Blog

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 2.19.34 PM
Welcome to the last in our series of four blogs on the objectives of a good professional video production. Here’s what we have covered so far:

Now we have Objective 4, creating action in your target market. Customers who take action are good.

But…Which Action?

What action or actions do you want your audience to take once they’ve seen your professional video production? The answer to this question will help decide how your professional video is shot and edited.customer action clear summit production

Do you provide a service? (Think health care, dentist’s offices, plumbers, accountants, attorneys, ahem…northern Colorado professional videography services, etc.) If so, you need to create the ubiquitous Top of Mind Awareness, so that when a potential customer’s need comes up, your information is the first thing they think of.

Do you make widgets? (Shoes, custom perfumes, catalytic converters, thingiemabobs, etc.) If so, you actually need your customers to “click here to order.”

Do you need traffic to your website so you can stay on page one? If so, you need regular shareable content that will make people subscribe to follow you and share what they see.

Know what you need your customers to do in advance. It’ll help you craft your commercial video.

Tips from Higher Education

In 2007, Princeton University did a study on what makes people take action. What brings average folks from having an opinion to stepping up and doing something about that opinion? They discussed taking action from social/political, social/humanitarian, and God/evangelical angles and here are the trends that they came up with:

  • People are primarily relational – get them connected. Make them see that either other people are taking this same action, or that taking this action will be a good thing.
  • Make the connection as personal as possible. Move your audience with individual-driven emotion.
  • The feeling of collaboration is important. Again – connectedness, but from the viewpoint of everyone being part of the goal or the fun.

Basically, create emotion and connection and they will come.

Bringing it All Together

Alright – recap:
1. Know who your target market is. Once you that you’ll know what to say to them. Keep it simple.

“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.”  – Dianna Booher                                                                
2. Teach your audience what they need to know to fully appreciate what you have to offer. Your audience isn’t dumb, but if they live on planet Earth, they’re preoccupied.
 “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” – Winston Churchill
3.  Woo your audience. Their feelings are their primary steeling wheel anyway, so make sure they’re steering your way. Create emotion that pulls them. You aren’t producing a two-hour movie here, so plan accordingly.
“Stories open the hearts of your listeners, and then their wallets.” – Arvee Robinson
4.  Motivate your target market to take action. Show them that others are involved and think you’re a good idea. Show them that what you provide works. Make them feel like they’ll be missing out if they don’t get on board with you now.

How This Applies to Hiring a Professional Videographer

When you contact a videography company, they’ll need to know all four things we’ve talked about over the last few weeks.

Think of it like buying your first car. Or planning a wedding. Or planning for retirement. When you start the process you need to already have a good idea what you want. You hire the professional to make sure it’s done the absolute best it can be done.

Your identified need + their expertise = a good end result for everyone.

Clear Summit Productions is a Colorado-based video production company that produces video for private, public, and non-profit companies. See our Portfolio page for some of our latest projects.

Welcome back to our series of discussions on what it takes to produce a highly effective commercial video. Thus far we have talked about the importance of determining your target market, then how to go about teaching your target audience.

To summarize – who are you talking to, and what do you need them to know in order for your business/service/product to make sense for them?

The Weirdness of Human Thought

As most of us already know, people aren’t the most logical creatures around. Quite to the contrary, humans tend to be prickly, opinionated, defensive, and a bit rigid in their thinking.

Even those of us who truly believe we are objective thinkers, aren’t. Study after study shows that both as individuals (psychology) and as groups (sociology), we act on our feelings and search for reasons that justify what we are doing or have already done.

Quick examples:

1) Personal Psychology: A smoker will often convince themself that smoking isn’t actually harmful to them. Never mind the statistics, never mind decades of public information that everyone else knows…smoking doesn’t actually represent a health risk.

2) Group Sociology: Modern fast food proves daily that the average consumer will choose a sub-standard product given to them quickly, predictably, and cheaply over a product that looks better, tastes better, and is better for them.

Emotional Pull Trumps Actual Thinking

Think about that for a moment. As a business owner or marketer, you need to really understand that.

Where does that leave a company that is getting ready to have a professional commercial video made for them?

Sounds complicated, right? If people can rationalize smoking, fast food, the holocaust, and low-rise skinny jeans, what real hope do you have of interrupting that thought pattern long enough to deliver your message and have it stick?

Make Them Feel Your Message

“There is only one way…to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” – Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

People are creatures of feeling and emotion and want. Make sure they want what you have to offer.

  • Highly educated audiences want to feel smart and admired (professionals);
  • Family-based audiences want to feel the cozy love that family represents (church groups, towns);
  • Audiences without a choice want to feel reassured that those in power are making good choices for them (schools, government, utilities);
  • Young, hip audiences want to feel that their dreams are understood and attainable (clubs, education, dating sites, fashion)

If they feel your message, they’ll follow your message.

Yes, you should provide other information, like price points, convenience, credentials, etc. Information gives your audience reasons to follow what they want. It seals the deal that attraction starts.

How This Applies to Hiring a Video Production Company

“Think of every contact a customer has with your brand as the most important encounter of your life.” ― Dane Brookes, Content Marketing Revolution: Seize Control of Your Market in Five Key Steps

A professional videographer will not know your target market as well as you. It will be up to you to explain what you need to the videographer so that they can use the tricks of their trade to add high impact to your message and voice.

How would you like your target market to feel when they see your video or think about your company? Treat it like an SEO project – develop a list of keywords that you would like your audience to free associate with you.Greeley Unexpected Video, man's hand pouring ale

Your videography company, once they understand your message, will bend all the power of their tools to creating that feeling for you. Those tools include:

  • Color tone,
  • lighting,
  • pace in video editing,
  • choice of music – or silence,
  • depth of lens used,
  • movement of shots,
  • even simple things like how many people are on camera at a time.

All this (and more) added to the information displays discussed in last week’s blog come together to create the feel of a piece of video work. And that feel is the key to your success.

Remember, if they feel your message, they’ll follow your message. For a portfolio example of a commercial video that makes good use of pulling feelings from the viewer, check out our McKee AED video.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, Video Objectives, Part 4.

 

Clear Summit Productions is a Colorado-based video production company that produces video for private, public, and non-profit companies. See our Portfolio page for some of our latest projects.

Last week we discussed why it’s so very important to do market analysis and know who your target market is (if you missed it, you can check out the blog here). Not only should you have that information for yourself as a business owner or marketing specialist, but you should be able to clearly relay that information to any production company that you hire to provide video services for you.

The professional video company will combine your message with their skills to reach your target audience as effectively as possible.

To that end, you should expect the video production company you hire to ask you several very succinct questions.

Like this one:

What do You Need Your Audience to Know?

The answer to this question is the knowledge portion of your marketing platform.

Whether you are filming a movie, an advertisement, or a training video; whether you are writing the next great American novel, an academic presentation, or a blog; whether you are speaking at an international business symposium, a local church, or to your children over the dinner table, your target audience needs to know certain things when you’re done communicating.

What are those things? What is the baseline knowledge that your target audience needs to have in order for the rest of your message to make sense?

Do they need to know that your prices are better? That your service is environmentally friendly? That your credentials set you above your competition? That quality is your primary focus in production?

What is it? Be clear and be brief. As Forbes said, “Specificity is better than Ambiguity 11 times out of 10. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing.”

How Would You Like to See Your Information Displayed?

Now that you’ve identified what you want your target market to know, you’ll need to figure out how you want that information displayed for the highest impact possible. Be prepared for a professional video company to discuss this with you at length during project development.

graphic from CSP video production

Some display method options to think about:

  • facts and figures,
  • real life impact or verification stories,
  • engaging/trust-worthy verbal presentation,
  • actor dramatization,
  • corroboration by public figures to build confidence.

How This Applies to Hiring a Video Production Company to Produce a Video for You

Video production is a multi-sensory form of communication. Music, voice, lighting, script, and much more work hand in hand to create a captivating and memorable communication experience – part of which is simple knowledge.

Not your knowledge, mind you – your audience’s knowledge.

Giving them this knowledge gives them intellectual reasons to choose you over your competition; to remember you in amid a sea of businesses offering the same service.

Portfolio Example

A few years ago Clear Summit Productions produced a series of videos marketing an after-hours radiology service to hospitals. Our client had a high amount of very technical information to convey to his target audience – an audience who is made up primarily of medical directors and officers for hospitals.

In other words, extremely busy professionals already possessed of a high degree of intelligence and field-specific knowledge.

Here is a link to the last of his series of videos. Our client was precise, informative, and efficient, which was exactly what his target market needed to make a fast, informed decision.

Next week we’ll continue our examination of the legs supporting your marketing platform. Stay tuned.

 

Clear Summit Productions is a Colorado-based video production company that produces video for private, public, and non-profit companies. See our Portfolio page for some of our latest projects.

As a commercial video production company, part of our job here at Clear Summit Productions is to help our customers take their video idea from a rough concept to a finely honed marketing tool.

Why is that part of our job? After all, we provide video services to commercial clients – shouldn’t they already know what they need out of a video production? Yes, they absolutely should. But sometimes they don’t. Or maybe they don’t understand just how important it is.

Our bottom line is this: If we want our customers to become repeat customers (and we do), then our commercial videos need to work. If they don’t work for our clients, then ultimately, we won’t work for our clients.

The Steps to Takevideographer, target audience, video production

This blog and the three that will follow it, outline the steps a business needs to take to ensure a clear message both to their video production company and to their audience.

Step 1: Identify your target market.

Why Your Target Audience is so Important

In 1845, the first American mail order catalog was sent out, and competitive marketing entered a whole new era.

After World War II, production of marketable goods reached such a high that advertising was forced to take huge leaps forward in order to create demand for all the products on the market.

By the 1960s, the market was pretty much saturated and so it remains.

By the 1980s, computer databases could store massive amounts of customer information. This allowed companies to search and identify customer purchase histories in order to accurately market today’s latest widget or service.

In 1974, the term “internet” was coined, heralding a change that would once again take marketing to a whole new level.

In 1989, the first WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) was born. WAIS translates into “search engine,” in today’s language, by the way.

In 1998, a thing called blogging started happening. Also a little company called Google opened. Its first office was in someone’s garage.

Today, at this very moment, there are this many websites in the world. Follow that link for a quick second. Trust us…it’s worth a look.

That number right there is why it’s so very important for you to know who your target market is. Your company and what is has to offer somehow has to get to the people who want what you’re selling. You need to know who they are and how to reach them.

How this Applies to Hiring a Video Production Company

Commercial video is a tool to get your information to your audience. Like any marketing tool it has to work. And in today’s crowded market, it has to work well.

When you’re hiring a professional videographer, expect them to request information about your target audience. They’ll need to know it in order to communicate your message clearly to the people you need to hear it. Knowing your audience definition will help you and them decide things like:

  • voice/tone,
  • demographics,
  • music,
  • lighting,
  • video length,
  • details of the script,

and many other technical details of videography that go into its all-over effectiveness.

Stay tuned for our next installment.

Clear Summit Productions is a Colorado-based video production company that produces video for private, public, and non-profit companies. See our Portfolio page for some of our latest projects.

Greeley: So Much More

Greeley, Colorado, approached Clear Summit Productions and asked for a proposal and bid to make a video showcasing the city. If you know anything about Colorado’s front range, you know Greeley has had a real image problem.

Cow Town?

Deserved or not, Greeley has had a bad rap for being a “cow town.” And while the city does have its roots in the cattle industry, it’s far from a cow town. With a city-written script, we set out to put compelling images to (quite literally) help change the city’s image. We oversaw and recorded the VO, coordinated all shoot locations, shot the footage, added graphics, and edited the version you see here. We are proud of the finished product, and can honestly say, every single person, entity, and collaborator we worked with on the project was fantastic.

It helped change MY perspective of Greeley, and we hope it helps change yours.

Fish Head : A Colorado Story

Teach a man to fish, and … he wants to go again, and again, and again. This is the story of Parker Smith, self-described “fish head.”
Yes, it’s about fly fishing. But it’s about finding one’s self. About following and living a dream.

It’s also about Clear Summit Productions, the team that made this video. With this video, we are launching a series of “Colorado Stories” about the people, the place, and the passion that we find here. We plan to share these stories to entertain, inspire and showcase what we can do as a production company. If you need (or know of) a story that needs telling, contact us.

Technical bits:
Crew size: two (principals Jeremy Jacob and Erik Stenbakken)
Filmed primarily in one very long and very early half day. Ok, starting at 4:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. is a full day.
Location:
A small stretch of private water on the Colorado River near Grandby, Colo.
Equipment:
A pair of Canon C100 cinema cameras, Canon, Sigma, and Zeiss glass. Sliders by Kessler and Edelkrone. Support by Vinten and Sachtler.
Accommodations:
1996 VW Westfalia that’s been a LOT of places.
Post-Production:
Edited in Premiere Pro CC.

Hospital / Medical Demo Reel

Clear Summit takes pride in our connection to the medical community. We have been shooting in and around hospitals for over two decades combined. Over the years, we’ve made images in dozens of hospitals and clinics. We find the stories fascinating, the visuals compelling, and we work hard to convey the message of each institution with which we work.

This is a sampler showing some visuals of the most recent work we’ve created. Clear Summit Productions would like to help you tell your story too.

Gaylord Opryland

Erik and I have been on a quest to improve our shooting skills. One of the big things we have been talking about is creativity, and minimalism. This has pushed us both to shoot more, and with less “toys”. Last week Erik posted his shoot of our trip to summit Mt. Huron, a fourteen thousand foot tall mountain here in Colorado, all done with a small camera and NO toys. It pushed him to tell story with his edit, and his shot selections, and it turned out great!

To that end, when my Wife and I headed to Nashville for a convention she was attending a few weeks after our climb, I decided I would take some time to make my own little video. I was limited to equipment I could take in one bag on the plane. This is what I took.

Canon 5Dmkiii
Ninja 2 Recorder
Canon 16-35 f2.8 II
Canon 24-105 f4 IS
Zeiss 50 f2
Vanguard 225CT Tripod
Manfrotto 701 head

I had a few hours each day where I didn’t have anything else going on, and spent that time shooting the beautiful hotel/convention center we were staying in. It was a ton of fun working with little equipment. I couldn’t do all the fancy moves I was used to, and this forced me to focus on framing, and putting interesting stuff into frame, and letting things happen. It also allowed me to get more shots, and to move quickly. This pushed my creativity, and stretched my skill set.

I learned that while I don’t want to do this kind of shooting all the time, that it IS something I want to keep pursuing. Limiting the amount of equipment you use can really push creativity, and force you to learn the capabilities of what you have on hand. It is a great exercise, and something I plan to keep working on.

Gaylord Opryland Hotel 2013 from Clear Summit Productions on Vimeo.

Mt Huron

 

Climbing Mount Huron, Colorado 14,003 ft. from Clear Summit Productions on Vimeo.

 

The Mt. Huron Hike: How Less is More

Clear Summit Productions (CSP) was founded on a mountain. Quite literally. I don’t remember which one(s) it was on, but it was while hiking Colorado’s 14ers with Jeremy Jacob that CSP was born. We both had relevant experience, we both wanted to move deeper into video production, and as we walked and talked, we decided to launch it. The rest is history as we make it.
If you’ve never climbed a 14er, the air gets a lot thinner than at sea level. Thinner than even Denver — by a long shot. Above 10,000 ft elevation, generally folks don’t like to carry anything more than they have to. That is, if it’s not for my personal survival — or nobody is paying me to do it — chances are, I’m going to leave it home. So it was with this hike. Yes. I own a nice cinema camera, tripods, a dolly & track, sliders (want one? I have four) and all other manner of gear. But I’m NOT hauling that up to 14,003 feet unless I have to. But I wanted to make a video documenting what a 14er climb is like for my friends and family who’ve never done it.
Dilemma.
I want to make a video, I have the gear to make a professional one, but no desire to carry the weight (or take the time or crew) to do it all-out.
Solution?
Travel light. Really light. The answer came in the form of my Canon S100 pocket camera. It’s not the very latest model, nor is it the biggest or fanciest. It is shorter than an iPhone and only about twice as thick. It weighs only 6 oz. fully loaded. And most importantly, it can shoot HD video with a great built-in zoom lens. So the idea was born and executed.
Technically it was pretty easy. The only choices I have are to set the ISO and zoom. That’s it. Oh, and white balance. But not much more is even available as an option. That slims down the clutter of technical decisions. High ISO for the really dark parts; lower for daylight. And auto white balance takes care of another choice. So I’m left with how far to zoom the lens and where to point the camera. That’s it. Freedom. Creative freedom. Just me and what I see. The result? A LOT of clips. I mean a LOT of clips. In the period of a five hour hike (plus some driving) I shot nearly an hour of video. That’s a pretty high shooting to hiking ratio. Just what I wanted: the focus to be on SHOOTING rather than technical bits.
Yes. Technical bits are cool. And they’re really important, especially when making something for a client. My problem is not an absence of technical, sometimes it’s the opposite: I get absorbed in them. In the right place at the right time, that’s as it should be. Yet there should be room for creativity. For story. For play. For experimenting (honestly, I don’t think I would have strapped a cinema camera to a hiking pole and held it 2″ from the ground and/or my feet while hiking). THAT’S when less is more. On a big set, that means having crew that deals specifically with the technical issues at hand leaving the director to keep in mind the overall vision, story, and creativity necessary to make a meaningful story. In this case, stripping away all those technical choices leaves more breathing room for the creative. Especially when the crew is comprised of one. One that has to haul his own arse up a mountain and safely back down again.
Mount Huron is a fairly simple hike, as 14ers go (but before you traipse up one, may I recommend some homework and conditioning). It was the perfect place to safely play and concentrate on what is seen — without all the nuts and bolts getting in the way. Hope you enjoy.  ~ Erik

ARTIST and DAD

This is a project I started for fun/practice. I think I have an idea to make it a larger extended project with the goal of making a long for documentary.

The idea CURRENTLY is to start with a series of shorts (similar to this one) with a variety of Men who are either about to be a Father, a new Father, or have been a Father for an extended period of time. The project will look at the Men’s hobby/passion in life/work and how it relates to being a Father.

My first idea was to call the series ‘and DAD’, and each piece would be individually titles with the proper title before the ‘and’ (ex. ARTIST and DAD, or MUSICIAN and DAD.) The problem I have run into is the URLwww.anddad.com is taken.

My question to you is, with changing the project to ‘and FATHER’ be a bad idea?

Let me know what you think!

Artist and Father from Clear Summit Productions on Vimeo.