Our Viral Video Director Is Ready for His Close Up
Rather than host a casting call to audition the best camera-ready talent in the metro Atlanta area, Mopdog searched internally for the best employee to broadcast our firm’s personality. And there was no one better than Chris the Intern to accomplish some relatable self-promotion.
The goal of taking viewers behind the scenes at Mopdog was to get our name out to more people and build a fan base, using relevant and topical material in a unique way. My main goal of the entire series is to leave a last impression that our marketing firm is not stiff when it comes to talking about ourselves.
The project started as a mission for our internal team to stretch our creativity. Our CEO and creative director, Bill Musial, always says he hires experienced marketing professionals, so Mopdog can create, develop and promote out-of-the-box ideas for ourselves, and similar solutions for our clients.
Bill placed his trust in my ingenuity and expertise—as well as a great rapport with Chris—to highlight Mopdog’s tools, techniques and talented staff in a fun way. One of our barometers for success…if Bill’s teenage sons thought the videos were funny.
An Impromptu Production
Unexpected humor is one of the best ways to stand out online and one of the main components to take a video viral. To initially grab the viewer’s attention, we start each episode with an intro animation, which most amateur videos are not able to accomplish. From there, the live-action footage is a rush of tight shots and high angles, with two or three camera positions per location.
I serve as the sound engineer, camera operator, lighting technician, editor, storyboard writer and director. To make this possible, every episode starts with a loose script. I know the starting point, middle and end, but Chris must be comfortable enough with the subject matter to adlib jokes in his monologues.
Typically, Chris delivers a couple of lines in only two or three takes, before we move on to the next camera position. This creates rapid movement, which is necessary to reach today’s fast-paced online entertainment environment. In fact, the entire production is fast paced, with all the material shot in three hours and quickly edited to turn around in less than a week.
Lights, Camera, YouTube
Although The Intern series is meant to capture Chris in his actual environment, the persona he portrays is the exact opposite of his real personality. Chris The Intern is egotistical and self-important…and desperately trying to hide his flaws. The running joke across the entire series is that Chris The Intern gets nothing achieved and makes a huge deal out of every day, small, workplace problems.
Episode four will be released soon. It was inspired by a behind-the-scenes moment during a recent live webinar transmitted from the Mopdog office. Forced to be quiet while he “works,” Chris the Intern is adamant the only way to function is by stepping into a black and white silent movie.
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