You can take your branding a step further from just the look and style of your films–it can play a role in your entire business model. Film school nerds everywhere will sing along with me when I start talking about how this is similar to the idea of auteur theory. I’m not going to talk about classical auteurs, but about some modern ones–For example, if you were a producer, you would know exactly the vein of creative style you were getting if you hired Christopher Nolan to shoot a film for you. Or Terrence Malick. Tim Burton. Steven Spielberg. or George Lucas. See, these filmmakers are so remarkably influential in their taste-making preferences, that even though their films don’t look alike (or even if they do), they all exhibit the signs of being birthed from the same creative mind. Jessica Ringor’s presentation at In[Focus]2013 was geared at taking this principal of “auteur” or authorship into every aspect of your business: knowing your signature style will help you with decisions ranging from what you post on your business’ social media pages to exactly what kind of camera stabilizer you’ll shoot with during bridal preps.
So–what’s the “front door” of a business? What are the first impressions that a client will get from her first interaction with your product and your brand? Jessica has taken care to ensure that her website, logo, her wardrobe, and her films reflect the same sensibilities:
Jessica’s signature style is pretty easily recognizable–from the way she dresses on a shoot, to the way her images are color-graded, every font and color speaks to her style–emotional, uniquely hand-designed, soft & romantic.
I had the privilege of chatting with Jessica about her business before we all headed out to Los Angeles for the convention, so I was pretty excited to hear her presentation. She is a well-known filmmaker along the west coast, she has a beautiful family, she has a creative mind that plans for the future growth of her business, and her resume is enviable by any standards: her handmade wedding films have become the choice of some of the most distinguished clients, including Hollywood celebrities, celebrity event designers, film producers, Olympic athletes and fashion magazine editors. Something else you should know about Jessica is that she has had all this recognition from high profile clients without a heavy reliance on what we consider to be tricks of the trade–glidecam, sliders, etc. In fact, she has mentioned that in some cases when her team has been to a shoot with a glidecam, she will refrain from using the footage in the edit because it just doesn’t fit with her style.
Wow. When I learned that, I had to ask myself if I was that confident in my story-telling to exclude a certain kind of shot because it didn’t reflect the flow of the stories we normally create. Are the identity of my films tied up in whether I use a certain slider shot or glidecam shot?
Here’s a sample of Jessica’s work. I doubt you’ll even have a second to be wondering why there’s not a glidecam shot in there.
Even Jessica’s packaging is a reflection of her branding style. At every interaction with her company, Jessica’s clients are certainly going to enjoy her attention to detail.
When I tried to think of another person with this kind of attention to detail in his/her personal style, the one that came to my mind as 0ne great example of this in wedding filmmaking is Ray Estrada, whose cinematic eye always points toward creating intense drama and deep focus on emotion between a couple through his use of lighting, camera movement, and editing rhythms. His style is certainly unique, and any bride who hires him will know exactly what creative vein of film she can expect from watching his online samples.
Thoughts to consider:
Who is your favorite Hollywood auteur? What kind of things do you concentrate on in your films to create a unique, unifying style? How does your style expand across your branding?