Building Your Brand

One of the challenges entrepreneurs face is building credibility for their brand. When starting to put together your promotional materials, it is sometimes necessary to create the content you need that will match the image you want to convey. Rather than “making do” with what you already have, why not have something made that will accurately represent what you want to be known for. And when the goal is to build credibility for your brand, you need a good mix of source material.  A good example of this is in a video we recently created for Malaysian mystic Kabir Khan to position him as an iconic personality.

From the initial concept we arranged the venues and locations, sourced the actors, got the shots we wanted, then edited and scored the video to create a high-end video marketing tool.

 

However, there is no cookie cutter formula for promotional videos. Different markets call for different types of videos. Another video that we just completed was a music video for The Moogician, Todd Charles. One of his many talents is as a musician, and this is the fourth music video we have created together. Todd does shows to educate and promote dairy. For this video we filmed at several locations around Chicago with iconic views of the city, as well as Fair Oaks dairy farm and edited everything into a fun-filled song about butter.

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75 Seconds

These days it seems that just about any person with a computer can consider themselves a video editor. While this may serve one’s needs for basic editing, it cannot replace working with a professional. That’s because good editing is more than just making cuts, dragging clips on a timeline, and dropping in some transitions. Good editing, whether through written, audio, or visual media, uses a wide range of creative skills to tell a story. This past year we took on many new projects, each presenting different opportunities.
In 75 seconds you can experience the range of different videos we created and a glimpse of the work that went into creating them. If you like what you see feel free to share it with your friends!

Establishing Credibility

When creating any type of promo video one of the biggest challenges is to grab the viewer’s attention and hold their interest. A good promo video should make us care. One of the most effective ways to make people care is by establishing credibility.

This month I would like to share a set of videos we have recently completed for magician Bill Cook.  Bill is a very talented performer with skills as a close up magician as well as a stage magician.  One of the things that makes Bill such a talent is his personality and energy, on stage and off. Bill has been a very good friend of mine for years and recently approached me about putting together a new sizzle video and demo video of his current show. I flew out to Chicago to film two of Bill’s performances and shoot some card flourishes to be used for transitions.  I also worked with some of the existing footage he had to show an even more diverse repertoire. In addition, Bill also had several clips from news shows he had been featured on.  TV appearances are always great for building status. By choosing to open the video with those clips cut to a rhythmic sequence, we get a very impactful opening that immediately establishes Bill’s credibility as a professional magician.

After piquing someone’s interest with a sizzle video, a longer demo video can help convey more of the unique selling points.

Pushing the Comfort Zone

“I don’t like to be out of my comfort zone, which is about an inch and a half wide.”
Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

Reading this quote reminds me of myself at times. Perhaps we all have a tendency to get comfortable with the way things are.  I have just returned home from a week of shows at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

This year I performed a new show in the Close Up Gallery, a theater I had never performed in. It presented a new challenge for me. Having now returned from the week in the Close Up room I realize what that (seemingly) little leap outside my comfort zone did for me creatively.  We can only grow if we are willing to feel a bit awkward by trying something new.

Earlier in the month I spoke to the faculty of the College of Marin here in Northern California.

To kick off the new year they brought me out to speak about transforming reality through Surrealism. It is always a great feeling to be a catalyst for transformation and change.

I try to push my comfort zone with each new video I make as well. I do this by experimenting with new techniques, trying to create different styles and moods. This month I would like to share with you a recent promo video we did for The Moogician. This video was to promote the Moogician to fairs and festivals. Using his existing footage, we animated his logo and edited the video into its final form.

Brand Consistency

One of the pieces of advice I give to my clients as we begin planning their video project is to think about the look they are trying to sell. Since we are often our own brand, it is important to make sure everything we put out for the public to see matches the image we want to convey (and accurately represents our products and services).  This consistent look is extremely important for effective marketing.  The look people see on a postcard or flyer that sends them to your website should reflect the image they see on your website, and so on.

I recently completed a show promo video for a magician in Switzerland. His website (TheMagicofJad.com) has a very elegant, distinct look; from the purple wallpaper and gold picture frames to his stylish logo. My goal was to capture that aesthetic in his video.

I created a 3D version of this 2D image with picture frames on a wall that would serve as transitions between each sequence of clips. All of the performance footage in this video was provided by Jad. I consulted with Jad about capturing his show on video, shooting from different angles, getting wide shots as well as close up, and what routines would look best in a montage-style video.  Over the months that followed, Jad would send me new footage as he did more shows. Once we had collected a substantial amount of high quality footage, I began working on the motion graphics and editing the footage together to fit the nonlinear structure.  After layering in music and titles with a professional Voiceover, the result is a promotional video that is consistent with his brand: