A Brand's Greatest Currency

One of the things I love about video is the way that it can engage an audience. Video consists of images, words, text, music, and motion pictures, all wrapped into one presentation. When executed just right, it captivates like no other medium. And motivating an audience to slow down, spend time with you, and listen to your message will help to create a network of enthusiastic customers, eager to support your brand.

In today’s climate of quick-scrolling smartphone users, time is the greatest currency you can have. Consumers have access to so much information information, so brands need ways to encourage those consumers to slow down and pay attention. Because customers want to do their research. They want to get to know a brand. They want to have conversations. They want a forum in which to discuss their needs. And video can create that level of engagement by generating discussion and conversation.

Consider this evolution:

• The more you can engage potential customers/clients, the more they will talk about you.


• The more they talk about you, the more your company’s name will spread.


• The more positive things people hear, the more they will be inclined to spend time with you.


• And the more time they spend with you, the more they will be inclined to buy from you.


It’s one thing to sell to a customer once or twice, but you want more than that. If you can capture a customer’s time, you will eventually create a following. And that group will become your greatest advocates. They will support you. They will bring others to you. They will sell your products and services for you. That’s what time can do. And video is a great way to get started.

Upcoming Comedic Short Film Aims for $10k in Prize Money

The Memphis Film Prize is back for its fourth year and I’ll once again be participating in the competition. Currently, I’m in pre-production on Hangry, a comedic short that I wrote which focuses on one old man’s attempt to right a lunchtime wrong.

If you would like to stay up to date on this project and find out how you can get involved, be sure to follow Hangry on Twitter and Like the official Facebook page. Right now I’m working on casting and crewing the film. Here are the roles I need to cast:

Audition sides are available. If you’re interested in submitting a video audition, please email hangrymovie@gmail.com to receive the script and the instructions on where to upload your audition video.

The Memphis Film Prize Launch Party is Thursday, February 7 at the Cove on Broad Ave. at 6:30pm. I’ll be there to discuss my film and to garner interest and support.

This Video Isn't Working For Me, And Here's Why

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I was re-watching The Avengers the other night and as the climactic battle sequence raged, I couldn’t help but compare this sequence to a similar scene in another super hero film, Man of Steel.

If you haven’t seen either The Avengers or Man of Steel, warning: minor spoilers ahead.

In The Avengers, an army of alien invaders makes their way through a space/time portal and descends upon New York City. It’s up to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow to team up and thwart the villainous alien plan to take over the Earth and install Loki as ruler. What follows is a spectacular action scene right in the heart of lower Manhattan that causes millions and millions of dollars in property damage.

In Man of Steel, General Zod and his army invade earth, looking to capture Kal-El. They descend upon Metropolis and use a world-building engine to terraform earth into a carbon copy of Krypton. Zod wants to restore Krypton on the Earth. It’s up to Superman to save the day. And, like in The Avengers, what follows is a spectacular fight between two superior alien beings that wreaks havoc throughout the city. And again, there is millions and millions of dollars in property damage.

Now, to my point.

Both films show cities getting demolished in the wake of superhero battles. And yet when Man of Steel was released, some of the criticisms I read about the film centered on the level of destruction in that final battle scene. It seems like an unfair criticism to me. So, I posted my thoughts to Facebook and got the conversation started.

In the discussion that followed, people brought up different issues they had with Man of Steel, like tone, character development, plot devices, and character motivations; all valid points, most of which I can get behind. Here are some of the comments I received:

All that destruction is part of the continued story line. Increased regulations, heroes turn on each other, etc.


Yeah, but that’s actually addressed in civil war. The destruction in that and avengers two kinda sets up that storyline. Plus the tones in both action scenes are vastly different, making the audience have different reactions.


I would go back to tone to explain why people accept avengers a bit easier. The action is very light-hearted and fun. You can’t say the same for man of steel. It wants the audience to take it seriously.


Isn't part of it that audiences believe Superman could have more easily directed the fight (which involved him and a few adversaries of relatively equal strength, mobility, etc) away from people than the Avengers (who were facing a small army of people and monsters vastly more powerful and mobile) could have? It was for me.


At least in Avengers the heroes show concern for civilians and make an effort to save as many as possible. Superman showed none of that.

These responses got me thinking…:

Maybe it wasn’t the destruction per se that some viewers took issue with. Perhaps there were other legitimate criticisms people had with the film and they couldn’t quite adequately express their thoughts and so they fixated on the destruction aspect.

And that led me to these thoughts pertaining to client relations…

  • Sometimes a video you’ve produced for a client doesn’t receive the response you anticipated.

  • There’s something about the video that doesn’t quite work for the client.

  • The client, however, can’t articulately explain what it is about your video that he/she doesn’t like.

  • In his/her attempt to explain what’s wrong, he/she fixates on a particular aspect of the video that, to you, seems a bit unfair or irrational.

If you encounter this with a client at some point in your career, don’t get frustrated. Your job at that point as a video producer is to find out the core issue that bothers your client. Like a medical doctor in an emergency room setting, you need to rule out other possibilities and get to the root of the problem.

For example, I once delivered a human interest short documentary to a client for approval who told me that, tonally, it was one of the darkest stories she had ever seen and that it wouldn’t fit with the other videos she had already released. She was ready to scrap the whole project.

I knew, however, that my story wasn’t nearly as somber as others. So it wasn’t tone that concerned my client.

But what was it?

After listening to her concerns, speaking with her, and then rewatching the video a few times myself I realized that the issue was with my main interview subject. This individual told a personal story in a very matter-of-fact way, so any emotional sound bite I used in the piece didn’t feel authentic, because the interview subject never really got emotional. It was the perceived inauthenticity of my main subject that created the issue.

To solve this problem, I went back through the edit and just let the interview subject tell the story. I removed any sound bites that were editorial or emotional in nature. And you know what? These revisions worked for the client.

So the next time you receive feedback from a client that confuses you, or just feels arbitrary and without merit, take the time to have a one-on-one conversation. Talk through the edit. Find out what’s really going on.

The issue may not be the fact that you decided to level Metropolis.