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Producing in My Pajamas: Adventures in Remote Production (Part 2 – Remote Production 2.0)

(This is a continuation of Producing in My Pajamas Part 1.)

Once upon a pandemic, San Francisco Travel had the opportunity to interview five local celebrities: Coach Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Mayor London Breed, Lexi Pence (YouTube Personality), Hunter Pence (Former San Francisco Giant), and Francis Ford Coppola (Winemaker and Director).  The twist?  San Francisco was on lockdown, and that was only the first challenge of many that we needed to ninja our way around to make this happen.

With this prospect, they wanted to create a hero video that would speak to their COVID recovery messaging and use of the tagline “Our Gate is Open™.”  Given that this was a once-in-a-lifetime...

Producing in My Pajamas: Adventures in Remote Production (Part 1 – Remote Production 1.0)

It was March 2020, I was mentally preparing for a busy season of video production. Undoubtedly, I would be whisked away to any number of different destinations through the end of the year, staying in countless hotels and racking up all those frequent flyer miles. As I was making a mental note of my travel “must-haves” to preemptively pack in preparation for what we were predicting would be a busy season, I caught an earful of the news. The NBA was postponing their season because of COVID-19.  Um…what?

Yes, the virus became real for me when professional sports decided to shut-it-down. And while the first few weeks working remotely proved a welcome respite from the slog to and from the office and having to dress like a grown adult, as the weeks ticked by it became clear that we were going to have to pivot and pivot HARD in order to keep...

The Watch Journey

You shot a killer video that the whole world needs to see.  You uploaded it to YouTube, anxiously waited a week before you checked your analytics for the stream of validation that surely would descend upon you as you see hundreds, nay, thousands of views rack up.  Your expectations are undoubtedly high -- hundreds of minutes of watch time.  Thousands of followers who will like, share and continue to fill your comment stream with a seemingly endless fount of praise.  And this, THIS video will be what vaults your destination into the stratosphere of YouTube fame as influencers beg to work with you and VidCon books you as one of its keynote speakers.

Except…no one seems to be watching your video.  Your analytics show a pitiful handful of viewers who stopped watching only a few seconds in.  Wah waaaaaaaaah.

What...

Online Video and the Importance of Storytelling

After a rousing weekend in Anaheim attending VidCon 2018, I’m happy to say -- long live the King! Storytelling still reigns supreme in the world of online video. And, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to, well, anyone. After all, humans are hardwired for storytelling. For as far back as we’ve existed on this planet, stories have been shared and passed down through generations—cave drawings, ancient religious texts – it’s as if storytelling is embedded in our DNA.

“Without stories, humanity would not exist. Stories help us explain our view of the world and share that with others to bind us as communities.”

(Cassie Roma, VidCon 2018)

In the realm of destination marketing, great stories can form the building blocks of trust, and trust is what motivates and persuades us to act (or book). As evidenced by the staggering...

…It’s Why They’re Called “The Talent”

Back in the day, I got roped into being in a bunch of fun, silly, behind-the-scenes videos that chronicled our shenanigans on the road – emphasis on the shenanigans.  Being one without shame, I have no problem being the slap-stick humorist, the self-deprecator on camera.  Maybe laughter is the mask I hide behind, but why is it that some people are born photogenic and some of us, well, look like a seasick walrus* on-camera even when trying not to be funny?

You’ve heard of someone having that “IT” factor, that certain je ne sais quoi.  Be in the presence of someone famous (even when you don’t know they’re famous) and you’re likely to find that there’s something magnetic about them.  But even among mere mortals, true talent has something there that transcends the boundaries of teachable skills or good looks (though that doesn’t hurt either).  It’s like the camera has this magic decoder that can peer inside the inner sanctums of the soul, or something.