Video Content that Engages Your Audience

I few weeks ago I was asked to speak at "The Future of Video and Digital Content" conference hosted by the Digital Industry Association of Australia (AIMIA). Here are three of my main slides from my talk which also featured a live demonstration of how to stay calm while your computer crashes mid-presentation… always fun. 

Photos © Tom Blachford



How to make branded films that don't bore your audience to tears

There are numerous talented filmmakers out there who are struggling to find funding for their films and there are companies wasting their marketing budgets on videos that no one cares about. Bringing the two together to create something that's both worth watching and contributes to forming a positive brand personality is what I am passionate about. Here are some tips to get you started:

Make them feel something: 

Tell a story that is emotional, inspiring, or educational. Or all three wrapped into one. You want your audience a/ not to stop watching b/ come away feeling that they just saw something special, that they invested their time well, that your brand is super cool and that they want to share this with their peers, right now. 
To achieve this you need: 

Find an interesting person/character:

People do not relate to brands, they relate to other people. If you’re in marketing, that might be a tough one to accept. Find an interesting person, or a group, someone your audience can either relate to or be inspired by. And that’s not your CEO. Unless he or she is Richard Branson or Elon Musk. Actually... not even then. 

Forget about your product:

You know those people who only ever talk about themselves? Boring. People are not interested in your products. They are interested in themselves. So give them a story that will make them smarter, happier or look cooler in the eyes of their friends. Then, in a very authentic, subtle way that fits the brand (values) and the right context (because content needs context), include your product in the story.  

Tell a good story:

Even a 2-minute short film can have a have a story arc. Or create suspense. Or surprise. Collating pretty pictures is not a story and in today’s crowded digital landscape it won’t get noticed.

Put together a great team:

Storytelling is an art. It pays to pay the experts: get someone in to write the script or come up with the concept, and bring together the right film crew for the job. If you’re doing an action/adventure film you will need a different breed of cinematographers and directors than for a city or fashion or profile shoot. 

Find a stunning location:

Don’t even think about your offices. No one cares. Take people on a journey, let them “stuff their eyes in wonder” in the words of Ray Bradbury.


Tofua’a: Seeing Eye to Eye with Humpback Whales in Tonga

When a 36 ton, 16 metre long Humpback whale decides to take a turn and check you out from close up, it feels like someone has pressed the pause button on time. There is no room to think about anything else. Spending time with these gentle giants in the silent, vast blue expanse that is the Pacific Ocean puts everything into perspective and like a child in a playground, you don’t want your newfound friends to ever leave.

Read the full article here. Watch the film here.
German version. 

The article on 

Blade Runner and the Importance of Memories

Blade runner is the reason that my first blog post on my new site is about my first memory. 

This is because I watched the eerie cult sci-fi film for the first time ever on the weekend and if that doesn’t make sense you haven’t watched it. I really wanted to wait and see it in 2019 - the year it is set in - but then I somehow ran out of patience. Thirty years are a long time. 

My first ever memory as a child is of visiting the cockpit and talking to the pilots on our flight to Spain when I was two years old. The next thing I remember is floating in the hotel pool face down. The bottom of the pool was tiled with a mosaic of a dragon. My then very athletic dad sprinted across the grounds and dove in headfirst to fish me out of the water.

And there you have some of my favourite things in one little paragraph: Flying, travelling, water, dragons. My dad. It seems strange that just a couple of years later I fell into our neighbour’s fishpond in the middle of the German winter, fully dressed in a heavy felt coat, and nearly drowned again – and yet, I have turned into a water baby and love nothing more than being by or in the ocean. 

You will find a lot of ocean and film related content on this site.

What was your earliest memory?