A month ago I traveled to New York on a top secret visit. OK … so it wasn’t really top secret … just not publicly announced.
At the time I did not reveal much, except a few cryptic tweets on Twitter. I mentioned I was being filmed in videos — whiteboard videos.
Our Community Promotions Director here, Joel Libava, actually figured out that the videos were for UPS (I think the word “whiteboard” gave it away). UPS sponsored me to create the videos, one each on 3 different topics. Now I can reveal it publicly, because the videos are being released.
It was a great experience but I was tested to the limit. I had to overcome 5 tests. I thought you might enjoy the backstory behind the videos:
Test #1: I had to write up my discussion points for each video. For someone who writes as much as I do, this should be the easy part. You’d think! 🙂 The videos were supposed to be under 2 minutes. However, I have a hard time keeping things short. I tend to dig down deep, giving examples and details. On top of that, being wordy comes natural to most people. It is like that old saying of Mark Twain’s: ‘If I’d had more time I would have written a shorter letter.’ But many edits and many hours later — taking up most of a Saturday — I finished my remarks for each of my 3 topics. “Short enough,” I thought. But as it turns out, I was wrong. More on that in a moment ….
Test #2: “Talk faster,” the producer said. If you have heard my podcasts, you know that I am a Midwesterner. Measured is my natural pace. But on video that can come across as agonizingly boring and dull. To keep the pace punchy, I had to speed things up.
Test #3: I had to walk and chew gum, er, write on a whiteboard and speak, all at the same time. Now, at this point you might be wondering, “What is so difficult about THAT?” Nothing, actually — if you don’t care about long pauses in between writing and talking. Or you don’t care about turning your back on the camera and obscuring your writing. Or you don’t care about garbled sound because your head is away from the mic. Yada yada. Trust me, there are a dozen ways you can mess this up. I found every one of them.
Test #4: Standing on your feet for hours, take after take, is tough work. I have a new-found respect for directors, cameramen and others in the film industry. They have to be models of patience and encouragement even though they are tired, too. We did 8 to 12 takes per video — and it was not always because I stumbled over a word or messed up the whiteboard. Remember, we were filming in New York City. While the sound in the studio was deadened, if a fire truck blasted by with horn and siren blaring, or a heavy truck outside started to back up beeping loudly, or the pipes in the building rattled at an inopportune moment, it could be heard — barely. But ‘barely heard’ was enough to mess up that take. So we’d do it over.
Test #5: Remember those written points I was so proud of having shortened? Turns out, they were not nearly short enough. When we timed them, they were taking a full half minute more than our limit. You see, it takes longer when you’re writing on a whiteboard, than it does just reading aloud in front of your computer. Yikes! So we literally had to edit on the fly. I cut. And I cut. And when I thought I couldn’t possibly cut any more and still make sense, Sarah, our producer (a former scriptwriter), managed to find more cuts. And she was good. Finally we whittled it down.
But I am not complaining — not by a long shot! The entire experience was incredibly fun and interesting. I learned a lot during the experience — including some things about editing my writing to make it crisp and hard hitting.
So I would like to thank United Parcel Service (UPS) whose sponsorship made it possible for me to do the videos. Let me point out that it is not all about me. Several other people made videos in this series. You can find them in a YouTube channel put together by PopURLS, called “PopurlsBrown.” The videos include:
- “The Economics of Abundance” featuring Mike Masnick of TechDirt;
- “Over-Communication” featuring Matt Marshall of VentureBeat;
- “Monitoring Your Industry” featuring Adam Ostrow of Mashable;
- and last but not least, yours truly, Anita Campbell, in a piece titled, “Partnering With Suppliers.”
So here’s my first video, on partnering:
Please watch all the videos on PopurlsBrown’s Channel on YouTube and leave a comment to let us know what you think. And if you like my video, PLEASE favorite it — thank you so much!
Congratulations Anita. That all sounds like a lot of work, but it paid off. The videos are fantastic.
Great story! 🙂 I posted it on my Posterous blog some days ago. It has been viewed about 50 times at this moment. I also wrote a tweet:
@smallbiztrends Great video on partnering with your suppliers. As an experienced purchaser, I’m with you. @popurls: More colors blue, brown?
You made it look quite easy and the videos I think are more involving than just a talking head. By the way I have the opposite problem to you in that I talk too fast and had to slow down when I did a video.
What a cool video!!
(Yes, I had the UPS part figured out rapidly)
Maybe because UPS has such a huge and influential franchise network…
Anyway, you look and sound great on the whiteboard-style video.
How many takes??
The Franchise King, Small Business Trends Community Promotions Manager, friend, small business/franchise content producer, fellow Clevelander, and crowned guy;
That is absolutely fantastic!!! You come across very natural.
Congrats! I’ll head over there and vote for your right now.
This is excellent! I can appreciate your “midwesterner…measured speaking” but you looked natural and comfortable in that video. One of many to come I hope!
This is so much fun – it’s just like their commercial series only filled with educational information that can only come from you, Anita! All your hard work has really paid off. It’s wonderful.
Anita, they were smart to choose you. You’re a star, and a smart business woman. Great job! I went to the YouTube site but it wouldn’t let me vote??? Not sure if I just wasn’t finding the right click, but I’ll try again.
This is the kind of great marketing I wish more brands would do.
Nice video, you did a great job! It must have took a while to get relaxed enough to appear so natural. I would have been a mess. 🙁 Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Anita you’re truly multi-talented and I love that measured midwestern accent – I talk too fast. Great site and I continue to think you’re among the best small business mentors and resources for small biz owners. Another good person from COSE 🙂 I’m going to vote now.