Video Production Anywhere.
We’ve reached an age where geography no longer limits our business potential. Just about any business can reach anyone in the world with a website or cell phone.
This means your customer base is huge. But is it really that easy? No, it’s not, but it can be done and in terms of travel video production I will show you how we do it and continue to do it.
The fact that your website can be seen by anyone all over the world is huge. Social media takes this even further, into the palm of someone’s hand. Think about the potential power of this. You can directly deliver a message to anyone, anywhere.
These connections and touch points can take your marketing to new places that really drive results, that’s the power of digital. This is one of the reasons why video is becoming so popular and instrumental in marketing campaigns. The medium it so engaging that is has the ability to draw customers in and make them fans for a long, long time.
Consumer Products and lifestyle brands are always needing and wanting fresh content. Many of these aforementioned touch points are quick, so having more than a few options to reach your target customer is a good idea.
Where I definitely believe that the Medium is the Message, I believe that production value is always imperative. Having quality media speaks about the brand you’re working with. It tells your customers you have quality products/services and that you are worthwhile.
This creates a huge demand for video production and it’s created an appetite for consumers today. Dormant marketing channels die, social media accounts that are not active are essentially a graveyard. Consumers inherently expect to be impressed with creative campaigns and media makes them feel good about purchasing your products.
Supply and Demand
The basic laws of economics suggests that an increase in demand calls for an increase in supply, which is what has happened in the video production industry. There are many service providers to choose from.
To fuel the fire the barriers to entry have fallen so far that almost anyone can enter the industry. Almost any modern computer is powerful enough to edit HD video, but there is more to being a professional than having the tools. Just because you have a typewriter it doesn’t make you a Hemingway.
modern day video production is about telling a story, which requires skill, creativity, patience and practice.
The side effect is that people who have a decent prosumer level camera believe they are professional. The reality is that modern day video production is about telling a story, which requires skill, creativity, patience and practice.
So where does this leave us? We’re in a world where demand is high, supply is available and noise is abundant.
This means brands can connect with customers in many new ways. Want to tell the story of how your product is made? or where it’s made? It’s easy enough to do this and the ROI is likely there.
This story isn’t simply about how your product is made, but about the passion, love and blood/sweat/tears that went into making it. Customers care about this, and it makes them more knowledgeable in the end.
This is what having an effective marketing strategy is all about- turning customers into fans and fans into voices. The touchpoints need to be leveraged and attended to.
There are many cameras available today that are portable enough to take almost anywhere that produce a clean & quality image. GoPro has opened up the world to see things never before possible because their cameras are so small they literally fit anywhere.
But cameras designed for commercial and/or documentary work are now travel ready. Having these tools available opens up the door for more storytelling opportunities.
TAR Productions is based in San Diego, CA and I cut my teeth working for brands such as Quiksilver, PacSun, Monster Energy Drink and others in the action sports world. Often times it was a one-man-band setup and I was forced to put everything in a backpack or I was limited to what I could carry.
Luckily I was young, motivated and ignorant. My backpack was heavy, sometimes weighing more than 20 lbs, which is tough when you’re walking through humid, tropical forests.
Today’s technologically advanced world provides for far better equipment in a much smaller package. When we went to Haiti last year with Helping Haitian Angels, we fit two 4K cameras, lenses, audio recorder, hard drives and a laptop in a small backpack.
I like traveling to 3rd world countries in non-descript bags, and having one that is smaller definitely helps. The other big advantage is that since we fit so many essential parts of our package in a carry on we could take other tools with us, such as gyrostabilizer and drone.
Getting through customs is always interesting. Sometimes you can walk right past agents if you act like you know what you’re doing. Other times, they will look through every bag and pocket and ask about each item.
We traveled to Morocco once and actually had our equipment held in customs for a day and a half until we could obtain proper documentation. It’s recommended that you travel with a carnet to document what gear you have and will be taking with you when you return home.
Here’s our typical travel package. It contains all the essentials for a travel documentary shoot.
- Panasonic GH4
- Micro 4/3 lenses
- Zoom H6n audio recorder
- Sennheiser G3 wireless lavs
- Rycote Undercovers
- Macbook Air laptop
- LaCie 1TB rugged drive
- Buffalo 1TB hard drive
Brands can hire a video production crew from anywhere. It can be a local team or someone they connected with online. With today’s world being about telling a story, and how you go about finding that story, it imperative to be unique.
Brands will have better luck working with a team they connect with, one that they know will deliver a product that matches their brand and connect with their customers, than working with someone local.
Not all travel productions have to be small. We’ve shipped tons of camera equipment and film halfway around the world and hired local production companies to supply grip trucks and equipment.
If you’re unique, and your style is a differentiator, geography no longer has to limit your reach, for both brands and video production companies.
We’re big fans of the cloud. So much so, in fact, our entire business is run on the cloud. Part of the reason why this is so important to us is that we’re largely a distributed team. Our main office is in San Diego, CA, USA, but our team is all over the place. A majority of our team has been with us for the better part of 10 years, and they’re located all over, from Los Angeles, to London, England or Sydney, Australia.
The cloud helps everyone stay on top of projects. We can easily update the same document, send files over high speed internet or hard drives via FedEx.
The cloud allows us to be creative, with the people we want, while giving everyone the freedom on where they want to live. Sometimes we’re working with writers via Skype. Other times we’re sending picture-locked edits to colorist or sound designers abroad.
It works wonderfully for us, we’ve built a system around it and it allows us to be creative, efficient and effective.
Video Production Travel Checkist
I’m a very forgetful person (I hit my head a lot growing up) so I live and die by checklists like these. I’ve flown around the world at a moment’s notice time and time again. Without a travel checklist for my gear I would inevitably forget something. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of no where without a piece of gear that is the difference between making it or breaking it.