Who should tell your video story?
When it comes to making a great video, casting is key. It doesn’t matter how skilled your camera crew is. How excellent your storyboard and script are. If the weather was a sunny 27 degrees without a cloud in sight. Or even how delicious the catering was on shoot day (although keeping the production team well fed is a good way to ensure they’re on side).
Yes, all these elements are critical to getting your video story just right (ok maybe not the catering) but none of it will matter if you get your talent wrong. Picking the perfect hero, storyteller, presenter or messenger – whatever you want to call them – is an art in itself. An art that relies on some serious deliberation in the planning phase to be successful.
Without sounding too dramatic, we really can’t minimise the importance of casting the right messenger. It can mean the difference between producing a video that achieves the outcome you’re hoping for …. or one that completely misses the mark.
Sometimes you might have one messenger . Other times you could have more than 100 (we actually had 120 for a documentary we released in 2008 called The Man Who Souled The World).
You might choose to recruit internally and get employees or your executive team to star in your film. Or you may consider hiring a professional actor or presenter. The right messenger will depend entirely on what type of video you’re creating.
If you’re getting a little stuck on the word ‘messenger’ in the context of video production and filmmaking, you can get up to speed in this blog post called Who is the messenger?
But if you’re across the term and you just need a little help figuring out the right messenger for your video story, then please stay with us.
So who’s the right messenger for your corporate video or film?
Is it an actor? A influencer? Your CEO? What about the Marketing Manager? Or a thought-leader? Perhaps an expert? Or a consumer? On and on it goes. The options truly are endless and there’s not necessarily a right or wrong option either. But there is a right option for your audience. Because it always comes back to your audience. Always.
You have to consider who your audience is and the type of person they’ll respond well to. Audiences tend to relate to people like themselves. So casting a fast-food munching couch potato in your reformer Pilates video probably isn’t going to make a lot of sense.
You also need to consider who your audience respects and will happily listen to. These types of messengers might work well in a secondary role, to bring a layer of credibility and authority to your video.
If you’re not really sure who your video is talking to, you’re going to find it incredibly difficult to pick the right messenger. And in those situations, the fallback is often to use someone ‘generic’, if we can label humans in such a term. Or skip humans altogether and go down the animation route.
Sure, animation has its place but humans relate to humans. So if you want to use your video to create some sort of connection with your audience, animation probably isn’t going to cut through and pull on any heartstrings.
For some extra help in the audience-defining department, you can check out this blog called Why you need to know to your audience to create winning video content.
And if you’d like to dive even deeper into your audience, you can sign up to our online course Define Your Ideal Audience.
Just click the button below and you’ll soon have all the tools you need to research what your audience think and feel and how to position your message.
The genre gives you clues
At the top of this post, we mentioned that the right person to tell your message or story will usually depend on the kind of video you’re creating. And look, it was a good point (if we do say so ourselves), so we’re going to expand on it for a moment.
Once you’ve got a clear idea on your audience, you need to figure out your video style. Are you creating an overview video to include on the homepage of your website? Or is it a case study that’s investigating a recent project? Perhaps it’s a testimonial, or maybe something instructional.
Whatever you and your production team land on, zoning in on the type of video will help you see who will be the best fit. If it’s an About Us video, utilising your staff is likely to be the most obvious and cost-effective option. And sure, employees come and go but your audience is unlikely to know (or care) if someone who appears on camera moves on from your organisation a few months later.
We covered video types in an earlier post, which you can read over here. Scroll down the bottom for a comprehensive list of all the styles you might want to consider.
Do some research before you do a casting call
So you know your audience is. You’ve landed on a video style. But you’re still scratching your head when it comes to the right messenger. It’s ok – that’s what we’re here for!
A really great starting point is take a look at a some videos that are similar to what you’re thinking of making. Head over to YouTube or Vimeo and see what’s working … and what’s not working.
You could also watch this video from series one of Moonshine Moonshot called How to Cast Your Talent. You can read the blog over here too.
Landing on the right person to share your story isn’t rocket science but you will need to put in some groundwork.
The perfect messenger will ultimately depend on:
• Your audience
• The type of video your creating
Get these two points nailed down and you’ll find the whole process much easier.
We hope this post has got you excited to make your next video project, keep the creative juices flowing and subscribe to our YouTube channel Moonshine Moonshot over here. Prefer to listen? There’s podcast for you. Simply search Moonshine Moonshot in your favourite podcast app. New episodes every Tuesday!
Video production brief tip 5: What style are you looking for?
Defining the type of video you want will go a long way to help your video production company capture the right footage. By type, we don’t just mean genre, like action, drama or thriller, although it does play a small part. What you really need to drill down on is whether you need an about us video, a case study video, a testimonial video or something else entirely.
You’ll also need to give some thought to where you’ll publish your video. Will it just be simply going on your website or do you need something for LinkedIn and Instagram too? Maybe you’re making a feature-length documentary with view to have it end up on a streaming channel. All this information will be useful to your production team, so try be as clear as possible.
To learn more about video types, we dive a bit deeper in this post over here.