Heart Warming Video for Non-Profit Organization
Fidelity House Human Services, a non-profit company that provides residential and support services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, was looking to enhance their Careers page on their website with a video. They wanted a video to convey why the people who work at Fidelity House do what they do. Although challenging, I was very excited to take on this project because it was an excellent vehicle to create a video that speaks to the viewer’s heart in order to move their mind.
The most successful videos have stories at their core. By taking the viewer on the right journey, the audience will empathize with the characters in the story and, in the end, be ready to connect to the message we want to leave the audience with. For me the fun is walking through the process to discover who the interesting characters are, and uncover the unique journeys that led them to where they are today.
For Fidelity House, I held a discussion with six care givers and four individuals where I asked each of them a series of questions to learn all about them. I took hand-written notes and made an audio recording of the session so I could accurately refer back their answers. I distilled the key information on each person – their uniqueness and desires – then compared these characteristics against the five key words that crisply defined the purpose of the video: Care, Rewarding, Impact, Creative, and Activities. The key words are very important. They guide every decision that’s made to produce the video, from selecting the characters, places and objects to be filmed to the type of lighting, lens choices and even camera support. Once I had selected the characters and the journey I wanted to communicate, I then developed a script and story board. After the script was approved, I then created a shot list and scheduled a day to film.
To help communicate the message in the video, I thought it was important to emphasize the location of the home where the care givers worked. Instead of an institution, Fidelity House houses the individuals they take care of in homes located in real neighborhoods. So, I hired Chris Earle-Handley of Air-Reelz to use a DJI Inspire 1 drone to capture some aerial footage of the neighborhood. We had an absolutely brilliant day for the video shoot, but even with “ideal” looking conditions, there was still significant challenges for Chris to fly the drone precisely the way I wanted to capture the shots. Little things like the building and the trees were actually quite tricky to navigate even thought I thought they were “miles” away from danger. Chris was a true professional, repeating the moves several times to get the exact movement we were looking for. I think the shots made a huge impact on the final product.
I also implemented kinetic typography to help emphasize the messages in the video. If you look carefully, the text incorporates many of the key words. Kinetic typography is the art of using moving text to engage the viewer’s attention by forcing them to visually track the words as they move across, up or down the page. When synchronized with the audio, this technique can help emphasize points and even evoke particular emotions. You may recognize the kinetic text from this Ford commercial from a few years ago. I’ve also included an absolutely brilliant example of kinetic typography demonstrating the evolution of how text is used on paper and in film.
The feedback from Fidelity House on the final video has been wonderful.
- “As far as I’m concerned, this is a home run!”
- “I love it and think you achieved exactly what I thought we were looking for.”
- “I have never felt so proud to be able to say “I work with these people”! Wow, I am speechless!”
- “Most people tearing up.”
This clearly demonstrates how telling the right story can truly speak to the viewer’s heart and make them move their mind. Only time will tell whether the video will have the same impact on prospective employees, but I think we’ve given Fidelity House an excellent platform to help get their message across.