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Lights! Camera! Action! An Evening with Dan Gerlach of Storyfarm

March 20, 2014 / Joshua Uzzell

How do you decide if you need video production services? Dan Gerlach, partner at Storyfarm, gave an informal talk at our February Blend and shared with us the value that video brings to promotions and how to employ a professional video production agency.

“When compared to text, still pictures, or audio on its own,” Dan said, “video is the most effective in fully engaging an audience because the average person is more likely to recall a message or take action after watching a video.” He went on to list the applications of video for business: presentation openers, product demos, orientations, FAQs, event highlights, and case studies.

“There’s a lot of room to get creative,” he said.

Dan advised attendees to consider what value a video may have for the intended audience before anything is created. “Avoid catering to internal stakeholders, focusing on sales, and exclusively highlighting your brand. Take the time to generate ideas for content that are both informational, entertaining, and ultimately attention-grabbing.”

Once you have a video concept, you should explore production options, keeping in mind that a video only needs to be two to three minutes long. Light-hearted gimmicks that are used for a temporary promotion might benefit from a simple DIY production, such as Vine, while a formal address explaining the cornerstones of a company needs a more professional approach.

“When evaluating an agency for video production,” Dan explained, “first look at their portfolio. The best video production agencies have YouTube pages filled with case studies, allowing you to gauge their quality and output. Next, look at your budget and their pricing. A two- or three-minute video will cost roughly $12-15k for 10 hours of professional production.”

Dan also suggested looking at what potential an agency has for a long lasting partnership, since working with the same company on multiple projects, such as a promotional series, may offer additional perks as well as discounts.

For an in-house or freelance designer, he had this advice: make sure you have a seat at the table while your company is working with a production agency. If you’re acting as the creative director, you will need to ensure that the visual identity and style is being held to the company’s brand standards.

For more information about Dan and Storyfarm, head over to their website and check out some of their production videos on Vimeo.

Joshua Uzzell is a well-rounded graphic designer who previously helped plan AIGA Baltimore’s monthly Blend and Converse events. Check out his work at www.joshuauzzell.com.

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