Three Documentaries that Challenge

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Merchants of Doubt

We came across this documentary because it was made by the same producers as Food, Inc. Knowing the creators, we figured that this documentary challenged society as we know it, but honestly had no idea what it was about. Even reading the back didn’t really give clues as to the content. We figured we’d give it a chance.

documentary, fire, retardants, lies, politics, environment, safe, behind the scenes, graphics, interviews, science, industry, manufacture, doubt, production, challenge, future, visual, legacy, tell your storyImmediately, we were impressed with the graphics that were used and the quality of production. The abundant use of archival footage really brought the past to life and placed the viewer into the setting. While several topics were discussed, they did a good job of not only jumping back and forth as the storyline progressed, but subtly tying it back to the origin.

Speaking of content, what was Merchants of Doubt actually about? This documentary tackled several big industries and how they deceived and manipulated the public for their own benefit. The big three discussed were tobacco, flame retardants, and finally, climate change. While the producer’s bias is clearly evident, they included some interviews with several opponents…even if it was to place them in a discrediting light. I was honestly amazed at how many interviews they were able to acquire since their opposition should have known who they were.

Suffice it to say that we watched the entire film. I tend to be a cynic and think both sides of the argument can be politically influenced rather than purely scientific. However, while I may not have agreed with everything they did and said, or how they presented the information, it was engaging and enjoyable to watch.


City in the Sky

We love shows that allow us to learn. From History to Science, a well-told story answers questions about topics you may not have even considered. Even if you are not thrilled by planes, airports and the process are something most of us have experienced. This three-part series carries you off to thoroughly explore how the commercial airline industry functions!

documentary, planes, aviation, transportation, city, sky, behind the scenes, graphics, pbs, bbc, industry, bags, pilots, radar, production, challenge, future, visual, legacy, tell your storyPBS and BBC combine their powers to bring viewers like you on a behind the scenes tour of the many aspects of the aviation world. As each episode focuses on a part of the journey, excellent graphics enlighten your understanding of details and statistics. The creators travelled across the globe to show how the industry copes with extremes and talk to people in charge of some of the best procedures and newest innovations. Some of the topics you might expect: transporting baggage, plane maintenance, and control towers. You will also discover unseen, but essential, jobs that keep us flying on time and without incident. The high-quality production and scope of the story leave you with more appreciation and perspective than you may have expected.

You may wonder why this is a “documentary that challenges.” The aviation industry has always faced obstacles from the day man looked into the sky and wanted until fly till now. But the City in the Sky doesn’t wade through the history of flight. Instead, it shows how we function as the global network we know today. It shows how we tackle the immense numbers of cargo and passengers, navigate the bustling highways of the sky, and continue improving for the future. The sky is a city many of us have journeyed through, and thanks to the diligent work of so many, we will continue to visit again and again.


Babies Behind Bars

While searching for documentaries on Netflix, Babies Behind Bars stood out to me from all the other films about prisons. Instead of dealing with hardened criminals and the penal system, this promised to show the struggles of motherhood in an unfriendly environment. I admit I had never thought about the issue of women being sent to prison while pregnant and had no idea what would happen to the babies born there.

Babies Behind Bars seems like it was created on a lower budget than the other two documentaries in this blog. You can tell it was originally made for television because of the built-in cuts for commercial breaks and reprisals of the story. The workers, but especially the inmates, were open about what they saw and felt. This made for a raw and enlightening portrayal of what motherhood behind bars is like.

documentary, prison, pregnant, baby, born, environment, women, behind the scenes, motherhood, interviews, recidivism, industry, policy, Indiana, good behavior, challenge, future, visual, legacy, tell your storyMade in 2011, the filmmakers explored the pioneering program to keep infants with their incarcerated mothers called Wee Ones. Prisoners who met certain requirements had the opportunity to stay with their babies in a special dorm instead of having to give them up just 24 hours after birth. The program had only been around a few years at the time of filming and the jury was still out on whether the prisoners who participated achieved lower recidivism rates (the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend) and if their children fared better in society. I was able to find an article from just a month ago claiming that women who went through the Wee Ones program do indeed have lower recidivism results: 18% compared to 35%.

This documentary had a lot to do with change. First, this women’s prison in Indiana is the only place where this program has been allowed. A couple people mention in the film that it had been a struggle to get the Wee Ones program approved. Proponents of Wee Ones hope to see the good results bring change to more women’s prisons, but of course the biggest change hoped for in this documentary is the transformation of convicted criminals to healthy mothers and members of society.

2013 Study of Wee Ones:


What to be Aware of this October

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October. Brightly colored leaves that contrast the gray sky. Crisp air and frosty mornings. Building anticipation of costumes and candy. Pumpkin Spice everything. October is special in our memories for many things, but few of us are likely aware of all the awarenesses we ought to be aware of.  😉

coffee, mug, pumpkin spice, latte, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy ProductionsAwarenesses are like the beginning descriptions of October; some of them you relate to, some you love, others you hate.  If you live in the south, you may not look forward to crisp air and turning leaves, because it is an unlikely experience. Some people mourn the loss of Summer while others rejoice. Everyone has their own favorite thing, and that is what we tend to focus on. Take a moment to read each awareness as you scroll through this list of causes in October.

  • AIDs Awareness Month (National and declared by President Reagan)
  • Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
  • Bat Appreciation Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Blindness Awareness Month
  • Celiac Disease Awareness Month
  • Co-op Awareness Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Dyslexia Awareness Month
  • Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month
  • Global ADHD Awareness Month
  • Global Diversity Awareness Month
  • Head Start Awareness Month
  • National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
  • National Critical Illness Awareness Month
  • National Cyber Security Awareness Moth
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • National Depression Education and Awareness Month
  • National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • National Liver Awareness Month
  • National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month
  • National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
  • National RSV Awareness Month
  • National Sarcastic Awareness Month
  • National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
  • National SIDS Awareness Month
  • Rhett Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Squirrel Awareness Month
  • Workplace Politics Awareness Month

Notice that we would rally behind some causes, ignore others, and hopefully look up more information on still others. The ones that stand out most as we glance over the list are likely ones connected to a personal story. Perhaps a loved-one battled a listed disease, perhaps you’ve dealt first-hand with a condition, or maybe you were reminded of a story about a critter in the attic. The key to turning any of these combinations of letters arranged into meaningful and memorable influencers is their story.

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Awareness Grows Through Story

Without Story there is no passion. Without a connection to our hearts, we gloss over the names of things that mean everything to the person beside us. Stories answer the questions we never thought to ask. Why was it important? How did it make you feel? How did it change the world as you knew it? Your experiences, but also the tale of someone else’s experience, create emotional connections. Those connections make information real and memorable. Stories are the tool that unite us because they make empty phrases relatable images in our hearts and minds.

As we go into this month and the approaching holidays, it is the perfect opportunity to listen to someone’s story. Pay attention to your friends and acquaintances. See what they are passionate about and ask why. Likely there is a story at the base of it. Asking questions and listening to their story will widen your own interest in the topic and deepen your connection to the person. This October, enjoy your Fall favorites, but also raise your awareness and understanding.

Movement Trends in Cinematography

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Have you noticed the cinematography trend of filming with the handheld look? It has become popular for it’s “in the moment” and gritty feel. Slight motion, racking focus, and edgy framing lend to high-paced action and suspense as well as to films that want to feel more real-time and raw. However, just because something is a popular trend doesn’t mean it should be used for everything. Here are some thoughts on movement by professional cinematographers.

Movement from the Masters

Darius Khondji, Se7en

We designed the sequence to combine wide shots with close shots, and gliding steadicam shots with brutal shots – not steadicam, just the operator running with the camera. I held a second camera myself and I occasionally would literally throw myself on the floor with the camera. So we were mixing steadicam shots with locked-off shots and dolly moves, this constant melange helps give the scene its rhythm.

– Darius Khondji

How you film is part of the storyteller’s voice. Usually, a cinematographer would advise picking the tone and sticking with it (framing style, lighting, coloring, etc.) But if we see only fixed shots or every shot has movement, the viewer bores and wears out pretty quickly. Khondji mixed a variety of these elements in order to better communicate the feeling of the scene. It’s rhythm. They didn’t make crazy cuts to be cool, but to draw the viewer into the moment. And it just so happened we like the result and call it “cool.”


Jan De Bont, Speed

I really like handheld and not necessarily in a chase. Even in straight dramatic scenes just with two people talking. It gives you real intensity, just by looking a little rough.

– Jan De Bont

De Bont brings up the artistry of cinematography. It’s about a feeling. The very nature of slight movement lends action to otherwise static and potentially boring scenes. Going handheld with the camera shouldn’t be reserved only for action sequences like chase scenes, but can be used to instill vibrancy where a fixed shot could fall short.

Harris Savides, The Game

Over my career I’ve come to understand that we should not move the camera just for the sake of moving it. Camera movement should always come from telling the story and understanding what that story is. It should not come from asking how do I make it better and more dynamic but from asking do we need to make it better and more dynamic? It’s about conveying information to the audience and then saying “Can we make it better for them.”

– Harris Savides

I think Savides nailed the point of visual storytelling. Cinematography is about finding the best way to visually tell a story. In our fast-paced society, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing flashier, faster, and bigger equal better. We want the visuals to add to and not detract from the story, but Savides brings up the question of, “Is it really necessary?” The goal isn’t to merely look fabulous, it is to clearly and fully communicate.

Which is Right?

Many young video producers use the handheld look for their films. Some of it is artful. Some of it is irritating. Choosing to have a fixed camera or a steady camera doesn’t make one producer old-fashioned or irrelevant and another one right or better at his craft. Cinematography is an art and art is subjective. It is a tool to reach the goal of finding the best way to visually communicate.


All quotes from



Drones: Unmanned & Unhindered

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A few years back when drones became affordable and usable to the common enthusiast, the limits of filming were suddenly thrown wide open. In spite of the confusion of getting regulations in place, photographers and videographers were eager to take their crafts to another level. We continue to see new innovative ways to utilize the small unmanned machines to gain new perspectives.

Probably the most straight forward use for drone is to capture the outdoor world from above. Landscapes and cityscapes can be seen from views that could only be reached with great expense and effort. What can we actually use these handy aerial tools for? A lot.

Uses for Drone

Real estate videos are one of our most common uses for a drone. Aerial shots give prospective buyers a wider view of the neighborhood and not just the house. Views and location, as well as the architecture of the house, are displayed before the viewer.

Flying above houses, you end up looking down at a lot of roofs. Drones give a great perspective to the condition of shingles and other rooftop appliances. This makes life easier and safer for workers having to make estimates and check on damage in precarious places.

Drones are very mobile and a skilled operator can create shots that mimic cinematography using large and expensive equipment. You can more easily fly through certain spaces than a helicopter. Action can be followed easily without the use of a dolly or jib. Depending on the goals of the scene, drones can be a very handy camera!

Filming action and sports can be a dangerous job! Not only does the drone offer new perspectives, but they can follow the action while staying out of the way. The view from above also offers a great way to analyze team formations during sports events.

Video and photography are all about being in the right spot to tell a story. That story may be aimed at gaining a customer or simply sharing a stunning view. Whatever that is, drones give us the ability to go places that would be humanly impossible. They let us achieve the ideal. And they are also another fun tool to the visual arsenal.

The Office Museum

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Offices tell a lot about the person who works there. The things in an office show the person’s interests and personality. Bryan is a collector-not just of stories. After being in the media/video production world for over 30 years, he has seen not only many impressive technological advancements, but been a part of a host of different projects. Photos, awards, keepsakes, and nick-knacks from around the world join stored equipment and tools. Here is a glimpse into the array of artifacts that make up the Visual Legacy Productions museum.

35mm, buena, film, camera, lens, vintage, photo, film, recording, technology, professional, office, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

The Artifacts

This was Bryan’s first 35mm camera that he used as a boy. It represents the start of his journey. Because of their size, early video cameras were not as easy to store. While it still works, it hasn’t been used in years. Nowadays, we stick to digital instead of film and use Canon.

record, tapes, betacam, vhs, storage, film, recording, technology, professional, office, camera, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Betacam was to VHS what 8 Track tapes were to cassette tapes- big! Betacam, or Betamax, were used to store video projects for only a few years before VHS came on the scene and soon took over. We have no way of viewing the content on these giants anymore, but still…here they are!

record, tapes, digital, storage, film, recording, technology, professional, office, camera, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Ahh, the days of Digital Video Camcorders! These little tapes represent a huge jump in portability and storage. They also made recording more readily available! Video recording for personal use suddenly became commonplace. What was a family vacation without dad or mom behind the camcorder?

Romania, flag, soviet, revolution, hole, history, artifact, mission, keepsake, office, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Bryan was working on a project in Romania during the revolution against the Soviet Union in December of 1989. Across the country, uprising citizens cut out the communist symbol from the center of their flags. Before Bryan left, his local contact kindly presented him this flag from their town.

piranha, mounted, fish, brazil, amazon, jungle, artifact, mission, keepsake, office, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

As a child, this piranha from Brazil was one of my favorite items out of all the things my dad brought home. Bryan got the piranha while filming for a ministry in the Amazon. Not only was it fun to show off and scare friends, but it engages the senses of sight, touch, and smell! 😉

styrofoam, rock, prop, reenactment, Malta, artifact, church, bible, keepsake, office, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

This Styrofoam “rock” was used as a prop in a reenactment filmed in Malta about the apostle Paul, his conversion, and ministry. It was used to stone an innocent man to death. (No one was harmed in the making of the film.)

pottery, note, shard, Ethiopia, Axum, artifact, church, bible, archeology, keepsake, office, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Ethiopia has become a special place to Bryan and there are many artifacts that I could show. This pottery shard was collected during a trip to track down the Ark of the Covenant with BASE Institute.

Cell, phone, mobile, Motorola, personal, vintage, communication, device, technology, professional, office, home, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

This is the first Digital Personal Communicator. Cell phones have certainly changed over the years. Bryan has always been quick to adopt advancements in technology.

The Office

I hope you have enjoyed your little tour of our office and the odd things we save. The things we collect tell the stories of who we are. We’d love to hear about the key pieces that make up your office museums! Please share in the comments!


Family Matters – Our Story Our Legacy

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Working in the business of storytelling allows us to learn about a multitude of different businesses and lives. We believe that every one has a story. Yet in the process of helping people tell theirs, we could easily forget to tell our own. We could not continue to let time slip past us since capturing family legacies is a core value. Therefore, we decided to bring along a camera and microphone to our cross-country family gathering.

behind the scenes, filming, family, grandparents, seniors, legacy, interview, tea, coffee, garden, parents, laughing, talking, mic, boom pole, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Grandparents’ Interview

Gathering the Family

Our priority interview was for the grandparents. We set up our equipment on the garden patio and brought out tea and cookies for the small table. If it weren’t for the whir of the neighbor’s lawn mower, it would have been a quintessential teatime chat. Still, the interview moved along easily as they told about growing up with very different backgrounds and their romantic first meeting. The intimate setting allowed for stories to be brought up that I had never heard before during previous family gatherings. Even though I have spent a considerable amount of time with them, after the interview I felt as though I knew them even more.

One afternoon while everyone was around, we set up for group interviews. All the siblings gathered and I only needed to prompt them with a few questions. Someone would answer with a story that would spark several new memories. It was fascinating to see how some events only one sibling could recall, while others were held dear by everyone.

behind the scenes, filming, family, siblings, cousins, grandkids, grandchildren, adults, legacy, memories, interview, garden, laughing, talking, camera, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Interview with Grandchildren

Grandchildren also shared their favorite memories from massive meals to adventures with Pop Pop, and Nana’s piano. The in-laws who had married into the family also got a chance to share their hearts. One of the benefits of group interviews is that those family members with less to say still were able to participate without having pressure to perform. While several people were nervous to be on camera, they never said they regretted taking the step to share. I’ll take that as a good sign!

behind the scenes, filming, family, siblings, adults, legacy, memories, interview, garden, laughing, talking, mic, boom pole, camera, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Interview with the Siblings

What I Found

Family interviews are not only a time to record go-to stories and histories, they are also a way to recognize the lessons you have learned. Gratefulness emerges as the good results of where we are today trace back to the roots of yesterday’s difficult decisions. We enjoy regaling with humorous anecdotes, but our “Story” is the over-all picture. If you had asked me our family story before the interviews I would have recited a general timeline of events. Now I would share a list of themes: the beauty of family, the bonds of love, and the power of grace.

I called this blog “Family Matters” because it illustrates so well the progression of recording our family legacy. It begins with telling stories of everyday adventures. The diverse ways they grew up, the complications of blending two families, and the crazy and memorable mishaps all give way to a single theme that echoes through each of our hearts. Family matters.

Do-It-Yourself Videos or Hire a Professional?

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You want to incorporate videos into your marketing strategy, but what kind? Do you really have to pay someone with fancy equipment when you already have a camera on your phone? How much can you do yourself? This blog will attempt to explain and encourage you with what kinds of videos business owners can shoot themselves and what they should hire a professional for.

Have a strategy

There are many different types of videos for a variety of purposes and platforms. Before you launch into any kind of video campaign, make sure you have your video strategy formed. Just posting videos won’t maximize the effect you can make. Once you have your video strategy, there are two key questions you should ask yourself.

  • What brand image are you going for? Professional? Casual? Planned or spontaneous? Once you know, stay consistent with the feel and quality. Your audience will be expecting it.
  • Where are your time and resources most valuable? If video is something you already love to do, putting together your own is much easier! But make sure all the different aspects, from filming to editing, are consistent in quality and reflect your brand image. Consider whether your time and investment into learning and producing those types of videos are best used there or in your actual job.

record, lighting, sound, microphone, reflector, background, filming, interview, director, professional, quality, behind the scenes, camera, home, movers, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy ProductionsTips for Filming your Own Videos

If you have quality content, you’ll want to help it succeed with quality presentation. No matter what you film with, make sure you frame yourself correctly and use a good background. Use a better mic than the built-in one on your phone. Sound volume and clarity will enable the viewer to hear everything you say without being distracted or having to strain. Good lighting will also make your video jump from a cheap webcam look to a more professional appearance. We want to see your face and not a dull impression or shadows cutting sharp angles. Even simple software will help you edit in text and fades to the image and add music to the background. With some pre-planning and an investment into a few good pieces of equipment you can make a significant improvement to home-made videos.

record, lighting, sound, edit, graphics, title, background, film, interview, professional, quality, behind the scenes, camera, realtor, market, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy ProductionsWho for What?

Some videos that are great to film and post yourself are live feeds to Facebook and other quick announcements on social media. If you have a nice set-up, you could film your own email greetings. There are dozens of ideas to use video to create relationship and give value to your audience. At the same time, there are key presentation pieces that you won’t want to skimp on and risk cheapening your image. After all, 62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of brands that publish poor quality videos.1 Referring back to our two keys, consistent quality and brand image can be obtained, but it is up to business owners to decide if it is worth it to do the work themselves or hire a professional video producer. For example, your web video or major communications will take a lot more work and are usually wiser to hire out.

If you have video ideas and would like help determining your next steps, please feel free to contact us.


Three Reasons to Record Your Family History

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Struggles and successes. Heartaches and adventures. Deep-roots and free-spirits. Our family stories are full of these. Many people say they would love to record theirs or a family member’s story for future generations. Unfortunately, many miss out on the opportunity. Here are three reasons to stop making excuses and share your legacy in a way that will last for generations.last, moment, sick, hospital, old, age, senior, dying, memory loss, loss, family, wife, husband, parents, bed, group, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

1. You may not have tomorrow.

Yes, we’re starting with the hard one no one likes to talk about. A big reason families don’t record their family history is because they are too busy to make the effort. True, it may not be possible right now to make plans and gather everything you want to include. However, don’t let procrastination stop you from accomplishing your goal. Make it a priority. Find an occasion. Tomorrow is not promised and things can happen affecting the storyteller’s ability to share.

2. It is more affordable than you think! 

As a video producer, I believe video is the best way to record a family history in story form. It lets the viewer see as well as hear. Video gives the fullest expression of the story and the teller-but it’s erroneously considered more expensive. Some families choose to write out stories and genealogies. Making your own family history album is inexpensive, but it’s a lot of work compared to hiring a professional to do it for you. It is a trade-off of what is valued most. The same goes for video.

record, memories, filming, family, interview, director, camera, child, paint, home, parents, laughing, goofy, playing, group, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy ProductionsThe price comes down to the quality of the finished product that you want. Most consumer cameras have the ability to record video at some level. If someone chooses to lay out their story and film themselves or a family member, that certainly is cheap! But you also accept the quality of a hobbyist. On the other side of the spectrum, there are professionals who interview, use high quality lights and sound, and edit the content into a story at all sorts of levels. Decide what your priorities are. Production quality? Full information? Shorter viewing length? Animated photographs to illustrate the audio? Background music? Pick the result you will be happy with and go from there.

3. You don’t have to be a movie star.behind the scenes, filming, family, interview, director, camera, boom pole, sound, boy, field, sports, parents, laughing, goofy, playing, group, video, story, tell your story, Visual Legacy Productions

Nor does anyone expect you to be! Many people fear being in front of a camera. They don’t want to be caught looking less than their best. Nervousness makes them silent or too talkative. If you are the one sitting in front of a camera, remember: a family legacy is for family. These are people who love you and probably have already seen you at your worst. It’s also for people who want to see and know you better. It is not likely to be airing on TV for national viewing. You are not telling your story to an inanimate camera, but to a person who wants to hear your story. Let your personality come out. We’re all friends and family here!

Worries and busy lives will always come at us. Future generations learn and grow from the stories of failures and accomplishments that each family history carries. Really, we don’t have many excuses–only reasons to pass on our legacies.

The Relationship of Video and Social Media

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What good are creative and informational videos if there are no people to see them? What will make viewers interested in following a business that has nothing of value to share? As a video company, we quickly realized the need for good use of social media. We can create videos that share a business team’s passion and communicate information creatively. However, it wouldn’t make sense for these videos to reside hidden away on their website. The team will need a strong social platform presence.

Most of us are online one way or another. There is a good chance you are reading this because of social media. However, there is a difference between the occasional and random posts we make for personal accounts and the way businesses should be present. Not only that, but learning how to tag, link, hashtag, and share in effective ways can eat up precious time when you could be doing your actual job. I think that is why so many businesses agree to the idea that videos and a presence on social platforms are good, but don’t see a lot of results themselves. Many businesses simply make a page on Facebook and call it good if they post occasionally.Brain, content, social media, video, Know your story, tell your story, video production, brand essence, company, personal, story

two sides, strong, analysis, improve, social media, video, Know your story, tell your story, video production, brand essence, company, business, personal, storySocial media and video are like two knives. They can make strong points by themselves and are used for a multitude of communication. Put them together and they empower and balance each other. They are a natural fit and enable the user to work longer and safer. Video is engaging content, but needs a platform in order to be shared. Social Media platforms need engaging content to fulfill their purpose. One can think of video as content- a brain. It might be smart, but the brain is stuck where it is unless it is attached to a body and shared. Social Media is a body- it can go places, but has no thought of it’s own. It needs a brain to give it content and lead somewhere.

Tips for Enhancing your Video’s ImpactKnow your story, tell your story, video production, brand essence, company, personal, story

If you plan to communicate using video, keep these tips in mind.

  • Know your story.

What is your goal? What are you passionate about? Have a plan to communicate your mission in a way that is relatable and interesting to your viewers.

  • Quality matters.filming, interview, camera, man, improve, social media, video, your story, tell your story, video production, brand essence, company, personal, story

With technology constantly getting better at cheaper prices, there isn’t much excuse for inaudible sound and grainy video. Be mindful of camera focus and movement as well as poor lighting if you film yourself.

  • Be Concise.

Don’t waste your viewers’ time. You have something that catches their interest? Great! Don’t sit so long that they get bored. In most cases, your video isn’t a dissertation. It’s the highlight reel!

Tips for Utilizing Social Media

You’re ready to share your content and grow followers…Now what?social media, video, your story, tell your story, video production, brand essence, company, business, personal, story

  • Pick your Platform.

Find out what platforms are best for you. Facebook and YouTube are popular for video content. There are others capable of video and links as well such as Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Snapchat.

  • Market the Analysis.graph, bars, analysis, improve, social media, video, Know your story, tell your story, video production, brand essence, company, personal, story

Keep track of what posts perform well. Analytics can show you details about your viewers so that you can improve your posts to have better content for your target audience.

  • Know or Grow.

Taking the time to learn what works and how to promote yourself is great for some. Others may want to pay someone else who knows the science of social media to keep up their presence.

By learning more about both video and social media, you’ll be strengthening the power of your communication. If you are passionate about what you do, let it show! Try making a few adjustments to your approach. You may find the interaction with your clients more enjoyable and rewarding than you first thought!

The Value of Being a Listener

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airplane, window, city, arial, landing, takeoff, Phoenix, desert, story, memories, tell your story, past, history, video, productionOur lives intersect with other’s lives constantly. We often don’t take the time to connect and learn their story-to be a listener. But sometimes we do. When that happens, we grow in subtle ways.

Of all of my interactions with strangers, one of my favorites took place on a plane. After the initial greeting as the older gentleman and I settled into our seats, we made polite small talk. I am in my 20’s and he was closer to 80, but our difference of age gave way to a wide array of conversational topics rather than leave us with nothing in common.

A History of Stories

He was returning home from his mother-in-law’s funeral. She was an inspiring woman. Back in the day, she had been a single-mother of five daughters as well as a businesswoman. She and her daughters had hosted celebrities in El Paso and led the vacationers across the border to Mexico.

Alaska, water, tide, storm, cold, wind, rain, story, memories, tell your story, past, history, video, productionThe gentleman himself was also fascinating. He told me about his younger days when he would fish during Alaskan summers, and in the winters, journey across America to ski. From there, he told me about the villa he’d rented in a Mexican village. He described it as paradise. He loved nature and seclusion and commented that indigenous peoples believed we had forgotten how to be human anymore. His wanderlust had led him to purchase an isolated ranch in New Mexico. He would take occasional trips to the nearest city hours away. On one of those trips he met his future wife, and he made sure to always return for his supplies in El Paso so that he could see her.

In Common Interests

story, memories, colorado, mountains, tell your story, past, history, video, productionFinding out that I was from Colorado, the gentleman commented that he’d loved my state, but hadn’t been back in years. He’d stayed a spell in Crested Butte back when it was a tiny town of hippies who rallied to maintain the rustic charm. He’d even been a town marshal, and he and his horse had posed in many tourists’ photos. Back in his day they’d worked hard to conserve the town’s history when modern building and growth was threatening to take over.

He sighed and hoped aloud that the beauty of that mountain town had still been preserved. I told him I had recently been in conversation with friends and they had agreed Crested Butte was one of their favorite places. He smiled and seemed pleased.
windmills, kansas, energy, wind, green, roadside, driving, scenic, story, memories, tell your story, past, history, video, productionWe also talked about science and the environment. We discussed natural energy, depleted soil nutrients, better irrigation methods to conserve water, and he described the process of organic farming. He had turned to organic farming before it was popular. While the Farmers Bureau originally rejected him, they now included him as an honorary member to serve as an educator. He also showed me pictures of his cute little farm up north. I admired the different breeds of chickens and he explained his process of moving them throughout the year for a perfect system of fertilization and a symbiotic relationship with the environment.

Results from Listening

As our plane descended, we got ready to go our separate ways. I wanted to tell him that I create personal documentaries for my job and how I thought he airplane, window, rainbow, arial, landing, takeoff, story, memories, tell your story, past, history, video, productionhad an amazing story that needed to be preserved. But I didn’t. I had so enjoyed his sharing of his story, and I could see that he appreciated having someone show interest. Yet I was afraid that if I encouraged him to record the stories he’d told me our brief friendship would be tainted by a supposed attempt at flattery to buy our services. After we left the plane, I had an emotional high from the conversation and interpersonal connection. However, it wasn’t long before I wished that I hadn’t hesitated to encourage him to record his story. Once I arrived home, I tried to look him up online, but I did not know his last name and Facebook isn’t the tool of a super-sleuth.

That day I learned a valuable lesson; I should follow my heart and speak out my appreciation. But that wasn’t the most important part. Listening to the story of the man on the plane, I didn’t just learn about the adventures of his past. The greatest wisdom didn’t reside in our discussion of organics and agriculture. The most important part was that I listened. Really listened. Because of that, we both walked away enriched, encouraged, and valued.