Harnessing the Superpower of Visual Storytelling — Q&A with Our Video Partner Theo Fatseas

by Rebecca Thurlow, 30 September 2020

“Seeing is believing” is more than just a cliché. Humans are highly visual creatures. That makes video a powerful tool to engage an audience and communicate ideas. Research from Brightcove found more than half of all consumers and 66% of millennials reported engaging with a brand after viewing a video on social media. As businesses catch on to the medium’s potential, video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics.

During COVID-19, this trend is accelerating. The amount of time people spend online is surging and much of what they are consuming is video. A Nielsen study reveals a 60% increase in the video content watched globally. During these challenging times, the power of video to forge emotional connections makes it a valuable tool for building trust, strengthening relationships, and providing guidance to customers and investors – who are hungry for information, analysis, and reassurance.

At Honner, we partner with videographer Theo Fatseas to produce highly effective videos for our clients. The Honner team will help with the planning and scripting of your video and make sure you get your messaging right. Our experienced hosts can showcase the expertise of your spokespeople in on-screen interviews. And because we know appearing onscreen can be daunting, we offer digital media training, so you always look and sound your best. The filming and editing are handled by Theo, who delivers high production values and employs sophisticated film-making techniques to engage and connect with your target audience.

Theo is a former documentary maker who now produces corporate videos, including for the Livewire Markets platform, and is therefore a great fit for our financial services clients who want to reach out to their customers and investors with high quality visual content.  In this Q&A with Honner, Theo shares some insights on making compelling videos that resonate with audiences.

What elements of documentary making do you bring to your videos?

My experience as a documentary maker has given me an appreciation of the importance of authenticity and realism. When I look down the lens, I can tell if a person needs more direction, or if we need a second take. I can put myself in the shoes of the audience.

Another big part of it is understanding story structure. Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end. When I’m filming, and when I’m piecing the video together during the editing phase, I’m keenly aware of the need to create a hook at the start to capture the audience and give people a taste of what they are about to see. Then you have the main body of the story, your Act 2, where you flesh out the concepts you introduced at the start. Act 3 is the closing – now that I’ve told you all this, what does it mean for the audience?

After a lifetime of conditioning from watching films and TV, people expect to be engaged. They want and expect the hook. They want to be invested in a video. If those boxes are not ticked, then you are making them do extra work.

Do you have any tips on what speakers can do to ensure a good onscreen performance?

Your performance on camera can mean the difference between being engaged and genuine or being boring and contrived. It’s a good idea to get some media training if you’re not experienced. You want to present as if you are talking to a person in a natural conversation.  While filming, actively imagine you are talking to a person one-on-one.

Is shorter always better?                         
                                                                  

When we started doing videos for LiveWire, the target length was 2-3 minutes. Now some go to 18 minutes. It depends on the content and how engaging it is. Mobile devices mean people can watch anytime so keeping it short isn’t as important anymore.

Longer videos don’t get watched during work hours – people will watch them during personal time. This suits videos that are made for a general audience.

A long video can be engaging if it has stock footage and attention to story structure, and a great, succinct presenter. An 18-minute video we made for Livewire Markets during the GFC went viral because it was very dramatic and talked about financial markets being on the brink of collapse.

How long does it take to produce a video?

It depends on the video. For an “About Us” style video, production would take a few weeks from the time of filming. A straight interview can be turned over in 24 hours. Something super urgent can be shot and edited on the premises, which is sometimes necessary with crisis management videos such as during COVID-19.

How are you operating during COVID?

I have been doing a lot of shooting in people’s homes. Some people are supplying me with video shot on iPhone or Zoom and asking me to edit it, but in terms of quality, you can’t beat old school camera and microphone. I’m now starting to return to shooting on location in the city.

If you’d like more information on using video to engage and communicate with your customers and enhance your brand, contact us at honner@honner.com.au

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