I do tons of work for Nicole, the CEO and founder of The Chestee, but lately I have been helping her outside the realm of corporate video work centralized on her company. Not only is Nicole a CEO and founder, but she is also an influencer. She is using her influence to do good in the community. She has paired up with RomWod and The Keala Foundation to raise money for The Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run; a fundraiser to support programs for young people struggling with substance abuse on the island of Kauai.
As with most shoots that I partner with Nicole on, they are kind of last minute. I never take this negatively but as more of a challenge. This shoot was a bit different though. It didn’t require me to direct anyone or prep a space and it was very run and gun. I do well in these situations, adapting quickly to my subjects and surroundings, so the shoot itself was pretty easy. A total of three hours for setup, shooting, and breakdown came and went. The harder part was the edit.
When you have time to plan, idiate, spitball, and storyboard, an edit can just flow. Even if that doesn’t happen, you can plan shots as you are doing them, seeing how they will interlace together seamlessly. This was a different beast altogether. Sure, I saw my timeline in my head as I was shooting, thinking about my in-camera transitions and audio queues. Even thinking about rhythmic syncing. But the thing that was more ambiguous was the story.
After the shoot, I asked Nicole for a few things:
Specifics she wanted included
Number of cuts
Any other direction
I was provided with all I asked for except for real direction. So I transcoded my footage, found a song, cleaned up the garbled gym audio, and went to work. After looking through the footage there were tons of ‘cool’ shots but also a feeling of community, teamwork, and friendship. I took these feelings/looks and melded them into each other. The pace ramped up slowly, building into the workout, and rolled back down with the same values I started with.
The next part was to clean up the edit, confirm timing of every jump and transition, add sound architecture, add branding, and export variants. This is the part where a creator is proud. They made something, something that embodied the vision, the idea. I uploaded this film to Google Drive, added Nicole, and waited for a response.
She liked it but it wasn’t exactly what she was going for…
This is the moment where the creator crumbles. Sure, changes are fine and expected in some form or another but when the feeling you were trying to evoke is not received that is where the let down happens. So I waited for more concrete feedback and went back to the drawing board.
Mainly, the pace needed to start and finish at a high tempo, and it needed to look cool. All the emotion and build up was out. So, four hours later I buttoned up my edit, exported, and delivered.
She loved it. Done.
This has happened a few times to me, mainly because of lack of knowing what the customer needed or wanted. I always go back and think though. Was it my fault? Could I have done better the first time? I think the answer is yes, and no. Yes, I could have waited longer, drilled for more direction, maybe written up my idea(s) before editing. But, at the same time, I know I did my best. I know the result was good just not the goal of the end product.
The moral of the story here is:
Create, make, and inspire. But first make what the customer wants/needs. Then make what you need.
Below is my version of the video, hope you like it!