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"Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)

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Julie Jonak"Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:22:54 pm

Hi Guys!

I've been tasked with creating videos/montages to play during a conference at the breaks. They could be pretty much anything. So, has anyone seen/though of anything interesting to be played during "break" time. You know, there's usually music but we have screens to fill so visuals would be great.

It's a speaking conference, business based. I could do photo montages from past ones (it's annual) but does that seem super mellow and boring? And would promos for the next year be too pushy?


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Mark SuszkoRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 24, 2011 at 1:00:08 pm

The montage thing IS boring, but not to the people who see themselves in the pictures. It's a safe choice, and you may find a way to visually spice it up. One of the ever-popular ones is to make it a guessing contest to pick out the adults from their baby pictures. That requires attendees to submit the pics well in advance, which can be a problem if you can't get enough participants.

Another idea would be to create a little story that takes place in chapters, like a soap opera would. Integrate the story line in the short vignettes with the subjects being discussed at the conference or whatever, so the two tracks reinforce each other's messages. Saty away from parodies of current movies and TV shows, instead, come up with an original little story that follows from the initial idea to the physical completion and delivery. these bits can create a natural departure point for break-out sessions, or establish the themes to the upcoming persentations int he main event.

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Jim ArcoRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 24, 2011 at 1:30:26 pm

Well, you didn't mention any time/money budget.

How about a behind-the-scenes / what-it-took-to-put-this-conference-together video?

Or a spoof of a current television series with the conference presenters as the "stars?" (Photoshop World this year did "Project Photoshop" that looked surprizingly similar to "Project Runway.") Or an old movie instead of current TV?

Or a music video with conference presenters?


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Mark SuszkoRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:12:59 pm

I would stay away from trying to imitate current or past TV shows and movies too much.

Among the reasons are:

You set your production up for comparison to the real thing, which had a real budget. And you don't.

Such parody ideas are often suggested by someone in the company who has always wanted to be a movie or rock star, regardless of actual talent; they are looking for someone to enable their personal ego fantasy, at the risk of going off track on what the company goals are. When the lower ranks see an upper level guy or gal indulging their inner movie actors in one of these skits, on the company dime, they could take it the wrong way, and morale suffers. If the company boss acting int he skit falls flat, it's uncomfortable for everyone. Even if they are good, it may make people feel compelled to applaud, but secretly resentful.

People are going to spend a good chunk of their attention, not on your message, but on thinking about the original material you're borrowing from, it's various associations in their mind, what they were doing and where they were when they first saw the original.... that stuff is all competiting for attention to your message. Why do you want to get them thinking about something OTHER than the business at hand? Don't divert them. Any kind of reference to popular cultural tropes needs to consider these things.

Pop culture has a super short shelf life, and a gag you thought of in pre-production tied to some specific pop cultural thing could become wholly irrelevant by the time you've produced the piece and it is ready to show at the event. Parody wide themes and archetypes if you must, but getting too specific is just a trap.

Pop culture today is hyper-fragmented; you can not count on everybody having watched the same TV and films today, the way you could years ago when there were only three networks. You risk a lot of them not getting your references if they are too niche. Now you've alienated them by in effect saying they are not cool enough to get your obscure joke or reference.

What you choose as the visual and structural backbone or subtext of the message says a lot about your company values. Be sure the unspoken message is not contradicting the overt one. For example, in a year where most organizations have been stressing economy, something too lavish-appearing signals you're off-message.

So all that to say: when the client suggests doing a sales presentation video based on a parody of whatever they saw at the movies last week, try to parse it out, ask what they were getting out of that movie that they think would work in the new context. Then offer something new and original that meets that same goal.

If all you want is a real break, unassociated with the meeting mesage, try asking around the company to see if any of the employees are musicians, and see if you can record them playing original compositions or somgs in the public domain. That might make for a creative and fun break.

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Julie JonakRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 25, 2011 at 10:19:18 pm

Those are all nice suggestions. I will definitely think of using them next year...We do this each year.
The breaks are basically un-related but I decided to go with making 3 ten minute videos that resemble those pre-preview trivia slides in the theaters. Like "Did you know..." or "Who said this quote..." with our business related topics. Also used some fun photos and facts about our speakers to include. I think it's a cute, easy, non-distracting way to pass the break time.

Thanks again for the help! :)

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Mark SuszkoRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 25, 2011 at 10:43:49 pm

Sounds like a good idea. Have some fun animating the type to make it more visually interesting.

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Taylor LautnerRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Nov 25, 2011 at 4:56:31 pm

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Brent DunnRe: "Break" Ideas? Brainstorming welcome! :)
by on Oct 27, 2011 at 2:44:24 pm

Why not promote the area tourism and get your local city tourist council to pay you for the advertising?

Use that time to generate more revenue. Or, get other vendors to pay you to promote their business related products.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

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