How to Make the Same Brand Video We’d Charge You Thousands For – Part 1

Professional video production can be an investment, we know. But fear not. In this candid guide, I’m going to tell you exactly how to make a brand video the way we do it, with all that emotional authenticity we’re constantly pushing on everyone.

Basically, I’m going to demystify our process so you can do it yourself and save the thousands and thousands of dollars you’d have to pay us to do it for you.

And no, this isn’t a cheeky, sarcastic post designed to make you feel bad for questioning our prices. I really want to help you make a better video. Maybe you’re even sold on our process already, and you’ll take this information and give it to another video production company to use as a guide. That’s great! I really, really just want to help you make a better video.

Disclaimer

Although this is a step-by-step guide, I’m not going to discuss the technicals of filmmaking, like lenses and lights and editing software and all that stuff. Nor am I going to discuss the administrative procedure of video production. Those things are not secret, and the Internet is already full of amazing free resources on them. This guide is purely focused on what makes our process uniquely adept at telling authentic, emotionally resonant, and highly watchable brand videos.

How to make a brand video

Without further ado, here it is, laid bare, the process upon which our entire business is built.

Step 1 of 8: Find the right people to tell the story

This is important. Not everyone in your whole company or department needs to be included in your brand video. And not everyone who should be included is necessarily an obvious choice.

The first unbreakable rule is that the head(s) of the company must appear and be the backbone of the story. The CEO/president/founder/whatever is the central processing center of the brand. No claim made by anyone else means jack if the leader isn’t there to affirm (genuinely) that the message is what the company stands for. The big dog doesn’t get to sit this out.

The only other rule is that everyone else being interviewed, whether a leader, team member, or customer, must give a crap. We’re making an authentic story, after all. We need to tell it through people who actually have something genuinely good to say about the company. Do not choose your interview subjects solely based on arbitrary considerations such as demographic information or “camera friendliness”. Find people who love to serve your mission.

How to make a brand video

Example of bad interview subject choice for brand video. Find someone who will be animated; full of life. (Photo by Janko Sebök on Unsplash)

Step 2 of 8. Interview them on camera without a script.

Prepare a rough outline for the interviewer (who will be off-camera) to make sure certain points are discussed, but only use this as a tool to inspire tangents into visceral conversation. Don’t treat it like a script.

Ask subjective questions:

  • How do you feel when you…?
  • How do you feel when a customer…?
  • What’s your favorite thing about…?
  • What gets you up in the morning?
  • What’s your purpose in life?
  • Why were you drawn to this work?
  • What brings you joy?

Don’t ask objective (aka boring) questions:

  • What is [company name]? (We already know.)
  • What does [company name] do? (We already know.)
  • What year was [company name] founded? (We don’t care.)
  • *Snoring sound*
  • (Sorry, I fell asleep while writing this list, so I’m just going to continue with the post.)

FAQ: But I’m a startup creating a new category that people haven’t heard of. I HAVE to explain what we do.

Great question. If your business needs explaining, explain it through subjective statements.

Boring statement

Octatrex is a robotic exoskeleton that helps babies keep up with their families on advanced mountain climbs.

Subjective statement

I created Octatrex because as a mother, I wanted to experience the joy on my 8-month-old’s face when he beat me to the top of Mount Everest for the first time.

The point is that we’re trying to tell a story that’s interesting and watchable. That means it’s built entirely on human emotion, and contains nothing that’s purely information. This is a universal characteristic of all great stories.

That’s it for this post.

I hope it’s helping you! Check out Part 2 for steps 3 and 4.

For more in-depth instruction on this process, check out my e-course: How to Make a Brand Video that Isn’t Boring.