Local Business TV Commercial Uncategorized

Why Pay More for Professional Video?

We all know you can get cheap video. From the kid on the corner who is “really into” that video stuff, to the TV station that will produce your commercial for free in exchange for selling air time, to the cookie-cutter production house online, cheap video is not that hard to find.

So the question arises, “Why should I pay more for a professional production company?” Here are a couple of our thoughts:

1.  Experience Matters:
I was once a young film student with a video camera and a laptop out selling my video services to anyone willing to pay me.  These days, I hide those projects from everyone, secretly hoping that the Internet has lost that work forever. While it was pretty good for where I was, I sincerely hope my former clients have upgraded their videos.

2. You may need to access/ modify/ find that footage later.
It costs money to back up projects and keep footage safe and organized for future access.  The fly by night production service may not be there next month, let alone next year.

3.  Video is more than moving pixels, it’s a relationship.
Good video is communication.  A well-planned video will communicate with the words, the music, the set dressing, the wardrobe, the graphics, the talents movement, the camera’s movement, and more.

Moving pixels may be enough to look good, but only a relationship with our clients allows us to really understand and communicate your brand.

4.  Your brand is Important.
This is the big one. Everything you release to the public enhances or denigrates your brand.  Video is especially powerful and should be handled with extra care.  You spend a lot of money on your logo, your website, your copywriting and your print.  Do you really want to come across as the bargain place with the cheesy videos?

Yes, professional video is an investment, but like most investments, you get out of it what you put into it… with interest.


A Professional “Crisis Moment” on LinkedIn

My LinkedIn home page is constantly updating me about my friends and colleagues:  people that I know well, and some that I don’t.

I am often amazed by the skills that are added to people’s profiles. I find myself saying, “I know that guy.  He may have a Facebook account, but that doesn’t mean he’s a social networker.   He may understand meta tags, but that doesn’t make him an SEO expert. ”


I was recently faced with this when a well-meaning friend endorsed me for “Graphic Design”.  I found myself hesitating over the button, wondering if I really wanted to add this skill to my profile.  Yes, I took 2 or 3 semesters of Graphic Design in college.  I understand the concepts, I know the software, I could point to a ragtag body of work gathered over the years, and yes, I could design a logo or a poster if needed.  However, I still hesitated… Why?

I hesitated because I’m not a graphic designer and I really don’t want to be. There are a few things that I know really well – video is one of them.

In “It’s Not About the Coffee,”  Howard Behar advises leaders to “Wear One Hat”.  He says that we need to very honest about who we are and who we are not.  As the former President of Starbucks Coffee Co. I think the man knows what he’s talking about.  By trying to be a jack of all trades do we ever become the master of any?  If people are hiring you to do a job, don’t you think it would be better to be the absolute best at what you do rather than dissipating your time and energies over many disciplines?

I know some will make the point of diversifying revenue streams etc. but for the WK crew, we are passionate about video production, it’s tools, it’s a trade and it’s a craft. That’s what we do, that’s what we invest in, and that’s where we want to go.  If we need a graphic designer for anything other than a newsletter, we will hire someone… someone who’s passionate about graphic design.

So, did I add “Graphic Design” to my LinkedIn Profile?  I’m not saying.

Filmmaking Uncategorized

The Curse of the Lazy Brain

If you are a creative professional, you have an enemy:  a horrible monster that seeks to destroy your potential and limit your results. Many are enslaved by this insidious curse, not even realizing that it has control over them.  These poor souls languish under the weight of mediocrity, never quite understanding why their work doesn’t satisfy.  They long to create something original, epic, amazing, but it continually eludes them.  What’s worse, is that the monster lives inside of all of us, defiling even our best days with it’s subtle whisperings.

This monster is none other than Lazy Brain and here’s how it works.

I’m approached by a client to produce a :30 second spot on how widget A will help save time in the chopping of onions. Not the most exciting project. Hmmmm.  How are we going to show this?

  • Lazy Brain:  “Interview the client talking about how much time you can save in chopping onions and film b-roll of the widget actually chopping onions.  Put the two together with cool music.”

Sounds like a good idea.  It will be fast, easy, cheap…. LAZY.  MEDIOCRE.

Those of us who have identified this enemy have found that our first thoughts are usually the lazy ones. That’s why WK has developed a culture of challenging one another to dig deeper; to bypass the lazy brain. The collaboration continues… maybe we could show two people, one is crying and the other is smiling.  We hold on this for a while and then show that the crying person is cutting onions by hand.  The smiling person puts the onions in the widget BOOM, BAM, BANG. FINISHED:  The widget is so fast that the persons eyes have no chance to tear up from the onion’s odor. We wrap up the spot by showing the widget and the tag line, “Widget A:  Chops onions faster.” (Note:  I think my lazy brain wrote that tag line.)

Which one do you think will be more effective?  Both communicate the message.  Both require a similar investment of time and money.  One is lazy brain and the other more creative.

Unfortunately, the lazy brain is not something we overcome once and are free forever.  For the creative, this is a lifelong battle, one which we sometimes win and sometimes lose.

Have you had any battles with the lazy brain?  How did you conquer?  We would love to hear your story.  Leave it in the comments.