Category Archives: TV Commercials

Authentic Content Promo Reel 2017

Having been an agent for commercial artists for a couple of decades and now promoting myself as the creative I am SO much more empathetic to the difficulty of deciding what to show. Creating a "sizzle" reel is a process of selecting the best new work, parting ways with some old favorites, and combining it, somehow, into a visual narrative.

This is the best of what I do. This is what I love to do. This is me, without me being in front of the camera.

It is safe to say that I am a generalist within the broad niche of people-based videos. Yes, I've shot some products and done it well, but I sing best (no, you don't want to hear that!) with a person in front of the camera. I work with directors or by myself, with on-camera interviewers or by myself, with a crew of many or of very few. Often it is myself, or myself and one person that can capture a nice interview or testimonial.

In the past year I have vastly upgraded my equipment. In truth, given pretty much any camera I can capture a still or video clip of interest, but quality of the digital information, audio and video alike, does make a difference. Most of the newer work is at the front end of this reel. I think the difference shows.

So, take a look. Give a call. I am easy to talk to!

Andy Gump “Bringing Our Best”

Andy Gump, a premier provider of temporary site services, always brings the best equipment, the best team, and the best attitude when providing portable sanitation, fencing and power. This one minute video is just a sample of their exceptional abilities.

Testimonial Advertising

This television commercial was captured and edited from the patients own words.

Working with director Tom Mescall on this project, we ran a two camera shoot with five different patient groups. Hearing their first hand from-the-heart stories, of the struggles they went through prior to bariatric surgery and the changes in their life since, made for some wonderful footage and commentary.

It is about the moment.

Using two cameras when conducting interviews is wonderful, and three might even be better. It isn't just about having different framing, it is about having the cameras move and keep framing visually interesting. Having one play it safe leaves only one to have fun with. Still, it seems that there is always a moment captured where it all comes together, where the spontaneous voicing of a real situation brings an understanding to the eyes, where a genuine emotion is conveyed beyond the words spoken.

Authenticity in advertising is critical to reaching people at a place where they believe what they see and hear. A rehearsed script rarely comes across as anything other than what it is, and loses much in that reception. Typically, authentic advertising is based upon a testimonial or other proof of worth. These stories are best captured in a video interview.

The video interview process is much more than simply showing up and asking questions. Research is needed beforehand to discover the intent of the organization, their manner of achieving those goals, the nature of the volunteers and employees and many other factors. Similarly, knowledge of the public perception is important, particularly that part of the public that is the demographic target of the video.

Using real people in advertising requires a unique skill set of the interviewer. Having the knowledge of the research noted above, the interviewer must be able to ask questions in a manner that invites the person to discover in their own way the answer. Often, the same question may be asked in a couple of different ways to achieve similar answers that are spoken in different tone, wording, or facial expression.

It is a debatable point as to whether a pre-interview helps or hinders. I fall on the side of hindrance. By experience I have found that the first conversations with a person about their company or organization are the most candid, the least prepared, and the most effective at capturing a person in the real moment of their enthusiasm. A prepared interviewee is one that often hesitates to find the "right" words they thought they wanted to say when. Spontaneous interview responses yield genuine responses.

Support for this thinking comes from most of the late night talk show hosts. They rarely visit with their guests before the show, wanting a more candid and spontaneous interview.