Tag: web series

Why Your Company Needs A Video Series

A video series can accomplish much more than a one-off video where a viewer may never return to your company after watching it. A web series that’s relevant to your audience will help you build a relationship with them. And that’s the number one reason why your company needs a video series.

Related: using natural light for your documentary video production.

The 3 main types of video series you should consider:

  • Documentary, also called docu-style or docuseries
  • Narrative, a scripted drama or comedic series or a combination of the two
  • Talk show

What’s the best format for a video series?

The best type of episodic video series that might be best for your company depends on your product or service and what exactly you want to accomplish.

A video series can have a limited number of episodes like 5 or 6 or be on-going. How many episodes would be best for a docuseries or talk show completely depends upon your situation.

Scripted narrative series with actors cost much more to produce and more time to organize, so the number of episodes are usually limited.

cutting hemp paper in an episode of a video series on hemp
Erica Halverson cuts hemp paper in an episode of the docuseries Hemp Already directed & produced by Greg McDonald

Documentary or Docu-style series

A docu-style series is a very popular format and probably the best format for a lot of businesses. Docuseries are huge right now and have been for awhile. They’re all over networks, cable and streaming services.

A docuseries follows a person around or a group of people like the shows Duck Dynasty or Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Or a docuseries can center around a business like Pawn Stars. The idea is to document the lives of the people involved and to give the viewing public an inside look into their unique world.

Related: Hemp Already video series.

How does the Kardashians apply to my business?

You might be thinking, ‘well that’s great but how can I apply a show like the Kardashians to my company?’ Easy. Docuseries are simply a day-in-the-life.

First decide who’s point-of-view would it be best to tell the story from. Would it be best to feature an employee or a partner? Or would it be best to feature a customer and show how they use your product or service in their daily life to make it better.

Related: aliens and selfie addiction on Amazon Prime Video.

Docuseries example

For example, maybe you’re a fitness equipment manufacturer and you want to document a customer’s 6 week journey to better health by using your product. So you film them throughout the 6 weeks, releasing 1 video a week. The show’s story arc would feature your customer’s progress from week to week with the finale showing the dramatic change by week 6.

woman at the beach in an episode of a business video series on hemp

Or you’re in the customizing car business and your chief car technician is a rock star in that world. You have a never ending stream of unique cars that come in the shop along with the interesting characters that own them that you want to feature throughout the year.

So you film on an on-going basis and release 2 videos a month. Each episode featuring a different car and owner and aspect of customization.

As a great example, the credit card processing company Square produced a fantastic docuseries a couple years ago.

Each episode featured a different customer success story about how their business improved and helped their local community. I highly recommend you watch an episode or two.

Narrative video series

A narrative video series will be the most costly to produce but can also potentially pack the most punch. I believe BMW was the first company back in 2001-2002 to do a dramatic episodic web series called The Hire.

Although it was branded content, it was produced like a high-end TV show and directed by well-known directors. Clive Owen starred as “The Driver” and each episode highlighted the performance aspects of various BMW cars.

It really was a brilliant idea and it got a lot of attention. Although generally, it will cost more than a docuseries or talk show, you don’t need to spend that kind of money to have a successful narrative web series.

husband and wife in scene from a training video
A scene from a scripted narrative video series about wireless networks I directed and produced

The secret is to doing a narrative drama or comedy video series, is to think of a premise that would grab your viewers’ attention and gives the opportunity to incorporate your product or service in each episode.

Talk show

A talk show is something just about everyone should be familiar with. Who hasn’t seen a daytime or late night talk show? A talk show usually features a host that interviews different guests each episode.

One of the most important success factors for a talk show is choosing the right host. You may need someone who is an expert in your line of work or perhaps not. In either case, the host needs to be likable and charismatic.

a talk show with two business people
Talk show for a video series on finance I directed & produced by my production company Gate5

What guests you bring on your talk show is crucial too. They have to be reputable enough in your industry to entice viewers to tune in for each episode.

Another consideration is location. When you think of a talk show most people envision a studio. Most companies don’t have a studio nor do you need one. Find an interesting location within your facilities or another place that you have access to. Better yet, mix up the locations if you can to keep the visuals of the show interesting.

Grow your audience organically

Every time your audience watches an episode in your series, they interact with and become more familiar with your brand. In addition, by putting out a series of videos, you automatically establish yourself as the expert in your field. That’s how you build trust and credibility which will then lead to more customers. That’s why your company needs a video series.

About Gate5, a Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing high quality video content for the web, your social media outlets, kiosks and broadcast television.

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

Hemp Already Video Series

I’m super excited about a new episodic video series called Hemp Already, about all things hemp that I’m producing. Here’s the sizzle reel, or teaser. The first episode is coming in 2020!

Why a show about Hemp?

Hemp is going through a huge resurgence now that the Farm Bill of 2018 has made the plant legal again and we aim to capture this excitement and innovation!

Update: my video series Hemp Already is online! Read about it in this post.

The first use of hemp dates back about 8,000 years ago. It’s been used for thousands of years for many products and was one of the largest agricultural crops up until the late 1800’s. With the signing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 outlawing hemp along with cannabis in 1937, it effectively killed the hemp industry. It’s such an efficient source material for so many things including timber and petroleum based products that it posed a major threat to those industries which played a part in the plants demise – hey, it’s competition so we need to squash it!

sun flare coming through a hemp plant with a house build in background

The renaissance of hemp has begun and people are using this miracle plant again to build all kinds of things. It’s the most versatile, sustainable, carbon negative, deforestation saving, eco-friendly plant in the world. It grows in only four months, can grow almost anywhere – wild hemp grows in all 50 states, uses less water than other crops such as corn or cotton, produces more fiber than cotton and more biomass than corn, doesn’t need herbicides or pesticides (or very little), regenerates the soil and has numerous other benefits. It truly is a miracle plant.

What can be made from hemp?

There are tens of thousands of products that can be made from the plant instead of the unsustainable, greenhouse gas emitting, toxic and fossil fuel based materials that are being used now.

The list of things that can be made from the hemp plant seem endless: negative carbon construction materials like hempcrete used in residential houses and commercial buildings for walls, ceilings and flooring, hemp insulation, hemp wood, fiberboard, carpets, paints, varnishes, inks, any paper product can be made from hemp instead of trees, supercapacitor batteries (yes batteries!), plastics and bio composites (nearly all European car makers use it now for car parts), biofuel, diapers, mulch, animal bedding, all kinds of clothing (much more environmentally friendly than cotton), rope, canvas, beauty products like soaps, lotions, makeup, nail polish, shampoo and it can feed people and animals with a whole bunch of food products and can help cure us with cannabinoid extracts.

hemp hurds for making hempcrete in episodic series Hemp Already

This is just a short list of things that can be made from hemp. This article from the Ministry of Hemp lists 73 things that can be made from hemp but that’s just the beginning. Some estimate that there are 25,000 products that can be made from it while others estimate 50,000! Whatever the actual number is, its large.

What will the show be about?

The show will feature the pioneers that are helping to save the planet by making things with hemp. Each episode will tell the story of a business or organization and their hemp products but it’s not a business show: it’s much more than that. Hemp is a movement and hemp advocates are an enthusiastic bunch to say the least! They love the plant and what it can do for the planet and the economy. Hemp Already is really about seeing new ways of doing things and different ways of living. It’s a show about diverse people who are making the world a better place through the hemp plant.

About the sizzle reel, what is hempcrete?

I’d like to thank Dion Markgraaff and the US Hemp Building Association and Sergiy Doctor-Hemphouse for letting us film their hempcrete workshop. 

Hempcrete is a sustainable negative carbon construction building material that is used in walls, flooring and ceilings. It’s fire, mold and pest resistant. It is not load bearing, and is usually used with wood stud framing. The thermal properties are incredible – it regulates moisture and temperature in the building thereby vastly lowering energy costs as many houses built with hempcrete do not need heating or air conditioning.

after pouring hemcrete in form you then tamp it down

Hempcrete replaces traditional insulation and drywall which is made of hydrofluorocarbons that produce potent greenhouse gases. Typically lime or clay plaster is used on the inside and outside although any permeable material can be used. 

In the workshop we filmed, the students were building the walls of a tiny house with hempcrete. And as you can see, it’s a pretty straight forward process. Hempcrete is made by mixing hemp hurds, water with a lime binder.

Hemp already. Let’s go!

About Gate5, my Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing high quality video content for the web, your social media outlets, kiosks and broadcast television. 

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

Check out my photography here.