Mastering Storytelling and Video Production [Food and Beverage Marketing – Part 5]

Ted Passon (co-owner of All Ages Productions and award-winning director, writer, producer, and video artist) shares insights on storytelling in video production, emphasizing the impact of authentic brand narratives and visuals in enhancing a brand’s message. Ted highlights the value of bold aesthetic choices and collaboration with artists for compelling content and stresses the importance of thorough preparation and making courageous decisions in creating impactful video content.

The discussion also delves into:

  • the significance of meticulous planning
  • establishing a comfortable setting for subjects
  • utilizing unique approaches like the Interrotron for organic camera interactions
  • the role of food stylists in enhancing product visuals
  • the importance of sound engineering in eliciting emotions

Overall, the episode underscores the significance of attention to detail and customized production elements in crafting a captivating on-screen experience.

Want more niche marketing insights on Food and Beverage Marketing?

This episode is Part 5 in a multi-part series on food product marketing and sales. To continue learning on this niche, visit:

Watch the Podcast Interview on Mastering Storytelling and Video Production for Food and Beverage Products (Part 5 in the Series):

This episode on storytelling and video production for food and beverage products covers all of the following and more:

Note: These timestamps correspond to the video version of the episode

0:00 Meet Ted Passon: Video Production Expert
1:49 Ted’s Background and All Ages Productions
2:59 The Inception of All Ages Productions
5:17 The Power of Storytelling in Video
11:11 Sub-Communicating Brand Essence
19:34 Tips for Engaging Video Content
21:45 Importance of Preparation in Video Production
25:52 Evoking Emotion in Video Production
30:58 Preparing Founders for Vulnerable Storytelling
41:16 Enhancing Food and Beverage Video Productions
43:10 Crafting the Perfect Sound Effects
47:22 Importance of Custom Music in Branding
51:39 Significance of Clear Communication in Production
53:33 Embracing the Chaos: Importance of Planning in Filmmaking

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Storytelling and Video Production - Food and Beverage Marketing - Part 5 - Ted Passon and John Bertino

About Host John Bertino and TAG:

A decade spent working for marketing agencies was more than enough to know that there are too many bad agencies and not enough objective marketers within them. John launched TAG in 2014 with the mission to provide brands unbiased guidance from seasoned marketing professionals at little or no cost.

TAG advises brands on marketing channel selection, resource allocation, and agency selection to ensure brands invest in the right marketing strategies, with the right expectations, and (ultimately) with the right partners.

TAG represents 200+ well-vetted agencies and consultants across the United States and Europe.

John’s professional background and areas of expertise include: Marketing Planning, Earned Media, SEO, Content Marketing, Link Acquisition, Digital PR, Thought Leadership, and B2B Lead Generation.

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About Our Guest Expert: Ted Passon

Ted Passon is an award-winning director, writer, producer, and video artist. He created and directed the critically acclaimed docuseries PHILLY D.A., along with co-director Yoni Brook and producer Nicole Salazar. The series had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and had its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival; becoming the first docuseries to ever screen there. It was named, “One of the best TV shows of 2021” by TIME, The NY Times, Variety, The LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, The Washington Post, Vulture, Vogue, Slate, The Ringer, and Indiewire.

The series won a PEABODY AWARD, a GOTHAM AWARD for “Best Breakthrough Nonfiction Series” and the DUPONT-COLUMBIA AWARD for “journalistic excellence”. It was also nominated for “Best Nonfiction Series” by The Independent Spirit Awards, Cinema Eye Honors, and the IDA Awards.

Ted also directed multiple episodes of the Netflix series WORN STORIES, which he also participated in developing. The series was executive produced by Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black, Glow) and Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor), and has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was the 5th most watched TV show on Netflix in 2021.

Ted is a 2018 Sundance Catalyst Fellow and a 2016 Sundance Lab Creative Summit Fellow. He is also the recipient of the Pew Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship Grant and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant. He has been the recipient of grants from the Ford Foundation, the International Documentary Association, Wyncote Foundation, and Vital Projects.

Ted has written and directed over eight original children’s television series for Disney and Comcast.

As a commercial director he worked with clients such as: Nike, Google, NBC, Guinness, GAP, Urban Outfitters, Ford, Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, and others. His commercials have won both gold and silver Addy Awards.

He has directed or produced projects for musical artists such as: St. Vincent, Blood Orange, Kurt Vile, The National, Dr. Dog, Dan Deacon, Spank Rock, The Darkness, Kimya Dawson, Plastic Little, and others.

He is a co-founder of All Ages Productions, a full-service film and video production company and a board member of the Blackstar Film Festival.

All Ages Productions

All Ages Productions is a full-service creative film and video production company in Philadelphia specializing in commercials and branded content across platforms. Any live action or animated film or video production project can be taken from conception to completion. With an international network of artists and creative talent, AAP helps clients and agencies find partners and strategies to maximize the creative potential of each project. AAP has produced projects all over the United States and abroad and has satellite teams in Los Angeles and Europe.

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Transcripts of Video Storytelling and Video Production for Food and Beverage Products (Part 5 in the Series)


This transcript (of the video version of this episode) has been provided to assist you in finding extra information specific to your needs and goals. We have not edited it line by line for grammar, spelling, punctuation, or spacing. Please forgive errors. Feedback welcomed at


0:0:00 Meet Ted Passon: Video Production Expert
0:1:49 Ted’s Background and All Ages Productions
0:2:59 The Inception of All Ages Productions
0:5:17 The Power of Storytelling in Video
0:11:11 Sub-Communicating Brand Essence
0:19:34 Tips for Engaging Video Content
0:21:45 Importance of Preparation in Video Production
0:25:52 Evoking Emotion in Video Production
0:30:58 Preparing Founders for Vulnerable Storytelling
0:41:16 Enhancing Food and Beverage Video Productions
0:43:10 Crafting the Perfect Sound Effects
0:47:22 Importance of Custom Music in Branding
0:51:39 Significance of Clear Communication in Production
0:53:33 Embracing the Chaos: Importance of Planning in Filmmaking

Long Summary

Today’s episode features Ted Passon, the co-owner of All Ages Productions, a prominent video production agency in Philadelphia. Ted brings a wealth of experience in videography and producing, having worked with notable platforms like Netflix and Hulu, as well as diverse clients ranging from major brands such as Adidas and Comcast to companies like Hendrick’s Gin. He sheds light on the significance of storytelling in video production, advocating for brands to be bold and engaging in their content. Ted underlines the essence of discovering and narrating authentic brand stories, drawing from his collaborations with various companies, including a notable project with Google.

He emphasizes the impact of visuals in effectively conveying brand narratives, showcasing how creativity and strategic storytelling can enhance a brand’s message, offering valuable insights for marketers navigating today’s competitive landscape. During the interview, Ted recounts a transformative experience at a roller-skating rink where senior citizens in elaborate costumes captivated him, inspiring the concept for a compelling documentary. The discussion pivots towards the value of collaborating with artists to craft compelling content and the critical role of thorough preparation in ensuring a successful shoot. Ted stresses the importance of making bold aesthetic choices that provoke emotions and the advantages of teaming up with established creatives.

Authenticity and courageous decision-making are emphasized as key elements in creating engaging and impactful video content. Further into the interview, the focus shifts to the pivotal role of storytelling and meticulous planning in video production. The conversation delves into the nuances of establishing a comfortable setting for subjects, highlighting the importance of grasping the core of the narrative being conveyed. Various approaches, including using an Interrotron for more organic camera interactions, are explored. The dialogue extends to the intricacies of food and beverage video production, discussing how different brands necessitate distinct styling and presentation requirements.

From the precise measurement of beer foam to crafting visually appealing food arrangements, the contribution of a food stylist in enhancing product visuals is accentuated. The meticulous attention to detail, even in something as subtle as the way beer is poured, is underscored for its substantial influence on the overall production. Parallels are drawn between the roles of packaging professionals and food stylists in communicating product usage and enriching viewer engagement, ultimately emphasizing the significance of meticulous attention to detail and customized production elements to fashion a captivating on-screen experience.

The discussion extends to various aspects of sound engineering in video production, underscoring the importance of meticulous planning, clear communication, and cultivating a conducive environment for storytellers. The value of bespoke music in eliciting emotions while staying true to the brand’s identity is emphasized. The dialogue stresses the necessity of thorough preparation to navigate unforeseen circumstances successfully. Engaging experienced professionals like Ted Passon from All Ages Productions is recommended as a blueprint for achieving success in video production.

Brief Summary

Today’s episode features Ted Passon, co-owner of All Ages Productions, sharing insights on storytelling in video production. Ted emphasizes the impact of authentic brand narratives and visuals in enhancing a brand’s message. He highlights the value of bold aesthetic choices and collaboration with artists for compelling content. Ted stresses the importance of thorough preparation and making courageous decisions in creating impactful video content.

The discussion also delves into the significance of meticulous planning, establishing a comfortable setting for subjects, and utilizing unique approaches like the Interrotron for organic camera interactions. The role of food stylists in enhancing product visuals and the importance of sound engineering in eliciting emotions are also explored. Overall, the episode underscores the significance of attention to detail and customized production elements in crafting a captivating on-screen experience.


Ted Passon, brand strategist, retail marketing, brand navigation, niche positioning, consumer psychology, packaging, product placement, major retailers, authenticity, sustainability, video production, video marketing


Meet Ted Passon: Video Production Expert


[0:00] Our next guest has the experience and insights that you need to make that next video project shoot you’re planning a massive success.

Ted Passon is the co-owner and co-founder of the thriving Philadelphia-area video production agency All Ages Productions.

Ted has been honing his craft as a videographer and producer since he was 10 years old. I know because he’s my cousin, but I didn’t bring Ted on the show out of pure nepotism, no.

These days, Ted is sold or is selling his documentary films to the likes of Netflix, PBS, Hulu. He’s the real deal. And their agency’s commercial client roster includes the likes of Adidas, Comcast, Urban Outfitters.

And in the food and beverage niche, their clients include Hendrix Gin, Pilsner Requel, even The Rock’s Tequila.

Terra Mana is part of the All Ages Productions portfolio. In this episode, Ted is going to fill us in on how to make that content truly stand out on social media.

Why you’re planning to fail If you fail to plan for that next video production shoot and why you and your management team need to consider being bolder and take more risks with your content. Yeah, that means you.

Food styling, brand collabs, even ASMR is all in this episode of the niche marketing podcast.

[1:14] Hey, do you want more content about food and beverage product marketing? We did a whole series.

There’s a link in the show notes. There’s probably a link at the top of the screen and you should also hit subscribe for part two of our food and beverage marketing series coming real soon. And if you like this episode, do us a favor, please hit the like button.

It’ll make the YouTube gods smile upon us. And now, Ted Passon with All Ages Productions.

Ted’s Background and All Ages Productions

[1:49] And we’re back with another episode of the Niche Marketing Podcast.

This is a special one. I’m really excited to be here with my cousin, Ted Passon, owner and founder of All Ages Productions, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ted, I’m so excited you’re here. If you don’t mind, give the audience a little background on yourself, All Ages Productions. I’m sure they’d love to get to know about you. Sure. Well, I’m very excited to be here too. Yeah, so All Ages Productions is a full-service film and video production company, and we do everything from commercials and web content to music videos.

And then we also do more content, even though I can’t say that word, and entertainment. So, we do TV shows, feature films. And yeah, we’ve been lucky enough to have projects kind of run the gamut between both worlds. And we’ve had work, you know, multiple projects premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. We’ve had stuff, different outlets, Netflix and PBS and Hulu.

And we kind of straddle between the worlds of entertainment and commercial production which is kind of rare for a production company. They usually do one or the other and we do both.

The Inception of All Ages Productions

[2:59] Awesome. And I’ve seen it firsthand now. How many years has All Age been in business now?

We have officially been around for 12 years now, which is crazy.

I can’t believe it’s been that.

And even before, I guess, the official launch, you were always doing video production before that, right. Yeah, I used to work at different production companies.

And then my partner, Dave, and I, we were both kind of working freelance before we founded the company.

And so we had a couple of years of just kind of working as freelance directors before we kind of teamed up with another friend of ours who was an animator. And yeah, and then All Ages was kind of haphazardly born.

It was not something that we were necessarily trying to do. We just kind of fell into having a company and we just went with it.

[3:43] Well, when things present themselves organically, that’s often the best way for them to come together. It’s true.

I think if we were like actually trying to have a company, we probably would have failed. But we just, someone just asked us if we were a company and then you just wanted to say yes.

And then you just figure it out later. That’s what we did. And thankfully it totally worked out, you know. A classic jump off the cliff and build the plane on the way down.

Totally. Yeah. I remember being like, wait, who are they going to send the check to? Who are they going to make it out to?

We don’t, this isn’t real. and we had to hurry up and figure out how to become real pretty quickly.

Well, it’s real now. I doubt, yeah.

And you know, when we were planning internally on who we were going to have on the show for content related to food and beverage and video production, I mean, out of all the agencies I know of which there’s hundreds that I know and or represent through the agency guide, I don’t know if I know anyone with more experience filming food or specifically beverage or doing content for beverage related companies than yourself.

I know you’ve done a tremendous amount in the space. All Ages Productions does a whole lot more than food and beverage.

I know it’s really just a slither of what you guys do, but you’ve done a lot of it.

[4:53] And I think, you know, not only, I know that to an extent a video shoot can be a video shoot or the core components are often very similar off across different like, you know, onsite shoots, but there’s certainly some particularity I’m sure that go into any CPG product, building promotional content for a physical good, and some of the things that need to happen behind the scenes to bring that all to fruition.

The Power of Storytelling in Video

[5:18] So I wanted to have you on to talk a little bit about that. But I think before we get into the nooks and crannies of an actual production, we want to address storytelling.

[5:27] Because having interviewed other brand marketers, both in the food and beverage space and just in in general, you know, storytelling is mission critical. But it’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another thing to do it.

And as someone that’s built a career and a company in video production and storytelling, we know you know a lot about how to pull this off.

So, let’s start from the top. How do you tell a story through video? Yeah, I mean.

[5:55] Yeah, it’s a broad question. And, you know, in terms of doing it quickly too, right? Because if it’s an ad or a branded content piece, you don’t have a lot of time. And so, you know, there’s a lot of, there’s different ways to do it.

But I think the, just the underlying thing that you’re bringing up is that you should tell a story. Whereas I still think that sometimes we run into places that they just want to tell you, like, hey, this thing is good, and it tastes good, and you should just buy it. Yeah, it’s just features and benefits. And it’s like, if you’re going to cut through the noise of everything that is out there, you need to do something splashy and risky and interesting.

[6:35] We used to always say to clients, it’s risky not to be risky.

Like what they used to think of as a risky endeavor is actually working against them because they’re just putting something out there and it’s they’re making something that like you know we still be like but would you engage with this would you engage with something that’s purely features and benefits that you never heard of that unless there’s some incredibly remarkable features and benefit that really makes you stand out that nobody else has I mean that’s a different story but like you know but the end at the end of the day you know like people want a story They want to get engaged and especially like they want to connect with the brand.

Exactly. And then in the beverage world, too, you know, we found a lot of places are they have a story.

We actually come across this a lot with a lot of companies where it’s like you actually have an

interesting story. if you can sit and think about like, where did you come from? How did you get here?

How did you actually develop this thing?

[7:29] And like just find your authentic story and tell it because chances are you probably actually do have one if you can sit and figure out what it is.

Like for instance, we did work with Pilsner or Quail Beer and the idea with them was that like, they’re this person.

[7:49] This, you know, company that’s been around since like the beginning of beer, basically.

They invented, you know, they’re based in Pilsen in Prague. They invented the Pilsner beer.

Oh, wow. They were the first, you know, back in the day, you know, and there’s like, you know, they just have like a really interesting history of like how it started, how they became this huge company and where it went through.

But at the end of the day, you know, they like, they were like originators in beer production. And there’s a really interesting story behind it.

And it makes them experts in a certain way.

And they can dialogue with the craft beer community in that way.

Granted, they’re coming from a different place, but at the end of the day, it’s about recipes and creating stuff and ingredients and how do you make something consistent and having that conversation with audiences who are really into that stuff. stuff.

[8:39] But yeah, so a lot of times it’s just like helping people find the story that they like naturally already have to tell or taking what they’re doing and creating a story around it, you know, so for instance, we did this other project that’s not food and beverage, but we did this other project with Google, where they were working on this kind of technology with ProPublica.

And the idea was that it was supposed to like, help reporters report issues around elections in real time because these issues that like these um all these reporters were having were like you know an election takes place over one day the like the literal election itself and so if there’s something that goes awry or something that happens like some election you know mistake or malfeasance or whatever by the time they hear about it and investigate it the election’s over and usually it gets lost in the shuffle and you know reporters were feeling like they didn’t have a real grasp on.

[9:35] On how to, how to like to tell the story of an election because they felt like they were missing all this stuff.

And Google came out with this way, this like kind of creating this network of, you know, people around the country where they could help solve that problem. And elections were just kind of one facet of like usefulness to it.

But so, then the idea was like, okay, well, then let’s just see it in action because it sounds like it’s a difficult thing to describe.

Yeah, and you have to do it quickly. Exactly. But when you see it in action, it makes a lot of sense. And so, then the idea was like, okay, well, then let’s like at the next election that comes up, we’re going to have like teams in different cities that are like, you know, part of this like Google network that is with ProPublica, and we’ll just watch it happen.

And that was way clearer and way more interesting than kind of hearing this, like, very technical presentation about how this can happen. Pictures worth a thousand words.

Exactly. Yeah. And when you can be with people experiencing life, like, people tend to fall in love with people.

And if that person they’ve kind of fallen in love with cares about something, then it makes them care about that thing, too.

You know it’s the same with like social issue projects you know if you’re doing like a social issue documentary or something like that rather than just telling somebody a lecture about this social justice issue if you can live in the shoes of somebody who’s actually dealing with it and get to know them and get to be with them then it makes you care about what’s happening to them more than it would have if it was just like an abstract concept and so I think it just kind of relates to everything in that way.

[11:04] A lot of good stuff right there. Now, you touched on something that really resonated.

Sub-Communicating Brand Essence

[11:09] With me, this idea of like sub-communicating it.

You didn’t use that word, but essentially sub-communicating the brand essence, the brand values, the brand story.

Because again, you have to tell, you try to tell the story relatively quickly when we’re talking about like a commercial for a product.

[11:23] And simultaneous to that, you know, a lot of what you’re talking about, the storytelling is really just about developing a brand narrative.

Yeah. Now, I’d imagine sometimes these products or companies come to you with a well thought out brand narrative, but other times they don’t.

Totally. So do you, you must find yourself at times playing like ad hoc or on the spot brand strategist, and then coupled with trying to like to pull out of them this story that maybe isn’t as well defined as it should have been or needs to be, and then trying to find a way to like quickly to sub communicate their story.

Like your part of it’s going to be actually maybe telling the brand narrative, but then the visuals you use are also going to be telling part of the story. Right.

[12:03] Right. Right. So, so talk a little bit about, I don’t know, I guess the set designs and the things that you’ve gone through to try to tell a brand narrative, say it without saying it type stuff. Yeah. I mean, it’s interesting. Yeah. I mean, there’s a, you know, some, yeah, sometimes people come to you, and they’ve got it all figured out and they’re like, we really want to execute this thing. How would you execute it? And other times they just say, we know we need a thing. Yeah.

We don’t know what, right. And so usually in that instance, we kind of start with like, well, what, you know, tell us about yourselves.

And then we just kind of use almost ourselves as an audience.

And we just say like, well, what were we excited about? We’re outsiders.

We don’t know who you are. We’re just as kind of green to you as the audience you’re trying to reach. What got us excited?

What do we think is different about you that we haven’t seen before?

Or what could we do differently? And sometimes we’ll even be sitting on ideas that we’ll say like, oh man, it would be so great to do this. This thing would be really fun to do.

[13:00] But it needs to be justified. And then some brand will come along, and it’ll just happen to match exactly with what their brand story is. I’m like, oh my God, wait, what about this?

Like, for instance, I mean, this is funny, this is a little off topic a little bit, but rather than a brand in terms of a company, so we did a music video once for this band, Dr.

Dog, and in some ways a music video is a little bit of like a brand essence video for a band. Totally, right? Totally. So, part of what you’re trying to do when you pitch a music video is get the band excited and capture their essence in a way.

And they felt like they had struggled with that, that they hadn’t really had a music video that captured them, and they wanted to figure out what it was.

And so, we were coming at them with all these ideas where we were trying to interpret their song and kind of their vibe and it wasn’t quite landing.

And then we had this idea that something that we just wanted to do anyway.

[13:54] And there’s this roller-skating rink in New Jersey that has this night on Tuesday night, they would have senior citizen roller skating and these people would come in these like amazing roller-skating costumes.

Zooms and these senior citizens would like, they would, they would essentially perform because they’re rehearsing for their competition.

So, there’s a whole gang of them would be there. And I always wanted to make like a little documentary about them or do something. And then we, the visual of just them skating around was just so amazing.

And we were throwing everything at the band.

And then eventually I just said like, hey, what about doing something with senior citizens, roller skating?

And then they just, they just looked at us and they just said, stop right there yes we don’t need to hear anymore anything you want to do like that feels like us right there like put us in a room with those people and literally you can do anything else you want um because in their minds they were like what that said to them like about like this kind of community and pageantry and kind of warmth and everything was they were like without knowing themselves even how to articulate who they were they recognized themselves when they saw it and they were like, well, that’s it.

[15:00] And so, you know, there are times when we just like kind of keep stuff in our back pocket that we just think are fun, that we think would be great to do.

And there are other times when it’s like somebody comes at you with something and, you know, they know, you know, they kind of have like a little bit of a prompt.

And they’re like, you know, we know we want this to be funny or we know we want this to be irreverent or we know we want this to be…

[15:27] Something. And then, yeah. And then you just go back and pitch them on, you know, what would be like, given what you’re telling me, what is the, what is the thing that makes me laugh the most?

What is the thing that would do that? Or who do we know? A lot of times actually the way that we operate that I think is a little bit different from other places.

And I think a way that we helped justify our existence in the beginning, because we had this question of like, does the world need another production company?

Um, is that, you know, my partner and I kind of come from the art world.

[15:54] And so we just happen to know a lot of creatives like all around the country and different parts of the world who just like do different things who, um, aren’t in the commercial world.

And so, um, a lot of times we’ll just, we’ll just bring in people who are doing things that like people in the commercial world just like aren’t seeing, and we’ll be able to bring them in to like, cause they’re really good at doing this thing that’s, that hasn’t been done in this other space. And we’ll just bring them in to do it.

And so sometimes, you know, we’ll be like oh so and so this artist is like really funny and they do they have this one bit that they do that would be so perfect for this let’s see if they want to do it together and sometimes we can like make those marriages and they really match they really work exactly yeah totally it’s like and you know it’s funny because we noticed in the beginning well we noticed that actually we didn’t think that that was worth anything when we first started and then we noticed we would work with agencies in the beginning we had this idea having not done a lot of agency work that when we worked with agencies that they kind of wouldn’t want our creative input that they would want that they would want to do it themselves and they would want us to execute it and then we found it was kind of the opposite that most of these places were like burned out and tired and had 20 things going on there like if you can help us we will take it and so we had a lot of places who like preferred us helping them and bringing stuff to them and so then we would we would kind of bring these people in and do these matchmaking things and we realized that like people would call us back because we were solving problems with our network that they couldn’t solve on their own.

And it just hadn’t occurred to us that like.

[17:22] There’s maybe value to that because we’re just pulling from, we just happen to be pulling from a different network.

Or like we had this one instance with an agency early on where they were like, they showed us this like inspiration artwork and they were like, yeah, we’re thinking the set would look something like this.

What do you think? And then we were like, oh, that’s Barry’s art.

Why don’t we just call Barry and have him do it rather than like having somebody else like rip it off and like do a bad job.

And they’re like, like, I don’t even know if it occurred to them that like that was a real person that existed.

They just saw some visuals that they liked; you know what I mean?

And it was just like, yeah, it’d be way better if you just got the guy.

Was it actually Barry’s art or just reminded you? No, it really was.

It was this, this, this. Oh, we can know Barry. We go way back.

Yeah. This, this artist, Barry McGee, who’s a fantastic visual artist.

[18:04] So, two things jump out at me from that. One, I love the idea from an agency’s perspective, whether you’re a video production agency or a brand agency or whatever it is, tell us, have like a war chest for lack of better phrasing of like artists that you know, whose aesthetics you can pull in. Yeah. Right. Like that’s really neat.
And then the other idea or the other takeaway from that, at least to me, is if you’re a brand and you’re struggling to almost identify the right aesthetic, maybe look at some local artists or just artists in general that you feel somehow kind of embody or represent or resonate with your brand and find a way to pull a partnership or at least test what a partnership might look like to use some of their stuff. Totally.

And then, you know, the added benefit that you get when you work with like, you know, when we’re able to bring in like big name artists or big-name musicians or whatever who are doing stuff. I mean, you know, and big name is a relative term, I suppose.

But, you know, if they get excited about the project and they want to be a part of it, then they’re going to tell their networks about it when it comes out.

And so, you’ve also got this kind of like organic, you know, other like promotional stream. when you bring these folks on who are like telling their networks who like.

[19:15] That maybe, you know, maybe would totally be interested in what you’re doing, but have no idea about it because it’s just not their world, you know, but as soon as so-and-so is like a part of it and they’re a fan of them, then like, well, all right, I’ll give it a shot. You know?

Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent classic kind of like partnership for mutual social amplification type thing.

Tips for Engaging Video Content

[19:34] Fantastic. And then before we get into some of the nitty gritty of executing a video production, if you were pressed to give people like three to five tips on how to make their video content more engaging, what comes to mind?

I mean, honestly, the first thing I would say for any agency is more time, because I do feel like there is, you know, this isn’t across the board, but it’s not uncommon. Clarify more time. More time to prepare for the production. Okay.

[20:38] But crafting it becomes a lot harder because you just don’t have that much time.

And so, like flying by the seat of your pants, you’re totally flying by the seat of your pants. Things can fall through the cracks.

The client is like not going to like to understand what’s going on until they get to the shoot.

And then they’re inevitably going to want to change some things.

That’s the first time that they understood what was really happening.

And then that’s going to add time and money.

And it’s going to make, you know, a more difficult, you know, production and you’re not going to get everything.

So, there’s that. it’s the old give me a day to chop down a tree I’ll spend the first 23 hours sharpening the axe have you ever heard that I think it’s a day no that’s funny the yeah there’s a similar expression item but that’s uh yeah it was uh that was like Abraham Lincoln said that or something yeah that’s a good one I like that one yeah the one i know is uh some guy comes in there’s a computer system down and a guy comes in with a hammer and he taps it and uh it all goes back on and he charged them a thousand dollars and they’re like, what is this? You know, all you did was tap with the hammer and he rewrites the bill. $1 for tapping, $999 for knowing where to tap.

Importance of Preparation in Video Production

[21:45] But yeah, I think that is one is just like…

Prep is really, really, really important. And your kind of can’t have too much prep time in a way.

Now, granted, certain times you just don’t have it. You don’t have that luxury.

You’ve got to go. Then you just go. But sometimes I feel like I’ve worked with agencies who I’m just like, God, you guys are shooting yourselves in the foot.

It like if you knew that your client was going to do this for you know you’ve been working on this campaign for how long if you knew this thing was going to happen like bring us in early bring us in before you even know what the thing is if you have to get the time because everything will just go better when you if you have more time again not that like every now and then of course like there’s nothing you can do about it clients change their mind something happens they got to spend money or something sure but um but if you can create more time it will you know, it will pay off in many ways.

And the name of the game is when it comes to content in general, ads in general, to make it compelling, to cut through the noise.

[22:44] To your point, the whole idea is to take the extra time to strategize about the nuances of how we’re going to pull that off.

And it’ll be worth it because if you just put out something that’s relatively fat or just kind of blends in, then you’ve lost the whole point of putting out the content in the frst place. Totally, totally. Yeah. And when you’re moving quickly without a lot of oversight and a lot of thinking, you’re more likely to do something less exciting because you just want to get everybody to sign off on it. And so if it’s different or something that they haven’t seen before or something that they’re a little unsure about, then you’re going to end up with the blandest thing.

And that also leads into maybe my next point, which would be like, be ready to make like strong decisions about what the aesthetic of this thing is, you know, and you can work with us to figure out what that is.

But I do think a lot of times there’s this.

[23:35] Fear. And I know it can be difficult when you’re working with a client because there might be 20 people on the client side who have to sign off on the thing and they have different tastes. And the biggest person, the person with the most authority might not get looped in until the zero hour.

And you know but I do think that like often things like die by committee so it’s like you’ve got like 20 people that all need to sign off it and they’re not sure what they like and what they want because somebody above them hasn’t said what they like and what they want and so you’ll get to the shoot and they’ll be like we need 25 options on what this thing is so in the edit it can be anything in the world.

And you’re like, okay, but that means, so then the give on that is then we need more time because we need time to shoot all of these different options, which is going to drive up the cost of doing this, right?

Significantly. And if you’re okay doing that, that’s fine, you know, but just know that that’s what you’re getting into, but you can’t do both.

You can’t like to do a quick shoot and film 25 options that you’re going to change in the edits.

[24:37] And so I would always tell people, you know, it’s like, just, just make the decision ahead of time and just like, what is the thing that you, that, you know, you want and what is the thing that like, that is going to be the most interesting and the most entertaining?

Because a lot of times the most entertaining thing is the less safe thing and it gets people nervous and they don’t want to, they don’t want to make that call.

And a lot of times, I mean, how many times have I been on calls where like they get kind of nervous before the shoot and the thing in the spot that is the most interesting is the thing they want to pull out?

Because I think sometimes, I think there’s this thing where they’re like, it made me feel something. Is that bad?

What if somebody doesn’t like that feeling? What if somebody, what if somebody this, what if somebody that?

And you’re just like, dude, you know, like if you feel nothing, then why make this, you know?

So, it reminds me of the prevalent conversation a lot of marketers are having right now about taking a stance, excuse me, on certain issues or having a point of view.

[25:41] And look, there’s definitely pros and cons. We all get it.

But if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing.

If you don’t make people feel emotion, we get back to that situation where, well, it just blends in with the noise.

Evoking Emotion in Video Production

[25:52] Totally. And that was actually the next thing I was going to ask you was about emotion. Now, zooming out from a strategic perspective, are there any like tactical things you do when producing, when executing a video shoot that just are kind of like, you know, little tricks of the trade to help make things more evocative or, you know, incite emotion? motion.

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[27:18] Yeah, yeah. I mean… Or maybe the answer is no. Like, you need to have a good compelling story. You can’t shortcut it.
Yeah. I mean, there are, yeah, there are kind of multiple sides to that, you know.

So, so it all kind of depends on, so another thing with this, and so much goes back to planning, but another thing where this harkens back to planning is also like, the more you dial in exactly what this thing is and what you need it to be.

Which you’re trying to say. And people can work with us on how to do that.

The difference between, with video, film and video production, like the difference in like one sentence in your proposal could be hundreds of thousands of dollars because you just said this one thing.

And it’s like, well, if we just change this one thing and we did the smaller version or we did this, it could be a much smaller production, you know? So there is a way to like, there is that too, but it also is just figuring out like, what is the heart of what you need?

So, depending on the kind of shoot, each shoot needs like a different thing.

So like, let’s say you’re doing a spot where there’s people who you’re interviewing and you need them to be able to talk about something really personal that maybe the product or the brand has like, you know, helped them through some real hardship in their life, maybe. I don’t know.

[28:29] And so you need to create an environment where these people can be comfortable, and they can be vulnerable.

And so, you’re gonna wanna meet with them a couple times ahead of time so they’re comfortable with you. They can meet the assistant director ahead of time. So, they meet the director, they meet the assistant director.

They know who they are before they get to shoot, ideally so they feel more comfortable.

Maybe you’re bringing in a second AD whose job is just hang out with them all day and just be their buddy.

And just if they need anything they go get it with the idea that like you’re trying to make as everything as comfortable as possible so that when they when they if they’re coming into a studio or a place that feels a little foreign they can you know they can they can get to the feelings and not freeze up you know and then also casting is a little bit of figuring out like well who’s probably not going to do that but still creating the environment you know often when we do interviews with people in that situation we’ll do this thing um uh which is called an and Terratron, that’s like one name for it, where it’s basically a thing where they’re going to look into the camera, but when they look at the lens, there’s an image of the.

[29:32] Director’s face on this device that’s on top of the lens.

So, they look like they’re looking at a person. So, this is a camera filming the director who’s there in the room with them, but it’s putting the director’s face in front of the lens so that they feel like they’re looking at a person and they’re not looking at the lens.

And it’s just a little bit easier because talking to a camera is a skill and if they don’t have that skill because they’re a regular person, it can make it a lot easier to just look at somebody’s eyes or at least an image of somebody’s eyes.

[30:00] Interrotron. It lays over the, what do you call it?

The thing with the words on it. The teleprompter. That’s exactly what it is.

Yeah, that’s exactly what it is.

It projects an image onto the teleprompter, so you see a person instead of words.

Yeah, and we have one of those things in the other room here, but I know from recent experience, in fact, recent first-person experience how tricky that can be.

And we had a client in the studio recently who was struggling with this idea of looking at the camera.

He was on a Zoom meeting, and so he wanted to be staring at the screen on the Zoom call, interacting with the people on the screen, but we had the high-definition camera on him. And so, he was struggling with being natural, looking at the camera. It’s a That’s a real challenge and should have given you a call.

We could have gotten the entire Tron going.

I’m sure you have some tricks up your sleeve for that as well.

All right, that’s good stuff.

I love the idea of if you’re trying to.

Preparing Founders for Vulnerable Storytelling

[30:58] Get the founders or key personnel associated with the brand to tell their story, which might have an element of sadness or requires them to open up this idea of pre-planning meetings to get them comfortable, a set or an environment that allows them to be their authentic or vulnerable selves.

That’s really good stuff. And I think at this point, that’s where I need you to hit the like button, comment below, because you’re not going to get this type of stuff anywhere else. So, all right, let’s talk about food and beverage video productions.

And so, I know you’ve done your fair share of these types of things.

Let’s start with some of the things that specifically go into shooting a plate of food or and or a consumer package good and somehow giving that inanimate object life or and or something with food where you feel like you can taste it, smell it.

It totally yeah so with so there’s different ways to do it and brands a lot of times will have their own requirements for how they want things done you know so for instance we were shooting some stuff for Guinness once and they were very particular they had a guy on set who would measure the length of the foam and it had to be an exact like to the millimeter size.

[32:21] But they also needed you know so they need bubble movement and they need foam at a very particular length and so you know we had a food stylist on hand whose job it was to basically like create foam we had like a beer tap installed in the studio itself that must have been a fun shoot yeah well so the funny thing was that there was it was a very new brand uh for Guinness that that they were making, it was like an offshoot and, and, and it didn’t, they didn’t have much, like there wasn’t like a volume of it that you would normally have on shoots.

The food styles became even more important because it’s not like we could just keep repouring.

We only had so much.

And so, we had to like to stretch the life of the beer out to look fresh, despite that, we, you know, we had to do all these different product shots.

There’s that planning thing again. Exactly.

And so, so the stylist basically, you know, had these little tricks where she would make the bubbles look like they were going.

Really, honestly, she would just stir it really quickly, move it out of there, and then like ladle on a certain amount of foam, and we’ve already got it lit, we’ve already got the glass misted, it’s already right there.

And then the second they step away.

[33:33] If the foam is not exactly where it is, it’ll naturally dissipate.

And so, we just have to wait for like that moment.

We just roll and we just wait. And then we just know like, okay, now is like when, now it’s when, when it gets usable.

And then we kind of go from there. And so that’s like, that’s like one, one way it can, it can go down in terms of like how like orchestrated it needs to be.

But then there are other brands who like, like for instance, like Pilsner or Quell, you know, that was just like not their style.

You know, they were just like, look, we, you know, all the product shots we did for them are usually like in a bar or, or there, there literally was a tap there and there was a professional bartender who knows how to do their specific pour.

Pour, and then they would just do it ad nauseum and just keep putting it, you know, we would have a spot where, you know, the product was, and they would just keep pouring them, keep putting them down, and we would just be rolling.

[34:25] And, you know, so that the light was right, the beer was down right, but, you know, they didn’t have these like more exacting measures.

Their version of the exacting head measures was that in the Czech Republic, there’s different pours. There’s much more of a culture around beer pouring in bars.

And so, people will order not just a beer, but they’ll order a pour.

And so, they want like the head to be made a certain way based on the pour.

And so, like a type of pour. Yeah. So, like they have one pour called milk or like the, I forget what the Czech word is for milk, but it’s essentially like, it’s like three quarters head to beer.

And I forget, it’s like you’re supposed to drink it at like a certain, like maybe after you’ve eaten or something like that it’s supposed to like help digest but it’s like it’s just it’s a part of the culture so if we did a product shot for that you know it had to be a certain way or if we did a product shot for just like their kind of more standard pour that was another way and then there was like a third one where like you know they pour it at a different angle and then the head goes on a different way because again it’s supposed to like, you know change the experience of drinking it and so you know that’s like how that was different from there, but the idea of a food stylist to them would have been like, I’ll just, just pour it and do it right.

And just put it in the spot. And that’s just, that’s just their style of doing it.

[35:41] And so it kind of does, partly does depend on the brand. So again, like if you’re doing food, you know, if you’re, if we’re doing something with a chef, the idea, so, you know, in food styling, there’s a lot of times where you’ll fake certain food items for different food items because they hang out better under the lights.

Like famously, like you’ll use lard a lot of times for ice cream because ice cream will melt in the lights and it doesn’t, doesn’t last very long.

We did an ice cream commercial, and so our food props person created this kind of thing. It wasn’t lard.

It was basically some, like, it was essentially, like, watered-down caulk, essentially, that he somehow made this mixture of that, like, held the shape in the way that we needed it to.

Yummy. me and um but you know like we did you know we did this whole sum thing with Jose graces and um.

[36:29] The idea of a chef you know like him or something like that having like fake things standing in for food is abhorrent you know so in those situations you know when you’re working with like a chef or somebody who’s like their brand is the making of the food a lot of the times you’ll just have like a kitchen on site and they’re just making the thing over and over and over so you can like do the product shots because they won’t want to use a fake version of and they’ll plate it they’ll want to supervise exactly how everything goes on the plate what the presentation is but if you don’t have that person or if you’re doing things that are maybe packaged or you know you’re taking the product is maybe like the thing in the middle but you need to build the set like we did another shoot for like a breakfast food and so it was for like the yogurt but then there’s like they want to create this display of like what you’re eating it with and what the whole environment is so then a food stylist is coming in and building that and they’re making like a parfait that looks especially like magnificent and then they’re like building in all of the like ingredients that go around it and they’re arranging it in like a beautiful shape and they’re kind of running that and so you know that’s kind of like when the stylist like really comes in handy but it’s kind of different environments call for different for different things it reminds me a little bit of when we had some packaging professionals in here when we were covering those episodes.

[37:49] And in some cases they were talking, I’m trying to remember what specifically the product was, but you know, it’s one of the first episodes in the series for the listeners. You should go back and check out the episode with the Persico.

And they were talking about how the product that they were selling, it was a packaged good from, from the grocery store was unique enough that potential customers might not fully understand.

[38:12] How to use it and so they were in some cases saying you know you want to put suggestions on the box like this goes great with xyz or enjoy with a glass of or whatever it is and the food stylist with the yogurt kind of reminds me of that because it’s like and I understand that’s more obvious yogurt goes with granola and berries or whatever it is but to kind of insert that suggestion into the viewer that like, look, this yogurt’s awesome.

And just think how awesome it could be with your morning parfait and the granola and the berries, which is an obvious enough point or consideration, but then you got to bring in the granola. You got to chop up the berries.

You got to have the food stylist there preparing for it. You don’t just want to show up with like a box of berries and your granola and go, all right, guys, here we go. Let’s shoot.

[39:00] And even just taking the extra step with the stylist, which I wanted to ask you about, I mean, kind of sounds like if you’re going to go into one of these things and you don’t have a professional stylist it’s going to be a bit of a mess it can be depending on what it is you know because there are like i said there are certain kind of styles of shooting or certain kinds of shooting where like you wouldn’t necessarily have to have one but even like for whiskey you know we’ll have like you know we use fake ice cubes in the in the glass because the look of the ice cube is part of the aesthetic and you don’t want it to melt on you and so they’re always fake for instance you know or like frosted glasses sometimes they’re like not really frosted it’s just like something that looks like frost on the glass because we want to you know we want to convey the idea of like a cold

thing but like because it’s warm under the lights it’s warm under the set we know that frost is not going to last very long and so it’s a doctored-up glass so it really kind of all like everything in film and video production is dependent on the specifics of what you’re doing. Like the, the change in one little thing can be a domino that changes everything.

And so, it’s like, I like the parfait.

[40:06] Totally. Hey, we want to show the parfait up. Well, now we’ve got to get a stylist and granola and prairies and the right lighting to make the honey glisten.
Exactly. And then there’s the whole other thing. Like, well, what kind of kitchen is that in?

And what are the people eating it look like? And what, what time of day is it?

What time, you know, like all of the things that go into creating this like vibe that that you want the thing to have this like angelic moment or this like best possible version expression of the moment.

[40:32] What are all the things that you’re not thinking about or that the viewer is not going to think about, you know, that are around the, around the item as well. So, like that all goes into it.

And so, the central theme is definitely planning, planning, more planning and lots of good questions.

Yeah. Right. And that’s, that’s really where you guys come in.

Right. Is to say, well, have you thought about this? Have you thought about that? and that’s going to cause this complication or that domino effect.

What about audio? And I forgot to, leading up to this episode, I forgot to, what’s that thing called that they’re doing now on social where they’re, It’s just all about the audio effect. ASMR? ASMR.

Enhancing Food and Beverage Video Productions

[41:12] Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. So, there’s got to be an ASMR component.

I feel like I knew that answer a little too quickly.

[41:20] There’s got to be a ASMR component to cooking with food, opening of a can, the pouring of the draft.

Yeah. What does that come down to from a sound engineering perspective? perspective.

Yeah, that’s actually one of my most favorite parts of the process.

It’s really fun being in when you’re doing the sound mix and you’re putting in the sound effects for things because it’s amazing how things come alive when they’re sound.

Oh, wait a minute. So, are you always, maybe always is the wrong word, but are you typically going to be just putting it in after the effect or are you often going to be trying to get it the sound that you want to lay over?

[42:02] I always will film what they call location sound.

So, you’ll almost always, again, it all depends.

But if you want sound in the scene, if there’s a beer can popping open or if there’s a pour happening, chances are you’re recording it as you’re shooting.

But most of the time, the sound that makes it in is probably not the sound that you recorded when the thing was happening live.

Chances are it’s what you would call wild sound when you’re like you’re doing a take just for the sound.

And so that means the mic can get in there real close in a way that it couldn’t when the cameras are running.

And so, you just record a bunch of takes of the can popping, record a bunch of takes of the pour, and then you just put it together with the shot that you filmed earlier, and you marry the two.

[42:52] Or you’re just working with a sound designer who just has a library of this stuff.

And there are just these massive libraries that sound designers will have, stuff that they’ve either recorded themselves or just stuff that they just buy.

Crafting the Perfect Sound Effects

[43:06] And you find the one that just sounds the best and you just go with that one.

You might look through like 25 different can pops and to be like, oh, you know, I really like number 21.

Let’s go with that one, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wait, play that pop back again. Oh, yeah, that’s good. Totally, totally.

But does that pop, does that really tell us, you know? But it’s funny.

I mean, there are like, there is a difference.

More bass, more bass. It’s true. There really is a difference with that stuff.

So, yeah, yeah, it can be a whole thing. It’s interesting you bring up the library of sound. I would imagine that’s where most people’s heads would go.

It’d be like, ah, we’ll just, we’ll just buy it stock or whatever.

I mean, how often at this point, how common is it for someone that want to capture their own original sound?

Does it come up often? Well, they should, because I mean, a lot of times we’ll just tell them like, well, you’re already paying for it.

You know, like your sound person’s already there and we’re here and we’ve got all the environments.

So, you’d be kind of like, it’d be kind of ridiculous not to, because if you’re doing it on set, like the only reason not to do it is if, you know, you didn’t plan to do it in the day and you didn’t leave yourself any time.

That would be the only reason not to do it. But again, that’s a mistake because like you’ve already you’ve already spent all the money. So, you might as well just record the sound there.

[44:22] And then the other thing is like, you know, a lot of people, they just think like, oh, we’ll just buy the stock and that’s like cheaper.

[44:28] And it is, and it isn’t because, you know, the libraries that the professionals are pulling from, you know, you’re not able to just a la carte pull stuff out.

If you want something from that library, you’ve got to pay for the entire library, and that’s thousands and thousands of dollars.

[44:45] And so for those effects, that’s not going to do it. So, then you’ve got to go to the places where you can buy things a la carte, but then the quality of those things is usually really hit and miss.

And so it’s you know it’s uh you could be setting yourself up for failure on that one or but then again if you bring in a sound recordist you know they are a sound mixer onto the project you can at least or you can at least pay for the design time the effects will come with it and so you can have the litany of anything in these libraries for what you’re paying for just like you know the hourly rate of you know bringing the sound designer in and you’ve got someone who like really knows how to mix it and how to how to put it together you know which we do but you know some people think they can kind of like get around that and not do it and again you can but like you know nothing sounds better than like when a professional is running your sounds you know and is doing you’re spending the money to do it and actually there is there is a common rule in film which is that audiences are much more forgiving of visual mistakes or visual things that are off than they are of audio things that are off.

People will always get taken out of it when there’s something wrong with the sound to a higher degree than they will if there’s something off with the video. And so, it does like.

[45:59] Behoove people to like really think about what the sound design is and then then music is another part of it too like you know we’re always a fan of telling people like if you can just do custom music it’s just so much better um because a lot of them so bringing in a composer and just having them create a track for the spot and a lot of times we’ll even try to help them figure out a way to like do it cheaper because you know a lot of the times you know stock music stock places are getting better but for a long time they were just like just the worst the worst thing and it would and it always like kind of break our heart where it’s like you spent all this money on the shoot and you made this beautiful thing and then the track that we’re putting to it is terrible you know or it’s just not what it could be because you know usually you’re someone is spending hours going through this library and trying to find something that like happens to work perfectly with your spot I’ve kind of been there before yeah and then for the amount of time that you just spent looking for something that is almost there, but not quite.

You can just tell somebody, hey, this is what I need. And then they just go make it and they make it custom to your spot. And so, it’s exact, everything hits exactly where it needs to go.

[47:06] And then, you know, you, and you can also buy it out. So, then you have that thing for the future.

If you want to use it as like a, you know, a brand jingle or something, or, or something that goes on, you can, you know, and you can,

Importance of Custom Music in Branding

[47:18] a brand can kind of create their own library of stuff over time.

Which makes sense, you know, to have that as part of your brain guidelines if you’re doing a lot of audio or visual content, you know, you’ve got your brain guidelines around.

[47:32] Colors that you can use and how your logo should look on white versus a black background.

You’ve got your standards around fonts and typefaces and what you use in headlines and what you don’t.

And then just go, well, when it comes to music, we’ll just buy that stock.

It’s kind of like, well, wait a minute. And that goes back to, I think, kind of brings the conversation full circle about good storytelling, evoking emotion, being as authentic as you can to your brand, really communicating who you are and what you’re about and what you stand for.

But if you just pull in music off, you know, just stock music off the street because you’re too lazy to develop something that’s your own.

[48:08] And chances are at some level, whether it’s subconscious or not, people are just going to go, well, that, that just doesn’t align or that doesn’t ft or that’s disruptive from what I thought I was getting into with this company.

Yeah. And at the, and at the end of the day, you know, like good storytelling is also like having a strong aesthetic that says the thing, you know, like in brands, I mean, better than I do, but like in brand development, you know, you’re trying to have an identity that’s very clear. That’s very specific.

And when you’re making any kind of film and video project, you want everything to like to go towards that.

And I think what that means is everything is going to create that essence.

Everything is going to create that style where sometimes I think people get tripped up and they just say like, well, our brand colors are, you know, blue and orange. So, everything in there has to be blue and orange.

And you’re just like, no, no, dude, that’s not, you know, like, um, that is, that is not necessarily the thing.

Now, granted, is there a world where there’s like a beautiful stylistic way to only use those two colors? Absolutely.

You know, but if you’re doing it from like a fear thing of like, well, if somebody sees pink, our competitors pink, and they can’t possibly see pink in there without thinking of our competitor. And it’s just like, dude, if it’s that easy to lose people to your competitor, then your thing’s not very good.

You know, like you have a much bigger problem, you know? And like, and, and granted, it’s not just about like.

[49:33] It’s not like every, every aspect of production is like creating something that creating this holistic story that tells about your brand and that is trying to evoke a feeling and a message. And so, everything is, everything needs to be considered and part of the process and not considered disposable.

[49:51] And, but at the end of the day, it requires you to make like strong decisions, which I think like people get scared of because the client changes their mind and zero are.

And it is. And something else that I think is like, again, going back to the time thing is like a lot of the times, you know, we’ll kind of like be in the trenches with an agency trying to manage a client who’s like just never done this before. And so, they’re scared. And so, they’re like, oh, we’re spending a lot of money on this.
Like, we’re not used to spending this kind of money.

And, you know, we’ll try to help them get to the place where they don’t show up to the shoot and then freak out, you know, so we help them try to figure out like how, because a lot of times they can’t see it until they see it in person. And then it’s kind of too late to do anything.

And so, you know, we try to do a lot of like pre-visualization, showing storyboards, being very specific about like what exactly is going to happen at what moment.

Because the other thing that can also be confusing for a client when they get to a set is like, you know, you’re filming stuff out of order.

And so, if you’re not used to that process and imagining how it’s all going to go together, it can be really disconcerting because it’s like, wait, what? How is that going to work?

And so, it’s just getting them comfortable and getting them bought into the process so that they can…

[51:05] Not show up to the shoot and disrupt things. And if something really is wrong, if like something did get lost in communication or something, because that happens, something does get lost in translation that the client really does need to course correct.

They catch that before they get to the shoot when like, there’s way more options of what we can do to solve that problem versus when we get to the shoot, then those options really shrink too not much at all.

[51:26] You know, I’m picking up a few consistent themes throughout our conversation, and maybe that’s a a good place to start to wrap up.

A few key things you’ve mentioned consistently throughout the discussion is.

Significance of Clear Communication in Production

[51:37] just planning, planning, more planning.

And I think a sub-bullet to that is kind of like clear communication up and down the chain, because the more people, whether it’s the senior brand strategists at an organization or maybe the founder of a product or good, the more they end up being surprised the day of the shoot, the more that’s going to create opportunities for panic or disarray.

So, so it’s planning with that clear communication up and down the organization.

So, everybody’s kind of on board with what we’re doing.

Then this idea of, you know, if, if someone has to actually come in and communicate their brand story or their brand narrative, putting them in a position of comfort, comfortability, which goes back to the prior point of pre-planning and communication up and down the chain.

So, everybody’s on board with what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and then take those people that need to tell the story and make sure they feel really, again, comfortable with what it is they’re about to say and they’re in an environment that’s conducive to that.

[52:30] Absolutely. Yeah. That goes across the board depending on what the project is.

If the project is like, if you have an actor who’s there and they’re acting, because that’s the thing that makes sense for this brand.

What does that actor need to do their best? What do they need? Do they need rehearsal?

Do they need whatever can you do to make it better for them?

Can you create an environment like that? Or can you put them on a set?

Where the set is art directed in this really great way and so it just makes it easier for them or you know there’s just like so many different things you can do you know or you know or if it’s uh animation you know bringing in like a bunch of different voice actors and like giving them time so that they can riff and maybe they’ll come up with something that’s even funnier than the script but because you put in time where like you can you can play with it then you know you can you can bring in all these different options and you would have had before and maybe make something funny or better.

[53:24] Any kind of production has ways where you can definitely set yourself up for.

Embracing the Chaos: Importance of Planning in Filmmaking

[53:29] success better, but it always comes down to planning for that, right?

So, you can do it. And there’s also a thing, there’s a kind of a well-known philosophy just in film and video production in general, which is plan, plan, plan, plan, plan, so that when you get to the shoot and everything’s chaotic and everything’s going nuts, and if one thing goes wrong, it all falls apart. part.

If something does happen, you know, maybe, you know, like someone has a breakdown, you know, like we’ve done a lot of like filming with kids, you know, show up, somebody doesn’t show up, somebody’s totally late, right?

Or like, or you’re working with a kid who’s like having a bad day, or you’re working with, you know, who knows what a light blow.

I mean, anything, you know, many, many things can go wrong. There’s actually a statistician who did a study that said it’s statistically impossible for something to not go wrong on a film shoot because there’s just so many variables, but you may also discover, you might also just have a great idea that like, once you get it there, you’re like, oh my God, what about, what if we tried this?

And if you plan, plan, plan, plan, plan, then you also know that.

[54:29] When you get there, you don’t have to spend a lot of brain power on stuff because you know the plan. And then you can be like, okay, well, we just had this great idea.

Why don’t we, we know that if we get rid of this one thing, that thing was a low priority anyway.

So, it didn’t really matter that we got it. So why don’t we, why don’t we cut that thing?

We make a little time for this and then see if we can make something even better.

And a lot of times if you, you know, you can kind of run with it and you can kind of like let these happy accidents happen.

Like was working on a shoot once where, you know, we were doing this thing.

It was just about; it was just about eye drops.

That’s really all it was. And we brought in these different people to like talk about these like testimonials on their like eye drops.

And then we had this, we had this woman there and we, we had their families send them like these different like little kind of props from their life that would just kind of be stand-ins for them to start talking about like different parts of the story. And right.

And this woman pulled this thing up and she just started telling the story about her family and like coming to America and just started like crying out of nowhere and somehow related it back to the eyedrops, you know, and it was this thing that like we wouldn’t an angle that we wouldn’t have seen coming, you know, but like it just was what came up for her.

And this like very authentic connection between like her family and her immigration story and these eyedrops.

[55:42] And, um, and it gave us the ability to just come back. Okay, let’s go with it.

You know, and, and, and that ended up being the best part of the whole shoot, you know, something we didn’t even plan for. Yeah.

And probably a good supplement, not a replacement, but a good supplement to great planning is to hire a professional that’s been there, done that, and knows some of the pivots to make.

And so on that note, for your next video production, please remember Ted Passon from All Ages Productions, headquartered out of Philadelphia.

They do fantastic work. I’m sure there’s a great reel or two online that people can access. Right, Ted? Absolutely. Yeah. Great. And on social? Sure.

All Ages Productions on Instagram and Instagram, Facebook.

Yeah. All the things. All the things. All Ages Productions. Just look us up.

You’ll find us. We’re very easy to find. Awesome. Thanks for being here, man. Really appreciate it.

Of course. Of course.