A client I hadn’t heard from in a while got in touch recently to ask if I could help them out with editing some video material they had. As I had previously written, directed, shot and edited complete videos in the past for this client, I was surprised. What was this project they already had underway, and how come I didn’t know about it? I politely enquired what the material was. My contact sheepishly informed me that they now had new management keen to cut costs, and there had been an attempt to bring the video content in house. After a few videos under this new regime the team were not so happy with what had been created and the lukewarm online response, and so were getting in touch with me to see if I could help ‘make the best of it’.
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One of the things I try to carry through in all of my work is a sense of authenticity. I shoot a lot of interviews and getting people feeling relaxed and happy to talk is an important part of the job. Sometimes people want to be emailed questions in advance so they can ‘prepare’. In this case, ‘prepare’ usually means ‘worry’. The more someone tries to prepare, the more they try to memorize lines, and the less authentic they appear. Assuming I’m interviewing the right person, chances are they really know what they’re talking about anyway. The best course of action is to then create an environment where they can relax and just have a conversation with me. Their natural enthusiasm and interest shines through, resulting in a more compelling video. All I need to do is occasionally guide the conversation so I’m getting what I need.
Last week I noticed someone I only vaguely know using his Facebook business page to moan about an unnamed client. The thrust of his complaint was 1) ‘Clients don’t understand my art..they keep asking for stupid things and they don’t know how hard what I do is’ 2) ‘They aren’t even paying me properly, what a pain!’
The launch of this website marks the beginning of what I’m calling Phase 2 for my business. Phase 1 started when I arrived in Australia in February 2009. I pretty quickly realised I couldn’t work in Adelaide in exactly the same way as I had done in London (freelance video editor, acquiring work via agencies). There just isn’t a comparable amount of work around. So instead of waiting for work to come along, I had to create the opportunities for myself.
It’s the stories that matter..Every business, organisation, charity, enterprise or institution has stories. Stories of risk, reward; discovery and insight. Stories of the people with the passion to make it work. Stories with messages to change society.
These stories are your biggest assets. They are what set you apart.
How well you tell these stories defines your relationship with your audience. It defines how they perceive your brand, and how receptive they are to your message.
I’m happy to say I’m really quite busy at the moment, with a varied range of interesting projects. It makes me reflect on when I first arrived in Australia without any contacts or prospects. Adelaide is very different to London in terms of Film and TV – there simply isn’t as much being made.
Click below to listen to my moment of fame on ABC radio (The Country Hour, no less!) talking about Design For Life. A bit too many “y’know”s and “kinda”s for my liking, but it was a fun experience and I’m going to need to get better at it for the day I win an Oscar. The radio piece is about 6 minutes, the Brookmans speak first, then it’s yours truly at around the 3 minute mark. Check it out for no other reason than the incredible farmyard jingle at the end. Enjoy!