A common question I get whenever videography is brought up in conversation is “When did I start?” The answer is an interesting one because videography wasn’t something that I went to school for (majored in Animation with a minor in Graphic Design). It actually wasn’t even something I was interested in at an early age. […]
A common question I get whenever videography is brought up in conversation is “When did I start?” The answer is an interesting one because videography wasn’t something that I went to school for (majored in Animation with a minor in Graphic Design). It actually wasn’t even something I was interested in at an early age.
The first video I ever produced was during the summer I graduated from high school. I was a 17 year-old kid who enjoyed hanging out with friends and doing (stupid yet) fun things on the weekends. This was also around the time the song “You’re a Jerk” by New Boyz was getting a ton of radio play. This musical group is a duo from California whose song centered around the new dance craze called “the jerk.” Teens in the California area had begun creating dance compilation videos of themselves grooving to this song and other songs like it. The videos would often receive thousands of hits on Youtube, some even reaching a million views. The video trend quickly began to spread to other areas of the nation. That’s when two friends and I decided to join in and create a video.
In our town (Lowell, MA), our trio was known for being quite the jokesters in the classroom, but never had the reputation of being great dancers. So in our videos, we mostly focused on the comedy aspect of it. I grabbed my little point-and-shoot Canon camera and used the editing program iMovie on my new laptop for college. This video featured the three of us dancing in shopping malls and food courts, on top of cars and in super markets. Our antics even got us kicked out of a Victoria Secret clothing store. Without hesitation, we uploaded the video onto Youtube and shared with our friends on Facebook not knowing the end result of our actions. We had no idea that the video would gain such popularity in our city, and eventually gained 10,000 views for us on Youtube, way more than I ever thought we’d ever get. The video became so well-known in Lowell that I was actually asked during a job interview “Wait a minute, aren’t you that kid from that video on Youtube??
We continued to produce these silly dancing videos throughout my freshman year at Northeastern University, even though one of the members in our group went to school in Philadelphia, while myself and the other member were located in Boston. Going into my sophomore year at NU, we had completed 7 or 8 different videos, each with thousands of views to their name. But then during a late fall weekend, one of my roommate’s friends, Randy from Connecticut, came to visit Boston, bringing his DSLR camera and filming equipment with him. Randy’s visit that weekend changed my view on videography, even up until this day. Instead of going out and partying that weekend like normal college kids do, we went around Boston pretending to be a film crew for a new MTV series titled “Nightlife in Boston” or something along those lines. We went around the city interviewing random students, somehow making our way into several parties, and documenting the entire night. The video is somewhere on the internet, and its completion made me determined to take this videography thing further than just dancing ridiculously in crowded areas.
That following summer I purchased my very own DSLR camera and tripod, and began filming random things around my city. I was contacted by a guy that I went to high school with who was in a music group that was looking for a videographer. He knew about my past videos and wanted me to join his team of creatives (which was just one other person at the time). I agreed, and spent that summer traveling to different venues around the state filming for the two musical artists, a rapper and singer. I didn’t know this at the time, but I was slowly building up a video portfolio that would become helpful in the near future. The videos I produced for this music group helped me secure two co-op internships while at Northeastern. I then soon began to create short comedy skits with my roommates, while also participating in random online video contests whenever I had the chance. I would take my camera out with me and just film my buddies and I acting like fools in the city.
I slowly began to build up my arsenal of equipment by purchasing better lenses for picture quality, and stabilization rigs for the camera to obtain smooth and fluid movement. My uncle had started running his own entertainment company around this time as well, and asked if I wanted to film weddings and other events that he was DJing at. I jumped at this opportunity, which led to me making further connections through freelance work for those who wanted commercial/promotional videos created for them. My college friends and I also decided to get involved with film festivals in the area, eventually gaining national recognition for the films we produced for Campus MovieFest. Before I knew it, more than 90% (probably an absurd estimate) of the digital work I was producing had nothing to do with my college major of Animation.
And as my journey continues, I am now a Junior Editor/Animator at PJA Advertising + Marketing helping to create digital content. I still tend to make foolish videos with my friends every now and then, along with filming weddings and other events with my uncle’s company on weekends whenever it is needed.
And to think.. this all started because I was a teen with a camera who wanted to make viral dancing videos with my friends.
Let me begin by saying thank you for reading this. Seriously. I mean it. Think about the last time someone at work thanked you for doing your job. Can you remember one? Felt good, didn’t it. A little thank you can go a long way in advertising, because ours can often be a thankless business. […]
Let me begin by saying thank you for reading this.
Seriously. I mean it.
Think about the last time someone at work thanked you for doing your job. Can you remember one? Felt good, didn’t it. A little thank you can go a long way in advertising, because ours can often be a thankless business. We work long hours. A lot of what we do is subjective, so a lot of what we do – we redo. And redo. And redo. We demand a lot from ourselves, and from those we work with. And when a project wraps up, we’re pretty drained. Nothing restarts the engines quite like knowing someone appreciates the effort you put it.
I try to say thank you as often as I can. Not as a matter of course, but because I mean it. Very few aspects of this business are the result of individual effort, which means every success that I can claim throughout my career was the result of the work of a lot of people. This is particularly true in broadcast production.
There are few projects in advertising that swell as large as a TV or video shoot. Typically, you’re working with anywhere from a dozen to several dozen freelance crew members provided by your production company. There are the wardrobe folks, the catering folks, the talent… and the list goes on. All coming together to create something you’ll end up putting on your agency and personal reel. The result is something that you’ll use to represent your talent, sometimes forgetting that it only exists because of the talents of many.
Several years ago, at the completion of one of my first TV shoots I was looking through the production book on the flight home. In the back of it I noticed it included the contact information of every single person hired for the shoot. All 52 of them. So I did what I assumed every single ad creative did after a shoot. I sent a thank you email. To everyone. From the executive producer, to the PA who made countless Starbucks runs, to the makeup artist, and even the extras who I barely saw on set. I sent the email because I was flying home with a really great TV spot. One I was excited to have produced, and proud to show as my work. One that was only possible because of the talents of all those people who worked tirelessly throughout that three-day shoot.
In the days that followed my email, I received many replies. With each one, I felt worse and worse and worse about my industry. Nearly every single reply I got expressed not only gratitude at receiving the email, but also mention that it was the first time they had ever received a thank you note from an agency creative. What I thought was commonplace was anything but.
In the decade or so since that first note, I have repeated the practice with every single shoot I’ve been on. Each time, receiving similar reactions, and additional confirmations that a simple ‘thank you’ can be pretty hard to come by. However, I take comfort in the following: I will continue to thank every single member, of every single crew I work with. I will always encourage peers to do so as well. And I will assume that at least one of the people who will read these words, will begin to do the same. And, if that’s you… thanks. Really.
The FDA takes pharmaceutical social media regulation seriously. Zarbee’s Natural Children’s Cough Syrup recently found this out the hard way, when the FDA sent them a warning letter. Among Zarbee’s infractions Zarbees “liked” the following comment made on October 30, 2013: “Love Zarbee’s this is the only medicine we use for our 2 year old. […]
The FDA takes pharmaceutical social media regulation seriously. Zarbee’s Natural Children’s Cough Syrup recently found this out the hard way, when the FDA sent them a warning letter. Among Zarbee’s infractions Zarbees “liked” the following comment made on October 30, 2013: “Love Zarbee’s this is the only medicine we use for our 2 year old. Colds and congestion clear up in 2 days.” The FDA argues that liking this post is considered an endorsement.
It’s no wonder that fear of the repercussions for improperly handling social media communications has kept many pharmaceutical brands from actively engaging with patients.
Social media has historically felt off-limits to pharmaceutical companies. Big Pharma did not want to touch the likes of Twitter and Facebook, where regulation from the FDA has been unclear and virtually non-existent. But now the FDA has cleared the way for social media usage with clear guidelines. These guidelines outline the proper use and behavior of pharma companies on the Internet.
What this means for your organization:
- All information on your site must be monitored. Make sure you have a team to check the accuracy of information.
- You’re not responsible for user-generated content, but you do have to pay close attention to third party sites. You’re responsible for anything on these sites over which you have influence or control.
- If an employee acts on your behalf on a personal account, you’re responsible. Make sure that they know that they are a representative of the company and to act accordingly.
- Thorough, accurate documentation is just as important as ever. You’re at fault if any inaccurate information comes out through your sponsored sites and communities.
Clearer guidelines ultimately mean it’s time to get engaged. The IMS Institute found that nearly half of the top 50 pharma companies are on social media, but few are interacting or engaging with patients. The companies that effectively engage early on will win huge kudos with their patients. With fewer regulatory hurdles, the first-mover advantage of interacting with patients far outweighs the risks associated with social media.
One of the problems that pharma companies face is that most pharma social media teams need training. Medtronic, a medical device company, made itself approachable by training their team to respond appropriately and establishing a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Their team continuously monitors social media and answers questions promptly and in a personal manner. The company now has 180,000 Facebook fans.
With the rising occurrence of patient complaints about pricing, dry drug pipelines, and demands for transparency, now is the time to (at the very least) become active on social media. According to Pew Research, seven out of ten adult Internet users search online for information about health. Social media allows you to remedy incorrect information and to become a part of the ongoing conversation about your brand. Participating in the conversation in the digital age will return some agency to the management of your brand.
Having a sense of naïveté is never a bad thing. Because there are no risks, when there are no rules. In the Beginner’s Mind, the most outlandish and bizarre ideas could be the best. And who knows? Maybe they’re right. In this episode, I’m joined once again by David Rogers of the Columbia Business School to discuss […]
Having a sense of naïveté is never a bad thing. Because there are no risks, when there are no rules.
In the Beginner’s Mind, the most outlandish and bizarre ideas could be the best. And who knows? Maybe they’re right.
In this episode, I’m joined once again by David Rogers of the Columbia Business School to discuss the “Zen mentality” importance of naïveté for new, unconventional brands. Using previous guests – such as Higher Ground Farm and UNREAL Candy – we explain how sometimes not having an expertise gives brands more options to succeed.
Be sure to also subscribe to The Unconventionals on iTunes and Stitcher. And join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Ann Handley is chief content officer of MarketingProfs, a monthly contributor to Entrepreneur, and co-author of the best-selling book Content Rules (Wiley, 2012), which has been translated into nine languages. The team of 40 at MarketingProfs use 30 different tools for collaborating online; and has been virtual since Day One in 2000. The Unconventionals: Everyone remembers […]
Ann Handley is chief content officer of MarketingProfs, a monthly contributor to Entrepreneur, and co-author of the best-selling book Content Rules (Wiley, 2012), which has been translated into nine languages. The team of 40 at MarketingProfs use 30 different tools for collaborating online; and has been virtual since Day One in 2000.
The Unconventionals: Everyone remembers the famous Yahoo memo from 2013 where Marissa Mayer made it clear working from home wasn’t going to cut it. Is face time becoming the conventional business wisdom again?
Ann Handley: Especially in BtoB there’s this notion that to execute on all cylinders and grow, you need to be physically all in the same space. I hear from a lot of people looking for content and marketing staff. They invariably say, “They have to be local” or “They have be in Chicago” because they’ll be required to manage or lead teams. At MarketingProfs we have proved that with the tools available now you can run a company virtually just as well as you can when everyone is in the same physical space.
The Unconventionals: How have you been able to do that?
Ann Handley: With technology we can connect now in ways that no one has before. In our staff meetings everyone is on camera. We can all see each other. That eliminates the multitasking problem where people put the phone on mute and the next thing you know you’re on Twitter or Facebook. With a videoconferencing tool you also see people in their natural environment. I see what my colleague in San Jose has in her office, just as I would if I were there. It doesn’t feel like a handicap.
The Unconventionals: So your company has never had that conventional stigma with ‘remote employees’.
Ann Handley: What I’m saying is, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. It’s not that there are ‘regular’ and ‘remote’ employees. Everyone is an employee; it’s all in how you manage them. So we have strict rules at MarketingProfs. If your Skype is on, that means you’re there and available to work. It’s like having your door open versus having it closed. There are lots of tools out there to add business process and manage projects; you just have to learn them and use them. I do hope they succeed at Yahoo by the way, because I still can’t get my Yahoo mail to work the way it used to.