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Spiracle Media has worked on a diverse group of projects over the last several years. During that span, we decided against pursuing a specific vertical with our video storytelling; that doesn’t mean that certain verticals haven’t identified us. One such scenario is the extensive work that we’ve done and continue to do in the education space. These clients are starting to understand the significant role that video storytelling plays within their marketing efforts. Here are four key areas that schools are focusing on:

Programs

Programs are essential to any educational offering and experience. This is certainly the case at the college and university level. Programs attract potential students and parents. Video can be used to educate the potential consumer on what makes a program unique and its efficacy in terms of future employment. Real stories of success drive this point home.

Advancement

The lifeblood of all private education is fundraising. Without it, opportunities are scarce or limited. Money funds scholarship opportunities, programs and expansion. Events are key in promoting each of these needs and video is the best way to connect with a captured audience of donors. We have seen great success in this area with video translating into dollars.


Student Life

Student life is a big factor when choosing a school. Parents want to see what opportunities are available both inside and outside the classroom. Institutional experience influences quality of life as individuals seek a sense of fulfillment. Sharing a story about service opportunities, clubs and the connections between piers can provide strong visual emphasis of your offering.

Brand

Why do you exist? When it comes down to it, students are deciding whether or not to opt into being a part of a brand. A brand might be defined by cultivating future nurses, engineers or athletes. Is that message reaching prospective students with clarity and emotion? Schools hold differentiators near and dear to their heart. Video provides an opportunity to capture the essence of your brand like never before.

Spiracle Media has worked with advancement offices, marketing departments and admission teams to help capture a message that resonates with consumers and donors. These videos have been used in a variety of settings and disseminated across multiple platforms. There’s no substitute for powerful video!

 

Spiracle Media and EVERFI have worked together to create video content for multiple use cases over the last several years. Most of the video capture has taken place around school centered events with their partners. EVERFI is on the front lines of education’s evolution, connecting learning to the real world by equipping users with the skills they need for success beyond the classroom (EverFi.com). As the company has grown, so has the demand for video support.

Our teams have traveled across the U.S. and Canada to capture platform specific content for various EVERFI partners. One recent trip to Olive Branch, Mississippi stands out.

“After arriving early to the shoot and taking a tour with Mr. Todd, I remember AJ and I looking at each other and smiling,” says Director of Video Services and Production David Kernodle. “Without saying anything to each other, we both knew this was a story we needed to explore.”

Keep in mind, Mr. Todd is responsible for teaching health and wellness to third graders. Teaching a class of that variety is one thing. Teaching it in a learning environment supported by a garden, cows, chickens, etc. on site is just…plain…awesome!

The goal of this shoot was to profile a new platform called “Healthier Me.” This program exists to help students make healthy, informed decisions when it comes to nutrition. Jackpot! You couldn’t ask for a better coupling than Mr. Todd (our main character) and his alignment with the goals of Healthier Me. Following this discovery, our team dug in and changed course to make sure this story didn’t get buried. Versatility is an important attribute and here it was critical. You have be able to adjust in order to capture what’s relevant.

There were certainly challenges as the team only had limited time at the school and no information on the story ahead of a time. Working together with Mr. Todd and the EVERFI rep, our team was able to capture some beautiful footage that led to a solid finished piece. Sometimes the best stories end up being the ones that find you. The x factor is whether or not you’re ready to pivot and seize the opportunity! Thankfully, our team was.

“This is the kind of storytelling we enjoy capturing. Stories that are visually appealing and have characters who add personality and depth,” says Kernodle. “The hardest thing about the shoot was deciding who was going to edit the piece. We both wanted to. In the end, AJ (Chodora) did a masterful job as he always does.”

Visit our Vimeo Channel to see more of our work.

Differentiators are a big part of the choices we make when it comes to a number of things. What type of restaurants do we enjoy dining at? Why do we invest in certain brands or products? What gadget should we buy next? With each decision, we run through a routine when choosing the path forward. The same exists in the business world when you’re looking for a partner or service. Why should I choose you over other companies with comparable offerings? The answer to this question is imperative to the short and long-term success of any small business. With Spiracle Media, it’s a point of emphasis as we look to separate ourselves in a crowded space full of video content creators.

Fortunately, we’ve been spending a lot of time pitching for new business. This includes a discussion centered around who we are and what we offer. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a few of the key points we speak to in those meetings.

We’ve built a business set on a foundation of seasoned journalists. As Spiracle Media evolved, we began to see with greater clarity the importance of focusing on what you’re good at. We’re good at telling stories. Not because we’re lucky, but because we’ve done it our entire careers. Our experience breeds an expertise that allows us to diagnose the best way of capturing the necessary assets and asking the right questions. Each segment of a shoot is done with assembly of the finished product in mind.

Relationships are another critical aspect. We don’t take on projects for the sole purpose of the business transaction, but rather because we want to enjoy the journey with our partners. The early days of Spiracle Media were all about relationships when we took the leap in 2011 and that hasn’t changed nearly seven years later. It’s an organic part of our functionality. The beautiful thing is that out of a solid relationship comes value for all. Value that’s found in the results and in the process. It should be fun and enjoyable!

The final part of the equation is quality. Quality still matters. Don’t be fooled. We look at this variable as a given within our offering and the least of our differentiators. This doesn’t mean that we neglect it. It’s quite the opposite. We continually look for ways to innovate whether it be tools, style or presentation. It’s last because a lot of companies shoot beautiful video and so do we. The big question extends beyond this reality. What else makes a video partner different?

In our case, we’re always entertaining new ways to improve our partner offerings. We’re always learning. That’s what the maturation process of a business demands. One thing that we hang our collective hat on is making sure that everything starts with experience and relationships and that it ends with what we hope is a beautiful, tangible product. We work to ensure that the sentiment of our mission lives within every engagement: To provide our partners with an enjoyable, simple and collaborative experience that leads to purposeful video storytelling.

Interested in partnering, contact us!

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is known for being a pioneer on the Charlotte beer scene. Authentic ingredients and good beer remain at the center of who they are. In our latest collaboration, Spiracle Media and OMB teamed up to showcase the brewery’s commitment to the Charlotte area.

This video took several months to complete with many locations at play. You’ll notice the detail and the way in which we associated specific beers with their corresponding landmarks. The full tool kit was in play for this piece including the capture of aerial video.

The postproduction process was lengthy as we had several stop and start moments to ensure that the story was on point in terms of messaging and brand. We wanted to remain authentic from a voiceover perspective as well with the story narration done by OMB’s founder, John Marino. Subtle sound effects were essential in enhancing the viewer experience.

Recently, Spiracle Media teamed with the CIAA to revisit the first black college football game. It was a neat step back in time as our team collected interviews and worked to recreate visuals to support the story. The video (above) was used as the centerpiece to promote this year’s celebration of 125 years while a number of other spots were developed for social media (below).

The inaugural game took place in Salisbury, NC between Johnson C. Smith (Biddle) and Livingstone.

We’ve all been advised at one point or another to follow our passion and pursue something we truly love. It makes life more enjoyable and leads to fruitful returns. For a successful company, that’s certainly true of its employees. It’s critical that they share in that passion and find value in their individual roles. The same thing holds true from a company perspective when it comes to choosing the right partners.

In the beginning, every project is viewed as an equal opportunity to make money and survive. While money is central to business, the idea of where your revenue comes from must change over time. This takes some getting used to since our first reaction is to gravitate toward business and not away from it. Here are a few basics to consider:

Do they align with what you believe in?

In our case, we want partners that align with the Spiracle vision. Do they share a passion for the process and hold the belief that all video should be purposeful? We aim to keep the process simple and let the story play out organically. Buy-in for us in these areas is important.

Do they believe in relationships?

No matter what arena you work in, relationships are the lifeblood that leads to productive results. We view our partners as much more than just the project. Our goal is to develop a connection that leads to total collaboration. Anything less is unacceptable.

Are they fun to work with?

This sounds simple, but matters more than you think. Team morale is fragile. A single grueling project with a partner that doesn’t see eye to eye can really sting. Selecting partners that you enjoy working with is what it’s all about. You pick your circle of friends, right? This is no different.

These are just a few variables to consider and I hope you’re at a stage in your business where the choice is available not to move forward on a project. That option is freeing and needs to be an integral part of your strategy.

Check out some of our partners.

What makes you different? That seems to be the million dollar question when running a business. It’s the very phrase that Tim Baier and myself have revisited more than any other. The mention of those words makes my brain scramble and my face to feel warm. I’m actually starting to feel warm looking back at that last line.

So what makes you different? For the longest time, we figured the answer would lie somewhere between journalistic experience, quality and staying on top of the rapid advance of technology. We were warm. Those are all ingredients that lead to short-term success, but we were missing the fundamental element to why we exist. Relationships.

I guess we undervalued the power of relationships because it seemed cliche. It also comes natural to us. We have always valued people.

Any video company that offers premium service should have relevant experience, deliver great quality and utilize the most up to date technology. The one thing they’re often missing is that they don’t always treat their partners right. They churn out content like a newsroom with little regard for the relationship.

After six years, we have been able to hone in on what matters most. It’s the relationships and the recurring projects that we get to work on with people we consider friends. We talk about family, life and push the creative envelop together. After all, relationships are what life’s all about. At Spiracle, we exist to provide our partners with an enjoyable, simple and collaborative experience. The icing on the cake is the purposeful video that comes as a result.

What makes you different?

Co-Founders Jarod Latch and Tim Baier sit down together for a conversation about the first 6 years of the business.

Spiracle Media partnered with Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte to create three videos for their annual fundraising event. One of the pieces captured the emotional story of Fredricka as she elaborated on the opportunities that her three sons have been given thanks to the generosity of others.

Spiracle Media is excited to welcome the newest member of our team. AJ Chodora spent the last 13 years in television news, most recently as the Chief Photographer at Time Warner Cable News in Charlotte.

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