Once a year, some of the most celebrated literary minds descend upon the sailing town of Cowes, specifically on the historic building Northwood House and the Isle of Wight literary Festival happens. Fours days of celebrities turned authors, authors turned celebrities, scientists turned both and a heap of punters lucky enough to get a ticket.
My wife loves books and last year we were lucky enough to get tickets to a talk by Sheila Hancock, the twinkly eyed legend of stage and screen, and after it was over this is the only video I remember seeing of this amazing event.
A few years ago, I was filming at a digital futures event for Digital Annexe, making the video below. I heard Will Sansom of Contagious magazine say businesses always want to jump on the latest band wagon and develop their strategy for it so they ask questions like: What’s our Pinterest strategy, what’s our Instagram strategy, what’s our YouTube strategy….
As I spend a lot of my time convincing people about how video would be good for their business, It should come as no surprise that I wholeheartedly agreed with businesses asking themselves the last of those three questions. Especially when I am close by with business cards at hand.
But then, Will said: "THAT IS THE WRONG QUESTION TO ASK."
"Instead of asking how can we jump on the latest social media platform/fad/ flash in the pan," He said, "businesses should ask ‘What is it that we do? What do we specifically offer? Who are we trying to reach? and which of these outlets are best poised to help us out."
I found myself agreeing with him even more.
In my travels spreading the “online video gospel”, I’ve run into a wide range of people, from those who have heard of this YouTube thing and want a piece of that action right now, all the way through to people who think it has nothing to offer them and its just what these kids waste their time with nowadays.
When I meet up with potential clients, my standard line is that "Video is how a lot of the world takes in information nowadays and the old maxim of 'I won’t read the book, I’ll watch the film' now extends to websites, and any message you might care to put out there."
Now this true. But still it might not be obvious where to begin, and the truth is that there is no one size fits all approach to video. Here are some questions and considerations that you can ask that will help you decide, as Will put it, how and whether video will best work for you.
FIRST THINGS FIRST ... WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE?
Make sure you have something definite to say, even if it’s just BUY OUR PRODUCT. if you are already in business I’m hopeful that you’ve already got this down. I’d recommend you having a look at your Welcome and About Us pages on your website. That is probably the beginning of a video script right there and a healthy refresher for you. If you still find yourself going, 'Yes, that’s exactly why we do this’ you’re in good nick.
Whoa. Things no one ever tells you: Writing regularly takes some dedication. I look back at my first post with my (well meant) promises of writing regularly and I think, what fool wrote that.
Things got busy, which is good as it means I'm getting paid, but it became a whole different ball game trying to figure out how to balance all-the-things-I-picked-up when-I-had-more-time with a busy work schedule. So while I've been trying to reach a new equilibrium in which work is put in it's place (and I know which place that is), Tennis at Ryde lawn tennis and croquet club - http://rydelawn.co.uk/ - has fallen by the wayside. Ironically, it appears I'll be able to get back to it in time for the weather to get rubbish. My radio show at the St. Mary's Hospital radio station (www.sunshineradioiow.com, past episodes can be found here) also suffered, and my weekly habit of going to the cinema then going on a community radio station www.vectisradio.com, to spout off about what I saw became non existent.
But finally, I am wrestling this beast of work, figuring out how I can get paid AND have it all and remembering that I had things like a blog to look after and a husband of the year award to contend for.
working on some things, the end result of which I'm rather pleased with. Here's one for anyone out there who has found nothing else on the entire Internet to distract them. I'm touched and humbled, really I am.
This was a pretty fun vintage shoot where I got to be the only guy present and have one of those educational moments where you see all the steps women go through to look good, but still can't tell for the life of you why it took so long. As it was a photoshoot, I let the photographer (www.pippabrown.co.uk, the shots at the end of the video are hers) take the lead and essentially contorted myself around her. My favourite moment had to be when I was stood on an old rusty chair outside of a bathroom window trying to get a shot of a lady in the bath tub ... yeah, that sounds wrong ... and the rusty chair did what they do and gave way beneath me. Surprisingly, that shot didn't make it into the video.
Great day with a crazy bunch of entrepreneurial women and from starting off wondering what I got myself into, ended up sad I couldn't hang around longer. Was great to meet other local businesses (which I guess is what I am now) and although they're all listed in the video I'll do so again here for those who can't be bothered to click.
Designer (I guess) Ohsovintage.net
Photography: Pippa http://www.pippabrown.co.uk/
Hair Charlotte http://www.scottshair.co.uk/VintageHair.html
Make up Jo from http://isleofwightmakeupandfacepaint.co.uk
(LONGEST WEB ADDRESS EVER!!!)
Seamstress Karen from http://www.dornellie.com/
(She's good, She's CRAZY!!)
Location The Scout Hall http://www.vintagevacations.co.uk
Here's hoping it's not another 7 months before I remember I've got a blog, amongst other things.
So since January this year (2014) I have started touting my self as a "video producer". Something I have essentially been doing for the past 5 years (with increasing levels of competence) and now find myself in the perfect opportunity to start as a business.
I've recently moved to the Isle of Wight, following my recently acquired wife who obeying the all powerful order of the NHS, has gone where they've told her. I gave up my job as a Campus minister in London and made a move that prompts a lot of people to say "oooo, that's a bit of a change" to which my stock reply is "yes, but a welcome change". More of that as we go along. But being here has given me some opportunities I might not have otherwise had such as the radio interview above. Went rather well, they invited me back for a film phone in.
I'll be chronicling what I get up to on these pages as time goes on and showing examples of projects that I'm working on. I'll also be rambling on about insights I've gained from going through the aforementioned "bit of a change". Hope to see you in a later post.