Cutting out good Content Marketing material is OK!

AHHH! TOO MUCH INFORMATION! 

Do you ever get frustrated trying to compress a lot of information into small, digestible bits of content for audience consumption, engagement and retention? You always want to give your audience relevant info that will relate to their needs and pain-points, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with a boat load of facts and figures that will drown them before they even get to enjoy the heart of the message. 

We include video in our content marketing toolbox with the hopes that it will not only compliment our blogs, whitepapers and presentations, but that it will also become the magnet that will attract and retain audiences. The video medium, if executed with enough care, can take relatively mundane information and bring it to life by educating people through entertainment. 

The Bill Gale Animation

Hemmings House was hired a while back to produce a fun animation that would sum up the life of a community leader named Bill Gale. The video would be used at a Roast in his honour, and then released on the web. His biography and resume are a truly impressive collection of honors and accomplishments. When our client asked us to produce the animation, they gave us a six-page document that summarized years and years of Bill’s action-packed life in the finance world. There was far more information in the written document that could be compressed into a 90 second video.  And despite the accomplishments, it is a bit of a challenge to communicate an engaging message based solely on a list of resume highlights. 

Our team discussed the challenge and we came up with an entertaining Monty Python-esque cartoon that would sum up Bills life in a metered 90-second period of time (start the clock!). We used humor, colorful animation, and a very rapid narration to tell this story. 

Don’t be Scared!

Never be afraid of compressing allot information into something with less details. As a filmmaker myself, I was always taught that the greatest film editors knew which of the best scenes to cut and throw on the floor, even if they were the nicest looking shots of the whole production. Sometimes to get to the meat of the message you have to trim the fat, even if the fat is great content. 

When you have more data than you feel you can sift through, don’t let that discourage you. There is always a very simple story that can be told in an entertaining and engaging way, you just need to simplify. People do not consume stories because they are rich in statistics and cerebral concepts. People consume stories because they are simple, entertaining and they can relate to them.

This is also true for any of your content marketing production. Give the audience valuable data that is detailed enough to bring value, but not so deep that you loose them after 10 seconds. Using humor and unique styles in the way you tell your stories is also a great way to keep eyeballs on your content. 

me and Steinbeck

 

 

 

 

 

A Vision and Mission Statement: A Life Roadmap

A few weeks ago I articulated my Vision Statement of A Happy and Kind World. Give it a whirl if you have a chance. My definition of a vision statement is a proclamation of a future state that every decision in our lives is designed to support. So what is a mission statement? The mission statement is the tangible steps that are required to realize the vision…it's a roadmap. I came up with the vision of a Happy and Kind World for Hemmings House because it also is my personal vision (thanks Dave Veale). Everything I do, every decision I make, and every ounce of energy I spend needs to be in line with that vision.

So what's my mission? How am I going to get to see a Happy and Kind World? Well, I'm glad you asked! (I forced that on your didn't I?)

People kill each other, steal from each other, and hate each other when they do not understand each other. We are tribal beings. We protect our own. Those enlightened earthlings who realize that 'our own' isn't limited just to our family,our team, our friends, our country, our race…'our own' to me is every living and non living thing. Our own is also our oneness, so why the shnikies aren't we seeing peace on this planet? Again…it's because we don't understand each other, and we live in the lie that we are not of the same royal bloodline, we all were birthed from the same source.

So how do I live my life to help contribute to a more understanding world? I use storytelling to connect people. When we hear each other's stories, when we are able to find a connection and commonality because of those stories, then we can empathize. Empathy (according to the amazing TheBabbleout.com editor-in-chief Zoey Miller!!!) is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentiment or fictional being. We recognize emotions when we are connected, when we relate. Storytelling helps us connect, it helps us relate. 

Here are my personal commitments (my Mission Road Map) to help see my vision of a Happy and Kind World come to fruition. 

FILM & CREATIVE MEDIA – I own a production company that produces commercial films, documentaries, TV shows, web content, audio, photography, animation…digital media in the form of audio and video. This company allows our clients and us to connect to the globe, to other humans, partners and customers. 

PUBLIC SPEAKING - This is new for me… kinda. I find myself speaking in front of audiences often. In fact I recently achieved a life goal of presenting at a TEDx earlier this year! I am now being asked to speak to different audiences about storytelling, filmmaking, entrepreneurship and adventure. It's rad.

WRITING – A have written a travel and adventure article in the Telegraph Journal for the last 5 years. I have been blogging for almost a decade (with a new commitment to 'regularity'), and I am scheming up a book. Hey, I like to write. Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson and Jack Kerouac helped me realize that it's ok to translate your random stream of conscious thoughts into words! Hey if you haven't read Wolfe's Electirc Coolaid Acid Tests, Thompson's Another Roadside Attraction, or Kerouac's On The Road, then consider it your next three classic books to pick up.

MUSIC - For me music is the great connector. I am a musician, I am a drummer first, banjo, guitar, bass, piano…I love creating music with anything, and even more than creating, I consume and experience music almost every waking hour of my life…literaly. There is no other connector medium that is more effective on an emotional level than music for me. Go see Sigur Ros and you will know exactly where I am coming from! I am playing drums in a band called Fox Farm, we have been playing for a couple years and only two weeks ago got a name…for one show we called ourselves 'Holland Oats"…I kinda loved that name, we had about a hundred others! I am now creating music with Ableton Live's Push. Techno dance music is a great connector, a great way to get a few thousand people vibrating to the same sub frequencies…a great empathizer. 

I have really challenged myself to be active in all four of my mission road maps on a weekly basis, and that's why I am sharing it with you right now! So hey, thanks for letting me explain my purpose, maybe this blog helps you understand a bit more of who I am at the source. PLEASE share your vision and mission statement to people, its the first step to attracting kick ass people into your life. Jah Love.

 

 

 

It’s Halloween! Anyone want a Toonie?

Often I tell people that Hemmings House doesn’t sell videos and photography, we sell STORYTELLING! That’s the fun part about what we do, we help people tell their stories in fun, creative and engaging ways. Of course our specialty is film, but over the past couple of years we have been digging deep into animation, and it’s been a ball! One of our animators is a brilliant artist named JEEP. One day JEEP and I were hanging out in the kitchen of my cottage on the Kennebecassis River And we came up with a fun little animated story to help me explain what Hemmings House is doing to help tell stories….with CARTOONS! 

Check it here! And if you had a chuckle, pass it along to your friends! T’is the season for Vampires and home cookin’ you know! Have a great week!

-Greg Hemmings

 

Featured Animation

Stark from Hemmings House on Vimeo.

We recently finished a very cool animation for our friends at Stark Oil.

STARK is an industry leader in providing oil services for transformers, hydraulic and lubrication oils.  Their process of monitoring and conditioning oil reduces the need for costly shutdowns and time consuming in-house filtration methods. 

Stark’s Vice President, Business Development & Marketing John Mee wrote us a fantastic letter of recommendation. I asked if we could share it, so here it is!

I was impressed with how quickly the team at Hemmings House “got it”. They really understood our story and they knew how to tell it in an economical but yet fully complete short video. They boiled a complex topic down to its essence and presented in an engaging way. The reaction from our customers tells us this was the right way to go.
 
Importantly, they are easy people to work with – professional, creative and the whole process happened without any real burden on us. Getting this done didn’t take us away from running our business. ~ John Mee

 

Animation Reels

If you want to see more animation, check out our “Cartoon Page”!

http://hemmingshouse.com/animations/

 

Events Calendar

Our pals at Informative Computer Solutions (ICS) have treated us so well with the evolution of our website! As it turns out we have a lot on the go in the community, so the boys at ICS built us a Hemmings House events calendar. Please check it often! http://hemmingshouse.com/events/

Coming up we have a couple interesting events that we want to feature:

Fall is Blasting by Fast with Events & Screenings

It’s October already!!!

Fall is blasting by fast, but that’s not such a bad thing for those of us who can’t wait for the mountains of New England to get covered with snow for another ski season…right? One of the reasons September has gone by so fast for Hemmings House is because we have all had our nose to the grindstone creating cool films and photography for cool clients.

We are proud to showcase some of our work, so if you have time over your coffee break take a scroll through and watch a few videos that we have produced recently, and also learn about some of the other things we are up to. As I write this blog and emailer I am flying from Toronto to Paris to shoot a pilot for our latest TV series. I am also very excited to watch our very own Andrew MacCormack’s short film Here and Away on Air Canada’s enRoute In Flight Television! If you are flying Air Canada be sure to check it out! 

Steve and I will also be continuing down the coast to Cannes to attend MIPCOM, the world’s leading broadcast industry convention, and I apologize in advance for any Instagram photos we send of us enjoying wine and baguettes beachside on the Mediterranean!

Events & Screenings

October is a big month for Hemmings House with notable events that we are hosting or are involved with. Mark your calendars! 

October 5th – 1pm AST: CBC Screening

Our latest documentary, the Boy Who Was Bullied, will air Nationally on CBC Television at 1pm. This film explores the life and accomplishments of John Peters Humphrey and his role in fighting international bullying. 

October 18th – 5-7pm: Music NB Mixer 

This is going to be a fun night! Music NB Week is happening in Saint John so make sure you get a delegates pass and support our incredible musicians as they gather in our city to celebrate accomplishments of their art and business. Hemmings House is a proud sponsor of Music NB week and will be hosting a great mixer at our studio in the Creative Soup Building, 3rd floor. Become a delegate at www.musicnb.org and join us for some great music, beer (thanks Picaroons!) and food (thanks Mazzadro!).

October 18th – 7:30-9pm: HHP International Films Screening  

From A Broken Heart Promo from Hemmings House on Vimeo.

Immediately following the Music NB Mixer, we invite people to join us at the Mary Oland Theatre at the NB Museum in Saint John for the Hemmings House International Films Screening. Every year we find ourselves working on projects around the globe. This night we will be featuring four short films with corresponding Q&As. Brent Mason will be performing some tunes as well!

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted with proceeds donated to Uganda Venture. Please let us know if you can attend by signing in! 

'From a Broken Heart' Film Screening

  • “San Miguel”. Directed by Mark Hemmings, this film shows the beauty of one of Mexico’s best kept secrets. Photographers Mark Hemmings and James Wilson hosts annual photography workshops in this beautiful city. This film supports their efforts in supporting these workshops, and celebrating international photography. 
  • “Brent in China”. Directed by Lauchlan Ough, this film follows folk musician Brent Mason as he travels to China and collaborates with Chinese folk musicians in hopes of creating cross cultural musical relationships.
  • “Here and Away”. Directed by Andrew MacCormack, this short film tells the story of an old man living on a small island and a young woman in one of the worlds biggest cities discuss why no other place could be home. (Also screened on Air Canada’s in flight television)
  • “From a Broken Heart”. Directed by Greg Hemmings, this film tells the story of how a young girl from the village of Tabiro in Uganda and a doctor from Halifax in Canada built a bridge that has enriched the two countries. 

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October 24th – 7-9pm: The Boy Who Was Bullied screening in Hampton

Our latest documentary, the Boy Who Was Bullied will be screened in Hampton, New Brunswick, the home of John Peters Humphrey! This film explores the life and accomplishments of John Peters Humphrey and his role in fighting international bullying. There will be performances, Q&A, and refreshments at the event. Come celebrate the legacy of a local hero! 

October 25th – 8-5PM: Women Reshaping the World

Women Reshaping the World is an amazing conference that Hemmings House is a major sponsor of. This conference takes place in Halifax and is one that should not be missed. Get more information for registration here.

Every Thursday Night until December 

Cubicle to the Cage Intro from Hemmings House on Vimeo.

Our latest TV series Cubicle to the Cage airs weekly on radX. Call your local cable provider for subscription information. This channel is awesome and has no commercials!

Cubicle to the Cage will air at the Saint John Ale House every Thursday night at the pub! Be there at 10:30 and enjoy a pint of Moosehead’s Cask Ale with us as we watch the series unfold!

 

Contact Hemmings House

If you want to get together to discuss any future projects please let us know, we would love to take you out for a coffee (or a wine at Happinez if the time of the day suits!) to brainstorm how Hemmings House can help you tell your story. 

Keep up to date with us!

Twitter: @hemmingshouse

Facebook: HemmingsHouse

Greg’s Legends – Shannon Hoon

When I founded my business it was all about the music. It still is in many ways, but in the early days of Hemmings House, the sole purpose was to bring live music to the world through the magic of video. As time went on this company has evolved into the world of commercial, corporate, documentary and television series production, but the love of music is still at its core.

I was on a road trip the other day and put Blind Melon on as I was driving the airline (route 9) between Bangor Maine and the Canadian border. I thought to myself of how much this band and Shannon Hoon influenced me when I was beginning my career as a filmmaker. I started thinking of all the other icons who shaped who I am, and who my company is today as well.

October 21st, 1995 Shannon Hoon died on his tour bus with a cocaine overdose at the age of 28. I always wonder what sort of brilliant art he would be creating today if he were still with us.

Here is a gem I found on Youtube.

Thanks for reading!
-Greg