“Hello world”

I remember keying those words into my computer back in 2014 as I began my adventures into the world of digital marketing.

I said them again when I opened my massage therapy business in 2017.

And now, here I am again, unleashing them in the world of storytelling, an area that has stirred me from a very early age, fizzled away, waiting to come to life.

Why Now?

Understandably, you may be thinking:

“Why have you decided to turn to this area now?”

After working in a marketing roles for 5 years now and completing thousands of pounds worth of courses in this area, I developed a fairly strong understanding of influence and persuasion.

As time went on, I realised that, at the root of all of this was storytelling.

Our brains tell us stories every single day in order to understand who we are.

They are constantly projecting new narratives upon the world around us and within us.

While it’s true you can create a narrative through words written on a page or through a sound recording like a podcast, the truth is, most of the time we use visuals to imagine these stories.

(Even if you’re reading a novel, the chances are you’ll visualise what’s happening in your mind’s eye).

It therefore made sense to me that if I was going to become a master persuader, I needed to start using visuals in order communicate these stories and make the greatest impact possible.

The Market For Commercials

Now I’ve made this decision and committed to it, I need to figuring out what must be done in order to make this new career a success.

Let’s take a look at the top commercials directors around the world and see what they do and why they are given such huge budgets for their productionss

A quick google for ‘Commercials Director’ pulls up the following:

  • Dougal Wilson
  • Fredrik Bond
  • Spike Jonze
  • Ringan Ledwidge
  • Jonathan Glazer
  • Joe Pytka
  • Frank Budgen

Let’s take a look at their works and try and understand the value they are bringing to the table.

Unsurprisingly, each of the directors has their own visual style that they take to their commercials.

And interestingly, they seem to be hired by brands that reflect those visual styles.

For instance, Dougal Wilson tends to work on short-film sequences. Fredrik Bond’s work is punchy and deliberate. Spike Jonze is dark and edgy. Ringan Ledwidge is arty and inspirational. Ringan Ledwidge is wacky. Joe Pytka is authentic. Frank Budgen was quirky.

What unites these directors is their use of storytelling to share underlying ideas about the brands they’re working with rather than just promoting the product itself.

And, as a result, the audience buys into the brand, rather than just the solution; they buy it because it ‘feels right’.

Although, these commercials have a humongous production budget usually over the £150,000 mark, it’s likely they could be done on a shoestring budget if you get creative enough.

As I mentioned before, the key ingredient in a commercial’s success is the message, not the effects. And so, I don’t believe I’m out my depths here in starting this new endeavour.

Getting Started With The End In Mind

Let’s take note – the end goal is to work on big budget brands.

However, little ol’ me is starting at ground zero so going straight for the jugular with my level of experience (or lack of) may be a slight barrier.

Luckily though, I’ve been doing this business thing for a few years now so it speed up the process a little.

One of my core beliefs is that we are all capable of achieving anything that we can imagine; it just takes a lot of hard work.

Now, let’s take a look at what I need to make this work.

What’s Required

  1. A solid understanding of filmmaking & cinematography
  2. A number of example commercials to prove I’m legit
  3. A network of people to help make these commercials
  4. The camera, lighting and sound equipment to make the commercials

When you break a problem down to smaller chunks, as above, it makes it much less daunting.

What I’ve Got

Knowledge

As it stands, although I have an in-depth understanding of what makes a good story, I’m in no way shape or form a master of cinematography.

In order to address this, I will need to read on this subject and practice making more videos to improve.

With that in mind, I do believe my editing skills are rather good and they do say that most films are truly made in the post-production room so I feel somewhat comfortable in that respect.

Proof / Case Studies

Thus far, I’ve produced three videos for businesses in the format of interviews that have been cut together in to form a short story.

Although they have been well-received by the business owners and their customers, they aren’t as impactful or as atmospheric as I’d like them to be.

This, I’m sure will come in time through experience.

My Network

I do have a fairly extensive friend group in the creative space, however they see me more of a jack-of-all-trades rather than a producer/director of films.

In order to change that perception, I need to create and share more work, primarily on social media.

Equipment

I started looking into filmmaking at the beginning of the year and bought a couple of pieces of equipment to start me off.

In particular, I’ve got a Sony A7iii camera which is absolutely enough to make some quality adverts. It wasn’t cheap either.

I also acquired a tripod, a rode mic and a lapel pic.

However, I’ve been practicing with the the audio and I’ve found it difficult so far to get a clean, clear sound, which is pivotal to the success of any video.

I may need some advice on how to improve this going forward.

Additionally, I’ve got my trusty Macbook pro 2016 which I’m writing this on now.

A Project?

The real challenge for me now is to find businesses who are ready to partner up and make some cool commercials.

I currently reside in Glasgow, Scotland where there is a decent number of small businesses to start on this journey – it just takes convincing them.

Luckily, I own one myself. In 2017, I started a massage therapy business which has built up a solid reputation in the area.

Through this, I have the ultimate creative freedom, because I own it so it makes sense to start here.

If you are reading this and looking for video production in Glasgow, head over here for a limited offer.

Thank you for reading!

Grant