Scott Witthaus, managing partner of Low Country Creative, has seen the field of video production change greatly over his 35-year career, and he has some advice for all the visual storytellers out there: embrace the change. (He’s even a bit jealous of all the opportunities for the newbies in the field.)
But one of the side effects of new technology — the immediacy to turn it around — creates a blind spot for brands. From bad ideas and focusing too much on visual execution to not shooting to edit, he stresses the importance of being very thoughtful and thorough in your work.
Love it or hate it, technology has changed the game. Everyone has an iPhone now, and even professionals are using it to make broadcast-quality videos. Don’t be intimidated by what amateurs are doing, just be better than they are. Embrace the changes, whether it’s video orientation, editing programs, or the priority of the web first.
Be the Healthy Skeptic. A healthy skeptic is someone you want in the room when ideas are flowing – not because they’ll eagerly go along with it, but because they are going to be the one to question it. Too often there’s not a healthy skeptic in the room to help save brands from trouble later on.
The biggest mistake that brands make is also one that Scott sees his students make: focusing on the visual execution instead of the problem that they are solving. A flashy execution might grab some eyeballs, but what makes it memorable is showing how your product solves a problem for the consumer — that’s where the real story is.
Why you must shoot to edit. At some point, every editor has had that moment in the editing booth when they realize they don’t have enough b-roll. In today’s immediacy of getting a video produced, it’s easy to rush through production and not take the time to get extra shots that will come in handy later. Always get more than you think you need.
The art of empathy. Always remember you’re talking to real humans, and that you’re building a long-term relationship. The ROI doesn’t happen overnight, and you may have to help the C-Suite understand that.
Own up to your mistakes. In a world dominated by social media, brands and storytellers will get immediate feedback on what they put out there. If you mess up, admit to it.
What He Does
A visual storyteller, Scott is a managing partner of Low Country Creative and teaches the next generation of brand leaders as a professor at VCU Brandcenter.
Words of Widom
“Working on a brand is like bowling with the gutter guards down. The brand itself will keep you in the lane, but you throw gutter balls all day long if you’re not telling that story correctly.”
As the President of Gravity Group, Steve is passionate about helping brands reach their goals through honest, creative marketing and powerful brand stories.
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