When Creating Videos, Act Like a Child

Most of us remember Tom Hanks playing the role of Josh Baskin in Big. He was an endearing character who tried to navigate a complex, unfamiliar world - and Tom interpreted it so well. Why did we all like the film and storyline so much? We were able to see adulthood through the eyes of a child, and in doing so we experienced authentic, unexpected truths.

So, as you consider video for your company, we recommend you act like a child to get the most out of your content. Here’s why:

 

KIDS SIMPLIFY THE MESSAGE

Phrases like “strategic imperatives” and “paradigm shifts” don’t flow out of the mouths of babes. Kids communicate in straightforward, easily digestible ways because that is how they (and we) talk in our day to day lives. Why treat words in a video differently? Tell it like it is, avoid the buzz words, and focus on clarity of message. Your audience will appreciate it.

How to Use This Insight: Simplify the delivery of your message (even when that message may not be so simple!)

 

KIDS HAVE AUTHENTIC ‘VOICES’

"Where Are the Girls?" video we shot for The Fenn School

It’s often easy to hear the distinctions between scripted vs. unscripted narratives. It may be subtle in the final edit, but it’s there and sometimes hard to mask. What is so great about working with kids is that we, as interviewers, can ask questions and in response we get back words that truly reflect what they think and feel. Those authentic voices give depth to what they’re saying - and for the viewer they resonate as truths. That’s when messages truly get delivered and heard.

How to Use This Insight: When we sit down to interview adults or kids, heads of companies or 4th graders, we strive to put them at ease. We engage with them in conversational talk all while peppering in well thought out questions that advance the storyline. A great example is when we asked a Biotech executive what his child thinks he does. His response – “I tell her that I fix things. So, she thinks I’m a fixer.” It was a perfectly simple way to describe their molecular work to advance patient benefits. This wasn’t a scripted question or answer, but in the flow of our conversations it felt like a right question to ask, and a wonderful way for him to describe at the basic level what his company does. It’s in those moments of conversation where the authenticity shines.

STAT: Video is the #1 content asset consumers would like to see from brands – HubSpot

 

KIDS ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING INTERVIEWED

If we were given a dollar for each time an adult sat down for an interview and said: “I’m not good on camera” or “you’ll have to cut out a lot of this”, we’d have a decent chunk of change. These folks express their hesitance and fear, while apologizing before they even sit down.

Kids, on the other hand, sit down and ask questions about the camera, lights, microphone, and the eye-redirect system (which ‘fools’ the interviewee into thinking that they are looking directly at the interviewer, rather than right down the barrel of the camera). They’re naturally curious about the process, and not trying to anticipate the questions or the answers they'll soon give.

How to Use This Insight: We understand it’s not natural for most people to sit down for an interview. That’s why we find it so important to start a discussion and engage at a personal level. After a few minutes they soon forget they are being interviewed, and we start having a regular conversation. In fact, most often adults are pleasantly surprised when they get up from their chair at the end of the interview. While they may not have had a fun time, it was at the very least somewhat enjoyable!

 

KIDS ARE UNGUARDED

When words flow from kids, they are oftentimes joined by amazing body language. Laughs, shrugs, wrinkled brows, sly grins, darting eyes, slight leans forward… all these physical expressions are palpable, and it makes for great content.

Adults are so much more guarded.

How to Use This Insight: In our interviewing style we shift from ‘Q&A’ to ‘conversations’ in hopes of getting those natural soundbites and body language. That audio/visual combination is so powerful for the viewer to experience, and when it happens the words take on added meanings. The viewer engages more with the content. And the messages resonant and become more memorable. Which is of course the ultimate goal of video content.

STAT: Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.

 

KIDS AREN’T CRITICAL OF THE WORDS THEY USE

Authentic answers are gold. These moments come more naturally for kids because they aren’t afraid of what they said, or what they will say.

We all like to try a second take to nail a soundbite. We want to be perfect on camera. But in doing so we sometimes lose a little bit of authenticity along the way.

How to Use This Insight: Don’t be worried about what you say during the interview… the editors will cut out moments that don’t work well. When we shoot, we use two cameras just for this exact purpose of making the removal of umms, ahs, misplaced words, etc. seamless to the viewer. Our goal is to tell the story through the lens of those talking, and ensuring you all look and sound great along the way.

 

Interested in learning more about Copper Hound Pictures’ approach to great video content?

Drop us a line to connect, Like the post, or pick up the phone and call. We’d love to hear from you. And if we can collaborate in the future, even better.

Thanks for reading!

Tim Llewellyn