Producing for The Feel

By Josh Peters BP Essentials No Comments on Producing for The Feel

Most people wouldn’t consciously say that the key to a good video is in the feeling. In a lot of organizations, the “f word” (…feeling) isn’t the first thing people think about when it comes to getting the word out about their company, product, service, or initiative. But the truth is that everyone remembers the movies or videos that make them reach for the Kleenex, laugh so hard their sides hurt, or fire them up so much that they just couldn’t stand it.

People are moved by the things that make them feel.

And that’s why at Between Pixels we believe the right feel is crucial to creating a good video. Because inherently, emotions compel people. And that’s what we’re looking to achieve; we want to help you move your audiences into action. So in creating a video, that’s why we as Producers pay attention to things that impact the feel. We spend a lot of time understanding how to make something look and sound the way you want your audience to feel.

And the right feel isn’t the same for each video; it’s different for each project. Granted, there are similarities in the types of videos produced at Between Pixels. For example, we normally want people to feel INSPIRED by a Vision Video, and people will usually feel INFORMED after watching an Explainer Video. But the nuances of each client really determine the exact feel of the video. Understanding the personality and brand of each client helps in determining how formal or informal; grandiose or straightforward; humorous or serious… There are so many emotional markers that we work through in order to create a video that hits the correct emotion for the client and achieves the end goal.

Videos that miss the emotional mark aren’t considered a success at Between Pixels.

So, even after understanding what we’re going for, Producers are responsible for making the right decisions, in conjunction with the film crew and Director, to achieve the right feel. Because at the end of the day, the emotion is dependent on all the elements of the video. So not only do producers understand the story (or content), but we also have to understand how to choose the physical objects that turn into something with the right feel. Producers must find the locations, talent, clothing, props, and even time of day that is going to make the video look the way we want it to look, and feel the way it needs to feel.

But even with the best producing work, achieving the right feel can be a bust if the film crew, especially the Director, doesn’t understand the emotion, or doesn’t see what the Producer sees. So at Between Pixels Producers and Directors spend a lot of time talking to each other to understand what each is going for. Producer and Director work side by side to accomplish the same thing for our clients and push each other to make sure we’re hitting the correct emotional markers.

And then even after the shoot, the Producer continues to carry the vision for the feel into post-production. We work with the Editors to maintain the level and specificity of the emotion we’re looking to create. The coloring, music, voice over, and pacing all contribute to the feel of the end product.

Now, that’s a lot of words, so here’s an example to show how we achieve “The Feel” in action:

For Wellspring Living we were asked to create a video that introduces and raises support for their Thrive Center. It was an initiative that would help sex trafficking victims recover and begin to rebuild their lives.

So, after the script was written and direction was set, I was tasked at finding locations, actresses, wardrobe, props, and scheduling…all on a budget of course!

I determined a few things based on the Creative Brief:
We’d need three girls to film.
Based on budget, we’d only get 3-6 hours with each girl.
Which then meant that we needed 1 location per girl to optimize filming.

So I went hunting for those things. I found multiple options, chose which ones I thought were best, and then presented the best ones to the Director. From there, we worked together to discover which locations and talent were actually best and then moved forward. And that’s how it is with each video – a solid collaboration between Producer and Director makes all the difference in the world.

There isn’t time to go through each option that we used for the video, so here is one example from the three:

This is one location that has the ability to give off negative and positive emotions, all while being beautiful. During the day, this location can be dreamy, airy, beautiful, and surreal, which translates to the feelings of hope, growth, strength, in a video. But at dusk, it can be dirty, overbearing, and shadowy which give the feelings of horror, disbelief, or despair. And since that was the exact dichotomy that was needed for this video, this location was one of the best.

All of the actresses for this video needed to have strong facial features with some diversity, but not so much so that they weren’t relatable to your “every girl.” This is necessary because when you can’t emotionally connect to the subject, then we’ve missed the emotional mark (recap: that means failure!). Wardrobe was also very important, especially because of the nature of this content. This actress is wearing red because it is a solid, strong color which in the end is what the video was going for – strength of the girl. But when muted, it looks old and sickly, rather than strong. We also chose simple makeup, and a flower in the hair for a feeling of youth and diversity.

Here are some screen shots of the final video where you can see how all that was mentioned before plays into making the emotion of sadness, hopelessness, and despair. The way it was filmed, along with the coloring, play a large role in shaping the original footage into the correct emotion.


Now take a look at these screen shots:ProducingForTheFeel3

You probably notice that the color, facial expressions, and time of day all portray the two different emotions that were needed for this video: emptiness/despair and vibrant/hopeful.

To fully experience of how emotion played a role in this video, you can watch here:

Did you feel the things we set out to make you feel after watching? We hope so. And we hope that we get the opportunity to work with you to create emotions and connect with your audiences. Because at the end of the day emotions lead to actions…which makes all this effort worth the while.

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