In his latest blog article Gareth Martin argues that for corporate content to resonate with impact and meaning, we need to take a step outside the box and reflect on what makes motion picture the powerful platform it is today.
What’s your favourite film?
When Martin Scorsese was asked to name his top ten movies, he couldn’t get the list of his favourite titles under 250. The Oscar-winning director named everything from The Wizard of Oz to Platoon.
It’s rare to meet somebody that has just one. Even if you extend that question to accommodate a top five, or a top ten, the first answer that we’re often met with is that ‘it depends.’
It depends on what mood we’re in, where we are; equally important is who we’re with, what day it is, and sometimes even how hungover we are.
At the heart of it, is simply what we want the emotional impact of watching that film to be. The films we choose literally depends on how we want to feel as a result of watching them.
When we’re alone, we find inspiration from re-watching an old favourite for a classic quote, a great victory, a relationship, a personal journey, or even simply to re-live an epic historical battle scene. We energise ourselves with great montages of personal development and re-discovery, from the makeovers and reveals of She’s All That and The Devil Wears Prada, to the awe-inspiring journey of the underdog, building themselves back up to take another shot at the title.
Whether it’s date night, late night, or Netflix. We pick a film to watch with the end result in mind.
Consider then the big budget triumphs in television advertising, from the Man from Milk Tray in the 80’s and the Budweiser Frogs in the 90’s, to the Meerkats of the new millennium. Adverts that were all cinematically created to give us ‘all the feels’, in order to compel us ‘to engage, act and to buy’.
So here’s the real question. Why would your use of video in a commercial sense be any different?
Like Humphrey Bogart taught us in Casablanca, the fundamental rules apply. Of course, in the modern world, anybody can shoot, edit, and distribute video from a smartphone. But should they?
Here’s some insight into the principles of making films that you should bear in mind when making your next corporate video.
Just like at the Academy Awards for Best Producer, read biggest and best use of budget. Making successful commercial videos costs time, money, and expertise. Of all of those, expertise is the most important investment. Don’t be fooled, of course in the modern world anybody can make a movie on a smartphone, edit it, and finish it and even add a soundtrack. Would you bet your sales target, your promotion, or your career on that? Probably not.
Best Performance in a Leading Role
Andy Warhol famously said that ‘everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes.’ Even if you agree – that fifteen minutes may not be best placed in your next corporate video. If you don’t have a performer in your midst, you’ll be better served to pay for one or else, simply put, you immediately put your project at risk.
If the world needs to hear from an expert or leader in your business who is not necessarily a natural on camera, script well, rehearse, keep it simple, and above all keep it brief.
Best Original Screenplay
If the words and the intent of your content is compelling to the audience, there’s a better chance that your audience won’t require a big budget production. Strong words in simple terms and well performed, always hit.
If you have a winning message at the right time, and speed to market is vital, then don’t burden your project with delays or weeks of post-production. Authenticity wins every time!
Movie stars are famous, and Directors are famous to movie stars. To tell the right story, in the right way, and achieve the results that you’re striving for, then you need an expert to tell that story.
The right Director will ensure that style and flow of your message is perfectly balanced. That the script is delivered in the right way at the right time. They’ll hit the right pitch and still ensure that ‘the music between the notes’ is executed in such a way, as to compel the response you want from the audience.
Movies tell stories, storytelling is an art form. Ask yourself how many corporate videos you’ve not made it to the end of, or just clicked off halfway through?