RESLV conducting interview with client, full set, why interviewing is like therapy main header

Why Interviewing is like Therapy.

The core of making a good video is storytelling, and a big chunk of our work is bringing stories out of people in interviews. In theory, a successful interview sounds like an easy, straightforward task. But in reality, it is much like a therapy session: delicate and compassionate, carefully bringing out someone’s truth. That can be hard enough behind closed doors, but it becomes exceptionally tricky when the lights are on and camera is rolling.

So how do we get those stories on film? A good producer is key to getting someone to open up and tell the story they need to tell. But there are some simple techniques to use to help people relax and give detailed answers. First of all, eye contact and active listening is necessary. Simple enough, but not everyone does this instinctively. Just running through the list of questions and expecting something other than stiff, overly prepared answers is a big mistake. And those awkward answers are going to be difficult to work around in editing.

An experienced producer knows how to ask the right questions, dig deeper when they know someone is holding back, and do all of this with compassion – just like a good therapist! Even just asking the right questions isn’t always enough – being a conversationalist and warming your interviewee up with small talk can help them not to freeze up when the cameras are on.

This connection of interviewing to therapy really shines in our videos with ThrivePointe, a counseling services company It was an interesting perspective to have professional counselors respond to our style of interviewing.

When someone is picking their own therapist, it is so important that they connect with that person and feel as comfortable as possible. This is why the storytelling element and ease of the interview was so crucial during production of ThrivePointe’s videos. Not only did the message need to be delivered – but it needed to be delivered in a positive and comfortable way.

We also took over the challenge of completely rebranding ThrivePointe from their website to design elements. This way we could effortlessly connect the vision of the videos to the rest of the company’s look and feel. It was a treat to start from the ground up and elevate this brand even beyond video content.

Check out the results of a great interview in our video for ThrivePointe:

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RESLV #RepOurRegion main header image, video screenshot Cincinnati skyline with RESLV logo and website

This is where we come from. It may be a small city, but it’s got some big vibes! As a video agency,we spend a lot of time capturing the world around us – especially what’s close to home – Cincinnati!

We wanted to share the excitement for our region with everyone else – so we gathered up some of our favorite footage and made a little ‘highlight reel’ for the city. People should know that Cincy is as cool as any other city on the map…so let’s show them! The sights, the food, the people. We’ve got it all right here.

Our Cincinnati region is full of charm, but we’ll let the video speak for itself.

Hopefully we’ve created something that features all the best parts about living in Cincinnati! Of course, we couldn’t fit all of what makes this region great (or the video would be hours long) so let us know about your favorite part of Cincinnati and #RepOurRegion!

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RESLV A Guitar Master in the Canadian Wilderness main header image, video screenshot of interview with Sergei De Jonge

A guitar master in the Canadian wilderness….

Back in October, the RESLV team traveled into the middle of nowhere Canada, on a shoot for our friend Drew Boyd. We have been working with Drew on a long-term project ahead of his new program launch. A big part of these shoots featured guitars, the making of them and their creativity. There was a final piece we needed to capture, which is what led us into Canada, on a hike into the wilderness. Our chance to meet with, and film, a guitar-making legend.

Since the late 60s, Sergei de Jonge has been in the northeast of Canada, perfecting the art of guitar making. He has since become an expert at crafting beautiful guitars and passing this knowledge on to his family. He also brings students to his workshop in the woods to teach the art of guitar making, some who have become expert craftsmen themselves. Drew happened to be one of these lucky students a few years ago, which is how we ended up connecting with Sergei in the first place.  

When we arrived at the discrete workshop and meet with Sergei, it was fascinating to explore and speak with others learning from him. We spent our time there capturing Sergei and his students meticulously crafting each part of the instrument. The process was long, but exciting to film. It was an eye-opening experience to see what really goes into this instrument that so many people play.

Sergei’s personal story was even more fascinating. How the desire to build his own guitar developed into a guitar-making addiction that led him to become a master. His journey, and the passion he developed through that journey, became the focus of our mini documentary above.

It was such a treat to have this experience that many people, guitar players or not, probably have never heard of. Filming the entire experience was just as great and we are really proud of how the final piece turned out. We also want to give our thanks to Drew Boyd who facilitated the experience.

If you enjoyed the documentary and learned something new, please share it around on social media!

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RESLV Back to School in header image, video screenshot children playing in gymnasium

BACK TO SCHOOL

School is back in full swing!

School may be a distant memory to us, but we are still feeling the swing of the school season. Mainly thanks to all our awesome clients in education! Over the years we’ve worked on a variety of projects for all types of schools and educational programs. One of these projects was done with Mayerson Academy, featuring some amazing faculty members from Cincinnati Public Schools and their unique stories.

We wanted to share some of these spots to get everyone pumped up for heading back to school. And remember to share your appreciation for all the great teachers and faculty members in your own schools! Check out the spots below:

Whether you are still a student, work in education, or are sending your kids back to school: enjoy this school year!

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RESLV Exploring Our City main header image, video screenshot of Fiona from Cincinnati Zoo

EXPLORING OUR CITY

We always talk about how great content is made through collaboration and the importance of our relationships with clients. The Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network is a great example of this. We’ve been working with them for almost eight years now, and we’ve definitely built that great collaborative relationship. Over the years, we’ve created all kinds of diverse content for them. And we’re constantly working together to find new ways to showcase our unique city: Cincinnati!

Most recently, we produced a video series that shows off the most memorable parts of Cincinnati. From the classic Cincinnati chili to Fiona the queen of Cincinnati! These are just some features that stick in the minds of both residents and visitors. Creating this video series also gave us the chance to experience some of the awesome local attractions for ourselves. We are really happy with the way that each piece came out and hope the special parts of Cincinnati shine through these spots! Enjoy!

Everyone was jealous of our time spent up close and personal with Cincinnati’s favorite hippo Fiona!

Check out how this spot came together and see some of the cute Fiona clips that didn’t make the cut in the behind the scenes video:

Another cool spot took us underground into the beer tunnels hidden below our city. We tagged along with American Legacy Tours and then headed above ground to film in the popular establishments around Over-The-Rhine.

Follow our experience underground and hopping around OTR in the behind the scenes video:

And whether you love it or hate it, we of course we had to feature some classic Cincinnati chili! Don’t twirl your chili!

We had a great time capturing these spots and getting to experience all the attractions around town that make this city Unmistakably Cincinnati!

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RESLV Look What I Can Do! Why We Don't Use Reels in header image and text, video screenshot film reel and slate as background

Look What I Can Do! Why We Don’t Use Reels

In the production industry a reel is like a resume. Often when trying to hook a client, reels are sent to show off past work and capabilities. But we don’t really like reels. Which is something that tends to set us apart in our field. What makes us different is our core belief that:

Great content is not made through capabilities, it is made through collaboration.

We really believe in this, it’s right there on our website. While we do have the occasional reel when it is necessary (we can’t completely back out of industry norms), we try to avoid these for the most part.

Part of the issue with reels is, just like a resume, they are pretty easy to fake. Anyone can pull something cool from YouTube and stick it in their reel. While this is not as common the higher up and more professional you get there is still the issue that most videos are not created by just one person. An example being: someone who just did a simple edit on a shot can use it in their reel and take full credit. This can be misleading if the beauty of that shot was in the cinematography or lighting, and by putting it on their reel this editor looks like they did some amazing editing magic.

Reels also tend to limit you to your capabilities of the past. By only focusing on previous work, it limits the imagination and creativity that could be achieved through a brainstorming session with a client. Having conversations, and really getting to know our clients is what really allows us to expand our projects into areas we may have never done before. Maybe we haven’t done X, Y and Z. But that doesn’t mean we can’t, and it doesn’t mean we don’t want to. When starting with a blank slate, the creativity and possibilities flow much easier, than if they get trapped by past templates.

Besides the practical reasons we prefer not to use reels, there is an important aspect of this avoidance right in our core values. Collaboration.

The relationship with a client, and that collaboration is often the most important piece to the success of a project. Sure, we have a lot of capabilities, we can create a visually awesome video for you. But it’s when there is collaboration with the client that the creativity comes out, and a video is produced that fits each client effortlessly. The intricacies of that relationship, and how it results in the final product, can’t be easily shown on a reel.

So rather than sending off a bunch of reels showing off the cool stuff we can do, let’s have lunch. Let’s have a real conversation about what you need, and how we can match that need. That way we can create something so much more fitting for you than just a recreation of something from the past.

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RESLV Part of the Community main header image, Cincinnati skyline

Part of the Community

We found the still image above in some extra footage from an old shoot. What’s cool about this shot is that not many people choose to shoot the Cincinnati skyline from this angle. Most people tend to take pictures from the other side. But like many cities, Cincinnati can be explored and experienced from many different angles, it’s never just one way of looking at it.

We may be on the other side of the bridge, but we still consider ourselves a part of the Cincinnati community.  We’ve done a lot of fun work with esteemed Cincinnati businesses, like The Children’s Home and Cincinnati Public Schools. While we work on national projects too, the ones in Cincinnati remain important to us.

We have been Momentum Investors for Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber for two years now. They do a great job elevating the Cincinnati community and we are happy to be a part of that. As RESLV grows, we still want to stay a part of this community. So stop by and say hi next time you’re on the other side of the bridge!

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RESLV Treating the Crew as Valued Team Members main header image, video screenshot of interview with Drew Boyd

TREATING THE CREW AS VALUED TEAM MEMBERS

Being one of many crew members on a set is usually quite straightforward and impersonal, and we know this job well ourselves. We, like most people who work in production, had to start as crew members on other companies’ projects and prove ourselves in the industry. Only after gaining this experience from the bottom, could we begin to branch out and start running the show. So, when you are still just another crew member on set, it’s understandable not to be so emotionally invested in the job. Especially if your only job is to stand around holding a light. But something we have realized by being on the other side of the business is that having engaged crew members who don’t just feel like another set piece can be invaluable. As a company, something we feel sets us apart is that we try to involve our crew members on a more personal level during shoots. This can be extremely rewarding, yet it is still a balance we are trying to perfect with every new project.

Having crew members who are involved with projects on a more emotional level helps them be more invested in the final product. As the people behind the story, we are always going to be the most devoted to the final outcome of a project. By bringing a little bit of that investment into our crew members, we hope to make all our shoots a valuable experience for everyone involved.

We know from experience that a devoted crew member means someone who will go the extra step to do the best job that they can. And getting that extra engagement can be as simple as taking the time before a shoot to talk to everyone on set. Going over the story or purpose of a video, and just getting everyone on the same page. Letting everyone be included in the discussion can be the difference between a good crew member and an excellent one.

Being on both sides of the business we know the importance of having an environment where every voice is allowed. The challenge then ends up being creating a space that is open to everyone, yet still with appropriate boundaries. Anyone who works in this business knows there is hierarchy in production. While it may seem contradictory to our argument, this hierarchy is still necessary. The difference for us is in making the crew feel like an integral part of every project. The key factor being contribution not control.

This is a tricky balance to get right, and perfecting this balance is what sets us apart in the industry. At the end of the day the most important part of any shoot, no matter what you did on set, is to deliver and exceed the expectations of the client. That goal is always going to be our responsibility to meet.

There has been a lot of feedback from clients about how nice the vibe is during our shoots. We’ve always felt a big part of this is the effort we take to really involve the crew in our process. After all, they are not just nameless robots holding our lights.

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RESLV Making a Talking Head Video More than a Talking Head Video header image of a video screenshot of interview with Michael D. Verdier

MAKING A “TALKING HEAD” VIDEO MORE THAN A TALKING HEAD VIDEO

The classic talking head video, one of the most common videos out there. If you’re not familiar it’s exactly what it sounds like, someone talking into a camera i.e. a “talking head”. They are the types of videos that we, and many other production companies, get approached to make most often. While there is nothing wrong with a talking head video, they can sometimes be the right fit for what you need. But honestly, they can turn out to be quite boring (that is if you don’t know how to do them right). Lucky for us we know a few tricks to spice these types of videos up, and we are about the share them, lucky you.

The first key ingredient for a spiced up talking head video: good producing! There’s a reason people get degrees in communication and broadcasting, interviewing takes skill. It’s a lot more than asking questions, and coming up with the right questions is actually the easy part. It’s getting your interviewee to respond the way you want them to, and achieving that perfectly clear and well-spoken sound bite, that is the tricky part.

Here is our master producer trick number 1: don’t go in with your written-up list of questions. Not only can your interviewee catch a peak and ruin the spontaneity of an answer, but it can limit you in creativity and disturb the flow of the interview. That perfect sound bite may not come from the answer to your original question, but instead happen within natural conversation. Now, if you really need specific answers having those questions pre-written is important, and you should memorize them before the interview. But the best way to get a natural, engaging talking head is to have real conversations, and make a connection that your interviewee can speak from the heart on.

One more thing to be mentioned before we move on from interviews is the value in the whole crew working together to capture the interview. A factor that has set us apart is our inclusion and respect of each crew member no matter how small a role they play. Before you think you’re done with the shoot, let your makeup artist ask a question. You may be surprised by what can come out of some spontaneity.

So, you’ve had a great interview, congratulations! Now how do we put this video together so that people actually sit through it?  It’s important to keep the visuals interesting. A way to do that is adding some motion graphics or animations to compliment the dialogue. Interesting angles, different lightning techniques and master editing can also be incorporated to hold the attention of the audience. Making the video beautiful and visually interesting and ultimately fun to watch is going to hold the viewers’ attention so much better than someone talking straight at a camera for a minute thirty.

Implementing these tricks will give you a really great talking head video. But in the end, the best suggestion we have is to first ask yourself if a talking head video is really the best option. Often, there are a variety of cool ways to create the video you need minus a classic talking head. At RESLV, we always want to ask our clients this question first. Then see if we can push some boundaries and expand the concept of a video into something unexpected and possibly much more engaging while still staying true to the original purpose of the video. It can never hurt to be creative and try something new, that’s what we have creative directors for!

Check out some cool talking head videos we’ve created in the past:

BHDP – IID from RESLV on Vimeo.
Macys Mentorship: Byron and John from RESLV on Vimeo.
Taste of Belgium – New Galette from RESLV on Vimeo.

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RESLV Hello RESLV main header image, video screenshot of Scott Thompson and Nick Shell

Hello RESLV

We wanted to take a moment to properly introduce ourselves to the world. We are guessing that most people reading this right now probably already know us, and most likely have chatted with us in person at some time. But if you’re new here, welcome! And if you think you already know us like family, then let us (re)introduce ourselves, and maybe teach you something new about RESLV.

Respect or Relevant? Empathy or Elevate? Why RESLV and not RESOLVE? We set out make our name mean more than just the word it resembles.

RESLV Core Values from RESLV on Vimeo.

An acronym for our core values isn’t the only reason the name works for us. Let’s take a step back and learn how it all started.

What is RESLV? from RESLV on Vimeo.

When we first sat down to shoot these videos, the initial purpose was to talk about our creative process.

It’s no secret that the gear we use is readily available online for purchase or rent. But an investment in gear is not going to get you that far. It’s our process and how we apply that to our clients, that is what sets us apart.

RESLV Creative Process from RESLV on Vimeo.

In this industry, the creativity and final product often gets to shine. But business is first built on relationships.

Cultivating these relationships leads to brand elevation. What is brand elevation? Let’s watch.

RESLV Elevating Your Brand from RESLV on Vimeo.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little better. Let’s be honest, there’s a reason we are usually behind the camera. But we did it for you!

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