Posted on December 5, 2022
Filmmaking is one of the most arduous yet rewarding content creation processes. It combines visuals and audio to create stunning materials, perfect for catering to people’s extremely short attention spans these days. Given its powerful engagement traction, businesses can benefit from filmmaking in building their brand. This is what Kris Green does through his company, Wimberley Films. Joining Steph Silver, he shares how they create video content to help businesses jumpstart a strong marketing campaign, emphasizing how this creates a deep connection with the target market. Kris also shares his journey from starting as a graphic artist, a creator of wedding videos, to becoming a producer of brand message films. He reflects on the challenges of selling himself as an artist, which requires a lot of confidence and consistency.
Listen to the podcast here
How To Integrate Filmmaking Into Your Brand Building Process With Kris Green
Our guest is Kris Green, Owner of Wimberley Films. Thank you for joining me.
I’m so happy to be here, Steph.
I’m happy to finally have you on here. We’ve talked about this for a while. Let’s start with you telling us a little bit about who you were before you were Mr. Film.
I’ve always been Mr. Film. It goes back to when I was 6 or 7 years old when I picked up my first video camera. A neighbor of ours had one of the first VHS cameras that anybody had or I felt like because I’d never seen them before. This is when you put them on your shoulder and wore the big huge battery to power the cameras. I have pictures of myself that I’m 4-foot tall.
The cameras are bigger than you are.
Yes. I’m looking up everybody’s nostrils, but for some reason, he trusted me to shoot his kids’ birthday parties, block parties, or whatever because he could be in the video, being a dad, and wanted to be part of his kids’ birthday parties. He trusted me to do that for some reason. I had an interest so he wanted me to help. I was able to do it and it looked great.
That was the beginning of my journey. There are different milestones and things that paved the path for me to be where I am now, but my grandfather got a video camera in 1991. It was his for a month and it became mine. My uncle bought it for him for Christmas. My grandfather knew I wanted to take it and use it every time I was at their house. I was making a movie and shooting something so eventually, it became mine until my parents bought me one a few years later, and then I was off to the races.
When you had those first cameras, did you edit and have fun with the footage as well?
Yes. I got two VCRs and it’s the only two VCRs that we had in the house. We’ll hook them up and take the one out of my parent’s bedroom. My dad comes home and wants to watch the latest episode of Dallas and he’s like, “Where’s the VCR?” “Kris got it in his bedroom,” so that was fun. I’d make short movies and home movies. I did Romeo and Juliet. I was Romeo my freshman year in high school, so that was a lot of fun. Everybody loved that. I’d cut in little parts to the original movie along with ours. Back then, that was an easy task.
Now, you have Final Cut Pro and everything is digital.
Premiere, which is what I use.
What was editing like back then? Did you have a computer program?
It’s called analog. You start and stop, and you have a play deck and record deck.
It wasn’t much different than when my brother and I would do our own play radio show between the two of us with our tape deck.
It’s like making a mix tape, but it’s visual. You’d have to have two TVs too because you have to see what the original footage is from the play deck and then what you’re recording. To back those clips up against each other was not easy because it’s analog, a VHS tape. That’s what you see from one cut to the next where it jitters and shakes your hot shakes around. It was not easy.
I did this when I was in film school too at UT, even though we weren’t supposed to edit it. We were supposed to edit in camera, which means we take one shot, stop recording, go to the next shot, and start recording. I tried to do it analog, but I had to end up getting on the computer to do it. This is in the infancy of Adobe Premiere back in ’99 or 2000.
I started taking RTF in high school around ’96. I happened to go to Mesquite, Nevada and it was a well-funded school system. We had awesome cameras and state-of-the-art video editing tools at the time. It was still two decks, but we had a computer system that was much closer to what we now know as editing tools.
The format that you were shooting was analog, therefore you had to take the tape, put it into the deck, and capture it in real-time to the computer. When I started shooting professionally, that’s what I had to do as well. There was no digital. They called it mini-DV as in the digital video. It technically was, but it was still on a tape or an analog format.
We didn’t know what digital was back then.
Not in the way we knew now, I’d shoot 10, 12, or 20 hours for some weddings with 20 tapes. I have to go back home or to my studio and then do one tape at a time, one hour to two hours record to a dedicated computer that had to capture the video to a file. Things have changed quite a bit and I’ve seen it all.
You got into filming the first time you saw a camera. You took classes and went to school for it.
No, I didn’t actually. To back it up a little bit, I’ve always been in visual arts. If it wasn’t a camera, it was art. I’ve always had that in me. My mom would say when I was a little kid, I’d pick up the Yellow Pages for whatever reason. They think that’s odd for a two-year-old. I would just flip the pages and with magazines as well, and look and try to read. I was always coloring. I was always doing something with my hands with art, colored pencil, paint, or every medium you can think of that. That’s what I was doing. That was my exposure to art before I ever got into filmmaking or photography.
It was that training and background in the visual arts that paid the path to where I am now, to visualize before executing. That’s part of being an artist. You have to visualize the end product somehow before you even go to execute it. I don’t know how else to put it other than that. It’s like a storyboard. You’re coming up with ideas for a shot before you’re ever setting up a camera or putting actors in front of a screen. That takes talent in knowing your lenses. This could be like a series of podcast episodes in and of itself to talk about that stuff.
That was what I was thinking of. Most people come across the results of the hours and hours of film, editing, and production, and they’ll see a 2-hour movie or a 30-second commercial. You did graphic design for a while as well. Me being in advertising, sometimes the client will say like, “Why did that take you guys so long? I could have done that in an hour,” but a big part of it is what you started when you were two, dissecting what’s already existing in the world.
Your mind is transforming that into a visual and you figure out how to produce or reproduce. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s taken you those years of understanding your tools like your camera, lights, and editing tools to know what’s possible. As a graphic designer, there’s the same level of understanding all of those tools and then trying to communicate what’s in your head onto the computer or paper. As a videographer, there are so many more levels of complication. “Where am I going to put the light? Where are external light sources coming from? How is the sound going to work? Who’s looking at who?”
I think about that whenever I shoot a wedding. I see a photographer working, and I’m like, “Their job is so easy.” l did more weddings as a photographer than I ever have being a videographer. A lot of people don’t know that about me. They don’t have to worry about the multiple camera angles. As you said, the lights, there’s so much involved with a video that people have no concept of. If they were to sit down to learn it and watch somebody go through the process, they wouldn’t do it. It’s maddening. It’s a weekly job. If they’re fortunate enough to get to the championship game, that’s six weeks of my dedicated time, honestly, to get there.
That’s just capturing?
That’s capturing and editing when I say that, but it’s a full-time job.
That was one of the things that I was going to mention about the difference between the different mediums that I come across every day, which is the artistic mediums of marketing. You have static designs, photography, then video. For both photography and video, there’s a whole separate editing side that people don’t see. That is hours and hours that you huddled over the computer in a dark room and you’re like, “Space.” Sometimes that can be 2 or 3 times or more as much time as the actual capturing. Let’s back up a little bit. You went from teaching yourself and doing it video for fun.
Everybody in school knew me as the art guy. In 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, I got Art Student of the Year. They thought it wasn’t fair. I won numerous awards for Go Texan Art. Going to high school, I was faced with a decision. I was in the Aldine School District in the North Houston area. That’s where I grew up and went to school.
My two options were going to a Magnet school in Aldine School District that had an Advanced Visual Arts program, which was very hard to get into, like a couple of hundred students might apply, and only 15 or 20 get into it. I can do that, which I did get into, or I can stay at my school where all my friends were, where I could play baseball, which was another one of my passions. If I wasn’t going to be an artist or the next Steven Spielberg, I was going to be a baseball player. If that failed, I was going to be a baseball commentator.
You do have a good radio voice.
That’s what people would end up saying years down the road, “You could have done that. You have a, you have a voice for radio.” I chose the hard route, which was to go to the Magnet school. It was my parents telling me that was the best way to go. The school, advisors and my counselor were saying, “That’s what you need to do. That’s your future. In baseball, you’re not going to make it into the major leagues.” I’m like, “Yes, I can.” That’s what I did.
It was hard because it was an advanced program for art specifically, but also it wasn’t a formal teaching environment. It wasn’t the traditional teaching environment where a teacher is up in front of the classroom teaching, every class was module-based so you were in a self-paced class and do the work on your own, which was hard for me because I needed that student-teacher interaction. I needed to see a teacher in front of the board teaching the class.
It was so hard for me to be dedicated to sitting there and doing the work on my own. I got behind and I had to go to summer school. In my freshman and sophomore year, there was always a challenge. I was a straight-A student all the way through middle school. I didn’t make a B until my eighth-grade year. I was a great student and my brother used to call me goody two shoes because I would always make all the high grades and he was struggling.
That was tough making that decision. I made it through and succeeded. I graduated at the top of my class and got a full tuition scholarship to the Art Institute at Houston because of it. The awesome thing about the story is I was able to go back to my homeschool, which is what they called my junior and senior year. I was still able to go back with my friends and I was also able to play varsity baseball. That was pretty great.
You missed two years. You would’ve been the next Babe Ruth.
They changed the rules, unfortunately. I could have walked on for U of H. They said I could have done that. If José Altuve played back then, I would’ve had that driving passion and ambition to do that. José Altuve is the Astros second baseman. He’s shorter than me. He’s 5’6 or 5’5. I’m a big baseball fan.
That’s awesome. You got to have that junior and senior year experience and still have that foundation. I like the self-paced model because it does teach you a lot. There’s so much work owning your own business is 100% self-paced.
That’s true. It did lead to that foundation and I got behind and I had to learn from that. There’s a punishment. My punishment was I couldn’t go to baseball camp or visit my grandparents in Oklahoma because I had to go to summer school. I had to go to summer school straight through. It wasn’t like session one and session two, and I could go to session one. I had to go to both of them and take two classes each session. It was to make up for the fact that I didn’t finish the second semester. It took me a whole school term to finish one semester. It was bad. It stresses me out thinking about it.
The silver lining was I made straight As through summer school. All that transferred to the ability for me to graduate at the top of my class. My art credit work was all As. Not that it matters now, but that was an accomplishment that I sought.
It was important to you then.
Yes. It was important for me to graduate magna cum laude. I did National Honor Society and all that stuff.
What came next?
I went to the Art Institute. It was a Visual Communications Degree, and again, graduated at the top of my class. I was number one. From there it was like, “What do you do now?” I never saw myself being a graphic artist. I was amazing at it. My portfolio was awesome. I got awards. My drawing that I did from my junior or senior year in high school went on to hang in George Bush’s office in the capital here in Austin. Rumor, was he took it with him to Washington, DC and it went with him there.
I had all of these awards and accolades behind me. Everybody’s like, “You’re going to go far. You’re going to do this and that. Maybe you will be a Hollywood director.” I’m like, “But my foundation is visual arts. I don’t have any training. I didn’t do anything video related.” Back then, it was totally different. You didn’t have the tools that you have now.
Even when I graduated high school, “What was video?” I was a yearbook photographer and all my art was in the yearbook, had there been a videographer back then, I would’ve done that. Kids now don’t know how fortunate they are to have the tools that they have to make movies and record memories. I had to go about it in a totally different manner.
I was faced with the, “Do I want to be a graphic artist? Do I want to get a 9:00 to 5:00 job being a graphic designer? Do I want to go back to school?” This was only a two-year degree, so this was ’98. I graduated when I was nineteen years old. I still do not know what I wanted to do other than I knew that graphic design was not my future. I wanted to do video and photography in some way, but how to get there, I didn’t know. I had to figure that out.
I went to the community college there, where I ended up teaching years later. I was a great student in middle school and an okay student in high school, but the classroom environment wasn’t for me. I was like, “What’s the point of me taking these classes when that this isn’t going to help me? I should be in art classes. I should be studying video, film, or doing something like that. Why am I here?” My grades reflected.
I ended up dropping out, having a girlfriend, and doing that. That sidetracked me a little bit. She would later help me get my career started. We went to the Art Institute of Houston, where I graduated. I went to the counselor or a career advisor as they call him. Asked him, “Are there any job leads? Is there anything open?” He said, “We got one that came in for the Houston Aeros Hockey team.” I’m like, “I’ve never heard of them,” but it’s a professional sport so it’s cool.
He sent my resume over, got a call back that same day, and had an interview set up for the next week. Within two weeks, I was hired based on my portfolio from college, which was great. It had nothing sports related. The marketing director saw something that she liked and felt that I was the man for the job and I got it. That paved the whole path for me to end up where I wanted to be.
Did you know where you wanted to be at that point?
I wanted to do film. I always wanted to be a Hollywood movie director or just make movies. I didn’t know what it was going to take to do that. I was too shy, too reserved, young, and even younger in my attitude or my desire to live that life or go off on my own to make that happen. I was so reserved. I was so down on myself. I didn’t have the confidence to take that leap. It wasn’t in me at that age to do that. I’ve learned to do that a lot more over the years.
Was that first job video in sports?
No, it was a graphic designer job. I was their lead and only graphic designer. They had never hired a graphic artist before and they just won the championship for the IHL. They’re bringing me in on a championship team and now I’m having to create their magazine, the signage, and everything in the Compaq Center at the time which is huge.
It was exciting. It’s my first job. I was 22 years old. I never had a job before though I mowed lawns and did artwork on the side. I had that entrepreneurial mindset and grew up in that kind of household. My dad owned his own business. He was never home. He worked a lot. That was always ingrained in us, my brother and I. I worked hard, but I never had that corporate 9:00 to 5:00 job, waiting tables or bagging groceries at the grocery store. I didn’t do any of that stuff as a kid. The most first jobs, that’s what you’re doing.
I mowed lawns and probably did about 30 a week. It got me through college, paid for my first computer, gas, and all that. My parents did help me with a truck and made payments for that. People have told me in the past, “You were handed everything,” and that’s not true. I had to work for everything and my parents helped me do that.
Starting with the Aeros which was an amazing experience. I got paid nothing. I literally had a cot in my office because right before the season started in October, there was so much to do like the first magazine and billboards that were all over the city. My artwork was on billboards all over town. I designed everything from concept all the way through production. It was all me. Looking back, I’m like, “That was a lot to throw at a 22-year-old straight out of college to take on a job like that.” I even talked to Pamela to this day, the marketing director, “How in the world did you entrust that with me?” She’s like, “You had the talent. I knew you did,” and somehow it did it.
I can’t even imagine having that level of going from not seeing your artwork anywhere to see it all over town. That’s amazing. Even now, I’ll see stuff that I’ve done or the artists that I’ve worked with in town, and I’m like, “We did that.” I get excited. I can’t imagine doing that at 22 and seeing it every day.
Yes, in a big city like Houston. It was pretty amazing. What was great about that job is that it led me into video. I never dreamed that it would, but it led me into meeting the right people that would allow me or help me to get my business started. Every front office staff member that worked for the Aeros had a game night responsibility. There are a lot of games. I don’t know much about hockey, but a hockey schedule mirrors what an NBA basketball team schedule would be which is 82 games a year and 41 home games. The 41 home games from October through April. This is 2 or 3 games a week. This is a big, huge commitment. I’m making hardly any money at all. I’m having to go to the games as well after working in the front office during the day.
My responsibility was to oversee the director in the production room who direct and control cameras for what everybody saw all over the arena. You go to an arena now and you see all the big screens in the stadium and then all the concourse screens. I had to oversee the person that do that to make sure they were doing their job because I would communicate with the game op staff. They would say, “Make sure he’s ready for this. Tell him this is where this person’s going to be.” I would communicate that to him.
The poor guy wasn’t doing his job and I knew it. I was like, “This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing. I can do way better.” He would go on breaks. He was eating his chips and his soda and making a huge mess. He didn’t take his job seriously. I’m like, “Why don’t you sit over there and eat your chips and your soda and I’ll take over for this part of the game.” He’s like, “Cool, I don’t have to do it.” I literally cut the game. He had nothing to do with it.
The word got out. They’re like, “Everything looks so much better.” This is happening and we’re on cue. “What’s going on?” I was like, “I’m taking over. This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.” I didn’t say that in front of him. I ended up getting that job. The Houston Rockets and the Comets then hired me to do that as well for them.
Were you done with graphic design at this point?
No, I still have my full-time graphic design job with them, but this was my game night responsibility for the Aeros so I had to do this in addition.
You ended up getting that job, so you continued to do it, but do it full-time and he lost his. You didn’t get paid more?
No, I didn’t get paid more but it was a great experience. It led me to do the same thing for the Rockets and the Comets as well in basketball or NBA.
What I have heard from a lot of successful business owners, what I know for myself is that, and a lot of the people that I have interviewed have been willing to do the extra crap work, what’s necessary, not only for your own personal training but your experience and to do what’s necessary for the job. I’m pausing to say this because I’ve heard so many young people or people that have been in business for several years or so, the excuse of, “That’s not my job. That’s not in my description.” Sometimes that’s necessary to bring up, but it all depends on what your end goal is.
If you want your organization to succeed, number one, and if you want to grow your skills, and get promoted in any way, shape, or form at all, you have to be willing to do work that’s outside of your original expectations. Some of that is stepping in without being asked as you did, and that was a passion of yours. Sometimes it’s not a passion. Sometimes it’s, “The guy spilled all the chips. I’m going to go ahead and sweep that up so that, it doesn’t make a bigger mess.”
I wanted to like hammer in that point because that’s something that comes up on a regular basis, and I don’t always point it out, but it is so necessary. People have started their own businesses because they started off sweeping the floors or whatever. Be willing to do that extra work and learn a skill, get to know someone, and go above and beyond. That’s how you get above and beyond.
It’s about the opportunity. I was presented with an opportunity, and I took advantage of it. I knew video was what I wanted to do. I’m coming into a graphic design job and never thinking that I would end up doing anything video related, and here I am thrown into the task of directing video which was a God thing for me because it’s being handed to me. Why not take advantage of where I am?
That led to opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. I was thinking about this before I came here and thinking about the things that have been put in front of me for many and thinking, “Did I take advantage of those opportunities? Did I step out of my comfort zone to go beyond and advance my career or to advance myself in general to make me a better person?” I feel like I did.When opportunities are being handed to you, take advantage of them. Click To Tweet
We all miss opportunities and it’s part of life or the decisions that we make but I firmly think that I’ve taken those opportunities and made the best of them. I would’ve never worked for the NBA and WNBA, the Rockets and the Comets. I also worked for National Mobile Television to ran cameras. I was the TD which is the person that runs around with the camera op and coils cable so I learned all that. I met a lot of great guys in the process that worked and that was their life. That’s what they did. They did a video. It was sports related, but they did other things.
It was those guys when I decided, “This is not going to be my career path in graphic design. I’m going to do video and I’m going to make it happen.” Most videographers start with weddings, and that’s what I did. Those guys that worked for National Mobile Television that I got to know because of the fact that I took that leap of faith working for the Aeros shot with me. I learned from them, and the rest is history.
Did you start doing weddings while you still had a job? Was it a side gig or did you jump?
It’s hard because I started with the Aeros in June of ’99. I knew that I wasn’t going to be there forever being a graphic design position. This was a hard decision. I ended up only being there as the graphic artist for a year. I decided that I did want to go further in my career. I didn’t want to do graphic design. I applied for the RTF program at UT and started at UT that next August.
Again, things get in the way. We have obstacles to face. I sliced open my hand opening my television on the first night that I moved into my apartment in Austin. That was a setback where I had a cast. It was a big old mess. I couldn’t write. I’m starting college and taking four classes. I can’t even hold a camera. This was my dream to be here in this program. I was lucky enough to get in. That was hard enough right there. I didn’t end up staying, unfortunately, but even though I was still living in Austin, I was still driving back for every single game. I still kept that role for the next few years. I was only in Austin for a short while, but I still made that commitment and I commuted. I was there for every game to run videos for the Aeros, Rockets, and Comets.
It was in 2001 that I started my first business, and it was Green Jam Productions. Shout out to Caesar. He’s still my good friend. It was part of his last name as well, and that didn’t last, unfortunately, so it became only Green Productions. That was the start of my venture into wedding videography and photography. All I ever saw myself doing is video.
Photography was one of those side things. I loved it and didn’t have a real passion for it, especially back then there was no digital. It was all film. It was a big learning curve. I took photography classes in high school and did well because I had a vision for it. A vision for composition, lighting, and whatnot. That’s always been there, but that came from my video background.
When did you move to Wimberley?
We didn’t come to Wimberley until 2019. My wife, at the time, we were contemplating staying in the Woodlands, which is where we lived. It was so busy and growing. Schools were okay, but we wanted to downsize and go to a smaller community somewhere maybe where we had some property, where the kids could be kids and still be in a good school. I did a lot of research to figure out where we wanted to move, took that leap of faith, and found Wimberley along the way. We visited and fell in love with it, honestly. We moved here in January or February of 2019.
I met you right about that same time. That was after you finished the first set of films for the Wimberley Texans, is that right? Were you still working on it?
I don’t remember exactly.
That’s how I came across you. I was asking for a local videographer and someone mentioned that you were doing all this beautiful work. I looked at both your wedding portfolio and commercial, and the Texans were on there.
I registered WimberleyFilms.com before even moving here. It blew my mind that there was nobody in the area that was doing anything to the caliber that I was doing and could do. I had corporate jobs and we passed over the fact that I was a college professor for several years in the middle of that. I did the corporate route. I stopped doing weddings for a period of time because the kids were little and it was too much of a commitment to work every Saturday. That’s when you have baseball games, go on a trip, or do something. That became something that wasn’t going to work anymore.
I didn’t care what I was doing with video. I just wanted to do videos and be a filmmaker. I got into business films. That became a real passion of mine. I took an online course and taught myself a lot of cinematography related to doing that work. I was a natural at it. It was very easy. I’ve always wanted to tell stories, and that’s all it is. It’s all I do now. It’s telling a story with emotion to communicate a message. That’s what I do for businesses now and it works. That’s the heart of what you want to do as a business, which is to tell your story and what you need to do in order to communicate your message. It’s a very powerful thing online now to be able to do that.The heart of business marketing is telling stories and understanding how to communicate the message to your audience effectively. Click To Tweet
Why do you think that video is so important for businesses?
Naturally, that’s how we interact with the world. When we watch a video, we’re putting ourselves into that video. A photo can communicate a lot. A photo is worth a thousand words. What is a video then? If you think that there are 24 individual photos per second, it communicates a lot. Not only that, it’s the music and the storytelling. The story goes back forever. We’ve always told stories and gravitated to them. That’s what we’re doing when we go to the movies. We’re leaving our life to become part of that movie for two hours. The Bible is all stories. It’s only natural that we use that same medium to communicate our message now. It’s the way of the world now. Everything is in video.
What’s the best use of video in business right now? Myself being in marketing for a long time, if anyone invested in video, it’s 5 to 10 minutes about a testimonial and you had talking heads. What should video be now and how should it be used? What are you finding is most effective?
I teach this still. I say teach because that’s what I’m doing when I’m working with a business. I’m teaching them what’s going to be most effective and it’s strategic. Our attention spans are so small these days. That’s why micro-content is so powerful because if we’re scrolling through our feed, we’re not going to sit there and watch something for more than 15 to 30 seconds, maybe even 1 minute. That’s why TikTok is so popular. Instagram has taken that into its own platform.
YouTube also, with YouTube Shorts.
Also, Facebook Reels.
Everybody’s doing that. Businesses are not taking advantage of this. I read a statistic that 95% of businesses aren’t doing this. I follow Gary Vaynerchuck, and I’ve watched his content for years and years. He’s been at the forefront of everything. He’s predicting the future as far as technology is concerned. If you don’t know him, you need to go online and look him up. He’s been saying it for years.
You need to be producing 5 or 10 pieces of short-form content daily if you’re a business, documenting not necessarily creating. Don’t think about it as, “I’ve got to create something. I’ve got to make something that doesn’t exist.” You’re not making a movie. You’re not trying to create something in thin air, whenever you’re making this content. You’re recording what you know. You’re transferring to the end-user or the audience what it is that you know. You’re communicating that message and knowledge, and that’s all they ever want to learn about anyway.
They want to know what you can do for them. How you can enhance their lives or resolve their problem? That’s what businesses are all about. It’s making what you need easier. If you have a problem with your air conditioner, you’re not going to do it yourself. You’re not an HVAC expert, therefore you’re going to hire a professional to do it. You simply need to communicate your knowledge and that’s all that is.
Also, your personality. One of the things that I continually communicate with clients is that a big part of social media is building a relationship and a relationship isn’t built on sales, it’s built on communication of who you are, what your personality is, the personality of your teammates, the personality of your customers, and the personality of your location. It’s not that you have to get your product on camera all the time or have a call to action to buy a certain thing. It’s engaging with your community of other people who are like you, people who want to be like you, and people who want the service that you provide.
Marketing is so much less about how can we create that unique campaign that is going to be a year-long campaign and Don Draper put all the artwork together at the very beginning, and it rides. It’s more about getting your clean and clear personality of your organization out there in front of your audience on a regular basis.
That’s so true. Also, sharing the stories of past clients that have wonderful things to say about you which is important. A lot of times that’s the thing that’s overlooked and not utilized. If you’re doing your job as a business and you’re succeeding, that means you have happy customers out there that are willing to participate to help you succeed as well. They’re willing to share their experience and if they are, get it on film.
You can’t a written quote. “This was the best product ever. They were amazing.”
It’s not authentic.
You could have written that yourself.
You’re also communicating that passion for the work that you did with that testimonial. If you make those people feel comfortable on camera, which I have a knack at doing then you’re going to translate to your future customers what you can also do for them. Think about it, when we go to buy something on Amazon, what are we doing? We’re reading reviews. We trust those reviews on Amazon. Look at those four stars.
More than the product description.
If you can do the same thing for your business, but do it and communicate it through video, that is so much more powerful, even putting yourself in front of the camera, communicating, and talking about yourself. People aren’t going to necessarily trust you either. What you need is for you to combine that with the testimonials into a three-minute film that communicates everything about your business, what you stand for, and what you can do to solve a problem or help their business. That’s what we call the brand message film. When we create a video strategy, brand message film is what we’re doing first and foremost.
The brand message film is one of the things that you do. People who have seen you, for instance, at a Texan game, they know that Kris Green is like a superhero that can be in multiple places at one time. I’ve seen you do it when you did the St. Stevens film and for Debbie Silver. Sometimes you’re a one-man show with five cameras on a drone. Somehow when you watch the film, you’re like, “Was there an entire crew there that we didn’t see?” What you capture in one day is enough film to last for a long time. You can create that one business story film, but also from that you create all this additional material that can be used for social media.
That’s right. If we’re there, me and my assistant, we’re capturing everything. We call it B-roll. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s a film term for the extra visual content that supports the story that you’re telling. It might be you on camera and in whatever you’re talking about, but to support what you’re saying, you need to be able to see that in action as well, and that’s what the B-roll is. By capturing all that, you can repurpose it. You can repurpose it towards your micro-content, which is the short form TikTok, Instagram Reel, or YouTube Shorts. All of that serves a dual purpose.
We might only be shooting for a day, but all of that content can be utilized for months and months. That’s what everybody doesn’t understand. It serves a greater purpose. We do shoot a lot and I am able to be in, 2, 3, or 4 different places at once, but it comes down to the vision as well, knowing what it is that you’re going after and having that story and those visuals in mind before you even go into it.
We’ve talked about some of the products or pieces that can be used in your superhero all over the place capturing of film and what I like to call the magic of the moment. I keep saying that when I describe you because that’s what you do in capturing. You then turn that into whatever product is necessary or that the client or customer has asked for. The art of what you do is awesome.
Building and running a business is a totally separate part of this. I feel like if you’re good at your craft, you’re an artist no matter what. There’s an art to it, but when it’s art, it’s so much harder to sell, especially when it doesn’t seem like an essential part of a business like you don’t need this in order to create your product.
I’m in marketing so I feel like it is essential to get the story across and to set yourself up and above for your customers to get in front of your customers and communicate with them. That’s another piece that we didn’t talk about. It’s not just selling yourself, but to communicate, train, educate, and answer questions. As an actor you’re selling yourself constantly as an artist, you are literally selling yourself and also producing the work at the same time. How hard is that?
Trying to sell myself is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever faced with. I’m not one to boast. I’m not one to sit and say, “You need to buy my services because I’m the best.” I may think that, but I’m the worst at trying to communicate that by far. Business has been always been a struggle for me because as you said, you can produce what it is that you love and have a passion for, but trying to sell it or run a business is completely different. You don’t go into business thinking about running a business. You go into that business thinking, “I’m going to make all this pretty stuff and everybody’s going to love me for it.” It doesn’t work that way.
You have to run the business and a lot of times you have to sell yourself. I feel like that’s been one of those things that you don’t ever stop studying or figuring out as a business owner. I feel like I’m the worst at it. That’s one of the reasons why I started doing the Texans films. I had no idea how I was going to get myself in front of the community to let everybody know that, “I’m here. I want to serve you,” but I needed to show them what it is that I could do.If you are an artist, you can produce anything you love. However, trying to sell your work is an entirely different matter. You have to actually run a business or do the sale yourself. Click To Tweet
I saw a friend of mine, a fellow videographer in Austin that had produced a couple of videos for his local football team. They were very short and it was nothing like I’m doing. I was like, “If he can do that, I could put my own spin on it and make it way better.” I approached Wimberley ISD, and I got to Coach Warren and proposed that I shoot the homecoming game. He called me in and said, “Do you want to do this for the playoffs? We have a great team.” He didn’t say it, but he was thinking that we could go all the way. Sure enough, they did. I was there to document the entire journey, which was absolutely amazing. I’m doing it again this 2022.
Are you doing that for free?
A lot of people don’t know that because they’re such highly-produced beautiful pieces of work.
You’re doing it on your own and it is multi-purpose. It’s one to capture what this community is all about. It’s not just the football team. It’s that love and the magic of the fans, the parents, and the kids. There is that part of getting out, meeting people, and saying, “This is what I do,” and also showing what you’re capable of.
That’s good and bad because then people are going to pigeonhole me as being the sports video guy. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve never been one to toot my own horn or say, “I can do it all,” but I feel like I can and I have. I can produce content that’s cross-genre.
You started with weddings.
That’s completely different than shooting sports, but it’s about telling the story and how are you going to communicate that message. You’re shooting the football films and putting that together. It’s fast action cuts. It’s lots of drums and highly emotional music depending on the tone. Our team is blowing out their opponents, so there’s no drama to it. It’s like highlight reel and highlight reel, whereas when they won in 2019, it was like close games and drama down to the finish. That was a totally different feel for those films, but I made that happen. It’s not just like cutting shots together and throwing music on top of it. It’s nothing like that.
That’s why it’s so hard to come up with a storyline each week, but I see that as a challenge. I see it as fun. That is a challenge and I love to take on that challenge. I like to push myself to come up with something different and creative. That’s what keeps me going forward. I love the craft of what I do and challenge myself to make it better each time, and somehow, I have. I don’t know how it’s a God thing. I swear to God. The music and inspiration just fall in my lap. We’re all gifted with talent from God. I was given the talent to do what I do. I know I have and I know I was. It was a matter of how you make that happen.
Also, how do you make money from it?
That’s important too.
That’s my thing as well. There’s the combination of because you’re selling yourself as a business and a producer when something happens in your life that pulls back your confidence, then it pulls back your confidence in business and constantly trying to put yourself in front. I talk to a lot of different business owners and most of the time they have a staff, product, or storefront, and the business can sell itself at some point, but when you’re a designer, photographer, videographer, or like me, a strategist and a coach, it’s 100% up to your confidence that day. You can produce the work, but selling it on a regular basis when you have life happening is something that a lot of people take for granted. In all of this, what’s been the biggest lesson that you’ve learned?
To never stop. Keep after your dream and passion whatever obstacles are in your path and stick with it. I could have gone to so many different routes. I could have taken the easy way out and stayed a graphic designer or a professor. I could have gone back to school and gotten my four-year degree and my graduate degree to be able to be a professor. I still plan to teach in some fashion and regard going forward. I don’t know yet where that’s going to take me, but that’s what I still want to do.Never stop and keep going after your dream no matter the obstacles in your path. Click To Tweet
I’ve never stopped knowing that I have this talent and I have to utilize it. I have to fulfill what I’ve been given. My dad has had this vision for years and he sees me on a podium accepting an award for filmmaking. It made me tear up thinking about it, but even now I’m thinking, “How am I going to get there?”
Do you believe it?
I do believe it.
It will happen.
I agree with you.
With having to run a passion-based business for a while now, what advice would you give to someone who is not in the place where they are earning their income from their passion, but they’re thinking about taking the leap to start their own business?
Stick with it, even if it means having a full-time job and having that passion project on the side. I’ve had to do this in the last few years since moving to Wimberley, and even before that. In the last few years, having to buckle down and be there for my kids on a full-time basis, and the only time I would have to work and produce these films was to work from 9:00 to 4:00 AM and get 2 or 3 hours of sleep, and then go right back at it all over again.
It’s possible to have those dreams and to make them happen, even if it means you have to sacrifice your sleep. To have another job, but then still get to where you want to be. It’s about putting in the time. It’s what it comes down to. It’s having that mindset to know that you can do it and committing to doing it. I’ve had to learn that the hard way over and over again.
That’s another lesson that is important.
Something else then jumps in like COVID and then all your work’s taken away from you and you have no money again, and you’re right back to where you were a few years before that.
There’s a personal health crisis or a surprise baby. There’s always something.
There’s always a challenge.
You have to get back to a place of believing in yourself and putting in the time. That’s what it always boils down to. What’s next for you, Kris?
I’m going to continue to do what I do. I love this community and I love being here, even when I had to move right after COVID in 2020, I knew for whatever reason that I’d be back. It took a few years to get back, but I like to call it a short vacation. Now, I’m back full-time and more passionate than ever to continue to do what I do and help businesses that I’ve struggled so much over the years with my own business that it gives me gratification in knowing that what I’m doing for other businesses is helping them move forward, live their passion, and grow their business.
By helping them grow their business, they’re able to help the community as well. I feel like it’s not about making pretty films and making things that people are going to think, “That was fun to watch,” but in the end, it’s to help that business succeed. By helping the business succeed, you’re in turn then also helping your community thrive and grow.Making brand messaging films is not only about making pretty content that people would find entertaining to watch. It must also help businesses succeed and build a thriving community. Click To Tweet
Thanks for joining us and sharing your story and your inspiration.
I loved it. Thank you, Steph.
Thank you for reading. If you liked it, tell your friends, and follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn. The mission of MVP Business is to dig deep into the lives of true leaders so that others can follow, knowing that the path isn’t always easy, but the journey is worth it. Enjoy the day and live with passion.