We had been in the video making business for several years already. And had fallen into a trap of doing what we did en masse but losing a key ingredient: getting better.
We were making videos (mostly wedding videos actually) that looked nice for their time but were not very meaningful. There were gorgeous shots interwoven with music but no story.
I remember the day we signed up for Still Motions story telling seminar. I was hoping to learn some cool new tricks to film-making. But once there, I actually felt kind of awful. The reason was they were talking about cool gear for sure, but more about story-telling. And how that is/was the most important thing in film-making. It felt like a slap across the face (though I doubt that was their intention!) – BUT IT WOKE ME/US UP!
We had neglected making meaningful stories for our clients, whether couples getting married, companies wanting to stand out, or simply ourselves. And to be sure, our passion had waned for film-making in general. That had to change!
Jon (my business partner) and I set out after that day to change our approach to video making entirely. We discussed, offered ideas, slept on it, then did that again… and again. All to hone in on how we would take our video story-telling to another level.
We mostly were doing weddings at that point so we changed things a bunch in that arena. For example we started to emphasize the audio we captured from each wedding day as that provided a ‘story’ narrative for our films. We kept getting better at our visuals for sure but even those were impacted by what would tell a story and not simple look beautiful. And our videos improved dramatically…. and everyone noticed!
This approach took more work, better gear, doing some early work for free to get samples together, etc. But the pay-off was high. Our packages went up in price due to this and people were willing to pay when they saw the results.
The companies we began to work with saw the value too and kept re-hiring us. And they became our evangelists. It started to grow our business to levels it never would have gone to had we stayed in our complacency. What was a mistake on our end was redeemed into one of the most pivotal moments of our early business development.