Video Production vs. Run and Gun: The James Royal Palm Hotel

We’re pretty proud of our video at Visual Creatives, but we’re even prouder of our video production process.

A fine-tuned production process can lift a piece of video content from “nice to have” to “wow.’ And “wow” is what drives marketing ROI in the video world. 

We will often compare our video production process with what we call the “Run and Gun,” where a crew will show up to just “capture what is there” without a detailed plan in place. Run and Gun is often used by crews who shoot news features and live events. Knowing what kind of video production crew you are hiring is crucial to your marketing success with video content!

The James Royal Palm, South Beach, Miami

Not long ago we shot a video piece for The James Royal Palm in South Beach. South Beach is the playground for the rich and famous, and often hotels located along prime oceanfront will host celebrities and well-heeled travelers looking for a hotel with discretion and luxury. These hotels also draw a fair amount of media attention, and The James is adept at handling media shoots and features.

On the second day of our video shoot, we were amused to find Extra TV shooting an episode of Mansions and Millionaires on The James property. The film crew for Mansions and Millionaires was definitely following a Run and Gun approach. They came into the hotel, shot footage as they walked through the property, staged an interview and a key shot or two, and were done.

On the surface, this sounds like a great way to do a video. It’s quick and efficient – which seems like it would cost less money and disruption. Except, of course, if you don’t get the shots you really need.

When we reached the end of our shoot at The James, the producer for Mansions and Millionaires struck up a conversation with us. “So,” he began, “We were wondering…can we get your footage to use on the show? We didn’t get a lot of what we wanted, and everywhere we went the staff told us you had already been there.”

We got the shots the Run and Gun crew missed.

This video from The James illustrates the production process

The James Royal Palm from Visual Creatives on Vimeo.

From the beginning each video we create is a collaboration with our clients and their creative vision. Yes, we sometimes disagree with their vision, but the process of working through those discussions yields a deeper emotional connection for the client to their final piece.

The team leads the client through the pre-production process. This includes detailed scripts (even for pieces with no actors and no voice overs!), shot descriptions and angles, walk-thrus with our entire production team (not just the DP and Director – we include everyone who will be working on set), and timelines for shoot days that are approved well ahead of the actual engagement. On the day we arrive to shoot, every one from the client to our hospitality assistant understands exactly how the day will unfold. We never miss a shot that we had hoped to get. And — much to our client’s initial chagrin — we don’t add shots that seem like a good spur-of-the-moment idea. We hold to our timeline, our schedule and our approval process.

The final result is video content that works.

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