Top down or bottom up? 

Which interviewees to include in your film?

Some bosses 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 video representing it. Whilst it's often the case that certain messages are best heard coming from the leader (Virgin have made great use of Richard Branson in their advertising), it's also true that other messages are best heard from other people. Who remembers Howard from the Halifax?

Student Pocket Guide - Howard Brown The Halifax Man

Taking our inspiration from Howard, let’s say a bank wants to show its staff the benefits of a new service it's offering to customers in their high street branches; their CEO may not be best placed to communicate that message because it’s not her/his day to day environment.  It's better heard from 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. 

It is also a valuable opportunity to show how all employees are valued - not just those in senior positions. Some of the audience, who might have an aversion to feeling they are being lectured at, may be more likely to listen to someone in the organisation from a similar level to their own. 

This is worth consideration in businesses of all sizes. 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? 

It’s also extremely valuable to consider including input from people outside of your organisation. We made a film about a new apprenticeship standard that our client has designed and supplies. Fortunately, we were able to include an interview with the CEO of the regulatory body in this sector. Hearing this external authority gave far 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 are aimed at getting the client to think thoroughly about all aspects of production. This includes who they want to appear on screen representing their brand. We want the client to get a video that will be of greatest use to them.

Please send us an email at if you would like us to get in touch to discuss your next video project.

Philip Pickard - Head of Production