Why Empathy is Vital in Video Production
Welcome to Creator Corner, our monthly series where we feature guest contributions to our blog. This month’s post dives into why you need to prioritize empathy in the video production process.
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When producers/production companies dole out advice on the best tips and tricks about creating the most engaging content, it often includes the latest expensive gear, advanced editing techniques, or organizational methods. But at Red Riding Hood Productions, we have found the most impactful is the power of empathy. Empathizing with your talent while filming, crew members during production, and audience during the entire production process helps you remember the ultimate goal of creating — engagement.
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Too many times have we been on sets for other production companies that just feel, well, a bit sterile. Everything is a little too serious, the rank of the crew is all too important (ahem, do you know how hard that Production Assistant is working for you?!), and there is not nearly enough time spent on getting to know each other. What our production company values is rapport – not just small talk, but digging in and having valuable conversations. We have found that taking the time before, during, and after production to build relationships with crew members and talent creates a comfort that translates into cinema gold. We believe that this comfort creates an ease that makes the audience connect with the content. It’s not forced and it’s definitely not sterile — it’s warm and inviting.
Every production is going to have a hiccup, but all too often, that minor hiccup can create undue tension, or worse, outright negativity that shifts the production mood in the wrong direction. We are not the “good vibes only,” rainbows shooting out of our eyes type of people. However, we do believe in the power of dealing with the moment, maybe not feeling awesome about it, moving on and getting back to positivity as quickly as possible. After wrapping a project, the number one feedback that we get from the client, crew, and talent is how easy it was — that we made the process seamless and fun. At the end of the project, nobody is going to remember that minor hiccup, but they will remember a good or bad attitude.
As the poet Marianne Moore said, “egotism is usually subversive of sagacity.” Meaning, if your ego is too loud, it will outcompete your clear judgement. It may seem ironic to cite a quote from a poet that uses big words to talk about ego, but in full transparency, I had to look up the meaning of “sagacity.” In other words, stay humble. While you may be the director, producer, artist, what have you giving life to a project, ultimately, your humility, your comfort with asking questions (and looking up big words), and your ability to empathize will make it shine more than any other skills or training you might bring to the table. When you understand who your client is, and more importantly, who their audience is, that’s where the true magic is created. By quieting our egos, truly listening to others, and ultimately embodying empathy, we have the power to create content that does more than just shine, it moves people.
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Learn more about Red Riding Hood’s approach to empathetic filmmaking on their website.
Howdy! We’re Cassandra Klepac and Amber Genuske. We founded Red Riding Hood Productions after seeing a need for more women in the industry. Sometimes you just need a feminine touch, you know? The goal: fill the gap of production companies with experience and empathy to boot. We believe that the best stories are told with heart and we pride ourselves on having a lot of it. Through an empathetic and authentic approach, we create a relationship with our clients. Through this rapport, the video and photo narratives have a depth unlike others. This is what makes us stand apart from every other production company in the game. Red Riding Hood Productions is a new kind of full-service video and photo production house. We’re a team of women visual storytellers with drive that is only paralleled by our heart.
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