Studio B Films had the good fortune to co-produce (with Peachpit Press) Marty Neumeier’s first DVD entitled, Innovation Workshop: Brand Strategy +Design Thinking =Transformation. Marty has published three successful books and frequently gives workshops on branding, innovation in the workplace and design. In condensing the content of three books into one 47-minute DVD, there were many factors to consider – most importantly, how to translate written content to video.
In Innovation Workshop, Marty demonstrates how to make your company more innovative in order to thrive in the new economy. Using memorable principles and simple exercises, he leads the viewer on a lively journey from traditional business thinking to “design” thinking. The DVD is designed to help companies become powerhouses of nonstop innovation.
In the following conversation, Marty Neumeier speaks with Studio B about the process of translating his written content to video.
You have published 3 successful books and use much of the content in a series of workshops. How was the experience turning your written content into video content?
Overall, I found the process often thrilling and sometimes difficult. I was a video virgin, and I didn’t know WHAT to expect. The part that was most difficult—but most rewarding—was watching myself from the audience’s point of view. Is that how my voice really sounds? Does my hair really look like that from the back? Do people really talk like this way?
Actually, writing the script was the easiest part. I write in a conversational tone anyway, and since I’m a big movie fan, I totally get the concept of storytelling, scenes, pacing, continuity, and so forth. Where I’m weak is acting. You could argue that acting in an educational video is not really acting, but even if your goal is to be yourself, it’s still acting. When you have five or six people hovering around with a quarter million dollars worth of equipment, and the director calls “Action,” being yourself is not an option. You need to somehow translate your written excitement into cinematic excitement.
What was the most surprising aspect of this translation process?
Speaking for myself, I found that it helps to exaggerate the emotional content of a scene. It’s not quite like being on stage, where you need to exaggerate EVERYTHING to connect with an audience, but neither is it like having a conversation with a friend over lunch. I plan to be a tiny bit more “dramatic” on the next one.
What role did Studio B play in helping to translate your ideas to the screen?
Studio B was awesome. They organized the shooting schedule. They kept the work on track. They watched over continuity. They made a lot of smart decisions on the fly, which is hard when you’re shooting out of order and working on a discontinuous schedule. I was impressed with their grasp of filmic nuance. And of course, their production and editing skills are rock solid. My hat’s off to David and Maris, and also to Mary Sweeney of Peachpit.
How do you think the DVD compliments your books?
It’s a useful complement to the books, because it brings them to life with workshop exercises. You can read all the books and get yet another experience from the video. You can actually unpack the 45-minute video to host a one-day workshop for a few dozen people, and come out with usable content for your company or brand.
In your new DVD you stress the importance of innovation within the workplace. This seems like a very timely, especially in the current economic downturn. How do you see your approach to innovation especially viable in the current competitive marketplace?
Actually, there’s never been a better time for innovation. Business-as-usual is no longer working, so companies and customers are open to radically different products, services, and ways of connecting. The future belongs to people who can let go of preconceptions, reject standard options, and imagine new ways to bring value to people’s lives.
Studio B Films is a Bay-Area production company. In the last 16 years, we have brought countless videos to life. We specialize in educational DVDs, corporate videos, marketing videos and PSAs. Please contact us at: www.studiobfilms.com