Pitch Videos Done Right with Nathan Williams and Natalie Johns
Let's watch the pitch videos for for I am talent and for if there's a hell below and then we'll talk about making a great pitch video a bright check is a reporter for the chicago mercury you probably haven't heard of it abe left his home two days ago at nine forty two a m he told his editor he was driving to pennsylvania to interview an amish drug dealer for a new story this's alive he's actually on his way to montana to meet deborah last name redacted debra's an intelligence analyst for a large federal agency you probably have heard of it deborah left her home at six twenty am earlier today she told her supervisor she was going to spend the weekend with an old college friend who had recently divorced thiss is also a lot she is actually on her way to meet a and if she decides she can trust him to leak highly classified information that is way on her conscience it is now two fifty for me um in thirty six minutes these two will meet an hour later one of them well he did I'm nathan willia...
ms the director of if there's a helpful in this film we will take you into these lives and draw you into a mystery that will surprise you provoke you and of course entertain you a story of life and death in ninety minutes real time no relief just the characters camera and you but first we need your help to make this possible. But how you this story will never be seen thiss mystery never solved please join us in this effort and make this one of a kind film a reality I don't know it's kind of like that unexplainable type thing. It's just when you see it you know you know skateboarding in africa crazy palin's reply you watch telling killed in future telling e I guess my life is different step that is very abusive way sold drugs for living my mom passed away I thought like I had no notion I was like, ok, I'm on my own scare talk open north beach over the best that's ever happened to challenge was living in the park and he was also sleeping out in the rubbish brings in the corner that's our live on the streets of chicken last year two months is a long time I never knew exactly ten sometimes I have to be oh, friends got in touch with me from back home and they asked me if I could help talented that could make him a video making something tio share to help raise his profile his story was amazing to me. I wanted to tell it, but I wanted to do more than tell it. I want to I didn't want to walk away the end without having given him the tools to be able t o build a life for himself way, booth level off about a nine year old. When he came to me, he was wearing a really fancy watch, and you told me you couldn't tell it when they left the watch. You can now convert regular time on a lot time twenty four hour clock on, and that was one leeson, with support and guidance from friends, a saw a way out of it. Everyone needs a little bit of loving sometimes, you know, really excited, really what's coming apart, I'm just lending a hand. I'll be the conduit to show in the world of skateboarding in l a and wherever else we go, so not only is it getting introduced to the world of skateboarding, too, all the pros and ends in parks and famous places, but he's learning about life coming to california is a huge step for talent. He's gone from observer to participant, and now his forming friendships and relationships with these guys that he once only knew on a video screen by sharing stories and sharing their life experiences together, talents getting to a level that's much deeper than just tricks and skate spots who's actually finding out what the core of skateboarding is that it's built on community it's built on friendships it's built on an understanding of one another whether you live in southern california where you live in south africa this is not a reality tv show not about false pretenses going for tim leaving his circumstances behind in this situation to build a life for himself with the help of the community from around the world, we've been able to get talent out to california and capture his story up to this point but there's still a lot to be told that's why we're coming to you we need help to finish this movie and share with the world fires always burning and I can see that in town that fairness on a positive energy that's what's going to take him to the next level and this next step in life it's what he makes it way do need funding but we also need to share his story so whatever you can do if you can't donate just kick in shape we hope you'll join the long and become part of the already growing community of people supporting talent in his story and, you know, making it back to himself t h e n t one of the things one of the things I haven't seen that for a long time so cool about seeing these two side by side is how perfectly each of them creatively answers the questions why me why this why now and why you you being the audience so why me is why the filmmaker now I think nathan demonstrates it by just he needs such a beautiful video that gave us such a sense of the kind of film he was going to make that were like oh yeah this guy like we want this guy to do it because he's already demonstrating the quality of content why this it's super compelling that might every single time in thirty six minutes they will meet and our leader one is dead and then there's something about you'll never know unless we make this you'll never know what happens and I'm like no I have to know what happened so there's a really incredible you know why now on dh for natalee so obviously the wind me is a very personal story of how her friends got her involved in this the why this is, you know talent and how I mean how beautifully and concisely she demonstrates what an impact he's already had in the durbin community there's a mural of his face for god's sake right like he is a very special you know, little nympho in the world that like, you know he's very magnetic in his own way why now has to do with where he is in his career and then the y you is demonstrated very clearly in both ways these air not formulaic they don't these two videos do not look like one another, but they answer these questions in a really clear and concise way so I just I wanted to show them and they're actually even more powerful side by side in kind of demonstrating what makes a great pitch video. How did you guys land on this and how much did it cost you to make your video? You okay? You first way ultimately decided you know I don't appear in the video at all that is my voice which was a choice they're better voice over people that may but we thought nathan should have some some presence but the idea was, you know, we wanted to sell what this movie wass and again this crowdfunding campaign and was in a way a test of our people will respond to this this kind of mystery this kind of tone on drily putting up front you know not any of the big set piece part of the movies and it's not a big action spectacular by any means but the characters, the tone, the mystery and the landscape which plays a huge role on dh then shooting that in just a really efficient way it was shot by margaret longley who was our a c on set and was second unit photographer so the fact that looks beautiful is hurt I just said, you know, shoot some nice stuff andare two lead actors generously gave some time to appear in that but that was, you know, a couple hours to be in it um so you know, we used markets camera for free very nice of something called a couple hundred bucks and gas but that was it now and did you what? You wrote a script for it? Yeah and the script was refined and refining we really tested it a lot just I mean showing it to trusted people who were not who hadn't read the script who didn't know what the story the movie was about saying like, does this make sense? Does it hook you and we didn't want to reveal too much, you know, the the kind of basic setup but not then to this twist happens this happens so the voiceover was changing day by day, you know, I recorded it a ton of times to really hook it and we we re edited it a bunch of times to really maximize the impact great and I actually what I love about visit people there is a lot of advice out there like you have to appear in your pitch video and yours is a great example of how you can appear in your pitch video without appearing in your pitch video and you earned that right because the video is mostly showing us that this is going to be a super cool movie and so when he says I'm the filmmaker, you're like, I like that guy, you know, like, he he sounded like he really knew what he was talking about, it feels like you really earned that and that that you're shrouded in mystery is sort of part of the meta narrative of this campaign, so that it all just worked really seems easley together, I think it's really important that, like let's underline the fact that they showed the script of their pitch video to a bunch of people to find out if it felt effective or not, and because they wanted to maintain the mystery, they chose people who hadn't read the script, right? So they couldn't be sort of altered by their perceptions of that that's super helpful information to underline if I could please, I think it was he somebody it's even sparked when I ran the video by and if they had said, you should really be in this, I probably would have done it but your credit you guys were like, now your presence is strong enough those words I think I was erica yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, but yeah, way dio family when we first started, it was a family, even eric and liam, nobody understood who we were. Natalie talked to me about your video. You obviously had a lot of footage by the time you got there. So you were further along in your process? Yeah, I was I was a lot further along, but again, I was going to say the same thing they just did. I took a lot of guidance from you ladies. Well, gents, it's, eden spark differently. You emily ann. Erica, both of you sort of held my hand through this process. With that that I would not have. I don't think I would have made us good. A pinch video. I don't think I would have prepared as well, because it's, it was not something I knew how to do. I knew. You know, like I said before, I knew how to make her a presentation because I was I was already presenting to financiers, so I was really working on it. A teaser. And I had showed you showed you ladies my original teaser. And then again, it was the same thing that nathan did. I went to not researched. I watched a bunch of others. Then, in a bunch of other campaigns that were running on season spark conducted. Examples where people have been done before and then I saw how I looked at how I could adapt and answer the questions that you specifically said to me these are the questions you need to answer in this piece I'm so I took a lot of direct ction from season spark and then I think as well being a part of the community and being amongst filmmakers with this even spark helped tremendously you know, those that business there's an empathy on understanding and mutual understanding just how hard it is because and I'm gonna I'm not sort of directed him I director shoot, I do it a little bit but my skills are you know, my ability and editing is not great so I had two heart erin editor so it did it cost me a little bit more money and then I would have liked to obviously I didn't get, you know, discounted rates of things, but I was still paying out of pocket and I had been paying out of pocket for the whole documentary film up until that that point I can tell you and exactly because obviously have been shooting for I had been shooting for almost a year, right by the time I entered that crowd tonight, right? At least the others are, you know, so yeah, the elements that go into different, you know, the other thing that I saw recently wonder russell, a seattle filmmaker, made a beautiful pitch video that was cut by your husband right that christmas debt cut that they actually went teo I don't if you guys are familiar with pond five but there are a resource for for it's like b roll footage, so if you have a bunch of your own food you can upload it and people can take it but you can just purchase clips of stuff and they they sort of bolstered for very little money you know we're able to get some pretty epic footage there is there are a lot of really inexpensive options out there if you can't necessarily get someone to donate their time or you haven't been shooting for a year, there are tons of options out there and I think being in the community of filmmakers is where you're going to learn most of this stuff really, I mean that I don't think it's like I didn't select them because they were just going to keep saying I asked a lot of people that is happening organically right now the fact is the way that you build the best campaign is you go out and you do a ton of research and you talk to a bunch of people and the nice thing now is like find a filmmaker who hasn't crowdfunded at this point so everyone has a little bit of expertise around this and there are tons of people in your community you, khun go teo, to find out, and I think it's really important to ask people to watch your pitch video over and over and over again asked him to read the script because you should have a script asked them to watch the pitch video be prepared to edit it and where when we first it's funny, when we first launched students park, we had a lot of filmmakers sort of send us the pitch video, and when we would send them feedback, they but know you'd understand. It's done, you're like no, yeah, yeah can't it can't be done because this is not going to work for you, and now we definitely see filmmakers are much more sort of open to this iterative process, particularly around pitch videos. We've even had filmmakers you know it a rate throughout the campaign, I will say the video you only get one chance to make a first impression, right? So it's really important that when you launch it feels good. You know, natalie, I remember one of the things that when I saw the pitch video, the attention to detail those graphics air, so beautiful you know, the way that durbin, south africa, comes in, all of that that immediately makes you trust her. It immediately makes you feel like she's, a good filmmaker. It is such a small piece of polish, but so important on dso, the little things like getting decent sound, for example. I mean, you guys sort of covered that well, no, but you covered that bye bye. You had voice over and that you could control. That was an element you could utterly control. So this is where you figure out. This is the creative, the indie filmmaking. You figure out where you know where you can kind of make the biggest splash for the smallest amount of resource is