I define branded entertainment as compelling programming with an agenda. As a developer, the first job is to understand that a branded series can’t live without a sponsor or a digital distribution partner. It truly has to be a win-win-win scenario for all involved. To date, I’ve written digital show concepts for Verizon (Nuestra Voz), Nickelodeon (Carpool), Marie Claire (If The Shoe Fits), and many others. Contact me if you’d like to receive branded entertainment writing examples.
Where branded entertainment is produced to reach a wide audience, branded content is designed to target specific demographics, customers, or employees. Gone are the days where “corporate” means unimaginative. There is no rule that says an employee engagement video can’t be unique, a company narrative can’t be emotional, or a facility tour can’t be entertaining. If there was such a rule, I’d be breaking it every day. I listen to the needs and objectives of the client, and write content that is designed to exceed expectations. I make it a habit to produce detailed storyboards, so every decision maker in the firm has a chance to approve the creative direction before shooting begins. I’ve been fortunate to develop content for financial firms, authors, charter schools, and Fortune 500 brands. Clients have included: Nielsen, Andre Walker Hair, Caris Life Sciences, Good Harbor Financial, CMN, and many more.
One of my first jobs in the industry was a post-production producer where I became familiar with every aspect of that process, from rough editing to finishing. I owned a music company for 14 years, and produced a wide range of tracks all around the country. Most recently, I’ve produced motion graphics projects, as well as all of the content pieces I’ve written. I have years of experience casting, finding the right locations, and contracting the best crews for every project. In short – I do whatever it takes to perform at a high level. Clients I’ve produced for include: McDonald’s, HBO, State Farm, Nielsen, Sprint, American Airlines, Chevy, Coca-Cola, and many more.
EDITING | SHOOTING | GRAPHICS
It’s my job to be a good judge of talent with regards to the crew I hire. But the needs of the industry are changing, and as an experienced producer I know I have to adapt to those changes to meet my client’s needs . Parameters such as budget, schedule, and creative direction all come into play when assembling the best team. As brands have embraced digital content, I’ve expanded my offerings. Although I don’t consider myself an editor, I can edit. I’m quite comfortable with Adobe Premiere Pro, and I’ve edited well over 25 pieces of content recently. The We Are Cedar branding piece is an example of a piece I recently wrote, produced, and edited.
The same “can-do” attitude applies for shooting and videography. After spending 20 years in a production environment, I feel comfortable working with rented DSLR cameras, and have a fair understanding of lighting techniques. Again, if the budget allows, and the distribution method demands it, I would contract the best DP for the job. However, I feel confident that my capabilities and creative talents will prove to be the right fit for most digital content.
With regards to graphics, I rely on my extensive experience with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to help me pitch my projects. Once an idea is approved, I then try to find the best vendor to take the concept to another level. I have designed logos and numerous other graphic elements as part of my services, many of which have ended as being client facing branding materials.
(As a work-for-hire, the intellectual property of all original materials stay with my employer/client.)