I define branded entertainment as compelling programming with an agenda. As a developer, the first job is to understand that a branded series (1) has to entertain its audience, (2) can’t live without a sponsor, and (3) must have a successful digital distribution partner or social media strategy. It truly has to be a win-win-win scenario for all involved. I take the time to understand the goals of the sponsor to ensure their messaging is properly infused into the content. I perform research, I dive deep into the RFP (if provided), and I write to move the audience on an emotional level. If I can make someone laugh, cry, be inspired, or look at something with a fresh perspective, I know that in the end the content will be shared and the client’s message will be amplified. 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, Sprint, Donlen Corporation, Andre Walker Hair, Caris Life Sciences, Good Harbor Financial, CMN Events, and many more.
Today’s tighter budgets have forced clients to hire producers who can wear many hats. I believe my background of experience lends itself to the changing needs of the industry. Back in 1994, I served as a post-production producer, where I became familiar with every aspect of the video post-production process, from estimates and rough editing to color correction and audio post. In 1996 I launched a music company and served as an executive producer for a wide range of music pieces and radio commercials. I’ve produced motion graphics projects using Cinema 4D, After Effects, and other programs. Finally, I’ve been the executive producer on dozens of productions. I have years of experience casting, finding the right locations, and contracting the best crews for every project.
EDITING | SHOOTING | GRAPHICS
As an experienced producer I know I have to adapt to the needs of my clients. 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. I’ve edited well over 30 pieces of content recently on Adobe Premiere Pro. The We Are Cedar branding piece is an example of a piece I wrote, produced, and edited. I have used the cloud based 2D animation platform GoAnimate to also help tell my client stories. Check out the program and let me know if a whiteboard animation,business friendly characters, or video infographics, are a creative solution for your next piece of content.
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.)