Forum Replies Created

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  • John Morley

    July 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm in reply to: Concept Help

    Dear Dijith,

    Thank you for your kind words. For your corporate video, consider telling a specific story that illustrates an overall benefit you provide to customers. If you don’t have a customer that agrees to you using their name, use a fictitious company:

    “The XYZ Corporation (a fictitious company typical of our real customers) had problem A, causing consequences B. Through the use of our product C, their problem A was solved and they were able to enjoy improved quality, lower cost, environmental compliance, or whatever.
    To learn how your company’s story can have a happy ending, contact one of our sales engineers now for a free consultation.”

    Flesh out the story with just enough facts and figures to show that you understand the current realities of the market and are focused on providing benefits to your customers. Customers care more about benefits to them and their happy ending, specifications are just details to work out once negotiations begin.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    May 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm in reply to: Soon.

    Thanks Mark,

    Thanks for getting this moving. I look forward to working with you on many more.

    “If it ain’t in the script, it ain’t on the screen.”


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    January 27, 2012 at 4:57 am in reply to: Internet Explorer….ugh

    On another issue:

    When I clicked the contact button, running Firefox on Mac, the following error displayed:

    Firefox doesn’t know how to open this address, because the protocol (email) isn’t associated with any program.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    May 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm in reply to: Working with Non-Actor Actors

    Dear Shaun,

    Although Mark has already provided good advice on how to do this, my advice is that, if you need them to play a role they do not do in real life, don’t do it at all, which is pretty much what Mark is getting at in his concluding paragraph: it’s false economy to not hire professionals.

    The only effective way to use amateurs is to have them do what they normally do the way they normally do it, then work with what you get. Asking them to read a script virtually ensures a wooden performance and many retakes. For example, real salespeople who may be able to model good selling skills would probably not be able to exchange scripted banter between each other.

    Another problem with using real people is that, although they may be good at what they do, they may not necessarily do it exactly the way management would now like new employees to learn. So you’re backed into asking non-professional talent to break old habits and learn new tricks, while under the pressure of being in front of a camera. It’s usually easier to just have professional talent read the approved words exactly as management wants it done.

    Using dramatizations does not preclude incorporating real people into the show, thereby improving credibility. Interviews with real people could be intercut with dramatizations using professional talent. Or segments of real salespeople going through role-plays could be intercut with dramatizations to demonstrate variations on specific sales techniques.

    Group discussion segments could show salespeople discussing their opinions. Every major conclusion they reach could then become a setup for a dramatization. Or the dramatizations could be intercut with segments in which the real salespeople comment on the sales technique just demonstrated, specifically commenting on the credibility of the dramatization the audience has just seen.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    January 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm in reply to: Software for writing treatments

    Thanks for your interest Larry,

    I have sent samples to the email address you provided. Best of luck with your script and let me know if I can help you further.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    January 3, 2009 at 3:23 pm in reply to: Forms are the DEVIL!!

    Thanks Dan,
    These are inspiring, both in message and level of creativity. And are a refreshing contribution to a discussion of making written documents visual. I only wish this was the type of work I did for a living.

    At the risk of being the curmudgeon on this post, I also feel compelled to point out that the purpose of these two pieces is different from the challenge that Perrone is facing, and is being discussed here.

    These two pieces are to inspire; to convey a philosophy of life and social contract. The challenge addressed by this post–at least as I understand it–is to introduce and provide context for the tools of a trade, which happen to be forms. This is arguably the essence of the difference between training and educating: teaching specific cognitive skills as opposed to teaching general understanding.

    Using this approach when your audience wants training would be a disconnect on several levels. It could be effective in presenting the organization’s mission statement, or an introduction to the training that stresses professionalism and commitment to serving your client, your community and the wider world. But not the best choice for pointing out what form to use for which purpose.

    No creative approach is always the best choice. And I feel thankful that the approach demonstrated by these pieces on human rights is a good choice at least some of the time.

    Happy New Year.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    December 26, 2008 at 7:01 pm in reply to: Forms are the DEVIL!!

    Dear Perrone,

    As much as I admire a commitment to innovation and creativity, and am impressed by Mark’s suggestions for creative approach, sometimes the client is actually right. One person’s “boring form” and “the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen” is another person’s livelihood. The form is inherently interesting to them or they wouldn’t be watching the video: Show ’em the form!

    The fact that our audiences compare anything on a screen with primetime TV and feature films is too often misinterpreted to mean informational video needs to throw in the same “creative” tricks. The real lesson to take home is that our work needs to involve the audience. If your audience works with these forms, they’re involved already. Well-intended effort to make the show more “entertaining” may leave them wondering “what was that all about,” and complaining, “why can’t they just tell us what we need to know…plain and simple.”

    Fresh from school, with the “rule” that you tell a story with close-ups fresh in my head, I was running a video studio at a community college. When a dance class came in for a taping, we opened with an establishing shot then went to a visually poetic series of faces, feet, arms, legs, all flowing gracefully. They hated it. “I want to see them dance,” the teacher said. So we basically locked down the camera on a wide short, then followed an individual dancer in a full shot now and then. We were bored, they were delighted.

    What we and our video buddies think is award winning, may not serve our audience. That means we aren’t doing our job. And that means our clients won’t be coming back.

    If your client–and more importantly the audience–wants to take a good long look to imprint the form in their memory, while a voiceover explains what this is and why they should care, deliver on their expectations. Make it clean. Make it professional. Make it easy for them to do their job.

    You may consider showing each form in three steps: Establish it full frame. Highlight the form title. While holding the form full frame, create a corner insert showing a zoom-in to a close-up of the previously highlighted title. It’s not flashy but may be exactly what they want.

    I don’t know enough about your specific situation to make specific suggestions. And my little rant may be off the mark on this one. But any time I see a focus on creative approach without a thorough review of goals and training objectives, I sense another production that the creators are eager to enter into contests and the indented audience refuses to watch.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    December 9, 2008 at 8:06 pm in reply to: Concept Help

    Mark Suszko: “some free ideas to riff off of: ”

    Mark has some great creative ideas here. My concern is that you’re picking out the vehicle before you understand what needs to be hauled. One of the primary factors behind video failure (and the reputation as “fluff” that has recently started an extensive discussion in the Business and Marketing forum) is the “brilliant” creative that has little to do with the goals and objectives of the piece.

    Using the word “gimmick” is a sure tip off that not enough “creative” thought has yet gone into the message that needs to be delivered. The first step toward developing a strong creative is to forget about the creative. Focus first on what it needs to accomplish: Is this a computer that meets all the needs of an individual? Meets the needs of disparate members of a business or a family? Helps work groups share files from around the world? Are customer needs focused on databases? Gaming? Shopping? Reliability? Cost? How is the company and this specific product positioned in its market? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the competition?

    It’s the goals and objectives of the piece that need to be carefully identified to drive the creative. The more work you do there, the easier it becomes to select the most appropriate creative approach. Mark has given you a fine buffet, now you need to get absolutely sure of what your client and their customers are ravenous for in order to make your selection.

    “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
    —Yogi Berra, baseball player, manager, (b) 1925


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    December 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm in reply to: Is corporate video relevant today and how ?

    “We were continually caught off-guard by the disdain they had for their former consultants and agencies.”
    — Chris Blair

    Thank you for the point of clarification, Chris. My intention was to suggest adding the value rather than assuming the title. You probably shouldn’t add “consultant” to your business card, unless it says something like Accenture on it already.

    The baggage that comes with the term (borrows your watch to tell you what time it is, etc.) is arguably too much to carry and unfortunately well deserved by the type of consultants who are long on pontification and short on results. At the same time, the value added by a “good” consultant solves real problems and is some times even appreciated.

    At a workshop for consultants held by ASTD (Assn. for Training and Development) one of the key trends emphasized is that consultants who would prefer to continue getting work need to do “real work.” Not just list out what other people need to do but actually craft the design documents, scripts, storyboards, facilitator guides, Web sites, PowerPoint presentations; and yes, shoot and edit the video.

    In this era of doing more with less, authority for decision making, and thinking strategically, is increasingly being pushed down to the folks doing the actual work. Prospering in this environment means demonstrating to your clients that by hiring you, they don’t need to hire anyone else to keep you–and them–out of trouble. That’s what I was suggesting, regardless of the words you use to convey it to your clients.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

  • John Morley

    December 5, 2008 at 5:00 pm in reply to: Is corporate video relevant today and how ?

    As a coda to Mark’s coda, counseling a client to not do a video could actually be a strategy for up selling rather than losing work. Depending on the breadth of the services you offer, you may be able to propose a more comprehensive approach to the problem at hand: an extended marketing promotion, a training package, regularly scheduled employee communications. At least some of which becomes more revenue for you. And there’s always the possibility that this broader thinking may then lead to a video that is actually justified.

    And in any case, as established elsewhere in this thread, positioning yourself as a consultant, who understands your client’s business and takes initiative in adding value–or preventing mistakes–is one of your best strategies for building loyalty and increasing revenue.


    John Morley
    Author of Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos
    John@OriginalVision.com

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