Want advice about video? Tell a story.
After a recent insightful conversation with Stephen Mick of Proof Creative in Austin, I felt like I had to capture his advice in a post. I'm positioning it as advice to digital agencies, but anyone should be able to extract value from it. My apologies to Stephen in advance if I've misrepresented anything he intended to say.
Stephen asks himself the following questions as he approaches a video project. (These are my comments below each of the questions, not Stephen's. I'm sure he has a lot more and better things to say about each of these than what I've mustered below.)
1. Is there a story to tell?
It's hard to make a good video if you have no story to tell. So identify your client's story first.
2. How can we use video in a way to tell that story?
Okay, you have a story. Now what are the possibilities for using video to tell the story? I'm not a video expert, but this sounds like a great opportunity to exercise your creative muscles.
3. Is the client open to telling the story?
You're inevitably going to find some clients who are not comfortable telling their own stories. Hopefully you can wield some influence over them, but ultimately I think you have to be prepared to walk away when the client can't believe in your vision. The web doesn't need more bad videos.
The bigger picture
What made this advice hit home for me is its relevance beyond video. Substitute the word "content" for "video" and you have some pretty good insight into what makes for great content strategy.
As a digital agency, it's sometimes easy to get caught up in the details of design, development, and integration. But if we're not telling a story, is it all really worth the effort?