May 16, 2013

Teleprompters Steal Your Soul

When I’m interested in something, I obsess over it. I research it. I want to know what it looks like, sounds like, and smells like. I want to figure out what makes it work. I look for different perspectives and angles that may or may not be related. Each clue reveals something new and significant about the subject matter that makes me dig even deeper.  I’m like a kid who sees the awe and wonder in everything and gets excited about the little things.

In both my personal and professional life, I strive to capture content in order to better explain it to the world. I have a need to connect people to something bigger than themselves. Telling stories is more than entertainment; it’s about shared experience.  Everyone knows the passion of a first kiss or the trembling of tragedy. We become fully human in these moments. Everything is interesting when you take the time to see what is really going on. 

Commerce is a part of the unique ecosystem of the cosmos. Products and services are characters in our everyday narrative, adding detail to our lives and prompting us to act or react. When your child gets a rash, you care about what cream you put on them. You do your research, find out the facts and you choose the one that has the power to heal. That brand has become a part of your personal tale.

If commerce is a motivator in the bigger story of life, why do so many companies choose to script it over capturing it? For years, corporations have produced some of the worst videos in human history. Teleprompter's steal the humanity of individuals in exchange for perfectly written brand copy, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Consumers are people, not “profiles.” They’re the characters in the story of life. When you settle for perfection, you miss out on real-life. Perfect copy can be powerful, but authenticity has the ability to change hearts and minds.

The power of documentary filmmaking is that you don’t have to manufacture insight and drama. You just have to find it. It exists in places that get overlooked everyday. A brand documentary allows people to discover something for the first time. It’s the drama and excitement of business and pleasure. It’s the place where commerce and everyday life meet.

Social media has knocked down the walls that protect brands and now they have to have real conversations with consumers. Likewise, scripted corporate videos are like an online dating profile: too good to be true. If you’re looking to get serious with your consumers, lose the teleprompter and capture real people who are excited to work for your brand and tell their stories. If your people can't do this, then maybe the problem isn't the video.

Contributed by , Director, leapFRAME

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