Your story, told by you.
Because nobody knows your business better...
The documentary is one of the best ways to get a true genuine feel for a culture, business or idea. This is because the story will be told from the people who know it best, speaking from the heart. That can be a very powerful tool when harnessed correctly. The founder of a non profit speaking candidly about her company, the HR director talking about his love for his coworkers, a patient speaking about the doctor who saved her life, all of these can be extremely powerful tools in delivering a message.
The other part of the documentary equation is the b-roll. B-roll is supporting imagery that helps to flesh out the story and paint a very clear visual picture of what our subject is talking about. There are many different styles of b-roll to choose from and we commonly find that it is best to let the story inform the style instead of the other way around.
The thing that is nice about the documentary approach is what we call the "subtle sell". We don't overtly talk about the product or the business but instead focus all of our efforts on telling a particular story that happens to have your product or service or even company at it's core. So instead of just outright saying "The SPCA is the best!" instead we craft a heartfelt story that says "How I met my best friend". The reason we do it this way is pretty simple. Nobody wants to watch an infomercial! In our content centric world, you need to create a piece that is a good story first in which your main point is the backbone as opposed to the face. Everybody responds to a great story, and that is the key.
But I know that some people typically object to being on camera and we understand that, we really do. Combine that with the fact that you are only going to get a true and genuine good story from people that feel comfortable speaking and you may have a bit of a problem. But not to worry, that's exactly where we come in. Here's some quick tips on how we ensure we always get the story we're looking for.
Create a comfortable shooting space
One of the first things you'll want to focus on to help subjects who might be a little nervous is to keep them in an environment that is comfortable for them. A comfortable chair in a cosy room versus an intimidating board room setting for example. Another thing that we like to do is remove everybody from the room except for our director and the subject. This removes the idea that people are watching and that you are technically public speaking, which is typically the scariest part for most people.
Just ask questions...don't give statements
If we wanted to put words in the subjects mouths, we'd hire actors who are professionally trained for precisely that. That also breaks our main rule of documentary - Be Genuine. So instead we craft a series of questions around the topic to get actual candid responses that are in the direction our piece is going. In addition we will share the idea of what we are interviewing somebody about, but we very rarely (if ever) give our actual questions to the subject in advance. We do this because many people will prepare completely canned responses and try to memorize them instead of speaking from the heart which negates the whole purpose.
Use a Dual Camera Set Up
Many people are afraid of sounding stupid or that they mumble or go off on tangents or say um after every sentence. Not to worry, we have several ways around this primarily our dual camera set up. When you use two cameras you can just cut to the other angle and edit out extra filler words while making it seamless to viewers. Just having the second camera and explaining this process often sets subjects at ease, so they can speak freely.
Relax, you won't be on camera much at all
When you boil down to it, you'll notice that the majority of people are scared of APPEARING on camera, not speaking on camera. The thing is, for our documentaries, the subject doesn't appear on camera much at all and instead the supporting b-roll is played over top of their statements. We show them to introduce who they are and then use their voice as a backing track afterwards, so relax.
Most importantly...We listen, and we truly hear you
One of the reasons we have found so much success with our documentary pieces is that at TERRYLEAHYFILMS we listen. We give you the time to tell your story and don't rush you or try to force you to tell our story, we are interested in your story. It should feel like talking to an old friend, and when you look back at it, you should recognize the story. The goal is to tell YOUR story and the only way we can do that is if we make you a promise that we are going listen to every word you say, whether it's on camera or not.
"I'm Going to take care of you...I promise"
TerryLeahyFilms was founded on that statement, and it's not one that we take lightly. When we accept the responsibility of telling your story, it falls on our shoulders to be a guiding light through the darkness that can be video production. We are going to do whatever we must to make sure you feel heard, that your goals are met, and that you feel comfortable with the entire process. Ultimately this is why it all works, because in choosing TerryLeahyFilms, you chose a team that is going to take care of you, your story, and your brand...because it's the right thing to do.
So let's get started.