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Making Your Video Count

April 27th, 2012 by Brian Baumley

Flipping An Assignment On Its Head For A Unique, Engaging And Impactful Production

It’s easy to take production assignments literally. Even when we think we’re being really creative, there is usually lots of opportunity left to take risks and consider a project from a completely different perspective.

Consider filmmaker Casey Neistat’s take on an assignment from Nike. In his own words:

“Nike asked me to make a movie about what it means to #makeitcount. Instead of making their movie I spent the entire budget traveling around the world with my friend Max. We’d keep going until the money ran out. It took 10 days.”

Of course, this was all communicated in a video that quite effectively tells a story about making it count.

There are close to 5 million hits on that link alone. Throw in some YouTube dupe videos, views on other video sites, a front page Reddit story, etc., and it’s probably safe to say that Nike was happy with this result. Neistat could’ve made a really creative, glossy video that delivers big on the ‘make it count’ message. Nike would’ve probably been happy and the video would’ve found an audience.

In this case, the very essence of ‘make it count’ is at the core of the production itself. And it’s inspiring. Consider too that this video was shared enough that it made its way to my PC screen. I didn’t go hunting for Nike info. And I’m not terribly interested in sports. Yet it found me.

So how can you make your next video production count?

  • Think hard about the message your video will communicate and how you can embody it throughout every aspect of the production itself – not just the finished product.
  • If this is a recurring video assignment, take a new approach. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Think hard about how you can turn the production on its head.
  • Don’t necessarily produce what your client/boss/company thinks they want. Take risks to present them with a final project that they couldn’t have envisioned on their own.
  • Depending on your circumstances, get buy-in from your client along the way! Neistat is a well-known videographer and has the clout to turn in a final product like the one above. If you’re going to take risks, it might be much better for your career to make sure that your client is onboard from the start.

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