Thought Leadership Video: Discovery to Production
Ed Evarts’s Three Thought Leadership Videos: Discovery to Production
The spread of COVID-19 has rocked our world – especially the world of film, television, and media production. From the production of movies to advertisements, shoots have been postponed, projects have been cancelled, and fewer crew members are allowed on set.
Despite various setbacks caused by the virus, Boston video production company, Skillman Video Group, found a way to persevere and continue providing excellent service for clients. Discovering the best means of social distancing and following state regulations on the pandemic have allowed us to get back on set safely. Recently, Skillman Video Group worked with the president of Excellius Leadership Development, Ed Evarts on three thought leadership videos.
Ed Evarts: Leadership Coach
Ed Evarts is a leadership coach focused on guiding mid- to senior- level leaders and their teams. Because Skillman Video Group has a strong background in creating eye-catching thought leadership videos, we took Ed through the Discovery, Strategy, Concept, and Planning phases of our process with ease. The result – three stunning and original thought leadership videos advertising Ed’s brand and his new book that comes out in September of this year.
Ed came to Skillman Vide Group earlier this year with the project, but it has been on hold since March because of the pandemic. Ed’s video project was our second time back on set since the virus shut everything down. With one shoot already under our belts in a new world of COVID-19, we had a pretty good idea on how to go about this shoot. The biggest challenge that we did not face with our last shoot, however, was shooting indoors in close proximity for the first time in five months.
Discovery: Three Chapters
During the Discovery phase, we dedicate time to learning about our clients and their needs. We met with Ed Evarts to learn about his work, his book, and his objectives for the video.
Ed described to us that his book has nine chapters. He wanted to produce three different videos based on the three most distinct chapters. We had a long discussion about what three chapters to choose. We wanted to pick chapters that were not only the most engaging, but the most easily communicated through video.
Strategy: The Endgame
Our conversation about choosing the three chapters we were going to highlight brought us to the next stage of the process: Strategy. The most important part of the Strategy phase is deciding on the key themes and key messages of the three videos. In other words, we work with our clients to lock down the overall mood of the videos, and what content should be communicated directly through narration.
We wanted to position Ed as an expert in workforce leadership, drive sales of his book, and help him establish relationships with clients. We agreed that the most important values to communicate through visuals were Ed’s expertise, compassion, empathy, and wisdom.
Drawing from these goals, we chose the three chapters of Ed’s book on which we would focus the videos. The topics include:
- Establishing a positive relationship with your boss
- Empathy in the workforce
- Pausing is powerful
Creative/Concept: Working up a Formula
The Creative/Concept phase involves figuring out how to communicate our client’s objectives and value proposition through remarkable visuals.
Because we were working on three videos at the same time, we decided that the best way to do that was to create one formula we could apply to each video. This would provide us with direction and allow for cohesion between the three different thought leadership videos.
Our formula consisted of three parts:
- Context: What is the problem?
- How people can solve the problem
- Why it is important that people solve the problem
Our formula proved extremely helpful in focusing the videos on the most useful information. Creating formulas for videos is a great way to stay on track and convey a sense of purpose.
Although we were providing information on select chapters of Ed’s book, we had to be careful as to explain the chapters without giving away so much information that people do not need to read the book at all!
Planning/Pre-Production: The Waiting
The Planning and Pre-Production step of the Skillman Video Group six-step process involves figuring out technical and logistical details of the shoot. This step was more important than ever for this project, given that we were going to be shooting in a corporate office during a global pandemic.
Although working around COVID-19 was challenging, we knew we needed to shoot in a corporate office in order for the video to have a strong impact and sufficiently communicate Ed’s brand personality.
We waited for Boston to open, Boston video production companies to get back in the swing of things, and for everyone to feel comfortable gathering in a room together. Once we had the go ahead, we jumped on the opportunity to secure an office for the shoot. Ed works with high-end, corporate clients. It was only fitting that we shoot in a corporate office in downtown Boston. Specifically, we chose the financial district, near State Street.
We kept the crew small- just three people, including Ed! The crew were required to wear masks and go through temperature checks upon entering the office space.
Production: Back in Boston
The Production phase involved many creative decisions. Going into the shoot day, we knew from our planning stages that it was important for the videos to have a corporate, professional feel.
In order to communicate this, we wanted to be able to see the Boston architecture in the background of Ed’s interview shot because it portrayed his brand personality and level of expertise.
We started off with a camera lens that provided us with a beautiful frame of Ed, but the buildings out the window were blurred. So, we switched to another lens that gave clarity to everything in the shot, especially the shiny city in the background.
We changed up the interview shot for each video so that each one would look a bit different. The interview with Ed was extremely successful due to our many stages of planning. Ed knows his industry inside and out- all we had to do was ask the right questions to get him talking. As with any interview, asking specific, open-ended questions is important in coaxing the talent to express the key messages of the video.
Overall, the shoot was a great success because of the detailed planning that took place before we even got to the shoot day. Succeeding in a time of COVID was even more rewarding.
The Way Forward
The next step for us in the production process is the Editing & Finishing phase, where the raw footage from the shoot is skillfully spliced together in a thought-provoking video about Ed Evart’s brand and new book.
If you are looking for more information, we encourage you to continue to explore our website and blogs about our unique production process. Contact us at [email protected] with any questions or inquiries about getting started on your own project. We can’t wait to hear from you!
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