I’m on a committee planning a wonderful event called the Digital Educator and Personalized Learning Academy (DEPLA) to be held in June. I volunteered to create a commercial to promote the event.
I was really excited to reach into my video production skills which were somewhat dormant. With my coproducer Candy McGregor we developed an engaging storyboard and script. My good camera and wireless mic were charged up and ready to go. An energetic coworker (Sarah Peterson) volunteered to act and we received permission to shoot on location at the coffee shop in the lobby of our building-which is run by older students who are learning job skills.
When we arrived to record during our lunch break, the coffee shop manager looked at our props (unusual coffee ingredients) and stated flatly that we couldn’t use them. He said that they misrepresented what was served at the coffee shop and that people might become confused and start requesting these unusual ingredients. (Producers Note: we deliberately chose these ingredients to bring in an unexpected element to the commercial-see Made to Stick.)
Rather than put up a fight with the manager or drop this engaging idea, I quickly shifted to plan b-the ever awaiting backup plan ingrained into my life. We headed upstairs to a staff kitchen and quickly rewrote the script and storyboard. Gone was the dialogue with the barista, now replaced with a monologue. A new establishing shot/sequence was created and newly found props were incorporated. Here is the finished product:
Lessons learned: Always have a backup plan. Always be ready for improvisation. Work with folks who are willing to collaborate and improvise with you.
In creating a second commercial this week, we decided to build from the original video. We used the ingredients metaphorically as Sarah read the new lines in a voiceover. To add to the continuity (Nita would be proud of me) I shot still phoots of all the ingredients in their originally viewed bowls and re-used the tag appeal by another volunteer- Dale Downing who has an awesome announcer voice. Here is commercial #2:
By the way, for video persons out there who might want to know, the first commerical was edited with Adobe Premiere and the second one with Camtasia.
Do you have questions or comments? Please add to this blog or contact me directly. THANKS!