Why Did a Client 3,000 Miles Away Hire Me to Direct My First Video?

Believe It Or Not, It All Started With a Freelance Writing Project for Intel Microprocessors.

People often ask me how I started directing YouTube videos. My first big opportunity came along over 10 years ago, when I was a freelance writer.

At this point in my career, I had been an advertising copywriter and creative director for several years. I had also worked on a lot of big brands, including Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and AT&T. 

This was one of the actors in my first YouTube video.Liquid Agency in San Jose, CA called me with a freelance project. Their client Intel was launching a new microprocessor, and needed script ideas for YouTube videos.

I sent in some ideas, and figured that was that.  But then a few weeks later, they called again.

The client, it turned out, liked one of my ideas, and wanted to produce it.

But Liquid Agency was so busy, they needed more freelance help. Could I produce this video for them here in Atlanta?

Never Waste an Opportunity

So there I was, a freelance writer turned freelance producer. And I was on a limited budget. So why not become a freelance director, too?

As I mentioned before, this was over 10 years ago. Production was more complicated (and expensive) back then. So I turned to my friends, and other people I had worked with before, to actually create the finished video.

Intel was launching a new microprocessor.Mark Simon at Fizz City Films put together a crew and helped me find a location. Tim Vece at Outback Editorial agreed to edit the video. Rebecca Shrager at PeopleStore helped me cast local actors. And another local talent, Smith Harrison, was the VO announcer.

Lessons I Learned That Day

Looking back at this video now, I realize that I did a lot of things right. Just lucky, I guess. I worked with the actors and gave them the flexibility to improvise. And I used visual storytelling throughout—something I still try to do today.

Now if I can just get Liquid Agency to call me again...

 

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