“…And I realized, this is going to change everything.”
Being asked to create a video that highlights the history of one of the most notable brands on social media is an honor. After all, very few brands can say they have achieved 2 billion views on YouTube.
When I was asked to make this high profile tier 1 video for the company, I knew it would not be easy. There would be a lot of thought and opinions about how to best showcase our history. Which incredible video do I use here? What is a good representation of “x” year? What should the copy say? What should it sound like? What emotion should the viewer feel? So many things to think about, where do you start?
With a big sheet of paper and a pencil.
“…That’s upwards of 7.8 thousand years of GoPro content watched across the 2,000-plus videos on the GoPro YouTube Channel.”
We had two choices. Tell the story chronologically, or focus on a few key pillars. Each option presented it’s own challenges with regards to what content to use. With key pillars, we could move around throughout the edit and focus on emotional touch-points. A chronological timeline meant we would have to stick placing specific shots in a specific order. Ultimately, the decision was to tell the story, as it unfolded from company inception to 2 billion and one views.
Next came research.
From my five years with the company, and having created the companies ‘careers video’ years prior, I was pretty familiar with the company history, and what assets were available. I knew it would be important to have the story be told, not from our mouths, but from the community that built it. This meant researching user generated videos, and even external news sources, outlets, vloggers and more for the perfect sound bytes to keep the energy high and moving forward.
I wrote down each year, then the top key things that happened that year, starting with our product release. What I ended up with was a huge list of accomplishments. To tell this would easily be a 15 minute video. This is where strategy and decision making came in. It has to be short and sweet, so what could we cut?
I focused on what I could show visually, and support with audio clips. If image quality was sub-par, then its likely-hood of making the cut would be lessened. Make the timeline fatty, then cut it down.
Music and time were two other challenges. This video had a very quick turn-around, which meant moving fast and making decisions. There were lots of screenings, notes, and revisions. Music was no stranger to this either. With the help of Ben Schewier, GoPro’s Music Director, and an external music composer, B. Lewis – we were able to compose a unique track specifically to this video.
In the trenches were myself (Alex Hogue), and Josh Currie who helped me edit the video (and polish off that late night Thai delivery order). Josh was key in making this video come to life and getting it done on time. Marvin Han (GoPro’s Motion Graphics Artist) also spent some late nights with us while continuously adjusting graphics. I prefer to call him a graphics wizard. Phil Matteini, was the producer on this one, he put in a ton of work to make sure we met our deadlines and had the legal approval for archival footage, screenings, budgets, you name it – he did it. Claire Haines also was also so crucial in tracking down video rights, athlete sign-offs and all sorts of approvals required to publish such a video. Rob Wynn, GoPro’s Head of Studio brought all the people and resources necessary to complete such a task. As the Executive Producer, Rob gave crucial feedback to align the video with the company’s leadership and brand message.
I could go on naming so many people that contributed to this video. But to risk sounding like an Academy Award recipient, I will just say that it was truly a priceless experience to work with so many people to achieve a common goal. Making a Tier 1 video for such a strongly branded and followed company is an honor.
A sincere thank you to everyone who did their role in this video. I’m glad I could accept the challenge and knock-out a great asset for GoPro.
“That number is more than views from Apple, Samsung, and NASA’s channels combined.”