Tips from Texas

During our lovely time at SXSW, I was given the pleasure of attending a “Creativity Burnout” meetup. The topic of discussion varies, but centered primarily around how much energy creative work can take and how that may affect leadership. For me, as our CEO, this discussion proved to be very fruitful. Often times, we get so caught up in our quick turnaround processes and in the hectic nature of our weeks, that we never take the time to do two things: pause to reflect and to show appreciation. Both of these are actions that take certain vulnerability… and that’s where Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly comes in.

 

During the meetup discussion several books were recommended, Brown’s included, that I took note of. I took it as an omen when the book sat prominently and distinctly at the SXSW bookstore. Daring Greatly is, by far and away, one of the most challenging but focus-changing books I’ve read. Many similar books that focus on leadership skills, root causes for shame and fear, and inner strength rely on trite phrases and limited ideologies to entrap a reader into buying the next installments. Daring Greatly is different. Brown skillfully weaves through years of research, interviews, and personal experiences to paint a clear picture of what managing vulnerability looks like.

 

“We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us — that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough — and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs. If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected, we have to be vulnerable. In order to be vulnerable, we need to develop resilience to shame.” -Brené Brown

 

The main idea here is that being a true leader is not about portraying strength, and it’s not about knowing all the answers. The book is about having the courage to be vulnerable, to be a leader that looks to their team and can ask for suggestions and say, “I don’t know.” Leadership is not about your image, it’s about your action and reaction. At Vid Monster, I continue to strive to lead our team and our community towards more accessible video production services. But more than that, I strive to lead towards simplicity and towards clarity.

 

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown is a fantastic read that I would highly recommend to those who struggle with showing their true colors.. and who may need a redefinition in their leadership approach. Check it out!

-Sam Kirby, CEO

Meeting the Best at SXSW

Working in the video production industry attending the South by Southwest Festival has always been a major deal to all of us at Vid Monster Productions. Conquering Austin, Texas for 9 days was everything we’d hoped for and more.  I think we can all agree it was an AWESOME life changing experience.

Imagine 200,000 people packed into a rejuvenating city full of a variety of mouth watering food, thriving creativity, an unlimited amount of collective music, fantastic film premieres, and one-on-one chats with some of the greatest professionals in the industry from Mark Cuban to Joe Biden. Our crew was able to sweep in, soak up as much knowledge as possible, learn new trends, and overall create new relationships to help us prosper and grow. The relationships, knowledge, and inspiration we absorbed during our 9 day trip is something we are excited to bring back to the Bowling Green community.
I hope you all will check out our videos and pictures from our trip. You might just recognize some A-list celebs in the mix! More importantly, we invite you to join us as we continue to make the future of video marketing accessible to our community, and the thriving business owners amongst our region. We encourage you to let us put our creative thinking to work for you, and let us tell your story!

-Barbara Vanderveer, Production Manager

Colors of The Wind

Disney’s Pocahontas Soundtrack is a classic that most everybody has heard. This week I break down the beautiful childhood song, “The Colors of The Wind”. The instruments alone tell such a powerful story. It starts off with some strings and high pitch flutes to create a mysterious feeling. The beat quickly gains momentum as the story shifts to a teasing and flirtation vibe. By adding symbols and percussion during the climax of Pocahontas chasing John Smith around, the video gains a powerful and inspirational shift. Sure the lyrics are fun and catchy but the basis, for conveying a strong and meaningful message in video, is through unique and thoughtful music. A well proposed soundtrack speaks to the audience and creates an opportunity to touch the soul of everyone watching.

Source: The Colors of The Wind.

Barbara Vanderveer

Soundtrack Review of Arrival

I have always been a huge fan of Sci-Fi movies, and when I went to see Arrival, I was in no way disappointed. One of the greatest parts of the film was how the composer, Johann Johannsson, was able to express this alien contact movie about language and communication through the music. The music was so unique to anything that I have heard and it really gave the viewer an alienistic feel. He recorded layers of piano drones at different speeds to slow them down for one track. Then, over the drone, he brought in a singer (Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe) and wrote a piece in which he sang uniquely over it to where it was difficult to distinguish whether it was a human voice or not. In one of the most important parts of the film, where one of the main characters has an epiphany that changes his view on life, Johann did a stellar job of capturing this moment by adding harmonic singing and overtone singing by Theater of Voices.

Source: IndieWire

-Makenzie Beshear

John Wick 2 Movie Review

It’s a rare thing when the second movie is better than the first. A few weeks ago, I watched John Wick for the very first time and was surprised at how compelling the film actually was. With it’s high impact and upbeat story line, it’s a constant rush. Last week, the second movie came out to theatres and I knew that I had to go see it. My favorite parts about the movie, which I believe most can attest to, were the shooting scenes. Cinematographer, Dan Laustsen, is a master of capturing these fight scenes. The best thing about watching them are the smoothness between the fighting and shooting, almost to where it seems in one motion. Nowadays, fight scenes want to be made more realistic so they are made shaky and with hyperkinetic editing. I enjoyed being able to fully grasp every move that was happening rather than feeling like I was on a rollercoaster. Another factor that made the fight scenes that much for enjoyable was that they shot wide, which made it seem that much more real. You basically feel every punch, every fall, and it keeps you on your toes at all times. With it’s color choice, lighting, and shot composition, John Wick presents some of the prettiest looking fight scenes in current films.

Source: Pond5blog

– Makenzie Beshear

Different Perspectives

Video is a very powerful thing. Everyone has a story and in some way everyone’s story is interesting. A good storyteller is able to reveal ones message through multiple perspectives. I recently watched A Game Of Honor, a CBSSports production. This is a short documentary about how the navel academy students prepare for war while juggling academics and preparation for one the biggest rivalry football games in sports. I love the way they edited this film. They used lots of Natural Sounds in order to tell a beautiful story. They really did a good job with making the audience feel as if they were in the soldiers shoes. I love how they were able to essential take 3 different stories and integrate them into one. Going back to telling a simple story through multiple perspectives, they first told the story of a young man enlisting into the navel academy. Secondly, the touched on the hardship of a student athlete. Lastly, they showed the hard ship of young man preparing for war. They brought the story full circle by ending on the fifty yard line on one of the most popular rivalry games in college football. Any good storyteller will agree in order to touch people hearts and souls, you must first think outside the box and challenge your creative mind to see all perspectives.

SourceCBS SPORTS

-Barbara Vanderveer

Building Better Brands Book Review

Character is so vital when crafting the elements that define a brand and we must understand that before we can make decisions on where to go to market. Character must come first because it is the driving force behind the organization. Character is the factor that separates one business from another. When defining character, it’s important to only pick three rules that work together and can capture the evolving nature of the organization. There are eight steps to defining brand character:
1. Frame
2. Brainstorm
3. Organize            
4. Character
5. Distill
6. Craft
7. Validate
8. Finalize
First, begin framing by having an open discussion about goals, other organizations, and ground rules. Next, brainstorm by setting up three sections (past, present, and future). Let each person have a few minutes to do this on their own so that their thoughts aren’t influenced by others. Step 3, 4 and 5 are all about bringing everyone’s ideas and organizing them. Crafting is where the group will decide on the three traits that define its organization. Then, validate by asking how the organization will look once these traits put into practice. Lastly, finalize the groups effort by drafting a core character statement that captures the thoughts and ideas.

Source: Building Better Brands by Scott Lerman

– Makenzie Beshear

Top Marketing Trends for 2017

With each new year, there seems to be an apparent change in marketing trends and ways we are to connect with our audiences with the rapid evolvement of social media and technology. These big trends of 2017 will ultimately help marketers engage more with their audience and cultivate loyal customers.

The first trend is to “go native or go home.” Joe Pulizzi, a content-marketing evangelist, calls native advertising the “gateway drug” to content marketing. This is one of the greatest forms of paid media because users can’t tell the difference between paid advertising and what is part of the site. This content is usually helpful to the user in some way and is intriguing, making it one of the best platforms for any marketing campaign.

The second trend, that I believe we are all aware of at this point, is to embrace content marketing. Content marketing is so vital because that’s where the audience really gets to know, and interact with your brand. Be consistent with this, be true to your brand, and use humor or sarcasm to appeal to your audience. Ask yourself what you look for in other brands and enjoy seeing when it’s on your home page. Know your audience and put out consistent content that will keep them interested.

The next is, “find your target influencer.” Target influencers are so vital because it gives brands the opportunity to be “one of the cool kids that everyone is talking about.” When these influencers are used effectively, they create a genuine way to allure a target audience.

Another marketing trend for 2017 is to “experiment with livestreaming video and visual storytelling.” Livestreaming is becoming increasingly popular and vital as these videos connect immediately to the viewer and are able to reach the viewer in a more emotional way.

Finally, “give your social content an expiration date.” Generation Z has a decreasing attention span, which means that making expiring social content is vital. It’s important to grasp the user’s attention and cut through all of the noise that they are constantly having to deal with online.

Source: entrepreneur.com

– Makenzie Beshear

Facebook Gives Back

Facebook is upgrading its ad measurement offerings to give marketers more information about their campaigns on its ad platform.

Facebook recently announced the expansion  with third-party ad tech companies, promising better quality data. The social media platform said they are focusing on providing marketers with  a more accurate grasp of how ads on the social network compare to other media outlets.

Social Media is a vital platform in today’s marketing world. Vid Monster Productions does an outstanding job with using public resources such as Facebook to effectively market to the masses for a budget friendly cost. I believe Facebook is stepping in the right direction to ensure that they are able to provide precise analytics.  According to AdAge.com “One thing Facebook is trying to provide is more transparency around how advertisers are performing on the social media platform.” If your ready to take your business marketing to the next level, let us at Vid Monster Productions help you take advantage of these social media tools. Let us be the one to tell you story next!

 

Sources: AdAge.com

-Barbara Vanderveer

The Power of Video

Video is the most engaging type of content available today. Ads lead to landing pages where customers begin to crawl through your content. Improving those landing conversion rates is every business owners concern. 500 people can be directed to your site but if only 20 are looking through your products, your not successfully utilizing you web marketing dollars. Video is the simplest solution to higher engagement and high conversion rates. According to forbes.com Studies show that videos placed on landing pages increase conversion by 80%. The increase is because video allows for engaging content and encourages people to watch. In today’s world the attention span decreases by the day. You have less than 5 seconds to grab a potential customers attention. Video marketing has the power to say 10,000 words for every 1,000 words written down. I challenge every business owner to test the water of video marketing and let the conversion rates speak for themselves. Let us help tell your story.

Sources:(Forbes)

-Barbara Vanderveer