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  • Mike Purdy

Making videos for companies

Updated: Feb 27, 2018

From the video makers' point of view, it's great fun. At the same time it's not easy. It's very competitive, and in this day and age what a video producer is always pitted against is someone's nephew who has an iPhone and 'really knows his stuff'.


Then at the other extreme, there are the big production facilities, these days called 'creative agencies', who have bottled the art of creating slick corporate messaging. And no denying, these are slick, filmic, gorgeous creations that involve extraordinary amounts of people managing extaordinary budgets.


I try to fit somewhere in the middle of these two. I used to work for one of the agencies and without doubt I accumulated a wealth of experience along the way during the period when 'video on the internet' first became a reality.


STORYTELLING


Prior to that I learned other lessons during my years at the BBC. Amongst them was that the most important thing is to be able to tell a story, well.


I worked with a myriad of BBC correspondents - Fergal Keane, Jeremy Vine, George Alagiah, John Simpson - who could create a 2 minute 15 second news piece that would boil the information down to it's bare bones, containing the nub of the story with a good dollop of poetry added in for good measure. This was usually put together in a tent, in a very hot place, with very little time before the satellite feed was due to send the piece to London for the bulletins.


REAL PEOPLE - REAL STORIES


The point is, every video for a company is also a finite thing, and the storyline needs to be boiled down to be clear and digestible. These days a voice over artist reading a script isn't the preferred option. Audiences are used to hearing real people tell their stories even if they aren't movie stars or brilliant orators with a couple of 'ums' along the way. Very often then the best person to tell the story is the person running the company, division, outlet, shop, business or coffee-bike - whatever it is.


More often than not they are passionate about what they are doing otherwise they wouldn't be successful, credible to an audience, and brimming with stories, examples and future ideas. The down side is that they are so close to their endeavour that there is very often too much detail in their heads for a video to accommodate. So that's the part to navigate and get right.