Lessons from the reel life

Nicole Olwagen Submitted by on the 11th of November 2015

Towards the end of last year Cerebra had the opportunity to do some inspiring work for the Vodacom Foundation. It was an experience that still sticks with me and even though the few months we worked on it were challenging at times, we learned an incredible amount in the process.

Here are some of the important lessons from the experience:

Cost properly upfront

Video is expensive, so you need to take enough time to plan and scope big projects before you get started. Do a treatment, a detailed and accurate costing and make sure to include extra for a media budget. Part of the cost of creating video content is promoting the work on YouTube or natively on Facebook or Twitter. The platform the videos will go onto often helps to prescribe how they will be produced.

Plan, plan, plan – even if it doesn’t go according to plan

No matter how much you plan, things always change on the day. In order to accommodate the fast-paced environment of being on the ground and deliver the best quality product under varying circumstances, every person on the team needs to completely understand the purpose of the video. Always defer to this purpose when making decisions along the way, as this will empower your team. Without a clearly defined purpose, small hiccups can often derail big projects.

Embrace the creative discomfort zone

Give everyone on the team the space and opportunity to fly. Challenge people. If they’re working outside of their comfort zone, they will be more energised and focused than if they’re doing the same daily task over and over. Being able to trust your team’s skill set is extremely rewarding so refer to the previous lesson.

Many brands want to show customers that they do try to make a positive impact in the world and by profiling these organisations they hope to incite some brand love in a social world filled with complaints.

The challenge was how to craft these videos to be a true representation of the heartfelt stories while keeping the brand top of mind.

The creative’s responsibility is ensuring that the brand and the hero are never out of arm’s reach. The creative on the team needs to make sure that the one doesn’t impact the other but are never too far apart. They need to recognize when the brand isn’t the hero but also remember not to alienate the brand.

To be inspired by the work behind this post, check out the videos here and here.