Josh Wilson - Director, Cinematographer, Editor

The (Almost) Daily Post

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Filmmaking for me is always aiming for the imaginary and never achieving it.

Peter Jackson

Filmmaking is incredibly introspective. It forces you to sort of examine yourself in new ways

Drew Goddard

Building a Website

This is Part 4 of an ongoing series of an indeterminate length about starting a new production company. I don’t really have a pre-planned structure for this (although that might not be a bad idea). Catch up by reading Part 1, 2, & 3.

As I mentioned in my last update, great production companies have a clear process for their projects from the very first contact to beyond the deliverables. For most of us, our clients get their first impression from our websites, and quite frankly I’ve put up terrible websites in the past. It’s not that the website was ugly or didn’t render in a browser properly or something like that. They have all been competently built and looked great. But they didn’t actually work. And this time around I wanted to do this right – for our website to actually pull it’s weight and get potential clients to become actual clients.

So I went looking for some help, and Storybrand was the place I turned to. They have a fantastic three part series on building a website that works well. And it’s free. Because they are awesome. You can watch it yourself at 5MinuteMarketingMakeover.com.

The short version is this: the single most important thing for your website to do is to clarify what you do for your potential clients and get them to act.

So simple, but so very unusual for us in the production world. We want to show our best work, talk about our artistic vision, etc. etc. It’s all about us. Here’s the thing:

Our. Clients. Don’t. Care.

What they do care about is answering the questions “Can they make a video for us?”, “What will they be like to work with?”, and “How do I get the process started?”

The rest – colors palette, font choice, etc. – is secondary. Important, yes, but secondary, and all in support of the message.

This is just like video production. In motion pictures, story is king. Everything else – cinematography, casting, art design, score – is secondary and serves the story. If you loose the story all the rest is pointless.

So we started with our website, honed it in, and built it to be a clear message of what we do (we make videos) and serve as a call to action for our clients. And that call to action kicks off the next part of our client journey which we will touch in our next update.

Staring Down a Rhino

Rhino in the road

Black Rhino, India, May 2001.

Stared us down for 20 minutes, until our guide decided to move it along. He and one of the more adventurous of our group bushwhacked up the right side to within 20 feet before yelling and throwing branches to startle it away.

You can always make a film somehow. You can beg, borrow, steal the equipment, use credit cards, use your friends’ goodwill, wheedle your way into this or that situation. The real problem is, how do you get people to see it once it is made?

Walter Murch