The simple mention of the film and video production business can create a little “giddy” response in the best of folks. When first embarking on studies in the broadcast production field, I too anticipated the glamorous atmosphere in which I would work. After all, I had seen it portrayed on my television (a non-flat panel at the time). Roll the credits on that notion!
After long shoot days and all night edits, I realized that a person must be crazy in love with this business to put in the heart and soul necessary to produce an excellent product. I found myself loving it. There have been moments that were truly exhilarating, but what most people don’t see is the elbow grease and good old-fashioned hard work that goes into every piece. The true pay-off in this business isn’t so much the glamour; it’s hitting the mark.
Hitting the mark is when creativity and messaging meet, the outcome being a specific measurable result for our clients. A motivated audience, an idea understood, an inspired thought or a mind changed, THAT is hitting the mark. Every effort made on a video production project, from brainstorming with the client and writing the script to hiring talent and directing the shoot; pushes toward this goal. It is the ultimate reason we are producing the project. It is the air we breathe (little dramatic, don’t you think?).
To hit the mark we must anticipate the impact the video will have on the audience when that final fade to black occurs. What are they feeling? What are they thinking? Once we have defined the experience we want to invoke through the video, everything we do weaves into that goal. All of the creative design, the visual effects, the voice-talent selection (getting the idea?) needs to contribute to hitting the mark.
Expressing creative ideas and executing them through visual arts is my passion! In the mid-90’s I travelled to Croatia during the Bosnian war and interviewed refugees from the “rape camps”. This was one of the most powerful experiences I have had in this business. Knitting those refugees lives and traumatic experiences into a video shown to people here in the US who would have never had that close of a true picture of details of that war demonstrates the power of this communication tool.
But no matter what the circumstances or the scenario -- we have to ask ourselves: do those creative ideas really work in communicating the message? It’s exhilarating to execute an idea, especially when I’ve always loved the idea – and then it’s finally the opportunity to produce it. We want exhilaration and efficacy. So early on in the process, we define those desired effects. Define the message, define the results desired, and develop the creative treatment around those goals. Then execute. Execute with the results in mind every step of the way. If we get a little glamour, if we win the trophy, if accolades come our way and Mom discovers our photo on the front of People Magazine, well… that’s interesting. If we hit the mark and the audience is moved and the client is happy, well… even better.
Ginger Stephens, Video Producer
"Communication is the key to life- try not talking for a couple of days... Using imagery, light, words, sound and anything else we need - I love to mold elements into an illuminating message that impacts everyone watching. Why just produce a video when you can create an experience? And let's have FUN doing it."