“Too many cooks in the kitchen.” It’s a phrase that occasionally gets thrown around pertaining to creative projects. It refers to a situation in which too many people have creative authority. Often, there are so many different ideas trying to make their way into a finished product, that the original purpose can get completely lost. Take film and television: because there is so much money at stake, everyone wants to have the idea that leads to success and propels their own individual career forward. This notion leads to projects which can have moments of brilliance, but on the whole are disjointed, confusing, or just plain bad. The best work comes a collaborative balance of creativity, and no matter what your role on a specific project, understanding that this balance is the key to an effective end product.
In the wild and wonderful world of Anchor Line, our creative input varies a lot project to project. Sometimes our client handles all the creative, and it’s simply our job to execute that vision to the best of our ability. In other situations, the client is relatively new to video and they put a lot of trust in us to craft a vision and deliver them something that achieves their goal.
Recently, I returned from a two day healthcare conference. This is the third consecutive year that we were contracted to capture video content at the annual event. In past years, we were asked to craft event recap videos for the client. We captured moments from the keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and networking events. We also interviewed presenters, staff, sponsors, and attendees about their experience at the event. They both looked like this:
This year, rather than creating the same style recap video, Adam and I offered the suggestion to try something different. The event was in the same venue, and even the same series of rooms, as it had been in the past. We knew that, even if we took a different approach to the recap, that it would be very similar to the past two years, and were concerned that there wouldn’t be value to the client in producing a third, nearly identical piece. This led to a greater conversation about how we could continue to add value, and through some collective brainstorming, we came up with a different scope of work that involved a series of on-camera conversations between their CEO and a handful of their clients who had traveled to the event from all over the country.
The client put a lot of trust in me, as the video professional, to coach their CEO and interviewees. This is where that collaborative balance I spoke of earlier came into play. Since I understand very little about the healthcare industry and they have a limited understanding of production, we were able to bounce ideas off each other with a mutual respect for eachothers’ field of expertise. It was suggested that we maybe try to script some elements, but I assured them that it would feel much more authentic if we let the CEO be herself and carry a natural conversation. The reason these types of videos are particularly effective is because they convey a relaxed, yet informative atmosphere. As a result, our approach will yield completely new and different content, which is compelling to their audience.
When we wrapped the shoot, everyone, including myself, was very excited with the process and the results. Through creative collaboration, we were able produce content that was unique and super effective. Now comes the fun part: post production. I’ll be moving into editorial shortly, and excited to show the client something that drastically different from the past years’ videos.
The moral of my story is: Be bold! Take chances! Get creative! (And always consider your audience.)