Case Study: Enten by Neurable

Case Study - Enten By Neurable - Kickstarter Video - Double Jump Media

Written by Creative Director, Merry Fidler

We all need different things to help us focus. For example, Chris, our animator, can only focus while wearing a breakfast-themed shirt. Ben, our CEO, likes to listen to metalcore loudly enough to make the office walls shudder. Ian, our DP, is a redhead, so he probably does witchcraft. As for me, my tasks involve a lot of deep contemplation, i.e., staring at the gas station across the street, eating candy, and writhing on the floor. 
The Enten headphones from Neurable don’t offer a “one size fits all” strategy for users to improve focus, which may be the most alluring part about them. Yes, the nuts and bolts of Enten’s features sound flashy and sci-fi — EEG sensors woven into the ear cuffs, fancy algorithms, brain-computer interfaces. But what Neurable unlocks is simple: the ability to understand your own mind using actual data. With Enten, all you have to do to improve focus is tap into what already works for you. In other words, Enten doesn’t tell you what you should do to focus; it tells you what you already do to focus, using actual scientific data to back it up.

Enten by Neurable

Neurable was referred to us through Russell Marketing, a Brooklyn-based marketing agency with expertise in product launches. For that team to charge us with making a video for the next big thing in tech was a significant task, but one we were game to take on. Before we knew it, we were flying head-first into a crash course on neuroscience and neurotech. After staring at neuroscience copy for a good while, our faces have permanently frozen like this.

Though we are still only .05% of the way to becoming neuroscientists ourselves, know this much: we LOVE learning whatever we need to, not only so we can write good scripts but also so we can appreciate the product and its makers as much as possible. Plus, all of this learning allows me to push my glasses down my nose and say, “Well, actually…” whenever one of these topics comes up at a party, which everyone really appreciates. 

Our shoot for Neurable consisted of one day in our studio for product shots and two days on location. We wanted to show a couple of different types of users so people would get the sense of how the technology could help anyone, left-brained, right-brained, harebrained. Filming on the first two days went really well, but I got my first stomach bug in 14 whole years the day before the last shoot. I kept count because it’s impressive, thank you. This third shoot day was the most complex in terms of set design, and I was also supposed to direct it, both difficult things to do while lying in the ER. I trust our team, but I can, at times, fall into the misconception that the world will go down in flames should I fail to show up. I’m pleased to report this is not the case; our team very much keeps the world spinning no matter what. What you get with a production company like Double Jump is a well-rounded group that does a lot of careful planning from the beginning; that way, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor bed-stricken director stays us from the swift completion of your video. 

After a long production for a product we really believe in, we were anxious to send that first draft. We only send videos we’re proud of, but we care a lot, so we can’t help but wait nervously for what our clients have to say. The first response we got was from a Neurable co-founder: “That sh*t is fire!” 

Now, we are all sitting here with our matching tattoos of that quote, eagerly awaiting the arrival of our own Enten headphones. Neurable’s IndieGoGo campaign fully funded in about 30 minutes and went on to raise $224,431. That’s over 8x their initial goal. I guess that sh*t really is fire. 

Are you about to launch a tech product but want a video team that will love it as tenderly as you do? Check out our site and fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can help. 

Case Study: Don’t Make Things Harder Than They Need to Be

Case Study - Don’t Make Things Harder Than They Need To Be - Double Jump Media

Written by Merry Fidler

The concept for this video actually started with a mailbox. I’d bought a mailbox for an unrelated shoot, and thanks to our then cramped office space, every day at my desk had started to look like Bring Your Mailbox to Work Day. We were in the middle of brainstorming internal ad ideas, and I had the nuisance of mailboxes on the mind. I said, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if someone lugged around an entire mailbox instead of just grabbing their mail? It’s kind of like how some of our potential clients don’t understand how much harder they’re making their lives by not outsourcing their videos.” 

This idea was tucked away in the vault until this year when we decided it was time for a new retargeting ad for Double Jump. But to raise the stakes a little bit, we decided to go with a version involving a fridge instead of a mailbox. “Let’s produce a video where we make fun of a guy lugging around a fridge for no reason by lugging around a fridge ourselves.” And thus, “Don’t Make things Harder Than They Need to Be: Fridge Edition” was born. We practice what we preach to clients about retargeting ads because they work. Actually, for visiting this website, you’ll likely see this ad sometime in your near future. Fortunately, we care about you and wouldn’t let you be followed by something boring! 

Onto pre-production we went. Marketing Manager Ally had a great idea about our protagonist doing something silly at home, like spinning wool. I love this part of pre-production because it’s where videos start to take on a life of their own, evolving and surprising you when others join in. I quickly realized wool spinning was a little beyond my crafting knowledge. But sometimes, our lives turn out much better when Plan A is thwarted. “Prove it,” you say? We found a masterpiece for our character to paint instead:

I drove 800 million miles to Willard, MO, and paid $20 for this baby painting. I, unfortunately, neglected to pop the baby out of its rusty frame until the morning of the shoot. I discovered at that last minute that it was not a print but a CALENDAR PAGE that someone loved soooo much they FRAMED IT and sold it on Facebook marketplace. This revelation nearly threw a wrench in our whole plan — you can’t paint on a thin calendar page without it wrinkling up immediately. But last-minute problems are where the magic can really happen on set. I knew our character would have to pretend to paint on the picture, so what if we leaned into that? What if our protagonist is just fake painting at home while his CEO partner is at work? It’s bananas, just the way we like it. 

Now for the whole lugging a fridge around bit. If we just found a house with a similar fridge to the one in our office, we wouldn’t have to move our office fridge farther than a few yards. Turns out our fridge is the Gonzo of refrigerators and has no twin in the universe. Plus, Ally had a lovely dining room for us to shoot in and a deep, burning desire to parade her fridge around town. I think it’s safe to say the team didn’t share the same burning desire (because who would?), but I never would have guessed when the lugging day came. The DJM production team has golden retriever energy and is game for anything that gets the crazy idea done. Even our Director of Photography, Ian, though he was green around the gills, couldn’t help but get in on the action. He now only responds to the name “The Fridge Mover.”

Providing the final spice melange was our cast, Nate Black and Sarah Jenkins. Nate and Sarah are comedic legends in Springfield; their improv skills kept the humor ball rolling, turning set into a ridiculous think-tank of “what if this” and “what if that.” I’m always proud of this team and the talent they recruit. Without their skill and exciting energy, our projects wouldn’t have a beating heart, and no one wants to be followed by an ad with no heart. 

If you need a retargeting ad with some heart and soul, forget Hoagy Carmichael! Fill out our contact form to get started!

Why Do Professional Videos Cost So Much?

Written by Merry Fidler

Video making is now more accessible to the average person than ever before. So, why are professional videos still so expensive? Ultimately, the answer is relative — one’s definition of “expensive” and the type of video desired are significant variables. Nevertheless, we want to outline a few reasons why a professional ad will likely be more than a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars (but also why it’s worth it!).

Labor

Professional video making is a service that is just like any other; it’s a skill that takes a lot of education and time to hone. The prevalence of videos can make them seem easy to produce, but just because someone can film a wedding or has a Youtube channel doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to produce something like a staged commercial. What’s more, one person isn’t usually enough to create a well-polished video. Our crews typically don’t dip below four people, and even that can be considered a skeleton crew. 

But before and after the shoot, there’s other labor involved — a lot of it. Scriptwriters, producers, actors, location scouts, production designers, hair and makeup, wardrobe, storyboarders, editors, sound mixers, animators, music supervisors, and colorists, to name a few. Sometimes team members will wear several of these hats, but the work involved in planning, designing, and executing those multiple roles remains the same. 

Your video’s price reflects the small (or large!) village required to properly make your commercial.

Equipment

Quality cameras are easy to find these days; your phone can probably even shoot in 4k. But cameras are just a portion of the equipment needed for a professional shoot. Something that sets professional camerawork apart is its use of multiple quality lenses, and these lenses can be more expensive than the camera body itself. Professional lights are arguably the most critical factor in creating a high-quality image; it can take many of them to illuminate something like a windowless studio or abandoned warehouse. Even scenes with “natural” light can require the boost of artificial light sources. And don’t forget audio equipment, which, if it is subpar, will sink your video faster than anything. 

Post-production also comes with a host of its own equipment needs. Cameras can now shoot in mind-boggling resolutions (like 4, 6, 8, or even 12k), resulting in footage with mammoth data proportions. To process this footage without system crashes, editors require top-of-the-line computers with an ocean’s worth of RAM, external hard drives, and cloud storage subscriptions. Professional editing software is also a fixed expense; there are only a few options, and their pricing is not something that users can change. 

In addition to the expense of acquiring equipment, there’s the expense of having a place to store it, a way to transport it, and insurance to cover it. 

Time

Finally, as we all know, time = money, no matter the industry. Let’s talk about how the timeline of your video can affect the cost. If you need a video expedited, it will raise prices. Firstly, a production company will be paying its staff and subcontractors overtime. Secondly, there isn’t a lot of time for finding good deals or waiting on scrappier solutions; production design is an excellent example of this. Say your video requires a human-sized banana, as many do. Our Production Designer could make this herself with materials she sourced for a sensible price if given a standard timeline. But if you need to shoot in two days, our Production Designer will have no other option than to go to humansizedfruit.com and expedite the already more expensive banana. 

Similarly, if a video project drags beyond a standard timeline, there’s a lot of room for extra costs. We’ve run into this with prototype issues and seasonal/weather conflicts. Stopping and starting production means doubling back on work, particularly on the Producer’s part, which adds cost. Read more here for some helpful tips on avoiding these delays, especially when working with a prototype.

There are many ways to cut costs and save money, and a production company that’s worth its salt will know how to help you do that. But because there are so many videos in the world, it will take some level of investment if you want your ad to shine. Are you ready to invest in such a video? Fill out our contact form to get started!

Where It Started, How It’s Going

Written by Merry Fidler, Creative Director

The open-concept office craze works great for sardines; they don’t make many phone calls and aren’t excellent at opening and closing doors. Double Jump had been exclusively operating out of open-concept offices until the past year, but we (unfortunately) are not sardines. We don’t mean to completely dismiss the benefits of these spaces, but by 2020, we were bursting at the seams of our 900 square foot cubby.

We all dreamed of finding a new HQ that at least had a private call room, a window, and if we couldn’t all have offices, maybe enough room to spread our desks a little further apart than before. But the one must-have for the new office was a bigger space for our studio. In our then studio, we could shoot small products and one small person at a time IF we moved everyone’s desks and made an almighty mess. However, we found that large studio space was not something most office spaces could accommodate easily, leaving us on what felt like a wild goose chase.

But one fateful day, the property angels of Springfield shone upon us, and we happened upon an office that was everything we could hope for times ten. It had windows, private offices for everyone and several to spare, a conference room, and a giant shared space for studio shoots and other mischiefs. It was quadruple the square footage of the office we were in at the time.

Usually, the act of moving feels like the worst thing the gods have cursed humanity with, but we couldn’t wait. We all painted our new offices whatever color our hearts desired and learned that only Ben knew the proper way to paint century-old brick (have a professional paint crew do it for you). Then, we each took turns hurling insults at each other just so we could know what it feels like to slam a door in the face of a coworker. The move also coincided with our rebrand, which inspired us to let loose on the main space design. 

But the most beautiful thing about our new space is by far what it allows us to create. Having a larger studio outside our offices is like having our own mad scientist’s lab to hone our craft further. The scale of the studio gives our videos a greater range than before. And the fact that what happens in the studio doesn’t impede on coworkers’ workspaces means we can spend more time on set design. Check out our studio highlight reel of what we’ve been able to create in the short time we’ve been here! 

We couldn’t be happier with the new DJM lair and are excited to start some studio shoots for your company or product. If you’re ready for our crew to heelie out of their offices and into the studio for you, contact us here!

Our first door sign.
Studio install.
Our first production meeting at our conference table, made by Ricky Hernandez.
Important to-do list.
Ricky Hernandez installing our wall logo.
Ben Clayton, CEO, sprawling out.
Nick Warnock, Biz Dev, living out his Mad Men office dreams.

Case Study: Dake Wells Architecture Presents Reeds Spring Middle School

Case Study - Dake Wells Architecture Presents Reeds Spring Middle School - Double Jump Media

Written by Merry Fidler

Most people can generally agree that middle school is one of life’s lower points. You’re this transient being with jumbo feet like buttresses for your disproportionate body, a complexion defined as just “oily,” and no real idea of who you are or where you fit in. You spend most days wishing there was a hole in the ground to sequester until adulthood while simultaneously fuming at no one noticing you or taking you seriously.

It wasn’t until we began work on this documentary that I realized how much school buildings reflect the dismissive attitude we often have toward middle schoolers — that disregard we develop from not knowing how to handle them. These students (and their saint-like teachers) get hand-me-down, defunct high school buildings to serve out their pubescent purgatory. At least half of my middle school education, for instance, took place in trailers. 

Imagine my awe, then, at seeing the middle school that Dake Wells designed for Reeds Spring, Missouri. This awe wasn’t just at the building’s design, stunning as it is, but also at the town for working so hard to make sure these students felt noticed and had a facility that met their specific needs. They all could have efficiently settled for a run-of-the-mill classroom box and patted themselves on the back. But, as Brandon Dake says in the video, “Good enough isn’t good enough for us.” The result of this attitude is an extraordinary gem in the rough of rural Missouri. 

Tim Michalak, Drone Op; Merry Fidler, Writer/Director; Sarah Davis, Producer; Justin Cardoza, Director of Photography; Ian Keiser, AC

This building project’s unexpected nature and subsequent success have garnered Dake Wells (a well-known architecture firm out of Springfield, MO) a lot of attention since the school’s completion. This year, the EdSpaces 2020 conference’s powers asked Dake Wells to give a special presentation about the RSMS’ design. EdSpaces is kind of like the meeting for architects. Our documentary served as part of that virtual presentation. 

Upon first hearing the story myself, I completely understood why the building was being nationally honored by other architects. Reeds Spring is a small town of fewer than 1,000 people about an hour outside of Springfield, a sleepy site peppered with old buildings that testify to a more bustling time. It’s a peculiar place in that everyone you meet there seems one-of-a-kind — an artist, a rocker, a yurt builder. But from how the town looks alone, you’d never guess this middle school and its cathedral-like atrium laid just over the hill.

Brandon Dake, President of Dake Wells Architecture

Our team works hard to make sure we find a personal connection with each project we do, but this one didn’t take work for a few reasons. Firstly, hearing Dake Well’s creative process was both an encouragement and an education. Here is this acclaimed firm with incredible talent facing many of the same challenges we do regarding creativity, collaboration, budgets, and even logistical nightmares. Dake Wells is an inspiration to me in how to solve problems with extraordinary creativity. This middle school, for example, is built into a ravine. The ordinary solution to building on or near a gorge would be to level it or move the building site entirely. Instead, Dake Wells decided to use it, and in so doing, was able to give the school more than it could have otherwise. 

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, this project struck a chord because many of us on the Double Jump Team know what it’s like to be a kid living in varying levels of obscurity. We are those Reeds Spring kids growing up in towns where the poverty level is several ticks over the national average. We are the kids who equated our self-worth with what we saw around us, which was nothing much. 

Merry Fidler, Writer/Director

This video opens with the line, “We think design is for everyone, not just those who can afford it. Not just those who have a lot of money.” The architects saw these students and gave them what they deserved, which was something extraordinary. Growing up with big dreams in a small town, I used the arts as signal flares as if to say, “I’m here! See me!” Being seen would mean maybe my dreams weren’t doomed to be of the pipe variety. The architects at Dake Wells have reminded our team that we can choose to validate people or exclude them with our work. We can perpetuate the exclusivity that often comes with our industry, or we crack open the door in a way that few did for us. Here’s to hoping we always remember to pursue the latter. 

How to Know When Your Brand is Ready For a Video

Written By Merry Fidler, Creative Director

At Double Jump, it’s no secret that we sell video production services. However, we would rather you wait until you’re ready to make a good video than have you stroke a check right now for a lousy one. Companies often approach us before they have their ducks in a row when it comes to what they want and need in a video. Because we want you to have the best video possible, we’ve compiled a handy list of questions to ask yourself before officially kicking off your video project.

But don’t take just our word for it…

“Absolutely the best experience! This was the first time we needed video production, I was completely new to the process and didn’t know what to expect. I must tell you that we as a company and I personally have been extremely pleased with everything Double Jump has done for us. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a video production company.”

– Travis Schnelle, Founder @ ACIS IT Solutions

Have you narrowed the creative down to one type of video? 

Having a collection of reference videos you like isn’t necessarily the same as knowing what kind of video you want to make right now. Imagine asking someone what they want for lunch only to have them rattle off every meal they’ve ever liked. That answer won’t get you anywhere fast. We love coming up with creative ideas for our clients, but if you don’t know what you want then we’re just taking stabs in the dark. And in order to keep your video on time and on budget, we can’t risk stabs in the dark. 

Does your product exist? 

We understand that videos are often needed as proofs of concept for investors or for crowdfunding purposes, and we are definitely used to using some smoke and mirrors on set and in the edit bay. However…

If you only have a preliminary prototype, the question you should ask yourself is this: Does my prototype do my ultimate product justice or does it make me cringe? Don’t spend money on a video if you don’t like your prototype. 

Alternatively, if you don’t have a prototype yet, the question you should ask is this: Am I willing to pay extra for the video team to make a mock-up? Mock-ups will require a longer lead time and a larger budget in every case. 

Is your current company branding sticking around for a while (or do you have branding at all)?

We want to give you a video with a long shelf-life, and to do that, your company must “know thyself.” If your company’s voice or overall style changes after your video is made (from humorous to sincere, for example), there’s little that can be done to extend the lifespan of that particular video. Fonts, logos, and graphics can be updated in an ad, but require additional time and, you guessed it, money. If there is a rebranding on the horizon, it’s better to hold off. 

Do you have the money for the video you really want? 

Set yourself (and your production company) up for success. If you want a feast for $1, you won’t get a feast and will have wasted $1. Double disappointment.

Do you have the time to collaborate during the production of this video? 

It will save you so much time and money if you do all of these preparations first, yes, but there will still be some work on your part required during production. Even though our production company is a one-stop-video-shop, client direction and approval is still required routinely in order to ensure everyone remains on the same page. Ghosting your production team in the middle of production can keep the whole project from moving forward, costing you — say it with me now — time and money.  

Do all the people who will be approving this video agree on all of the above? 

Identify the people on your team who will need to greenlight the video and get their approval from the beginning. Are they on board with the idea and the price? If not, it’s much easier (and cheaper!) to go back to the drawing board in the beginning rather than after the video is already made. 

We hope these tips will start you on the path to the best video possible. When your row of ducks is ready to take the video plunge, just give us a holler.

5 Comedy Sketches That Help Distract Us From The Upcoming Election

Written by Merry Fidler

The election is important. Now that we’ve done our due diligence, here’s some anxiety-numbing videos that we cherish. 

Number One: I Think You Should Leave: The Day That Robert Palins Murdered Me

Thanks to Tim Robinson’s extra specific stream of consciousness song, we know precisely how the skeletons pull your hair. 

Number Two: Portlandia: What Is A Garmin?

There are arguably funnier sketches from the indie beloved Portlandia, but this endearing sketch shows the power of a quotable bit. This video has no timely relevance, it doesn’t rely on satire, and you may even be so cynical as to say, “that was a waste of my time.” But don’t be surprised if the next time someone asks for a volunteer you hear a little voice inside saying, “I can do that, I’m a little guy!” 

Number Three: Saturday Night Live: Haunted Elevator ft. David S. Pumpkins

David S. Pumpkins first hit the scene a few weeks before the 2016 Presidential Election, so at this extra spooky, extra-political time, the meaninglessness of David S. just feels right. Any questions???

Number Four: Dana Carvey Show: Stupid Pranksters

It’s simple, it’s beautiful, it’s repeatable, it’s gold. 

Number Five: Noel Fielding: Jelly Fox

Jelly Fox holds a particularly dear place in the DJM’s heart. The team was on their way back from Laredo, TX. It was the middle of the night in F-you Oklahoma, and everyone was struggling to stay awake. That’s when Double Jump’s CEO introduced the sun-chapped, travel-weary crew to the surreal world of “Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.” The Jelly Fox is credited with seeing the crew safely home that night. Now, you will likely watch this and be terrified, and you may even think we’re freaks, and that’s fair. But if you EVER speak ill of the Jelly Fox in the presence of a DJM member we’ll force you to star in a version of Apocalypto where everyone’s got toothpaste on their eye. 

Extra Special Bonus Sketch: Monty Python: Ministry of Silly Walks

We’d be remiss to not mention the sketch comedy gods that are Monty Python. Adopt a silly walk so when we see you on the street we’ll know you read this to the end. 

Case Study: Wonder Hoodie

https://vimeo.com/video/430864464

Written by Merry Fidler

When thinking back on the Wonder Hoodie video, something like the word “saga” comes to mind. The amazingly innovative folks at Wonder Hoodie approached us back in 2018 about creating what was then to be a Kickstarter campaign for their revolutionary product: a bulletproof hoodie that fits men, women, and children, is a fraction of the cost of other bulletproof clothing, and blends into everyday wear. Wonder Hoodies were so revolutionary, though, that it took the production of their video from what is normally a couple of months to nearly 1.5 years! 

Wonder Hoodie’s crowdfunding had less to do with getting the word out and more to do with amping up manufacturing to meet demand. The unfortunate wave of gun-related violence in our country, particularly in recent years, plus the lack of anything else like Wonder Hoodie on the market left the company wiped out after each new event. Wonder Hoodie themselves are against fear-based advertising, having an emphasis on hopeful pragmatism instead: we live in a world with guns that are used for sport, protection, as well as malicious intent – all of which result in the need for accessible safety-wear. Gun-related deaths and injuries are no respecters of persons, and now there’s a solution for everyone. 

We love to see our clients succeed, so Wonder Hoodie selling out was a good “problem.” However, it resulted in pre-production starting and stopping no less than 3 different times. The client would have inventory at the ready for us, we’d plan, then the inventory would be sold out. The design would change and new prototypes would be sent to us, only to find out there was a flaw in the prototypes. They’d sell out again. The cycle went on. Then came something none of us were prepared for: COVID 19.

Finally, we had hoodies in our possession, locations booked, and actors at the ready. Wonder Hoodie’s founder was set to fly in from San Francisco to join us for the long-awaited shoot. But flights, events, even entire industries were shutting down. The reality had taken a bit but it was starting to set in — this pandemic might be for real, and it might stop everything in its wake, not just production. The day before our client was set to arrive in SGF, we had to make a difficult phone call. “We’re afraid if you come here, you won’t be able to fly back. We’re not even sure that we’ll be allowed to shoot at all.” This video was starting to feel like “The Scottish Play,” of videos. 

When we emerged from our stay-at-home lairs, we were bound and determined; this video is getting filmed NOW and it. will. kick. ass. Our skeleton crew shot over a couple of days throughout Springfield, filming a character in transit, a character jogging through dark city streets, and a father and son hunting in the woods just north of town. This was our first shoot involving masks. It took some getting used to, especially for the bespectacled and small-faced among us, but the masks were a very small price to pay to be back in the saddle. Luckily, most of our scenes were outside, but we had to make sure to dot our “i’s” when it came to riding public transit. The buses aren’t generally packed in Springfield, but we had to make sure we were allowed on it in the first place, then make sure our crew and cast (the latter of which couldn’t wear a mask on camera) felt comfortable with it. Thankfully the bus greeted us with just one other passenger. For the first time with this video, we started to strike a bit of luck.

The good luck only snowballed throughout the remainder of the project. We found an amazing new voice over artist for the edit. Our 2D animator created a sleek animation of Kevlar in no time flat. The color-grading added the “fajita sizzle.” But what would the client think? After all this time, could anything live up to the suspense that several years of waiting had sown? We were anxiously awaiting Wonder Hoodie’s feedback the day after sending the video, but we were busy on another shoot. So, we made a pact to not look at any feedback until the shoot day was done. But our teammates back in the office couldn’t wait, they broke the pact to tell us the good news: “I’m a happy clam and could not have asked for a better video/production team to have worked with!!!!!! Thank you!!!” 

Now that we’ve picked our bodies off the floor, we’re thrilled to finally share this video for the incredible Wonder Hoodie. 

Chief of Tinkering: Quick Tips I Learned Messing Up Along The Way

Chief of Tinkering - Quick Tips I Learned Messing Up Along The Way - Double Jump Media
Chief of Tinkering - Quick Tips I Learned Messing Up Along The Way - Double Jump Media

by Ben “Chief of Tinkering” Clayton

Over the years as Double Jump Media has grown from a one man band operation to a small team, my role has shifted dramatically. If I needed to quickly sum up my primary function in any given workweek, it would be Chief of Tinkering.

A few quick tips that I’ve learned from messing up along the way:

If you are attempting to improve the effectiveness of your workflow, it must be done in a controlled environment.

Sameness is key. Everyone on your team must be performing tasks in the same way each time aside from the new variable you are testing. As tempting as it is, a complete system overhaul is not the way to go.

In the scenario of changing multiple variables in a system simultaneously, how are you able to track which variant of your system is producing the optimal result? Sure, you may have some success with this method but you will never unlock the full potential of your organization. Inevitably, you will be stuck trying to grow new leaves on dead limbs without knowing the cause of death in the first place.

Clearly defined test periods are required for you to not hemorrhage time or money.

Even if you have come back from the latest marketing guru’s think summit full of million dollar ideas to implement in your organization, you need to slow yourself down in a hurry. Jumping the gun will ruin you in a heartbeat.

A simple “if this then that” statement is essential to capping the length of your experimentation and avoiding running your operation into the ground. Example: “If I don’t see x% increase in leads/sales/etc in the next 30 days, then I will shut this experiment down.”

If it ain’t working, walk away from the table.

Don’t shut an idea down unless it’s tested.

Unless you have empirical data that explains otherwise, treat any idea as potentially valid until it has been properly experimented with.  I’ve found most of my resistance to organizational change in times past quite irrational in hindsight. Some of the newer, more effective methods we employ make me question how we got so far without them in the first place.

Lean on logic and probability and you’ll go quite far. But don’t believe me unless you’ve tested it for yourself.

Case Study: Ensight Convey Equipment Series

A great transgression in the video world is that industrial food videos tend to be low-quality, out-of-date, and boring when food machinery is none of those things! Industrial food equipment is bursting with ingenuity and imagination, and with this series of videos for Ensight, we wanted to make something that reflected that. So, head first we dove into the world of meat processing (figuratively, of course). After learning the ins and outs of meat tenderizing, blade widths, and belt speeds, we were ready to get the cameras rolling.

Our crew woke up to an ice storm brewing on the morning of the shoot, but their spirits couldn’t be shaken (the all-wheel-drive helped, too). 

The Ensight showroom teemed with employees eager to see the rarely operational machines in use because yes, industrial food machinery is exciting! In fact, while the team filmed a long, beautiful shot of a chicken breast slowly approaching the blades, a distinct echo of “Wow!” could be heard throughout the impressed crowd. 

After a smooth day of shooting, the Ensight team allowed our crew to boost their blood sugar levels for the journey home with a sampling of cereal marshmallows they had stowed away for top-secret experiments.

We feel very proud of how this Ensight series turned out. Taking great care in scripting, filming, and even the music choice really paid off in creating videos that convey Ensight’s quality and attention to detail. It goes to show what a little extra care in your manufacturing video can do to set your company apart.