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Feb '18 | The 360 Testimonial

Capturing the Product Through Multiple Lenses

Customer testimonials are supposed to feature customers, right? But if you’re launching a brand new product that has yet to be released to customers– then what? Creating a 360 Testimonial is a good solution.

What’s Needed

  • An industry expert: Interview someone who is well known in your industry who can comment on how your product is going to fundamentally change how people operate.
  • A partner: Who needs your product in order to sell to their customers? In the case of Sixense, New York City 3D manufacturer and marketplace, Shapeways, was the perfect partner in which to endorse the product.
  • An early adopter: Pre-release your product to a few specific individuals and have them talk about how excited they are to see the product hit the market. In the case of Shapeways, we interviewed a few fans at the Makers Market in Los Angeles and got their impromptu feedback.

Let’s Talk Logistics

  • Create different “settings”
  • Get the most out of your production days
  • Don’t just get an interview, film your characters interacting with the product

New Character, New Setting

There are a lot of characters in 360 Testimonials. So in order to differentiate each character group, place them against a distinct background. 

For example, in the case of Sixense we had the following characters, and thus the following settings:

  • The Narrators (Sixense Employees)
    • The Setting: Subjects were framed in a traditional close up, against a brick wall.
    • Why: This allowed the speaker to take full focus, and the brick felt more artsy and creative (thus inline with their customer base) than a solid white backdrop.
  • The Experts (Oblong Industries)
    • The Setting: We filmed these professionals sitting down, in a more formal setting. 
    • Why: This style lent an air of academic credibility to the testimony.
  • The Partners (Shapeways)
    • The Setting: Subjects were in their workstation and filmed using a variety of side angles.
    • Why: This setting created the ambiance of “design professionals” and communicated trustworthiness, while the side angles gave off a “cutting edge” air. 
  • The Fans (Anyone at the user conference)
    • The Setting: Subjects were filmed in the midst of experiencing the product in an expo floor setting.
    • Why: This allowed for a non-scripted spontaneity, and a trustworthiness to the statement. The expo floor also created a “breaking news” kind of feeling.

Separate settings may not often register with the viewer, but the intentional distinction set up a visual hierarchy that supported and validated the storyline.

A Scheduling Tip

Camera crews are typically booked for 10 hour days so whenever possible, it’s best to pack each day instead of scheduling each interview separately. If you’re filming at a user conference, then its ideal if you can film all of your characters – or in the least, the fans and experts– at the conference. You can do this by securing a separate room at the conference and creating your “expert” set there.

Or, if you have to separate the interviews out and shoot over multiple days, then just make sure you make the most out of it. For example, we suggest asking a few additional questions that could ultimately be cut into a separate video. In the case of Sixense, we created individual customer testimonials from the Shapeways footage, as well as the main product release video.

Don’t Forget the Imagery

Soundbites tell the audience what to think, but imagery tells them what to feel. So be sure to capture your characters interacting with the product on the day you’ve scheduled their interview. This could mean filming them at their workstation, on a computer. Or it could mean talking to a group of people, or shaking hands with another partner at an expo. Anything that visually compliments what they have to say.

 

 

 

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Sophie Gunther

Sophie Gunther is a native San Franciscan and long-time lover of the performing and media arts. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures, she pursued her passion for film and started working in production. For over a year, she's been producing behind the camera, and she gets her consumer fix by working various film festivals throughout the Bay. Sophie is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn, explore, and develop her craft with Patina Pictures!