Post Magazine

December 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 53 28 POST NOV/DEC 2019 ometimes I just wish there was a script, but there isn't. A lot of my work as an editor is documentary storytelling. For me, it's a really pure form of editorial. You need to figure out the best way to tell the story in however long you have. But define 'best' — is it the most entertaining, the most truthful or the most dramatic telling of the story? And what is the story? There's always a point in the process where the everything reveals itself and it's a wonderful moment of relief when all the homework you have done suddenly finds its purpose and the timeline fills itself. But it takes time, and not just the hours invested in working the material and working through the process. It takes time to tell the story, and tradition- al advertising doesn't always allow for stories like that to flourish. 'Branded content' lives somewhere in between the world of advertising and film. It's a fascinating phenomenon that has only come about because of social media. It's a perfect example of how all the traditional boundaries in our industry are disappearing and the work is evolv- ing to find its place. I believe branded content can be most successful when it is used to rein- force high-level branding. Rather than get into any specific product messages, it can really capture the heart and sole of a brand's identity. It doesn't have to try too hard. Yeti is a great example. I worked with director Greg Kohs to profile one of their 'Brand Ambassadors,' Billy Durney of Hometown BBQ (pictured, right). It's the story of a guy who had to figure out a work/life balance, and threw away a life of celebrity and glamour to find happiness serving ribs in Brooklyn. It's a story about keeping family together and finding meaning in community, and that resonates. Billy encapsulates so many of the values that define the brand — honest, reliable, hard working and down to Earth — that we didn't need to show product. Yeti's Hometown played at the Tribeca X Festival, which showcased some great examples of the powerful work we can produce when we embrace this new format. There's now a greater opportunity to reach an audience with this content. It can live comfortably across many differ- ent platforms, all on your phone. It fits naturally alongside content from news, current affairs and entertainment. And it's not just agencies creating content. Major publishers like NYT have created T-Brand studios, combining their jour- nalism and online platforms to deliver stories for clients, too. This collaboration between marketers, publishers and film- makers is bringing new opportunities for us as filmmakers, with creative freedom we never had in traditional spot format. Could it, in fact, come full circle, where the streaming platforms have branded content alongside original programming? Are we going back to the days where the soap company makes soap operas? I guess we're still figuring it out. So as I sit here with hours and hours of interviews, b-roll, archival footage and a 10-page brief, I'm still figuring out how to put this film together. And I wish there was a script because that would make it easy. But there isn't, and that's the point. WHEN THE STORY REVEALS ITSELF: THE POWER OF DOCUMENTARY BRANDED CONTENT BY STEPHEN JESS EDITOR CUT+RUN NEW YORK CITY HTTPS://CUTANDRUN.COM/ S OUTLOOK BRANDED CONTENT

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - December 2019