We hold one AMA (Ask Me Anything) each month in the Wistia Community. During each AMA, experts from the video marketing industry (and beyond!) answer member questions via livestreamed video. We're always looking for new guest experts, so please let us know if there’s someone you’d love to learn from!
Last Thursday, we were fortunate enough to learn from Brian Bruzzi, Paul Kettelle, and Chandler Quintin of IndieWhip, "a film, motion graphics, vision, and advertising company."
Don't fret if you missed the discussion in the Community. We've got you covered. Here are five key lessons from IndieWhip's AMA:
Consistent communication is key
Whether you're coordinating your own team for production, or navigating through the process with a client, constant communication is imperative. "We try to shy away from any one project management software," said Paul. "We've kind of learned from trial and error. Instead, we just stick to meetings. Meetings at the beginning and end of every day."
As for client communication, it's important to offer as many visual examples along the way as possible. Having strategic sign-off points throughout the process is also tremendously helpful for establishing trust.
Let the project's needs dictate style
When determining a project's style or aesthetic, it's critical to consider that particular project's goals. "It's not about what we like. It's about what that project needs," said Brian. The style, the audience, and the market all dictate those stylistic decisions.
IndieWhip does, however, manage to sneak their logo into almost every project they do. "A lot of our clients actually look for it," commented Chandler. It's been placed on billboards in giant stadiums, on belt buckles, and even in frosting on top of a cake.
Add a narrative to drier projects
When given boring raw materials (e.g. whiteboards, conference rooms, IT consulting), create an overarching story that viewers can relate to. If you add some humor and scenes, you can cloak a dull piece in a narrative. "We're good at persuading clients to step outside of their comfort zone," said Chandler. "We try to bring an outside perspective to our clients, to make the videos more entertaining, engaging, and effective."
Thorough pre-production reduces production hiccups
When concepting for a new project, go watch examples on youtube and Vimeo. Listen to songs. Find the tone of the video, then start writing an outline. The IndieWhip team uses notecards on a whiteboard so that they can move the scenes around and visualize the high-level concept. In this "discovery phase," they put together the storyboard, the project plan, and the script.
Brian explained, "If the client doesn't know exactly what they're going to be getting, then we didn't do a good job in pre-production. There should be no questions by the time you get there. It's the hardest part of every video and it will always be."
Take time to cultivate your own creativity
"In terms of filmmaking and marketing in general, being creative yourself and opening yourself up to new things is really important," Chandler noted.
Watch movies and TV shows. Go see live music and art. The better appreciation you have for artistic work, the more you'll be inspired to experiment within your own projects. Pay attention to aspects of production you might not have noticed before; shot movement, color grading, sound design. Lastly, try to view all criticism as constructive feedback. Always embrace feedback as an opportunity for growth.
You can still view the entire AMA in the Community: