Storymaker feature

We all have a story inside of us.

That is likely a very inspirational quote from a wise person, or maybe just said by a news reporter begging someone to do an interview so they may get a lunch break that day.

Here at Sunshine Media Network, we hold this as a fundamental truth and it is the center of the work we do as Storymakers. Most of our clients come to us aiming for a TEDx Talk, presenting before a large crowd for a special moment, or envisioning themselves on the couch at Good Morning America. These are lofty goals achieved by baby steps (at a rapid pace of course) that we help clients break down and take one at a time. Here are three places to start so that you can be the BEST person to tell YOUR story.

Virtual working opened opportunities for virtual interviews

From 2012 to 2016, I owned a live television insert studio in Uptown Charlotte. In fact, it still freaks me out that it was transformed into the current Famous Toastery. It’s impossible for me to enjoy breakfast with friends without telling them war stories from the live shots I did there for national and international networks. Another day, I’ll have to tell you about the pastor who preached to 45-Million homes from there and was upset with me that I didn’t have a Bible in the studio. True Story.

Back when Food Babe Vani Hari went viral for her work she came to my studio for live shots with national news networks.

storymake feature on food babe

Back in those days, national news would send you to a local insert studio so you looked and sounded good and so that your interview could be transmitted professionally. I’ll never forget the day ABC bookers said “we’re going to cancel the shot at your studio and take a Skype.” It was the beginning of the end and I knew it. While studio live shots weren’t that expensive for a national news network, TV News budgets per hour are pretty skimpy. In fact, it was less expensive to fly someone to NY, put them in the green room for a few hours, do a live shot on set, then fly them home than to book an insert studio. Plus, they knew no one else could book the expert during that 6-hour adventure.

Then came 2020.

Studios shut down. Everyone was doing video from home. Everyone. Entire national newscasts were being remotely controlled, produced, and created from people’s homes. This created a remarkable opportunity for people who wanted to be on the news but weren’t “worth” the budget to the show bookers.

Here’s where you need to take notes: Your Virtual Video setup must meet a certain standard now to be considered for news interviews. Good lighting, good framing, clean audio, and quality internet connection are all production responsibilities for you now.

Sunshine Media Network Tip: Include a screenshot of you in your virtual video setting with your press release or with your media kit so news producers and bookers see what they’re getting with your interview.

You get screen time, make every square inch benefit you

The news network has booked you for an interview and you nail it! Or do you? We consistently help clients ensure they are winning the interview not just doing the interview. Storymaking encompasses the words and images you convey. Our experts work with you to make sure your virtual video is communicating all of the right messages. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine how many words you can say in a 3-minute news interview. It is remarkably beneficial for your virtual video background to be branded every square inch logically.

Look at this 9:45 interview on WCNC Market 25 with me when I ran for City Council for 33 days (yes, I will tell you about that interesting experience over drinks). The story wasn’t about my company but I made darn sure my company was visible in the interview. That earned media value is immeasurable.

Sunshine Media Network does studio build consultations where we help you transform a garage, extra bedroom, home office, or even mobile space into a branded virtual interview space. We worked with Felice Hightower, MA, NCC, LPC, CCTP to transform her spare bedroom into a beautifully, on-brand virtual studio where she could do expert interviews with local and national news stations. We started with her pink and black logo with a butterfly and found an affordable way to incorporate the imagery into her on-camera shot. We helped her maximize the space for the best on-camera depth of field, positioned her lights, and incorporated branding she used in her headshots to create an interesting side wall with a flower garden. That side wall can also be used for other video production.

How to know you’re hiring the right videographer

Let me be clear on this one, all videographers are not good at shooting all things. For a decade, I’ve staffed video production events, and even as a videographer myself, I cannot shoot sports or weddings. Correction: I can shoot sports and weddings, no one should hire me to shoot sports or weddings.

Your videographer should be telling a story in addition to capturing beautiful video. Technically, a videographer shouldn’t be doing the job of a producer who is the person that determines the story of the video and the shots needed to communicate that story. But the lower your budget, the more likely your videographer is doing it all. That’s where you get into trouble. An overworked and overstimulated videographer can miss a lot. Not to mention, they may not be skilled at telling your story or even know your story.

Capturing moving around people and things is a different type of shooting than staying in one place and recording a person on a stage. A run-and-gun videographer is a “news style” shooter who can chase content, think on their feet with a camera, anticipate what will happen next, and shoot a series of shots to tell a cohesive story.

Some videographers have cameras that are far more equipped for short bursts of shooting as opposed to recording your 1-hr long presentation. Finding out what type of camera your videographer has will help you hire the best person for your needs.

Our videography team was hired by the Sports Emmys to record on-location with the CIAA Commissioner here in Charlotte and the client asked all the right questions to make sure we were equipped to record the video that would be edited together with content from across the country. The pros ask the questions and it’s important you do too.

We have a checklist of items we ask clients who book us for a video shoot and many times clients never thought about those needs which could have created a bad experience for them had they not come to us.

Press releases, finding media queries, and telling your story matter too

Establishing the video fundamentals is a big step in telling your story. Finding the news reporters who want to talk to you, sending out press releases, and what in the world do you say when you get the interview?? are all pieces to the puzzle of Storymaking.

At Sunshine Media Network we are dynamic at helping you tell your story and make the news not just be on the news. Our Seven Session Storymaker Summer School can provide the elements you need to begin understanding where to invest your time and resources if you want to be an expert voice heard and seen in your industry. Our classes go through August and if you have a specific need, reach out today so we can dive into your story and how to uplift and amplify you!

Storymaking Academy

Need to hire a videographer and don’t know where to look for one? Let us help you!

If you need to start telling your story to grow your business but don’t know where to begin, sign up for our Storymaking Academy which begins Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 1:30 PM EST.

We’ve created seven topics from video basics to how to build your database. Visit our Eventbrite collection to learn about all we are offering. Take a few or take all seven, these 1.5-hour live sessions are packed with information to help you and your business.

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