Is Your Boss in Every Company Film You Shoot?

Senior staff often feel compelled to appear in any film that is made about their company. They think that because they lead the company, they should also be the leading presence in any film representing it. 

Whilst it's often the case that certain messages are best heard coming from the leader, (Virgin has made great use of Richard Branson in their advertising), it’s also true that some messages are better delivered by others. 

Who remembers Howard the customer services representative, from the Halifax adverts? Taking our inspiration from Howard, let’s say a bank wants to train staff about the benefits of a new service for customers in their high street branches. The CEO may not be best placed to communicate that message because it’s not her/his day-to-day environment. 

The message will have more impact if delivered by someone with first-hand knowledge, who has daily interactions with customers and can talk specifically about how the new service is helping. This lends authenticity to the recommendation.

An additional and important benefit is that it’s an opportunity to demonstrate how all employees are valued and heard - not just those in senior positions. 

When deciding who to feature in your film, be sure to consider how their position within the organisation will help carry the message to the audience. 

How Do You Decide Who To Include in Your Films?

This is worth consideration in businesses of all sizes. A few things to ask yourself include:

  • Who will the audience likely be most interested in hearing from? 
  • Who will they want to pay more attention to? 
  • Who is the best person to convey those particular key messages? 
  • Is it helpful to feature people outside of your organisation?

We made a film about a new apprenticeship standard designed and supplied by our client. Fortunately, we could include an interview with the CEO of the regulatory body in this sector. Hearing this external authority gave greater credence to the claim that our client was a market leader in this area. 

At shortstories, the questions we ask at the beginning of a project invite the client to think thoroughly in ways that will inform all aspects of the production, including who will appear on the screen representing their brand. In pre-production, the broader and deeper the early conversations, the more likely it is that the finished film will help achieve the client’s objectives. 

Once you know who to include in your corporate identity film, how do you go about creating one that matters to your viewers? In our post about Intelligent Film for Business: How Many People Does It Take to Make a Successful Video? we talk about the benefits of hiring a professional film production company that has the right crew for the job. That's one way.

The other way is the DIY route, here are some quick tips from us on how to make it good enough.

2 Simple Criteria to Keep in Mind When Creating A Film For Your Company

Time - Keep it Short and Engaging

A common problem when creating and uploading films for business is that people tend to make them last too long, (which usually means it is too boring). As a rule of thumb, try and keep your video between 90 seconds and 2 minutes. A lot of information can be communicated in this short time.

Let’s explain.

Wistia, which is a well-known company in the film production industry, did a study on the length of your video versus the length of text. They found that with text, only 20% of people will read your articles from the beginning to the end. With film, they found the sweet spot to be on average  In general, if you’re making short films, you don’t need to worry about the difference of a few seconds as long as it’s under 2 minutes.

If you feel you need to include vast amounts of information into yours, try splitting them into clusters for a short series instead. 

Another important tip is to make sure you create an impact within the first 30 seconds of the short film. Give them reasons to keep watching. This is your chance to show off and grab their attention!

Content - Customised to Fit the Right Crowd

What are your buyers or prospects looking for? What type of information do they need to help them solve their problem? When you customise your film to target the right audience, you're playing the field the right way. 

Many companies make vague, haphazard films about themselves without adding central information that focuses on their clients’ needs. This can be unhelpful and a little off putting to an external viewer. 

Whether you are making an identity film, documentary or commercial, you should have specific target audiences clearly in mind. This may call for a few different versions of short films, in order to communicate effectively and quickly to the right people. 

Also, keep in mind not to mash up all your footage in one montage after the other. Have a structure to your film, a suitable narrative and creative quality to it. A narrative helps your viewer to want to keep watching.

Rounding up this topic, we go back to the first point we made – when you can, pay heed to those who are just as important as the senior members of staff. Give credit to the ones behind the scenes, who work long hours, and make sure projects are done on time - Recognise the recognisers.  


See how we do it: send us an email to if you would like to discuss your next film project.

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