How To Make The Most Of Your Video As A Craftsman

CraftsmanWow. How sexist is that title? It really is. This isn’t a joke. I’ve used the term craftsman for a specific reason but even I think it isn’t a very good reason. In my defence, I’m not to blame. I’m just fitting in with the expectations of most of my readers and that is the essence of what this article is about. I’ll explain. I really wanted to call this article “How To Make The Most Of Your Video For a Craft Business”. If I had said that you would almost certainly be thinking this was an article for pottery businesses or people who make things from card or paper. You’d be thinking of arts and crafts. I’m not writing about that at all.

My article, this time, is for businesses based around an expert craft. I’m thinking of French polishers, arborists, florists, painters, model makers, sculptors, electricians, sound engineers, carpenters, jewellers and video editors… just like me. I say craftsman and you think expert. I say craft and you think play-art. I’m playing on our cultural expectations and in this instance that is totally sexist. I promise that next time I’ll be the person to make the change. The reason I’m pandering to those expectations is that I want people to read the headline and click on the article. You want people to see your video and call your business. We are advertising and that is all about getting the attention of your target audience. Sometimes that means pandering to expectations and sometimes it means defying them.

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Planning The Video

If you are an expert, a craftsperson, you know your process back to front and upside down. Other people don’t. We need to show them. People won’t value what you do if they don’t understand it. Perceptions of what you do can be damaging. If people think there are only a few steps in your process, that it is fairly easy to learn, they won’t value your process or your expertise. Your video needs to show all of the steps of what you do.

CraftsmanWhen you plan your video with your filmmaker, start by breaking down the process. Each step needs to be available for your filmmaker to see and film on the day of your shoot. You will have forgotten some of the steps. I don’t mean to say you’ve gotten lazy over the years and are missing steps out. What I mean is that you are an expert and don’t often think consciously of the all of the steps involved. In planning, break the process down. Decide when each step can be made available to see. Create a schedule for the shoot that shows all of the steps.

Performing In The Video

Now we have to consider how you’ll perform. Will you be interviewed or talk directly to the camera? Will you remain silent and enigmatic? I’ve never met an expert who wasn’t fascinating when speaking about their craft. My instinct is to always have my craftsperson speak. I usually choose the interview method because this is easier for you as the subject. Then we have to decide how you will appear in the video. If you’re interviewed then there will always be a few seconds of you talking on screen. The rest of your words will be covered by images of your work. Do you just want to be expert hands at work, or do you want to be a whole person? The best editing, for story effect, will be achieved if the filmmaker can shoot all of you at work, alongside close ups and mid shots.

This will allow the editor to use the classical language of film editing to match viewer expectations. In turn, this enables them to make you look slick and clever and professional. The viewer will think differently about your work than you do. I was recently shocked to see the way furniture was handled by a re-upholstery company. They were brilliant and the finished products were amazing but the furniture being stripped and prepared was treated with a kind of shocking violence. The viewer probably doesn’t want to see that. The editor needs to show the process, but select from shots that frame it in an elegant way.

CraftsmanBeing A Craftsman

Your completed video needs to show the effort and expertise that goes into your craft. You need to look like a god of your profession. Anybody watching needs to be judging everyone else they meet by your standards. The final thing you need is to show examples of your work that are remarkable in the true meaning of that word. Show people something so brilliant that they have to tell their friends about it.

If you need any advice or just want to ask questions about planning your craftsman video please feel free to ask and I’ll answer as soon as I can. Good luck with your video, and remember to always show them your best.

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