Review: Darrell Boeck's Corporate Video for the Event Videographer Training DVD
Most people who were living in Wisconsin in 2005 (and many others all over the nation) are familiar with the work of Darrell Boeck. Repeated showings of his Tribute to A Fallen Marine on the evening news left Boeck's work seared into the memories of anyone who saw it, alongside other indelible images of the war in Iraq. The tribute captured the funeral of Bobby Warns, a 23-year-old Marine from Waukesha, Wisconsin, who was killed in combat in November 2004. There's just no way to watch it without a lump in your throat.
Boeck's company, Creative Images (based in Brookfield, Wisconsin), is not actually in the memorial tribute business. The two-man operation has been producing wedding video since 1989 and doing substantial corporate work since the late '90s. The company's new training DVD, narrated by Boeck, addresses corporate video from a perspective well-suited to the EventDV audience: Corporate Video for the Event Videographer.
The DVD starts with the premise that corporate video is the perfect way for wedding videographers to take their businesses full time with steady alternate revenue streams, and even refine and improve their craft. One thing Boeck makes clear from the beginning is that his company's corporate video DVD has no pretentions of covering the gamut of corporate and commercial video production. Rather, it explains how to book and pull off the kind of corporate video that makes the most sense for small companies with expertise in event video—"low-end" and "medium-end" work—while leaving "high-end" work for big production companies that have different sorts of resources and skills. According to Boeck, the possibilities in those low and middle markets are "huge."
Generally, what Boeck means by "low" and "medium" are training, sales, and educational videos for small companies. These may involve interviews or single-speaker shoots (possibly incorporating PowerPoint presentations or teleprompters), designed for internal use or for distribution to clients. Also in this category are short promotional videos, such as a promotional video for a golf course, shown here in its entirety, that's stylistically very similar to a bridal elegance video.
Corporate Video is generous with its video examples, in spite of long talking-head sequences (which, Boeck says, he's already broken up with graphics since the version I saw). Boeck talks at length about the few pieces of new equipment videographers will need to get into corporate work; and he discusses what kinds of new contacts and business strategies they should plan to adopt. He also goes into nuts-and-bolts issues, such as how to find and hire voice talent; how to integrate PowerPoint into video; the need to build a corporate website (and possibly a different company name and brand) that's distinct from your wedding site; and how to set and itemize your prices.
One of Boeck's overarching themes is "determining your client's needs." In this respect his insight is very instructive, beginning with the initial phone call (which you shouldn't let begin and end with "How much do you charge?"). Finally, Boeck offers his own notion of what makes a business successful. He offers, as mantra, "limit your failures," by which he means to only take jobs that are a good fit for your skills and the way your business is structured. It's a fitting final message to a well-structured and well-targeted DVD.