How did we get clients that wanted the kind of work we truly wanted to produce?
The other day, I was on a Zoom call with a young filmmaker who asked me how we transitioned from doing “typical” videos to story-driven films.
As many of you know, Stillmotion’s early days were immersed in the wedding world. Way before the NFL Network and CBS came along, we had the honor of playing a part in people’s most joyous moments. Their nuptuals.
In the beginning, our approach was to just make nice-looking imagery. And it was fun. We constantly challenged ourselves by trying new techniques, buying up new gear, and pushing the limits on what had been done in the industry. And while it definitely got us some attention for being innovative, looking back, I have to admit that the videos we were making were pretty much devoid of story. There was absolutely nothing about the couple in there. It was just about flashy, pretty pictures.
And eventually it got old. We needed more. Buying new equipment wasn’t cutting it anymore. We needed to dig deeper. And when we started to really think about story, about who our characters were, and how we were going to make films that really took you on a journey, it was really exciting. For us, anyway.
But there a problem. We had a year’s worth of couples about to get married who had signed on with us for flashy pictures, not deep stories. They were expecting glamour, not depth. And that meant if we shot their wedding the way we really wanted to, we would actually be disappointing them. And that’s bad business… not to mention, kind of breaking a promise.
What do you do when you’re stuck with one kind of client and you want to attract an entirely new kind that wants what you REALLY do?
Here’s how we tackled it. And it applies to weddings, commercial work, video, photo… pretty much any context.