Looking for Some Creative Help

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the October, 2010, issue of Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Mark asks:

I want to move my business into creating projects for corporate clients. Do you know of any training on how I can become a more creative and more effective storyteller when developing corporate work? I would love to get some in depth media training on how to really help visually showcase a companies products and services and in effective way. The craft and art of cinematography: what angles, how should I film, what the most effective, what should I be looking for, etc. then on the post side how to cut effectively, what transitions to use when, how pacing effects the tone, etc..

If there is anyone that could help with this it would be you, thanks so much for your time and consideration to help!!!

Larry replies: Mark, this is a great question that I want to invite my readers to share their creative resources.

If you have a recommendation for Mark, let me know and I’ll add it here.

UPDATE – Oct. 19, 2010

Jon May adds:

Having been on both sides of the fence, I’d offer the most valuable thing you can do is LISTEN to the Client and create their vision, not necessarily yours.

All too often I’ve seen creative agencies come in and try to dazzle the Client with their abilities, and create a solution that fit into their capabilities, and not what the Client wanted or was asking for. You need to be creative in developing solutions for the Client, and not let your creative ego get in the way of delivering what the client wants. What’s the personality of your corporate client, what’s their image, what does their brand represent in the marketplace. I’ve seen lots of creative reels from agencies but they are meaningless if they don’t carry the corporate mission, message and brand image they want in front of the public. Just look at the stink raised a few weeks ago by the public when GAP tried to change the look of their logo. I’m sure they paid a very chic creative agency a lot of money to change the font of their logo, but all that creative expense proved worthless because the creative agency didn’t test public reaction until they released it. They probably assumed that their creative genius would carry the day, but it failed miserably and very publicly.

There are more perceptions than just your own. Some people think Jackson Pollock was a brilliant artist, others think it’s paint slopped onto a canvas. (I’m in the second group…). Mark, it’s good to be creative, I’m not sure how you necessarily teach it, I think much of it is innate ability, but think of yourself as an architect. You won’t win corporate business by trying to fit every client into the one house you know best. Listen to the client and design the house they envision, and use your creative talents to build what they want. Think outside the box, if the client needs something you can’t provide, go get it for them from other sources. Your ability to deliver what the client wants will make you successful. The world is littered with creative agencies that shoved their vision down the clients throat because they didn’t listen to what the client wanted, and tried to dazzle them with all their creative talents and creative ego. All your creative abilities don’t mean anything if you don’t give the client what they ask for.


Larry replies: Jon, this is outstandingly good advice. Thanks!

UPDATE – Oct. 30, 2010

Michael Jones adds:

Here is a list of 10 questions I always ask at the very beginning of any project. Sometimes I’ll send them in advance of the first meeting. From this we can usually develop a “Concept.” From there I “left windage” and can usually develop a budget that will be accurate to within about 10%. The actual bid price cannot be developed until the script is written AND approved.

  1. Who are your audience(s)?
  2. What do you want to say to these audience(s)?
  3. What do you want these audience(s) to do, or be able to do after seeing the program?
  4. What do you want these audience(s) to bring away after seeing the program?
  5. How long will this content or program be used?
  6. What languages will be used for the program?
  7. What do you want to show the audience(s)?
  8. How will the audience(s) see the program?
  9. How do you want to talk to the audiences(s)?
  10. When do you need the program(s) delivered

Larry replies: Thanks, Michael. It is easy to overlook thinking about your audience and message when considering a new project. This is a very helpful list.

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