Nothing “works” like video to capture the heart and tell a compelling story with pictures and music

PMi Capabilities Video

Okay… you may be thinking to yourself, “why post this piece of ****?” Well, listen to the story behind the piece.

Steve Evans, one of the sales guys at PMi,  comes to me one day and asks, “you think you could put together a capabilities video? We have a shot at expanding our business with AIM (Financial Services company).”

“Sure,” I said. “When do you need it?” Steve says, “a week.”

So, let me get this straight– you want a capabilities video in one week, and we don’t even have a script. Heck, we didn’t even have a camera!

Here’s how it happened. There was another company (who shall remain anonymous) that had promised AIM that they would produce a capabilities video for a big corporate meeting scheduled for the summer. They had 6 or 7 months to put it together. About 10 days before the big presentation, they call up AIM and tell them they can’t get it done in time. Steve just happened to be around when the guy from AIM jokingly asked if he could produce a video in a week…

Long story short: we pitched the idea to the boss (he wasn’t happy about buying a $2000 camera), and we went to work. First trip was downt the street to Fry’s to get the camera, a mic and a video tripod. The video was shot with a Sony 3CCD Camera with a nice lens and a really nice built-in slow zoom. I storyboarded the video and worked on the script that afternoon. We started shooting the next morning and got all the footage we needed (along with a bunch of stills). The long hours of digitizing from tape (hey, this was 2005!) and editing started on the third day (along with reshooting the new stuff we added at the last minute). Yes, that’s me (Scott) on the voice-over as well.

When I finally finished the last edits (Final Cut) and burned the DVD, we headed downtown with a day to spare, with thick dark clouds starting to gather to the south. They guys from AIM were impressed– we had pulled off in 6 days what their other vendor (with 6 months) wasn’t able to. Ironically, the presentation was cancelled due to Hurricane Ike… we were able to present the video about a month later (which gave me the opportunity to spruce it up a bit).

The results were fantastic. PMi picked up even more business from AIM, and the “guts” of the video became the basis for numerous winning pitches for years to come.

The Four Grades of ETA Automatic Movements Video

This is a perfect example that “down and dirty” doesn’t have to be down and dirty. It also is a testament to “I didn’t see that coming”… this video had 10X the traffic of all the Star Time videos.
  • The “moving banner” you see at the top of the page and on the home page are examples of a Cinemagraph. Cinemagraphs are animated gifs that limit the motion so as to be both frozen like an image and moving like a video. And because it’s a gif, there’s no problem with compatibility with browsers.

There are no award-winning videos on my “reel” (yet)

Video is the most powerful media that exists. It captivates and motivates like nothing else. The power (strangely enough) is in the audio portion (if you doubt me, watch a movie with the sound off). The combination of music and moving pictures generates an emotional connection that can only be beat by live performance.

I don’t have much in the way of fancy gear, but I make up for it with speed and value. If you think your marketing might benefit from video, you’re right! Which is better: a slick production with lots of sizzle, or quick, down, and “dirty”? What if you could do 10 quick videos for what a slick one costs? Depending on your brand, as long as they tell a good story, you will probably find more is better. The search engines and your tribe will thank you…

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