This past winter I created a profile film and delivered some additional assets for my friends at Parkgate Financial Group.
Parkgate is a company that truly cares about it’s clients. Phil Grimes, the founder of Parkgate Financial, is one of the most straight-forward and friendly individuals that I have ever met. He conducts business with compassion for his clients, going above and beyond to ensure that they are well taken care of. Not only is he a successful business man, he is also a CAS success story, having been a crown ward living on his own since he was 15 years old.
This project allowed me to take a new approach in story telling. Instead of just rhyming off all of the services that Parkgate offers, I decided to tell Phil’s story, which fostered a more personal and emotional piece. I’m a firm believer that every audience is intelligent and discerning. Any client will understand that Parkgate offers financial services, and if they are taking the time to watch a profile film, they want to learn something new or valuable about the business. In this case, Parkgate’s potential clients are able to recognize how Phil’s past has helped to define the quality services that he offers today.
The Ask: Create a profile film that establishes a disruptive presence for Parkgate focusing on Phil’s story, and his commitment to his clients. This project also called for additional video cuts and a website build.
Purpose: Phil wanted a tool that would allow him to share his story with his current and future clients. It’s hard for Phil to sit down with every single customer and go over his personal experiences. This video helped to humanize his services, and Phil has said that many of his current clients really responded to his inspirational story. A secondary purpose was to drive traffic towards www.parkgatefinancial.ca.
A Note About Profile Videos
Profile videos make up a large majority of my past projects and they are a lot of fun to create. You can view my blog about John Leender’s profile video to see another example. The modern profile video is an emerging and interesting form of media. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to create one, but there is a big difference between a decent profile video and a great profile video. My belief is that a profile video is not meant to be viewed by a large audience – I’m not aiming for thousands of hits. To me, the profile video is a sales tool that helps close a deal or solidify a relationship between businesses and consumers. It is meant to be watched by a small group of customers that have already done their research and are looking for another reason to close the deal.
When a potential lead is viewing a website or video, they are often looking at a few companies deciding how to best spend their money – or in this case – where to invest their money. If that potential customer has to choose between a company that has a profile video and a company that doesn’t, that customer is likely going to choose the company that has put a face to the name. The profile video allows a company to say directly to the viewer that they stand behind their quality, and that they care about their clients. These videos are just one extra tool in the sales process that helps a business lock down their next sale.
So to summarize, it’s about telling a simple story and helping potential customers understand who is behind the business and what they value. I aim to create a piece that introduces a business simply based off their strengths and their character – helping each business to develop a simple video persona. It’s not about all the things that you stock in your inventory, it’s about really connecting with your audience and building a new relationship.
Like most of my profile videos, this was a complete turn-key project. Early on I used my story-telling documents to nail down the story and create a treatment. During production I shot and directed the piece, with Sabrina assisting me on most shoot days. In post I edited one master profile film, embedded at the top of the post, and two additional cuts. This project also allowed me to use a new color grading tool for the first time called Film Convert. Film Convert really helped out with some of the white balance issues that I dealt with moving between each environment. I really pulled it back to give it a soft visual, avoiding a dramatic film look.
Another great aspect of this profile video was the music production. I wrote and recorded the song for this project. This value add allows Phil to not have to worry about music licensing as it is all done in house. I’d say about 25-50% of my projects have original in-house music composed and recorded.
Finally, this project also allowed me to create a simple WordPress site for Parkgate. It was time for Phil to have a stronger online presence, and this project was the perfect opportunity to create a clear and easy to navigate site.
This is the project that spawned an earlier blog post about shooting in tight locations. Profile videos tend to be shot in a very run-and-gun documentary style, which means I never have much control over the environment. Being able to run around with my Mono pod and quickly change my framing is essential for being able to capture each moment in an authentic way. For these types of projects I usually try and create a real meeting or interaction, and then constantly shift as the action unfolds.
This project allowed me to do a lot of glide-cam work, which produced some of my favourite shots. The C100 is a lot heavier than the camera’s I had put on the glidecam previously, and I think I’m really close to needing a vest. My right arm was jello after tracking shots. For my motion shots I used the Glidecam HD 4000.
A list of the primary gear used on this shoot:
- Canon C100
- Canon Lenses; 24-105mm L lens
- Rode Video Mic Pro & Shure Sm7b
- Manfrotto 561BHDV Monopod
- Glidecam HD 4000
- Husky LED worklights
- 2x 5-1 light reflector kits
Notes and Takeaway
This project also allowed for two additional cuts:
1) A shorter marketing piece that focuses on business rather than Phil’s story
2) A short piece focusing on Phil’s involvement in the community
- I reversed the electric guitar lead in the beginning of the video for fun, and it lined up so well that I decided to keep it. I love the feel of that reversed part and how it aligns with the emotional intro of the video
- Around the halfway mark in the video you see Phil walk towards a house to sit down with a family – this proved to be a difficult shoot in terms of white balance as the light kept changing from different lamps and outdoor light. The mixing temperatures really gave me a hard time, and in the future I want to control the lighting in those situations a little better. Sometimes it’s hard to find that balance of creating a real situation and then setting up a bunch of lights. Each new shoot is another lesson learned.
- Phil’s project led to working with another financial group focused on the corporate side of the businesses – those video’s will be coming out this summer
Profile videos can be a powerful tool that help you to tell a story to a targeted group of people. They help to humanize your business, and they give you an opportunity to think outside the box and capture something that can really connect with the everyday person. When crafting a profile video, don’t worry about all the fine details of what you offer, you’re potential customers probably have some general idea about what you do. You should be creating a piece that gives them another reason to pick up the phone and build a relationship with you. The piece should communicate who you are, what you value, and why that matters.