Meet Slow Clap’s Post-Production and Camera Manager: Jake Richard

Get to know Jake a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hi! My name is Jake Richard. I grew up bouncing around from Southern California to the Bay Area and in between but decided to settle in the Bay. I have attended classes at the Academy of Art and City College of San Francisco.

What’s your role? What made you gravitate towards this craft?

I am the Post-Production and Camera Manager which means that I am responsible for all of the footage and projects we take on, making sure it is safely ingested on our systems and that it is prepped and ready for an editor to begin work. I also manage the company’s equipment making sure that it all remains in working order and is ready to use on the next shoot. I always had a love for filmmaking and wanted to get a deeper understanding of the full processes it takes to make something great. 

What’s your prior experience? What made you interested in joining Slow Clap?

I started at Slow Clap as a production assistant with no experience and did my best to work my way up. My main goal was to learn something new every day when I started to work here, and I couldn’t imagine where it has led me to today. My interest in Slow Clap was always how authentic and human the approach to storytelling was. 

Favorite Film? What am I watching?

It’s always so hard to pick a favorite film, but a couple of my favorites from childhood are Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Currently, I am watching the Sopranos for the first time. 

Any Hobbies?

I am a fan of going to the movies and I try to stay up to date on the latest shows. I also enjoy relaxing with my friends and playing video games. Most of the time I can be found training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in my off time. I have been doing it for almost 8 years and have recently received my brown belt.  

Lastly, favorite project you’ve worked on?

This is hard because I love all of our videos. Some of my favorite projects I have worked on are the Building the Future videos we did for Github which was one large scripted video and 3 doc-style videos. The scripted video was the first big production I had worked on, and the doc-style videos were all fun to travel and work for. Others include the Juror Orientation video which I think has the biggest audience (albeit a captive one) of any video I have worked on and Earl’s Story for Blue Shield which was one of the first projects I had worked on. Most recently, I am really proud of how the Freemark Abbey videos turned out for Jackson Family Wines which we have already won a few awards for. 

Video Trends Proven to Work for Your 2023 Marketing Strategy

At Slow Clap HQ, we’re (obviously) always trying to deliver the best content for our clients so that more audiences clap…more…slowly. But it’s deeper than that— we want to inspire viewers to act, whether that be sharing, subscribing, or signing up. In order to do that, we need to pay attention to more than just beauty shots and captivating storylines. We need to think strategy, we need to think trends— we need to be ahead of the curve.

And it’s quite a big curve to get ahead of. Video is, quite simply, exploding:

In 2022, 82% of all internet traffic was video downloads and streams.

Nearly 700,000 hours of video are streamed on Youtube each minute.

According to Vimeo, video is preferred by 80% of people over written text.

And despite the global economy taking a hit, 64% of marketers expect their video budgets to increase in 2023.

So here’s our two cents on what’s coming up in the industry and what to look out for:

BE A SHORT KING – Now this isn’t necessarily groundbreaking news that short videos can be more successful than longer ones. Maintaining audience engagement is one of the hardest things to do when making a video, so keeping a piece of content short and sweet can be instrumental in achieving it. As a video production company in San Francisco, we’ve known this for a long time and there are ever-more data to prove it:

Source: Hootsuite

Leveraging the power of short-form content is essential to any video marketing strategy. As long as it stays true to your brand, there’s no reason to shy away from it. It doesn’t have to be all about TikTok, but keeping your videos succinct and to the point will increase messaging and access to your audience.

It’s important to note, however, that this is not a blanket rule, and the length of a video should also be discussed in the context of the platform it’s going out on.

BE HUMAN –  In a nutshell, successful videos are informative but also relatable. A recent study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that half of the respondents create videos to raise brand awareness and nearly 40% said one of their primary goals was also to create a human connection. There are multiple ways to do this— you can use real employees or customers over hired talent or delve into the world of UGC (user-generated content):

Not only do user-generated videos provide more value in terms of authenticity, but they also drive higher engagement and are often a good way to save time and money.

STRATEGIZE THIS – Creating content is all well and good, but if you don’t have a strategy to lead it out into the stratosphere and support it while it’s there, then you might as well stand on a hill and watch it roll down. 

  • Setting a video strategy is essential to provide direction and focus for your videos. If you publish a video without a strategy, and it doesn’t get seen, that’s not the fault of the video—  it’s the fault of your strategy.
  • Put your money behind the videos.

And that’s it! Good luck with all your video marketing dreams for 2023.

Slow Clap’s 2022 Year in Review: A Bananas Year for Video Content

As the Slow Clap team gets ready for 2023 (wow, we never thought we’d make it but here we are), we took some time to reflect on 2022, the busiest, craziest, most fun year in our company’s eight year history of making videos. Take a look at our year condensed into one minute:


2022 by the Numbers

  • 58 video projects completed for our clients, from virtual event videos to commercials, explainers and educational videos
  • 29 clients, including cause-based non-profits like Public Advocates and Asian Law Caucus, startups like Lattice and Ironclad, and Fortune 500 companies like eBay
  • 10+ different cities filmed including Palm Beach, Dallas, Los Angeles, Riverside, Napa, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and (of course) San Francisco & Oakland 
  • 100+ videos delivered from long-form virtual event videos to 15 second social media videos
  • More than 500 minutes of video content produced
  • 5 million views (and counting)
  • 100% NPS (net promoter score) on Clutch
  • 9 Industry Awards


2022 by Month

January 2022

Our first assignment of the year got us out of the office, and into the water. We partnered with the Port of San Francisco, a longtime client of ours, to produce a video highlighting the fisherpeople of Fisherman’s Wharf, who recently started selling live crabs right off their boat. Tourists and locals alike really enjoyed gaining access to the “working Port,” and getting to talk directly to the folks that catch the crabs. It’s like an open air farmers’ market on the wharf.


February 2022

Our longtime client Ironclad tapped us for yet another virtual event production (the first of three in 2022). Last time we worked with them, we got to film at the Port of Oakland on a tugboat. We figured that was hard to beat. But we beat it in February by filming in a hundreds-year-old redwood forest in Marin. To capture the epic scale, we worked with a massive jib arm, and some heavy duty lighting. Always fun to pull out the big guns.


March 2022

Glide is one of the coolest clients you could think up. Their no-code platform lets anyone turn spreadsheets into mobile apps, whether or not you’ve ever seen a line of code. How cool is that?

We’ve been lucky enough to partner with them to tell their customer success stories for several years. This time around, we got to go big, featuring the PGA, who used Glide to develop apps for the Ryder Cup. We captured interviews at PGA’s Texas and Florida HQs, plus even got to film some product shots and reenactments at our Oakland studio. But most importantly, this customer story video is surprising and entertaining.

Our client at Glide said it best: Their team doesn’t create videos that are off the shelf. They create something that engages the viewer emotionally.


April 2022

We love partnering with our government clients like the San Francisco Treasurer. Telling stories of huge impact, like the Kindergarten to College (K2C) program’s success, gives us a chance to be part of something bigger, something that affects our community. The video we produced does just that, featuring stories of kids and parents who have taken advantage of the K2C program to save for college.


May 2022

After two years spent researching, writing, filming, and editing, in May we completed the new Juror Orientation video for the State of California. Our client had this to say about the collaboration: The team was adaptable, flexible, innovative, creative, and open to new ideas and solutions.

This educational video is seen by nine million jurors a year, and is used as the primary tool to make sure we have an educated jury of our peers. The video has a shelf life of ten to twenty years. At 100+ million views, that’s blockbuster status baby!

We were also excited to simultaneously launch a documentary about the history of Jury Service as a companion piece to the orientation video. We had the amazing challenge of condensing several hundred years of history into ten minutes, and we got to learn how essential juries are to a healthy democracy.


June 2022

Another huge production challenge landed in our laps with Ironclad’s summer virtual event video. Ironclad has always been thinking outside the box for virtual events, but this was on a whole nother level. The theme was 80’s high school in the style of John Hughes films like Breakfast Club and 16 Candles. So we scoured thrift stores and local area high schools to put together an authentic expression of this fun theme. We rented a high school that hasn’t been updated since the 70’s, put together a classic gymnasium school dance scene, rented a 1980’s Porsche, and so much more. Our production design team had a blast with the 80’s period pieces. There’s enough in there to watch this video 10 times before you catch all the easter eggs.


July 2022

We celebrated Slow Clap’s eight year birthday party in a big way at the Alice Collective in downtown Oakland. We’ve celebrated every Slow Clap birthday with a party, inviting our clients, our team, our collaborators, and their loved ones to celebrate another year of amazing video projects, and connect over some banging food and drink. 2022 was no exception.


August 2022

In August, Katy Bailes joined the team as a producer, to help lead our increasingly complex and large body of work. Katy came from the Economist’s documentary films division before joining Slow Clap, and brings her top notch storytelling skills and can-do attitude to all our projects. She’s been a huge asset to the team, and to our clients, in the short time she’s been here.

We also added Keely Liles to the team as a camera and post-production assistant. Keely brings her fresh ideas and fun personality to all of our projects.


September 2022

The Slow Clap team tackled a new challenge in 2022, partnering with San Francisco Bay Area regional retail chain Beck’s Shoes to create a brand story video about their unique approach to retail. Shoe cinematography is unlike any other challenge. These are fashion items that move at ground level. But of course, the most important thing is the look on a customer’s face when they find that perfect fit, which is right up our alley.


October 2022

We always reserve a portion of our calendars to partner with cause-based organizations, offering below market rates. This year, we partnered with Public Advocates, one of the first public interest law firms in America, to produce this short documentary about their 50 year history. We worked with the folks at PA for the entire year to go through decades of archival material and film several new interviews. In the end, we produced a brand film that shows how Public Advocates “makes rights real.”


In addition, after three years of development and pandemic delays, we finished a five-part documentary brand film series for the iconic Napa Valley winery Freemark Abbey. From being founded by a woman in the 1880’s, to winning top prizes at the Judgement of Paris, Freemark Abbey has been redefining what great is since its founding. It was fascinating and exciting to get to be the team to bring this story to life.


November 2022

Another one of our cause-based clients is Asian Law Caucus, who we’ve been partnering with for eight years. In fact, they were our very first client!


This year, we helped them celebrate their 50th anniversary by producing several videos. Our favorite among them was this moving montage featuring several of the best interviews we’ve captured with ALC clients over the years.

December 2022

We’re used to being behind the camera, but in December, the whole team got to try something totally different: we turned the camera around, and starred in the Slow Clap holiday card video. It was a blast, and an opportunity for the team to poke fun at me, in the style of The Office.

To put a cherry on top of the year, we scored some major wins, taking home top awards at: Clutch (Top 1000 B2B Companies), the John Barleycorn Awards (Double Gold and Top Marketer of 2022), the Telly Awards (Gold in Branded Content), the MarCom Awards (Platinum in Corporate Image Video), and the Corporate Content Awards (Best Content in a Live Setting).

We’re looking forward to another great year of partnerships and challenges in 2023.

Dan Lichtenberg
Founder and Creative Director
Slow Clap

Meet Slow Clap’s Producer: Katy Bailes

Get to know Katy a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hello! Nice to meet you! My name is Katy and I am Slow Clap’s newest recruit! I am originally from London in the UK and have been living in San Francisco for around 2 years now by way of marriage to my lovely husband George! Prior to joining Slow Clap, I worked at the in-house documentary film team at The Economist newspaper. There we made short(ish) documentaries about anything and everything from start-ups in the world’s largest refugee camp to what led to Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election.

What’s your role? What made you gravitate towards this craft? 

I am a producer at Slow Clap which I’m very happy about because I love producing! In general, I have always wanted to produce and make documentaries because I’ve always been interested in what’s going on in the world. It may sound a bit simple but that is simply it! From a young age, I was always fascinated in the stories of my friends from different places and the stories of the new places I visited and lived in and so making films and specifically documentaries just kind of made sense to me as a job. I like the mix of creative organizing (if that’s a thing!), whereby you have an idea or a concept and you make that a reality through solid processes. I love working in a team and truly appreciate the collaborative nature of filmmaking in all its forms.

What’s your prior experience? What made you interested in joining Slow Clap? 

I was interested in the role firstly because I wanted to diversify my experience from documentaries into more commercial work. As Slow Clap is a corporate video production company in San Francisco, I really love that Slow Clap works with a large variety of companies from large tech organizations to smaller NGOs and I was impressed with the documentary style of the work they produce. To me it was sort of the best of both worlds— I could continue working in a style I was used to and appreciated but rev it up a bit with new clients and processes. I also really liked the photo illustrations of each member of staff and the inclusion of the company pets! 

What am I watching? 

Anything from Keeping Up with the Kardashians to old Brazilian classics like Black Orpheus! This year I am excited for the new series of Succession but am also looking forward to watching some new documentaries like To The End and Descendant which is about African-Americans tracing their ancestral roots.

Any Hobbies?

I’ve always loved dancing from ballet to dancehall and so I try and keep that up! I am a big fan of anything Brazilian and so I enjoy reading and keeping up to date with what’s happening over there and on the continent in general, as well as speaking Portuguese as and when I can. Now that I live in California, I am embracing the outdoors and love a good hike to watch a sunset and am even considering taking up paragliding!

Lastly, favorite project you’ve worked on? 

I have to say probably Public Advocates’s 50th Anniversary as I got to piece together 50 years in a paper edit, continue to develop it throughout the editing process, and see it come to life. It was an honor to learn about the many stories of Public Advocates as well as highlight the systemic changes that they created in the community.

Meet Slow Clap’s Camera and Post-Production Assistant: Keely Liles


Get to know Keely a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hiya! My name is Keely Liles and I am a photographer, filmmaker, and one of the recent hires of the Slow Clap team! I moved from Washington to California in the Fall of 2021 to pursue my filmmaking career. I was trained in non-fiction, documentary filmmaking and two years ago developed, directed, filmed, edited, and produced my own documentary film called, Embrace Your Pleasure

Since the completion of that project I have been branching into narrative film by teaching myself about screenwriting, directing, and getting on to film sets as a production assistant. 

What’s your role? 

I am the Camera and Post-Production Assistant. I was hired to support our Post-Production Supervisor, Jake Richard. In my role, I am responsible for loading and unloading the grip truck, setting up and tearing down equipment, managing media files, and prepping Premiere Pro projects for our editors. 

What made you gravitate towards this craft?

I have had a camera in my hand since I could walk and I have the photos to prove it. I started with photography and naturally gravitated towards filmmaking later on. I think what initially drew me to filmmaking was watching the behind the scenes specials included on DVDs. I loved watching how the story was created and as I learn more about all of the artistic choices that are involved with making a movie, I love filmmaking even more. I am that person who will interrupt the movie to point out a cool filmmaking technique. 

What made you interested in joining Slow Clap?

I have been freelancing for several years and have had the opportunity to do a number of interesting and engaging projects, but I was ready to be part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to join Slow Clap because I was ready to be part of a long-term, collaborative, creative team. Slow Clap is a commercial video production company in San Francisco. Slow Clap’s mission to create authentic stories for their clients resonates with me in my personal and professional life. In my career as an artist, I want to act as a catalyst for change and I see filmmaking as a way to do so. The collaboration between filmmakers and their community acts as a catalyst that ignites movement. It’s cameras, lights, and audio equipment in the hands of passionate people who are brave enough to ask themselves and those around them, “who are you and what is your story?”

Any hobbies? 

When I don’t have my hands on a camera, I am painting or drawing. I make so much art that I love gifting my art to people. It’s one of my love languages. Pre-pandemic I would go swing dancing and salsa dancing. I used to do Irish dancing and hope to get back to it one day. I love spending time with my friends and going hiking, making a meal together, seeing a movie, or just hanging out in the living room. 

My Favorite Projects from Slow Clap 

Faces: A Work in Progress by Truong Tran

Building the future

La Crema Brand Story

Slow Clap Announced as a 2022 Local Excellence Award Winner by UpCity

UpCity spotlights the most trustworthy of over 70,000 B2B service providers. For Slow Clap to win the UpCity Local Excellence Award again in 2022 is really exciting for us. Slow Clap is also a listed and trusted vendor on review sites like Clutch, 50Pros.com, and Design Rush. We love helping our clients tell their authentic stories. 

Here are a couple of things our clients had to say about our partnership in our UpCity reviews:

“Dan and the Slow Clap crew were very professional, conscientious, and worked very hard to deliver a great production under budget and on time. They had to work with some difficult restrictions and they smiled through every adversity. I would highly recommend them.”

Mark Hornung, Employer Brand Consultant

“As someone who has personally worked with Slow Clap during the filming and editing process, they are wonderful to work with. Slow Clap are not just filmmakers, but advocates and storytellers as well. They are invested in helping you tell the best story.”

Casey Tran, Asian Law Caucus

Thanks to all our clients who have chosen us to help tell their stories. It’s your support that has made this award possible and helps us evolve as storytellers. Can’t wait to see you on our next project!

If you or someone you know is interested in making a video, let us know! We’d love to share our knowledge and help you get started. Share your ideas with us here.

How to Maximize Views for Your Video Content

A step-by-step guide to high-engagement videos.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to plan and market your video for maximum views, watch-throughs, and sales.

There’s an old thought experiment that goes like this: deep in space is a comet. Nobody has ever seen, heard, or thought about this comet. Nobody has any memory of it.

So, does that comet exist?

We don’t actually know the answer. But if you swap “comet” for “video,” and it’s your video, then we do know the answer: you’ve got a video that exists, but nobody is watching.

YouTube hosts over 500 hours of new content every minute. Some have big production budgets. Most don’t. But only a handful of videos of any budget get big-time views.

Fortunately, we’re here to help with some ideas on how to increase views and watch-throughs of your video content.

To be clear, views are not the only marker of a video’s success. For B2B, the ultimate metric is the sale, which (without tracking) is sometimes hard to quantify. But views are, of course, the first marker that matters. No views means something is broken. And right after views comes watch-through rate. If the audience doesn’t finish your video, something else is broken.

We focus on views and watch-through because they are easily measurable. If you are using YouTube, Wistia, or many other platforms, their analytics will give you this data. And in some cases, you can use that data to identify the problem, and either fix it or do better next time.

So here is Slow Clap’s seven-step strategy to ensure your video gets the engagement it needs to promote sales.

1. The video lives where your audience travels

Let’s return to that comet. If your audience travels in a particular galaxy, and your comet passes through that galaxy, they are more likely to see it. In internet terms, each galaxy is a particular platform, like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Different platforms serve different demographics. It can be a challenge to select the right one. Age, buying patterns, and other factors will matter. YouTube began as a place of authenticity, so selling directly isn’t as common as, say, on LinkedIn.

It doesn’t hurt to use more than one platform. But when you know one works, put most of your promotion efforts there.

And one thing to know: upload your video natively to each platform. LinkedIn, for instance, will penalize your posting’s rank if it links to anything outside of LinkedIn, and other platforms use similar strategies to try to keep users on their platform longer.

How to choose the right platforms:

Hootsuite has a great article on which platforms attract persons of particular demographics. And, interestingly, on what devices they tend to visit those platforms!

Wherever you choose, invest in it, learn how to use it effectively (learning their tags, posting schedule, etc.), and make it yours. 

And when you do use more than one platform, you can use hub platforms like Hubspot to compare results and automate posts.

2. The video shows up in Search, Feeds and Ads

On any given platform, there are three ways users will see your video:

  1. As a search result
  2. In their feed, through a recommendation or a follow
  3. Or as a paid ad

You have the most control over #1 and #3, where the common denominator is using the right keywords. These are words that audiences search to find answers to their questions.

Understanding how each platform uses keywords and tags is the key to getting it to show up in searches. That’s not to say you’ll rank first right away – sometimes that’s a matter of promotion and engagement. 

But you need to know what words people search so they can find your answer to their problems. 

And when running advertisements, you need to know what words describe those audiences. Age range. Profession. Again, these vary by platform. 

How to track a keyword’s effectiveness

Preemptively, you can estimate a keyword’s effectiveness in several ways:

  1. See if it comes up in Google Search autofill
  2. Compare it to similar keywords for free in Google Trends
  3. Find its CPC cost through tools like Keywords Everywhere
  4. Use Answer the Public to search your niche, and see what questions people are asking

After you begin using a keyword, you can track its effectiveness in several ways:

  1. A/B Posts or A/B videos. Create two versions using different keywords, and use that platform’s native analytics tools to see which one gets more views and longer watch times.
  2. Use a tracking platform like Hubspot to specifically follow that keyword.

3. The thumbnail makes your target audience unquenchably curious

Remember back when we had movie theaters, and you’d see movie posters in the lobby? A good poster could turn your head. A great poster made you hunt for the movie’s release date, because you had to see that movie.

Thumbnail images are the images that overlay a video before you hit play. And functionally, they are little movie posters. Through audience selection and good old curiosity, they bring in an audience better than nearly anything. 

Here’s how to create a great thumbnail:

  1. Plan ahead. Design the thumbnail during pre-production. The thumbnail imagery and story needs to integrate with the video itself. Don’t improvise later.
  2. Your thumbnail should answer the questions Who and What. Let your audience know it’s about them or a problem they have. If you are a secure paper-shredding company, plan a visual of an employee buried under documents. 
  3. Use human faces where possible. They connote feelings. 
  4. But if you can’t use any human faces, consider a simple graphic that explains a relationship.
  5. Words are the last thing you should add. Do as much communication with the visuals as possible. Words should fill in any context you can’t show.
  6. Sketch it, but leave it to a graphic designer or video editor to make the final product.
  7. Brand it. The usual colors, fonts, and other graphic assets.
  8. Test it. Can somebody you know identify who it’s for and what it’s about after looking at it for three seconds? Does it pique their curiosity?

How to track an effective thumbnail:

View count is the primary metric. There are ways to A/B test different thumbnails – you could publish two copies of the same video, but with different thumbnails, and keep the one that performs better. 

4. Write a title that can sell on its own

You can’t always depend on a thumbnail. Depending on the platform you’re on, you may not always be able to use one. On LinkedIn, for instance, videos autoplay in the feed, decreasing the utility of a thumbnail. 

This headline without the photo would still get clicks.

Source: swipefile.com.

Or maybe your topic is simply too abstract to explain in an image. If you’re a company that specializes in API’s (Application Programming Interfaces), you could try to show two pieces of software talking to each other in your video thumbnail. Or you could say “we build error-proof APIs” in a text title. 

And even if your thumbnail rocks, you should still have a title, or “headline,” that can sell on its own. We use “title” and “headline” interchangeably, though in marketing speak, the “headline” is any piece of media that is seen first.  

Great headlines won attention in printing-press pamphlets 300 years ago, and they still work today. A headline is the top text that answers the question, “what’s in it for me?” 

According to The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly, a good headline does four things:

  1. Gets attention.
  2. Selects the audience. This tells people who the media is for, and not for.
  3. Delivers a complete message.
  4. And draws the reader into the body copy. Or in this case, the video.

Sometimes your video title completes the thumbnail, like this:

How to track an effective title:

View count. As with the thumbnail, you can try A/B testing to find out what works best.

5. Hook ‘em in the first ten seconds of the video.

David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy and Mather, said the first ten seconds of a commercial are, in fact, its headline.

Ogilvy died in 1998, and did not live to behold the digital age. But even in an age where people have more control over the videos they watch, statistics bear out Ogilvy’s viewpoint. If you don’t intrigue your audience in the first 10 seconds, you’ll likely lose them.

If you’re not sure how to do that, write up a script, and evaluate it according to these criteria:

  1. Do the first 10 seconds give a clear clue that this video is about a problem your audience can appreciate? 
  2. Once you fully define the problem, is it easy to understand?
  3. Do the music, narrative, and visuals mirror the correct emotion? For example, do they show how frustrating it is finding an enterprise-level password manager?
  4. If you watched just the first 10 seconds of the video, would you want to know more?

How to measure your first 10 seconds:

Use your platform’s Watch-Time or Watch-through metrics. If you’re experiencing a dramatic drop in the first ten seconds, the video should probably be re-edited according to the guidelines above. 

6. Cut the fluff.

A problem in any story – be it a book, a film, or news from a chatty friend – is adding story arcs that don’t resolve or don’t matter. For example, you write a script about a pen that can securely and remotely sign contracts. You connect to Thomas Jefferson signing the declaration of independence. 

Source: Ad Age

But attention spans are short. Jefferson’s pen better be relevant or your audience will raise their eyebrows at best, and more likely click away.

Sometimes you don’t realize you’re off on a tangent.  This is why Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch coined the phrase, 

“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — wholeheartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

This is best achieved in script revision. Cut, cut, cut as much information as is unnecessary. Cut as many words as you can and achieve the same effect. 

Video editing also uses this process – to tell the best story in the fewest shots necessary. 

How to track attention:

Use the Watch-statistics. Is there a point far away from the end that drops off? If so, you may be able to edit the video to be shorter and tighter.

7. End the video where it should end.

A strong finish is a predictable finish. Once the story arc is complete – once the problem and solution are fully disclosed – that’s where to stop

In your call to action, ask only one thing of your audience. Don’t ask them to buy and subscribe. Don’t ask them to sign up for the email list AND don’t forget to check out our webinar. A video should have one CTA, as once it’s done playing, it’s done. 

There is one kind of video that can shoehorn multiple CTAS into a one-hour runtime: the 3 A.M. sales video. The kind that accompany “funnel” sales pages that look the same everywhere. The kind that use gimmicks to keep you watching. “But wait, there’s more!”

But we don’t recommend you make one of those. Respect your customer’s intelligence. Respect their understanding of story. Be transparent by using a clear story arc. And end it where it logically ends.

OK, and there is one more exception: funny bloopers. But do run them by some honest (brutally honest) friends to see if they’re actually funny.

How to track a strong ending:

Watch statistics that make it through the end at least 60% of the time are a win.

The Slow Clap Hook ‘Em TLDR; Summary

When you need your audience to watch your content all the way through:

  1. Start with the platforms where your audience spends time
  2. Make it relevant to things they search and read about
  3. Make sure they know it’s relevant in the thumbnail and headline
  4. Make sure they know it’s relevant in the first 10 seconds
  5. Cut all the fluff and extra time. People are busy!
  6. And end where it makes sense to end.

And if you want help – a team to translate your understanding of a topic, process, or industry into compelling content – give us a shout


Further reading:

Headlines account for 50% of a blog’s effectiveness

How to Write Headlines: A Step-by-step Guide

23 YouTube Stats that Matter to Marketers

A Complete Guide to B2B Video

500 Hours of Content are Uploaded to YouTube Every Minute

Social Media Demographics that Matter to Marketers

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Meet Slow Clap’s Production Assistant: Darissa Hicks

Get to know Darissa a bit better with our quick Q&A interview.

Introduce yourself!

Hello there, and thank you for stopping by! My name is Darissa and I’m Slow Clap’s Production Assistant. I’m from the Bay Area and graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics and a minor in Sociology. With my major, I wanted to gain knowledge that could be applied to the business side of many industries. Soon after, I also became interested in sociology and in finding a way to make a positive impact through my career. 

What’s your role? What made you gravitate towards this craft?

As a Production Assistant, my role is to support the team especially in the pre-production phase of producing a video. I help with planning the logistics of a shoot, including managing legal documents and researching locations/equipment. Sometimes, I am also a PA on set for our shoots. I may assist with crafty set-up, camera/lighting set-up, and behind-the-scenes photos.  Alongside helping with video production, I support company operations, such as marketing, company events planning, general administrative tasks, and anything else our team may need. 

What’s your prior experience? What made you interested in joining Slow Clap?

I have general experience in outreach, marketing, and HR. I have helped prepare informational interviews for different organizations, including a start-up social media app for college students and a podcast focused on diversity and social impact in the film industry called Rewriting Hollywood.  I was in search of gaining experience as a PA since I was interested in storytelling in media. As I was looking for different opportunities, I was surprised to find a PA position with a company like Slow Clap. I was really excited about finding a company that really cared about different causes and shared values about diversity and fostering an encouraging environment where you are able to learn and grow. Slow Clap tries to partner with community-based organizations to help tell their story. I am so glad to be a part of a team that wants to make an impact and help people through the power of storytelling. 

What am I watching?

Since I watch a lot more dramas than films, I think one of my favorite Korean TV dramas is My Mister. Watching it during the pandemic and without spoiling the story, I found My Mister to be very comforting and relatable in emotions to watch. It is a slice-of-life drama that is very understanding of different life experiences and can be encouraging to see how those characters overcome hardships. 

Any Hobbies?

In general, I like to spend time with friends and family, especially trying out the new foodie spots in town that we haven’t tried before. I also really enjoy watching movies/dramas and learning languages. 

Lastly, favorite project you’ve worked on?

As it was one of my first times being on set, I’d have to say that my favorite project is the Judicial Council of California’s Juror Orientation Video. For Slow Clap, it’s one of our larger projects, and I think that’s why I found it exciting. Over at least eight days, we had a crew of about 20 people and over 30 people for talent. I even got to clap the slate! (Check out the BTS photos below!) Seeing behind-the-scenes of how so many different folks could come and work together to create this video was amazing. I had the opportunity to connect and learn from veterans in the industry who were kind and patient in showing me the ropes. I am so grateful that our team kept an eye out for me and guided me throughout my time participating in this project and the many more to come!

Although I haven’t worked on many projects yet, some of my favorite work from Slow Clap also includes:

Slow Clap Productions Included in Clutch 1000

Slow Clap is proud to announce that, we’ve been included in the 2021 Clutch 1000, a list of the top 1,000 firms worldwide on their B2B service provider platform. This is a huge validation for us, as a boutique San Francisco Bay Area video production company that’s been dedicated to delivering nothing but the best work for our clients since our founding in 2014.

Over the years, positive feedback from clients on Clutch has been our North Star. It’s how we know we’re meeting our mission, to help brands engage with their audiences through authentic video storytelling.

The insights provided by our clients motivate us to continually improve our collaborative and creative processes. Here are a few of our favorite nuggets:

“Slow Clap delivered a high-quality and professional video that mirrored our client’s production requirements. Their creative and orderly approach made each phase seamless, especially our location shooting. Overall, their team met our standards with their cost-efficient and timely deliverables.” – Polly Ikonen at Landis Communications Inc.

“Slow Clap was a team of dynamic storytellers and highly skilled writers. They translated our complex project into a narrative that was easy for the community to understand.” – ​​Reuel Daniels, Community Engagement Manager at Brookfield Properties

“Their team doesn’t create videos that are off the shelf. They create something that engages the viewer emotionally. Professionalism and creativity are hallmarks of their high-quality work.” – Jack Vaughan, Director of Education & Video at Glide

We’re honored that Clutch has recognized us for this global award. A big thanks to all our clients for sharing their unique stories and collaborating with us.

Five Great Explainer Videos

Why these five explainer videos rocked the market.

Thanks to creativity and accessibility, it’s never been easier to introduce a new product with a fresh video.

This entry discusses five of the best explainer videos, the different approaches they use, and how they can help your business.

Type “explainer video” into Google and (ironically) you’ll get a full page of sponsored ads before any explanation of what an explainer video is. So in case you’re wondering, explainer videos are commercials that focus on how a product or business solves a particular problem. 

Explainer videos have become a sort of commodity, and for many businesses online, they’re the second thing they purchase, right after a Web site. 

Part of the reason for their growth is the rise of technology companies. Technology allows us to solve problems we didn’t know we had – but it also creates more problems to be solved. 

But they’re also popular because they’re accessible. They can be animated, live-action, or just a talking head. Prices range from $100 on Fiverr to seven figures with major agencies like Sandwich

But the other reason for their growth is that they work. They don’t even have to be great – just good. But if you’re going to learn how to create an explainer video, you may as well learn from the best. 

So today we’ll show you five of our favorites and break down their tactics into simple riffs that anyone can rock.

01: Github: Building the future

GitHub’s most epic explainer – created in San Francisco by yours truly (Slow Clap) – uses an emotional story to introduce the problem: a boy with musical dreams is held back by his immobile hand. 

Enter heroic big sister, who plays to her strength in coding by developing a robotic hand. But there’s a twist – it’s too much for her to achieve alone. So she sends her plans out to the universe via GitHub, which enables dreamers and tinkerers and coders everywhere to work together.

GitHub is a development platform with a world-famous Open Source community. As they put it, “Small experiments, inspired inventions, and the software everyone depends on—the code you write on GitHub can reach one codebase or millions.” 

Using collective effort, big sister and a variety of heroes send machines to Mars, work on engines in virtual reality, and ultimately empower little brother to become a master pianist.

The story is emotionally powerful, while the explanation is clearer than the lens of the hubble telescope: you know exactly who it’s for, and how massive its potential really is. 

How to copy it

Come up with a powerful, emotional story. Or hire a writer to help you develop that idea. Then hire a top-notch production team to make it come to life down to the last detail. 

02: Airtable: Organize Anything

sandwich.co/work/airtable/

Made by the aforementioned Sandwich agency, the Airtable explainer video puts a different twist on tackling collaborative projects: it’s told through the eyes of kids.

The kids are making a movie. And each one has big personality: a sassy director, a precocious writer, and so on. But the challenge they face is how to synchronize all of their creativity, which is visually represented as they sit in a sea of marker-drawn storyboards.

The solution is the AirTable app, which implies that it’s so easy a kid could use it – without losing a speck of their innate personality or creativity.

This explainer works because it grabs and holds your attention. The kids are sassy and perfect, the colors pop, the production is sharp, and the point is simple. 

How to copy it

Hire a comedian or a script writer with comedic chops. Riff on ideas until something consistently gets laughs. Then, hire a professional production team like Slow Clap that regularly works with actors. 

03 What is Hubspot

Created in 2013, What Is Hubspot is an early example of the animated explainer boom. But it’s a champion of the era, and if you’re considering an animated explainer, study this one.

Hubspot begins with the problem: marketing has changed. It’s not the cold-calling era anymore – a data-driven digital presence is now the best path to new sales. But because that means managing dozens of platforms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

The solution is one marketing platform that connects you to every other platform and provides metrics on their effectiveness. 

This video works so well for three reasons. First, the script is crystal clear. It’s easy to follow no matter who you are, or how much you know about marketing. 

Second, the visuals are simple and intuitive. The subject of every segment moves to the center of the screen. There are no fancy patterns or distracting backgrounds. It’s the animated equivalent of a close-up, and it’s perfectly framed.

Third, the voice-over is crystal clear. The narrator is matter-of-fact, approachable, and yet compelling enough to convince the audience that this is a real problem, but the solution is also real – and within reach. 

How to copy this approach

Start with the leanest script you can make. Hire a copywriter with video experience to help, if possible. 

Then look for a video production company with animation experience – or just a specialized animation company. 

Find out: Have they tackled tough subjects effectively in other work? You may have to lean on them to creatively provide context with visuals, so their previous work must speak for itself. 

Also spend some time choosing the right voiceover artist. Not all of them can provide the right tone to match the problem and solution. And keep in mind, more than anything, the tone of the voiceover must be one that is appealing to your audience.

04 States Title

When closing home loans, mortgage brokers often lose significant time in the title underwriting process. The process is over a century old, and still uses much of the same snail-paced paperwork that requires dozens of signatures and long meetings.

So what if software could make that dramatically easier and faster?

States Title’s software can create legally-correct signable title forms with an 80% accuracy rate. It also informs the broker if it can’t hit that accuracy rate, letting them seek help from a title company when necessary.

So how do you explain something so abstract? 

Slow Clap tackled the challenge with simple animations. Visually, millions of data points converge into one document – which is something software is made to do, better than humans. That software then does the other thing it’s best at: repeating the process as much as requested. 

The video closes with a powerful question: “Can you afford to underwrite the old-fashioned way?” It declares an inevitable change in the industry but simultaneously invites you to adapt it to your advantage. 

How to copy it

States Title depends on the creative use of visual metaphor. Find an animation or production studio that has tackled really tough abstract concepts. Work with them on a script, and then let them handle the rest.

05 Dollar Shave Club

Razor blades are overpriced. Dollar Shave Club is a direct to consumer brand, possibly the first to get big. That’s still boring though. So instead of focusing just on the price difference, Dollar Shave Club chose to mock their competitors and the absurdity of overpaying for thin strips of metal. 

Easily one of the most well-known explainer videos, Dollar Shave Club’s epic breakthrough in the market was created by its founder Michael Dubin. It uses humor at its best, lining up joke after joke. And the miracle is, all of them flow together.

How to copy it

Humor is prized in modern culture, but it’s eternally tough to pull off. Therefore if you don’t have somebody who regularly gets a crowd laughing, we suggest hiring a comedian to help you write the video and act in it. That’s essentially what Dubin did.

But the other character in this video is the setting itself – a warehouse full of gags. To pull off both the staging and the filming, hire a professional video team so that the final product looks and feels like a funny commercial. 

How an explainer video can help your business

Explainer videos can answer more questions about your product – and select your audience – faster than any other media. 

To that end, you should consider adding them in the following locations:

  • On your Web site, either on the front page or a specific product page
  • On LinkedIn, in your company business page
  • As a Facebook business page banner video
  • On any platforms that you use, within your business profile and as a schedule post
  • And in emails to new clients