It’s LIVE!

Fire Hose

Live streaming has been around since the late 90s. At the onset, penetration was limited, and adoption was slow. Reliability remained an ongoing issue with infamous examples, like the spectacular server crashes from Yahoo’s Victoria’s Secret show. For those of you who don’t remember, millions of people hit Yahoo’s servers at the launch of the show and their servers went down. Who knew that event would be so, well, eventful!

However, recently, the long tail of live streaming platforms and user adoption have come to a head and now live streaming has become the go-to video deployment solution. No longer do we just see large tech announcements, sporting events, or big Hollywood awards shows, like the Oscars providing live streaming viewing. Recently, with platforms like Twitch (YouTube) and Periscope (Twitter), there are huge audiences for enterprise-sized companies all the way down to small organizations, and even individuals, to live stream with their constituents.

The availability of so much content delivered by live streaming platforms has normalized the paradigm, and is leading to the growing expectation of it even in our business. Many of our clients are now looking at live streaming as another arrow in their quiver of communication.

In our case, we provide the thought leadership and infrastructure around successful and budget-friendly live streaming solutions. We see this trend only growing with companies all around the Intertubes.

Slate the New Year with Video: 8 Reasons Why

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To use a trite phrase, video usage in the corporate world is at the “tipping point.” Video is now being commonly used within enterprise-sized companies for everything from training to leadership to live streaming. In 2018, we will most likely see video as the primary communication tool within Fortune 500 companies. Many medium and smaller-sized companies will probably follow suit.

External comms has already seen exponential video growth in talent acquisition vignettes, executive messaging, and, of course, marketing.

The reasons for this video explosion in diverse fields as aerospace, grocery, manufacturing, medical, utilities, and specialty chemicals, is multi-fold:

  1. Millennials entering the workforce
  2. More prevalent high-speed internet access
  3. Quicker way to disseminate info
  4. “Sexier” & more engaging than print
  5. Visually-relatable
  6. Easier accessibility through technology, which translates into our business lives
  7. Broader creative expression through virtual and augmented reality
  8. Environmentally-friendly (paperless)

As we transition into the new year, consider how video can positively impact your company's communications.

Talk to you next time … Happy 2018!

Top Reasons We’re Excited About 2018

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Our blog – as most – discusses industry issues and brings to the forefront topics that are of interest to a broad community of marketing & communications folks. Of course, since our bread-and-butter is corporate video production, that is our main focus. However, since this is our final blog of the year, we are going to take a look back … and forward.

It has been quite a year.

On a high level, we continue to deliver best-in-class videos in record time to our clients’ delight; our client partners humble us with their confidence by asking us to support everything from TV & Web commercials, to multi-cam live events, to training, to trade shows, to talent recruitment, to video vignette storytelling projects; we continue to grow our relationship with Fortune 500, 100 & 50 companies, as well as medium and small companies here in Charlotte and around the country.

Highlights

  • Premiered of our first feature-length documentary, Jewish American Soldiers: Stories from WWII, to sold out crowds – we’re looking forward to its broadcast & cable premieres in 2018
  • Awarded two Telly Awards for pieces we produced for Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated & Sealed Air
  • Grew our 4K production & post production capabilities
  • Hired production assistant, Taylor Montalto

Strategic

We continue to look for innovative technologies, processes, and methods to support our client partners. That is our #1 focus. Delivering on our promise of telling their complex and simple stories in a way that is educational, engaging, and entertaining.

We have had a rewarding, busy, and satisfying year. We hope you have too. If you are already a partner, we deeply appreciate your business and never take it for granted; if you are not, we look forward to hearing from you to discuss any and all of your video production communications.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Full Scale Productions. We look forward to an even better 2018.

Talk to you again next year!

10 Tips to Telling a Tale

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When the average person thinks about a documentary film in terms of how it’s put together, they might often have the misconception that it’s developed, filmed, edited, and distributed by a “one man band.” Many think that it’s easier to produce than say your average blockbuster because it involves real people. Surprisingly though, that’s not the case.

Documentary films require a tremendous amount of time and effort, brainstorming ideas that’ll be intriguing to audiences, collecting materials, conducting research, and most importantly, focusing on a topic the filmmaker is passionate about and audiences will appreciate. It takes a lot of thought and care.

Below are some essential tips you should consider when producing a doc:

  1. Topic & interviewees need to be interesting
  2. Storytelling needs to be relatable to audiences
  3. Keep storyline as tight as possible
  4. Make sure your film is educational, engaging, and entertaining
  5. Don’t rush your film to make an arbitrary deadline
  6. Collaborators are important—know what you don’t know. In order to make our documentary film, Jewish American Soldiers: Stories from WWII a success, we needed great researchers, funders, editors, graphic designers, sound designers, etc. There’s no “I” in “documentary”
  7. Keep an open mind to others' ideas in order to produce a better film
  8. Don’t wait for $$$. You need to capture interview and b-roll when your subjects are available. A striking example of this is in our film. We interviewed 12 WWII veterans, however, by the time we premiered the film, three of those “Greatest Generation” veterans had passed
  9. Be careful not to get into too much debt, unless you can afford it
  10. Being organized and having a detailed timeline are crucial

Here are a few questions to think about as you ponder your doc:

  • What topic(s) are you passionate about?
  • What kind of story do you want to tell?
  • What emotion are you trying to evoke?
  • What impact are you hoping to achieve?
  • Who’s your intended audience?

There’s no perfect way to direct & produce a doc. However, following our tips will help with your filmmaking process. It’ll still be an arduous journey, but we’re sure that it will be rewarding.

Please let us know your tips for producing a doc. Talk to you again next time.

Planting a Proverbial Seed on Arbor Day

In 1872 our country celebrated its first Arbor Day on this very day. In Nebraska, it’s estimated that more than one million trees were added to that single state’s landscape that day. With the end of the month upon us, and both Earth Day and Arbor Day occurring in April, we thought we’d take a moment to plant our own proverbial seed. When you think about it, planting a tree, or honoring mother earth by being better stewards of our environment, are both ways of investing in our future. A commitment to communicating with your employees, key stakeholders, and communities accomplishes a similar goal.

If your organization is committed to fostering an open dialogue with its key stakeholders, video tactics are one way of reinforcing that cultural commitment. There’s a reason the old adage, “actions speak louder than words” still resonates today. So, keep this in mind, leveraging video as a tool builds upon a cultural foundation. Not communicating regularly with your key stakeholders is also sending a strong message. Is it one you want to send?

Consider investing in your collective future. Communications you send now are planting that seed for future situations both good and bad. When you’re ready to leverage video to help achieve your communications goals let’s talk.

In the mean time, take a moment and take some action – be it grand or simple – to plant a seed. Talk to you next week.  

Listen Up

Let’s face it. We’re all distracted. We live in a world where we’re increasingly bombarded by digital disruptions at a pace that is truly unprecedented, and it’s just going to get worse. Despite that, a common compliment we receive from our clients is that we’re extremely good listeners. It’s a truly invaluable skill set we work hard to maintain — despite what the digital world throws our way minute-by-minute, day-by-day.

A witticism our team likes to keep top-of-mind is that we each have two ears and one mouth. We take special care to use them proportionately particularly when it comes to the ever-crucial first stages of project meetings with our clients. What you’ll never experience from our team is a hijacking of your valuable time. When we embark on a project with a new or existing client the first stage involves the gathering of information and probing for what you truly want to accomplish with your video. That requires excellent listening skills; otherwise, the end product will not meet — and certainly not exceed — our clients’ expectations, which is the whole point.

Let us put our proven skills to work for you the next time you have a communications goal that could be accomplished by using video. We’ll show you what it means to be a good listener and, in the end, an excellent communicator.

Talk to you next week. In the mean time keep in mind the ratio of ears to mouths in mind.

Madness, Spring Fever & Conference Season

As of Monday, March Madness is officially over, but spring fever is likely running rampant across your employee base and within the walls of your customers’ offices, production facilities and retail locations. It’s also conference “season” of another, more traditional type.

Take a moment out as you revel in this change of season to consider what a video element can add to the next conference your team is hosting, participating in, and/or sponsoring. If you’re still relying solely on PowerPoint to engage with your audience in a conference setting of any size, you’re doing your company, brand, and reputation a significant disservice.

Here’s an example of a conference opener we produced for Varrow. Our team worked closely with their communications professionals and leaders across various functional areas to set the stage (at least in tone and tenor) for an industry conference.

We researched and wrote the script, created the animation and graphics, vetted and directed the voiceover talent, and supervised the creation of a dramatic score. The design of the project included stylized historic visuals illustrating the transformation of Information Technology (IT) throughout history, and used the concept of IT as the first-person narrator for the piece.

Overall, the piece evoked a stylized “found footage” feel. We used a 2.5D approach to animate a number of images, allowing us to efficiently incorporate existing still visuals. Overall, it was a truly exciting creative challenge for our team and Varrow was thrilled with the result. 

What can we do for your conference or other video communications this spring? In the mean time, talk to you next week.  

Get a Jump on Brain Drain

Recent studies that span industries from aerospace to heavy industrial manufacturing reveal one common, and more than slightly disconcerting statistic, a large number of baby boomers that comprise the current engineering and other highly skilled positions in the overall work force, are expected to retire during the next five to seven years. The impact of this mass exodus of talent and experience has the potential to reduce the overall ranks of professionals with deep industry knowledge by approximately 25 percent. In some companies, the percentage of the professional work force that is eligible for retirement today is expected to double over the next five years. In a nutshell it’s called “brain drain” and chances are your company will in some way suffer the side effects of it unless you start now to engage the next generation of talent.

What can you do to proactively reduce this impact? Recruit now and make sure your company knows how to attract the relatively small group of candidates that will be courted by the industry leaders large and small. Here’s one key to a successful plan. Show them your company culture in action and make them want to be part of your team. In a Facebook “Live”, YouTube and Vimeo world if your company does not leverage video to attract candidates you’ll essentially be eclipsed by others who are gathering up the talent right out from under you.

Talk to the human resources and other recruiting professionals in your organization and see what needs they are forecasting in the short and long term and let us help you leverage video to get a jump on it now. A well-produced overall positioning piece that can reside on your company website, be repurposed for trade shows, and be parsed up into web-sized vignettes to post on Facebook and other forms of social media is one investment that can be used multiple ways, and reap multiple benefits.

Let us know how we can help curb the brain drain in your organization, and in the mean time, talk to you next Friday.

Shining a Light on Good Deeds

You might have seen this stat online or in one of our tweets last week, but we thought it was so impressive that we’d devote our Full Scale Fridays blog to the subject.

According to Cisco, video will account for 79% of global web traffic by 2020. That’s a mere three budget seasons away. You might not realize it, but you have stories to share, and it’s time to share them in a way that creates true engagement. Regardless of whether you have 10 employees, 10,000 or 100,000+ your people are out there doing good and giving back to the communities in which they live and work. Share that goodwill and extend its reach.

Corporate social responsibility is part of the cultural fabric of the majority of the companies with whom we work. It’s not just an annual reporting requirement, but a genuine commitment to making their communities just that — true communities — and therefore, better places for everyone. 

Make 2017 the year you thank those among your workforce that are truly making a difference. Leverage video to shine a light on the work they do whether it’s on the job, or on their own time. In a social media environment, the impact of sharing “good news” stories is more powerful than ever before and, according to Cisco, growing substantially every year.

One of our favorite good news stories we’ve produced involved one of Coca Cola’s largest independent distributors, Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated. We covered employees’ reaction to historic floods that hit Nashville and debilitated not only one of the company’s facilities, but the community that makes the work they do there possible. Visit http://www.fullscalepro.com/coca-cola-bottling-co-consolidated/ if you’d like to see the final piece. It’ll inspire you to look for ways to help out in your own hometown in good times and bad.

Talk to you next Friday. In the mean time, find a way to do good today. One small act of kindness and selflessness each day has a huge cumulative effect. And, once you’ve made it a habit, feel free to share what you’ve done! We love to hear good news stories. 

Make 2017 a Year of True Engagement

Video is the new document.

Video is the new document.

At the start of each year, many of our clients are tasked with reaching out across their enterprises to make sure employees are up-to-date with policies and guidelines ranging from codes of conduct, to the brave, still a bit new, world of social media policies and guidelines. If your team is still only issuing these types of mission critical, corporate culture reinforcing documents, 2017 could be the year you up your game and achieve true employee engagement.

Adding a video element to policies and guidelines that require not only annual updates, but also annual dissemination across a broad base of employees, and in most cases key stakeholders, can truly change the level of impact and retention of the expectations set forth in each policy. Think about it, if your social media guidelines were distributed this year across all employees as a video from your founder, CEO or president don’t you think you’d get their attention (and keep it) in a more meaningful way than if you simply had your communications or HR team issue a PDF via e-mail with a deadline by which it had to be reviewed and signed electronically?

As we’ve written in this space, “video is the new document.”

Consult with your video production team on ideas on how to turn your policies and guidelines into “on demand” videos or even trackable, interactive training modules. It’ll set you up for a truly successful new year.

In the meantime, please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover. Talk to you next Friday.