My pal Tiffany sells funny/geeky objects slathered in science puns and jokes. Her company is NerdyBaby.com. Most of the items are toddler-based, like the ABC flashcards or books.
She wanted to do a big print run for her baby book but needed some funding to bankroll the upfront printing costs. Here is where Kickstarter comes in. She invited me to shoot and edit a video she could use to tell the story to her Kickstarter audience. Campaigns with good videos often do better than the ones without. People spend a lot of money on their videos and we found quite a few video professionals specialize in creating them. We opted to not spend ANY money on the video. Just some good old-fashioned hard work and good intentions. This is where I switch into enabler mode. Let’s take this great idea and run with it.
She showed me a few successful Kickstarter videos and we formed a plan to mimic some of the strategies others used. We even outright mocked the nice lady who jumped up and down on her couch–in a friendly way. I’m sure we didn’t hurt her feelings, her campaign hit over a 1/4 million dollars.
We collaborated on the script with a simple Google Drive document and set out to shoot. I did a very basic guerrilla shoot in her living room. To me, this means, I left a lot of the professional video techniques at home. We used the camera microphone and mostly natural lighting. I did bring in one extra light. You just have to.
We marked out the outline of the script where she could comfortably sit and read the pages and warm up. We’re old, so sitting in front of a camera isn’t second-nature for us. For the shots we needed of Tiffany talking to the camera, we just went for it. I reminded her that we would be doing a lot of editing, so that reassured her a bit. Mistakes and rambling will get us to the end of the shoot. We shot a lot more stories than we ended up using in the final version of the video. The music used is actually a quick track she recorded with her guitar and phone at the last-minute.
After the project started, we talked about her strategies for promoting the campaign. We imagined that after each ‘tent pole’ event in the process, we’d see the graph jump. She made an observation that the graph would look like a little Loch Ness monster and was right on. I encouraged her to draw it out and she illustrated it all in her Day 7 update.
The video worked out well and her campaign was fully funded! After she got the book off to the printer, we celebrated with an afternoon at the expensive pizza parlor (sans children). I had a good time working with Tiffany on this project and I look forward to doing more videos with her and plan to seek out more video opportunities like this one.
What’s your success story? Have you ever needed a video and didn’t know where to begin?