[MAPR Blog Post] Digital Video in a Viral World: Filmmaker Turns the Lens

The internet is built on video! Video has changed the way we capture, create and consume content from websites, blogs and social media. Fun fact: One of my first personal video cameras was a Flip Ultra HD when I was in middle school. The device allowed two hours of HD video, came with proprietary editing software, was battery-operated and cost less than $200. It was quite innovative at the time since smartphones weren’t equipped with HD video capabilities (or the space / speed required). Times have since changed and video capabilities are accessible by everyone. The fact that online video is a great way to connect with your audience and develop a following is undeniable.

Video in a Viral World Graphic

We all turn to images where numbers or words can’t get the job done. The concept of storytelling through photographs is nothing new. Photographs are compelling content, and this basically explains the popularity behind image sharing services like Pinterest and Instagram. There is a saying, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” In contrast, I would imagine a video is worth 100,000 words *snickers*. Funny enough as a content creator and filmmaker, my emphasis was never on personal videos, being a vlogger or YouTuber per se. I used visual storytelling to promote companies and causes, but me? Meh. Not so much. I spend much more time behind the camera than in front of it. I named this post “filmmaker turns the lens,” because I literally had to shoot myself … with the camera, what did you think I was talking about?

Screen-grab from Briana M. Andrews – Television Academy Foundation internship finalist video interview

Okay, story-time … recently, I was selected as a finalist for the Television Academy Foundation internship in Interactive Media (New Media / Social). This category blends my talents and interests because it’s a hybrid of photo, video, text, mobile, audio, social, animated-GIFs and EVERYTHING THAT SPARKLES. From what I hear, the candidates are selected by the same panel that pick Emmy winners. Nonetheless, I was super excited to even make the final round. Here’s the catch, one of the final requirements in request of consideration for the position is the completion of a web interview. When I tell you I had HireVue flashbacks … OMG. I hate it.

I learned something from the experience, though.  I am never the subject of my own videos!  I need to address this head-on and get as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it. In this week’s lecture, Professor Dunnington played a video clip from Amy Schmittauer.  Her book, Vlog like a Boss is next up on my reading list.

Let’s get away from me being a deer-in-headlights while in front the camera for a moment and revisit the importance of video content.  Below are a few highlights from two Dunnington lectures (on Digital Video and Vlogs, and Communicating with Images and Video in a Mobile and Viral World) and from David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Photos and videos resonate with your audience MUCH MORE than text
  • People who write good captions and headlines improve SEO and capture good readership
  • Use photos that support the text … and write text that support the photo.
  • If you create an interesting story, others will share it for you.
  • When an idea takes off online, it can catapult your brand.
  • Find topics that interest you and pick subjects organically; don’t script things.
  • Videos WILL HELP introduce people to your business.
  • Use descriptive words (keywords) in file names. 

I recently finished reading the David Meerman Scott book and wrote a review.  Be on the lookout for that.  I am also attending the screening for our film, Daughters of Solanas tonight at the Museum of Moving Image in New York.  Bookmark my page and be on the lookout for updates.  Take care.

Black Female Filmmaker Series: Interview Featuring Briana M. Andrews from BibbyFame Digital, LLC

Happy to share news that I was interviewed and featured for the #BlackFemaleFilmmakerSeries

#BlackFemaleFilmmakerSeries Socials Graphic – Briana M. Andrews

This was a pretty in-depth interview and I had a great time opening up and sharing information about my journey and what’s to come.   This series was curated and published by Alana Marie Woodson, a St. Louis-based filmmaker, storyteller and digital content creator.  I’d like to encourage you all to check it out.

Find out how I got my start as a filmmaker, if I ever dealt with imposter syndrome and what I classify as my best work to date. Find out what’s on my film bucket-list and hear why I think other it’s important not to get “pre-occupied with optics.”  I also describe my personal, female-centric artistic style and provide advice and words of encouragement to other young and/or aspiring female filmmakers.

Here is an excerpt from the interview transcript where I detail why I feel like it is important to have our voices represented:

“There is value in each of our experiences; women need to find our own voices, control the narrative and take ownership of our portrayal in television, film and new media.  These industries need to tune into and be empathetic to the needs of various audiences.  The film industry cannot be a monolithic arena and expect to be relevant with diverse communities.  Film has to serve our communities, and reflect it.”

I’d like to give a special shout-out to Alana Marie for using her platform to provide a forum for other female content-creators during Women’s History Month.

All the best!

2018 Recap – The Art of Sales for Creatives

I hope you enjoyed the holiday season. I wish you all a successful, healthy and prosperous 2019.

In recent weeks, I’ve been going through my interview footage to create a supplemental reel.  I filmed a lot of interviews and documentary-style videos, however, I never include it in my reel because I don’t want to blend it with narrative works.  This is just my preference … I like a cohesive reel with comparable footage.

Nonetheless, I came across one of the videos I completed over the summer for Jill Lotenberg.  I provided her with the footage and won’t repost the interview here but it was an interview with Ryan Serhant from Million Dollar Listing: New York which airs on Bravo.  He is a famous real estate agent, also an actor and producer.  This interview had so many business gems with the art of sales, and how this can be beneficial for creatives. 

As creatives, we work on building and strengthening our craft, expanding offerings and further skill development.  With 2019 on the horizon, I also plan to put my best business foot forward.   I figured I’d share some of the golden nuggets here, both for myself and for the benefit of others since “sales are sales” and this information is easily transferrable and applicable to various industries.

Ryan Serhant pitched Bravo at least 50 different shows, some of which admittedly weren’t that great, but he continued to try.  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!

  • Be consistent, never give up, refine your strategy
  • Reach out, “put it out there” – send personal emails and constant reminders
  • Create industry list, maintain contact, offer incentives, adjust rates as needed
  • Use networking, email solicitation, advertising, social media

Serhant opened up the discussion by stressing the importance of creating a niche and finding what works for YOU. 

  • “Look for clues, find your inspiration”
  • “Find what works and milk it, exploit it”
  • Assist with branding, solicit business

Another important item addressed in the interview is GROWTH.  Serhant stated he would not be where he is today if he insisted on doing everything by himself.  He values a strong team and makes a point to hire type-A people who are better than him. 

  • Collaborate, offer opportunities, share responsibilities

Research and planning are also important factors.  Those who “fail to plan, plan to fail.”  Social media activities should be planned out for the week and posted during optimal times based on analytics.  For him, around 2pm on weekdays works best.