What you can’t see in this picture is the audio boom pole I’m holding in one hand while shooting a photo with the other. This is Nate, our DP for the documentary Gold Balls, and his subject, Ron. We’re in an indoor tennis club located in Vancouver, WA, called ‘Club Green Meadows’ and we’re shooting the senior tournament held by the USTA.
Olivine got the opportunity to work with Scout Hill Productions on their successful Kickstarter campaign - crowdfunding a documentary on Ultra Senior Tennis! We provided editing of existing footage into vignettes, motion graphics and web graphics (everything that appears on the KS page), and helped with copy writing here and there. We also got the chance to do a little shooting in the field at a local indoor tennis court following one of the players as he preps for a tournament in Vancouver, WA, in a week or so. The project is just now swinging into full gear - stay tuned for more!
For the second installment of “Inside the Chef’s Kitchen” Urbanspoon retained Olivine to edit and add some ‘fun’ to an interview of the Lee Brothers, two chefs from Charleston, SC, who’s cookbooks have garnered them awards and accolades.
The Lee Brothers have a jovial side and we cut the footage to enhance their camaraderie. The music track took a while to decide on, but in the end we think it’s a perfect fit.
Thanks for watching!
Olivine’s video edit of Duff Goldman (of Charm City Cakes and the Food Network’s ‘Ace Of Cakes’) at Feast Portland has made it onto the pages of the Huffington Post’s ‘Taste’ section! We’re excited to see the feedback from exposure to a readership of 150,000 viewers! So far it ranks as the highest number of loads of any Urbanspoon video (1,300 in two days and climbing). Laura Williams of Urbanspoon was the creative mind behind the shoot - thanks, Laura!
TECH: Shot with a Sony FS700 on site at Feast Portland in the Urbanspoon Media Lounge (photos by Olivine!), the challenge was to liven up a static camera angle and find a way to make the interview ‘Pop’!
UPDATE: Scot White’s campaign to secure a spot at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp was a rousing success! He’ll be headed to Chico, CA in December to meet the other winners and brew styles of beer that may never be repeated. The social media campaign kept everyone on their toes right to the last minute - with friends calling on friends to re-share the link over and over. In all some 4,500 votes were cast for the video that Olivine produced giving it a position of 6th out of 10 in the final minutes. Thanks go to all the friends and family who kept the faith and shared the dream that’s become a reality for one happy guy, Scot White!
Lessons for you from Beer Camp
Since it’s a known fact that perseverance is the key to any successful campaign, I thought I would share a personal example of using video to build a social following and - hopefully win a contest.
Campaign Goal: My brother, Scot White, is an excellent home brewer of beer, and has even won some local awards in Bellingham WA. So when he came to me and wanted some help creating an entry video for the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp contest - I was in. For those of you that are not familiar with the contest, home brewers from all over the country make 2 minute videos sharing their love of beer. The top 10 videos (as voted on by the public), are invited to Chico, CA and create signature brews with the experts at Sierra Nevada.
The Process: I had started with a storyboard that involved a slew of Scot’s friends, a Sunday afternoon, some beer, and some dance moves. On Sunday I headed up to Bellingham and we got right to work on B-roll of Scot and his brewing equipment. The 1pm call time comes and goes and only one friend shows up (yay Hooper!). The Seahawks game was to blame. If they’d lost we’d probably have had a chance to shoot the original storyboard - unfortunately they won and everybody decided to have fun wherever they were!
Lessons you can use: Don’t be too tough on yourself. Even when you have an amazing community (like Scot does), it can be tough to get people to put the time on their schedule. Creative projects are an acquired taste. So plan accordingly, and have a couple of fallback concepts to make use of whoever shows up. A few helpful hints:
- Use email or social to set a focused schedule for time. For example: “Please come over on Sunday from 1pm-4pm” not “if you want to drop by on Sunday that would be great.
- Be bold and as time allows, reach out individually to confirm attendance, and to reinforce that they are truly needed (also, the more appreciation at this point, the better)
- Share the process of your story - tell them the “why” behind their role.
- Never too many ‘Thanks!’ Make sure there are snacks and rewards followed by thank you notes galore.
Time For A Plot twist: That’s what my friend Emily Hine calls the moment when everything changes. Encouraged by Scot, I re-thought the storyboard and we started in. Day two, we get a few folks at the next location (a house right on the lake). I didn’t get all the coverage I wanted but by the end of the day we had enough to do an edit with.
Lesson you can use: As Tim Gunn would say - make it work. There is no reason to pine over the great plan you had that never came true. Stay in the moment, and build from whatever strengths you and your team have.
Fast forward to today: For the past three weeks we’ve been building a voting team on Facebook to push Scot to the top of the heap and secure him a spot at Beer Camp by sharing the link on different feeds. The only guaranteed spots are the top ten, and since you can vote once a day on multiple devices the messaging needs to be regular, grateful and excited. Even though people are sick of the neverending ‘ask’ we are still pulling in team members, all of whom are voting, re-sharing.
In the meantime, Sierra Nevada decided 3 days before the termination of their contest to change the end date for submissions and voting to the middle of October, which has made the arc of our social media messaging a lot more challenging. It seemed difficult enough to keep a team engaged everyday for a couple of weeks, now we’re three weeks into a whole MONTH of messaging! So we’ve turned to other resources on Facebook - hashtagging to groups that have international reach (#biere and #craftbeer), and we’re relying on our team that will take us to the end of the contest (#scotforcamp).
Lessons you can use:
- The Compliment Sandwich - Start with a heartfelt thanks, talk about how things are going, then include the ‘ask’ and end with more compliments.
- Pace yourself & your messaging - having an arc and being creative about planning your story helps a lot.
- Sprinkle some humor, quirkiness, and gobs of gratitude into your posts to maintain your audience’s energy.
- Building a strong video/graphic/website is only half of the campaign; a strong social strategy is paramount to getting views (or in this case votes).
Tech Talk: The beer camp video footage was shot around Whatcom Lake in Bellingham, and involved his friends, his wife, his dog and a motorbike (my first time working with a GoPro). I built the soundtrack in Acid (Sony Software) and then moved everything into Garageband for vocals which I recorded as well. The final edit in FCPx took a couple of days, but none of this compared to what took place on set or what’s been taking place in the world of online voting.
Update: Due to some other plot twists, we’re in the top ten, and we have until October 15th to keep the troops voting. Stay tuned, more details to come!