of the brand you are featuring. The more you can carry that spirit forward the better.
Set up two different camera angles to make the interviews more interesting and flexible when it comes to post edit time.
Too much background noise is distracting, but just enough makes for a more interesting video as it allows the viewer to feel the scene.
Avoid amping up the music too much. One should hardly notice it unless it increases at moments to convey something important or create energy – but use sparingly. Certainly avoid free stock music at all costs.
Interview questions can often end up very generic, and that won’t help you get the interesting talking points you need. Mix it up and throw in some questions that are personal. Relax your subject and don’t be afraid to have them repeat their point several times to get it right. They will appreciate it later. Certainly have them repeat the last part of your question before they go into the answer.
Keep it short. Like under 3:00 minutes.
If you plan on buying media to promote your video then think about and budget accordingly for both a 30 second spot and a longer version.
Transcribe the video. If you don’t like the way the script is shaping up then you can always go back to find the right talking points you want.
Consider animation and careful use of text and infographics to bolster a particular point.
Here are some recent videos I have produced:
King’s Hawaiian (3:00)
Small Business (2:46)
Film Industry (4:55)
If you would like to see more videos from me visit http://blog.robertpayne.net/category/professional/