Another look into how we do things at JECP
These days we're rocking some pretty nice gear, have a solid team, and stretching our creativity further than I ever imagined. None of this is our selling point, though. I remember early on being questioned on what camera and resolution we would film in or elaborating on what lighting we would rent. I still love gear and find it essential in executing our creative treatments, but I also know it doesn't communicate our value. Our value lies within the experience we create for our clients.
This is exactly where I start with each project and why we emphasize artist discovery calls to kick things off. It lets us get to know each other, lays the groundwork for the project we are setting out to make, and gathers enough information to quote a project appropriately. In working with Enemies and Allies (North Carolina), they were out of state, still new (as this group), and gathering a few quotes. It's always exciting bringing an artist from a few states away into Ohio for a JECP production, but it takes work, focus, and intention.
Each time we have these opportunities, we know it takes a lot more work initially but pays off long-term. We could have worked as the cheapest option or pushed our RED at them or even mentioned Ohio HD's incredible facilities, but these are only the specs and not what they truly needed. The reality is they can get all of these things anywhere. What makes us unique is how we diagnose a project and design it for utility.
On our kick-off call, Alex and I chatted about things ranging from the meaning of the band, his and their goals, past video experiences, what drew them to us, the state of the music industry, what they need for marketing, and a few DIY tips for them as a team and how they could add value to heir own video project. All of this information helped me to realize what they needed. Our proposal focused on delivering two music videos and a high-volume content deliverables project, totaling 200+ assets (BTS Photo & Video, Music Videos, Stills, GIFs, and Teasers).
Newer artists need to feed their audience, so that's why we wanted to approach the project his way. While that's the deliverables, we also wanted to make sure the visuals were on brand. They already had a few videos in the pipeline that were DIY and effective. So instead of designing a project way outside of the box, we built upon what already existed. Our most significant focus was the band and their energy. Both music videos consist of band performances sprinkled with a simple storyline (b-roll). One video was more emphasized on single members (Boiling Point) and embraced a darker and more aggressive approach through cinematography, lighting, and performances. The other music video (Unannounced) was more elegant and open, so we emphasized a cleaner look with two lighting setups and staging the band together. These videos were brought together through color, fashion, and storylines (Joe Huck).
Once we've done the work to earn our client's trust in initial calls, designing a project that meets needs and is creativity exciting, we can start working towards making it real in pre-production and lead into production. I know for most, the experience is emphasized on production, but what allows us to create repeat business or take a new client through our process (even states away) is knowing their experience starts from the first call until the project is delivered.
I expect every new client to be hesitant. Video costs a lot, and it can easily be a waste of money or an investment. Also, just because the video turns out visually great doesn't mean it's a good experience. It's taken years to realize this, but spending the time on a good customer experience has helped us create better relationships, repeat business, and is a lot more fun. An additional byproduct is helping our clients realize their potential and even develop a sense of self-worth.
We're grateful for our projects with Enemies and Allies and excited to see them release and their band to keep growing and eventually revisit another project together. They embraced our process, gave incredible feedback, collaborated, and weren't afraid to do the work. We still have a video to release down the road, which will get a little extra love. For now, give the BTS video a watch and see how we made this possible through teamwork.
Director | Ross Theisen
Producer, DP & Sr Editor | Josh Emerick
Camera Operator | Noah Hines
Lighting Wizard | Trevor O'Neal
BTS Video | Drew Hiles
PA + BTS Photo | Adam Sines
Talent | Joe Huck
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