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Topic: Editing A Promo Video And Adding Marketing Value To It....
Message: Posted by: Aedryan Methyus (Mar 21, 2002 11:17PM)
Hello everyone!Sorry to keep posting this but I keep finding more appropriate places to post it.I am in the midst of working on my 2nd promo video and i'm planning on targeting cruise ships. There are actually several questions that draw to mind on this subject but I will try to keep it brief for now. Firstly, I have learned that they reccomend that your promo is no longer than 6 - 10 minutes long. Personally I totally disagree with this concept for the fact that there is no way anyone can express their artistic ability in this amount of time.My first one was 18 1/2 minutes long and I still had to leave out alot of great clips. The clips were taken from my 2 hour full stage production and a couple of smaller stand up shows. So my first question is,what is it that they truely want to see in this 6 - 10 minutes? Do they really care about the magic? Do they just want to see clips of the audiences reaction, clips of your "inbetweeners", (showing your interaction with the audience), testimonials along with a 1 - 2 minute montage and only the beginning, middle and end of the effect with no dancing or theatrics? Any input on this tedious and frustrating subject would be greatly appreciated. :fruity:
Message: Posted by: Randy Charach (Mar 23, 2002 02:03PM)
Hello Aedryan and all interested in this subject. Here is my response to your post. Aedryan’s questions are in quotations.

"I have learned that they recommend that your promo is no longer than 6 - 10 minutes long. Personally I totally disagree with this
concept for the fact that there is no way anyone can express their artistic ability in this amount of time."

Guess what? They don't care about your artistic ability, only you do. Are you making the tape for them or you? They care
about entertainment value and whether your show is "fit" for their needs. Commercials on television can accomplish their objectives in 30 seconds, you should be able to "sell" your story, not "tell" your story in 5 minutes, let alone 6-10 minutes.

"So my first question is, what is it that they truly want to see in this 6 - 10 minutes?"

They want to see you in a variety of situations and at least one that closely resembles theirs. For cruise ships they want to know that your act is clean above all.

"Do they really care about the magic? Do they just want to see clips of the audiences reaction, clips of your "inbetweeners",
(showing your interaction with the audience), testimonials along with a 1 - 2 minute montage and only the beginning, middle and end of the effect with no dancing or theatrics?"

Dean Hankey just released a 'formula' that will answer those questions. I believe his formula is excellent and will certainly work. Write to him and request it. I feel that there are many successful 'formulas' out there and the only way to really know what is best for you is to look at your footage and create a well rounded representation of you and your act and back it up with testimonials as you suggested,
and if dancing and theatrics is integral to your show then by all means include it.

Think of your demo video as a sale video and structure as you would any other sales piece. Targeted to you audience, backed up with the third party credibility and creating a compelling offer.

Here is an excerpt on this subject from
my book "Secrets of a Millionaire Magician"):

Video Demos

With your video demo, you should take as long as necessary to sell your prospect. That is, if it doesn't take you very long!

There are many schools of thought regarding video demo length and content. There is no real definitive answer because different
viewers have different tastes and varying attention spans.

Arguably, a video, like a sales letter, should be as long as it takes to convince the subject to take positive action in your
direction. Avoid being boring at all costs. Be sure that you use exciting footage masterfully edited in order to convey your message in the least amount of time. Think television commercial, think sound bites. Your goal is to convince the
viewer that you are the answer to their problems, again, in the least amount of time. Your video, like your show, must leave
them wanting more.

Your performance and video may be absolutely fantastic and someone may watch it for an extended length of time, say 30 minutes. However, that is unlikely. Also, unfortunately, you and your friends and family will probably be more impressed with your video than the average viewer. This has a lot to do with the amount of work that you put into your performance, plus the
expense and labor involved in producing the video itself.

I have had videos as short as two minutes and as long as 20 minutes. I recommend that your video be approximately the same
length that I have been using the past several years - seven minutes, give or take a minute or two. My main current video is
simply a series of television appearance clips. This has been effective, as it immediately establishes celebrity status in the minds of the viewers. It also displays a variety of effects with different sized studio audiences.

Quietly assume that your buyer has no imagination, so that if they only see you in front of audiences of up to 50 people then
they will not consider you for their audience of 100 people. And visa versa!

A video comprised solely of television clips is the perfect video to be used in order to obtain future television spots. It is one
of few types of videos that can easily cross markets. A video comprised of footage of the target market you are sending the
tape to is better still. The more targeted the better.

Your goal is to have a different tape for each market you are going to pursue. Tightly edit footage from real live
performances with real audiences. Never use canned laughter, and if you shoot in a studio, which has its advantages because you
can control the situation, be sure the finished product does not look staged.

If you choose to use a voice-over-type presentation that sells your show and walks the viewer through the tape, be careful not
to have it come across as cheesy.

Like all other forms of marketing and advertising you should test different formats for your videos. Here are just a couple ideas, but the variations are limitless:

Television Demo: Length 2 minutes

If you have only one television clip, then the whole tape is that one clip. Then keep adding clips as you use this tape to get
more spots. Ultimately, your tape will be packed with as many spots as you can fit in within 2 minutes. Even if a spot is not
great, or if you have dozens of spots, then just show your introductions by the host. Show at least one effect, not necessarily in its entirety but in such a way that the viewer understands what happened.

Corporate Demo: Length 7 minutes

- Title (upbeat music): 10 seconds
- Montage of highlight shots from various shows (upbeat
music): 30-seconds
- TV Clip (highlights of one effect): 1 minute
- Corporate Audience Clip (large audience): 2 minutes 20 seconds
- Corporate Audience Clip (small audience): 2 minutes
- Audience Testimonials after the Shows (like the movies): 1 minute

Here is another common format for demos using a voice over:

Length: 10-15 minutes

- High impact open and close
- Crowd reaction shots
- Still photos, slow mo, spinning around etc. while using voice over
- List of clients
- Flurries of closing bits*
- 1 or 2 complete segments
- Testimonials
- Flash reference letters

*Editing Note: If chopping out a segment from a routine and music doesn't match, and then lay down new audio.

Randy Charach
Magicians, Learn How to "Boost your Bookings
And Skyrocket your Income" at:
Message: Posted by: tctahoe (Mar 23, 2002 04:10PM)
The Curies Lines I have worked for all want to see a thirty (30) minute act, not a montage. And, that thirty-minute act better be the one you show up with. I have seen, too often, an act show up with a "new" version of their show, and it never goes down well with the booker/agent. You sell a show, you do that show.
Message: Posted by: Aedryan Methyus (Mar 23, 2002 04:10PM)
Thank you very much Randy. As always you are very insightful and I would like to thank you for all of your newsletters on marketing in the past as well. I definitely plan on buying your "Secrets of a millionaire magician" as soon as funds allow it.

You are very right Randy on all of your points that you made. It is a sad fact but unfortunately very true that "No one cares about your artistic ability but you". This takes me back to one of your marketing newsletters. "WIFM - What's In It For Me"

This seems to be the ultimate question that must be answered within the first 2 minutes of the promo video.

Also, you made another great
point: "Commercials on television can accomplish their objectives in 30 seconds, you should be able to "sell" your story, not "tell" your story in 5 minutes, let alone 6-10 minutes."

I use to sit and ask myself "Who are these laymen to sit and judge my whole art in 6 - 10 minutes?"

Well now I must ask myself how much I hate watching commercials on television and look at it from an entertainment directors point of view. They have hundreds of promo videos a day that they have to sift through. I would imagine that they get pretty sick of it much the same.

However, there are those certain few commercials on TV that we all enjoy watching every time we see them. I am now beginning to see that a promo video must be that commercial that sticks in your prospect clients mind.

Someone else presented me with another good way of looking at it too in another forum here. He said to take a good look at how movie trailers are composed.

Again... They are able to wrap up an entire multi million dollar, 2 hour movie that has far greater effects, coriography and storylines than even Copperfield himself has in his show in only 30 seconds as well.

So Randy, a lesson well learned. Thanks again!

BTW...Is there anyway you could put me in touch with Dean Hankey regarding his formulas that you spoke of?

Please feel free to pass my contact info along to him if need be.

See ya next time all!

Message: Posted by: TheDean (Mar 23, 2002 11:52PM)
WOW Randy... Thanks for your gracious mention, I am truly honored!

I'm between shows here in Reno, [what a cool life!] but I will reply "in-full" in a day or two, if that's OK?

In a very-small nutshell, what Randy is referring to is over 15 years of intensive research, investigation, (Really) practical experience, what was discovered, “straight from the horses mouth”, is what the buyers and sellers are truly interested in when it comes to a demo-tape that really gets the attention and the results that you’ve always dreamed of... NO FOOLIN'!

Get-this, after interviewing the “real” buyers and sellers in our great business. Professionals like Agents, Meeting Planners, Destination Management Companies, Caterers, Show Producers, Event and Party Planners, Promoters, Corporate Buyers and so on, and after repeated interviews, research and exhaustive discussions and round tables, we have discovered most of the wants needs and desires, in common when it comes to promotional information, and what "each" are looking for SPECIFICALLY.

Well, I'm out-o here for now...

No worries TC, I've got what your lookin for too!

I am at your service,
Message: Posted by: Aedryan Methyus (Mar 25, 2002 02:18PM)
TC, What is your opinion on having a 6-10 minute edited promo with that shows you have various different acts to draw from to give them a choice and a targeted unedited whole performance at the end of it for if they want to see more?

Also, in your opinion do you think I would have better luck targeting a cruise ship with a smaller stand up type act with only 1 or 2 illusions that can be done surrounded or with a big illusion show?

Message: Posted by: amagician (Mar 26, 2002 07:28AM)
"This seems to be the ultimate question that must be answered within the first 2 minutes of the promo video."
I believe it is the same for any sales presentation but wonder if many will wait two whole minutes these days before pulling out your tape and going to the next one in the pile?
WIIFM, or to put it another way, walking in the buyer's shoes is where we must start or we are probably wasting our time and theirs. :cool:
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Mar 28, 2002 09:14PM)
Guess it's good to be booked so dog-gone much! I'm happy to report that this marketing stuff really works! I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to your posting... just plane booked-up.

OK, here it is gang... The votes have been tabulated and the results are in. May we have the envelope please?

The Winner is... YOU!

Your video could be one of the most profitable tools in a promotion arsenal or it could be as useless as a manure paper-weight depending on "how" you put it together and how you "present-it" to your friends [clients] for their thoughtful consideration.

"ANY", and I mean any... [did I say any?] I really meant any promotional tool is ONLY as good as it's ability to assist in creating, supporting and furthering a long-term compelling and positively indelible relationship with your new "friends" [...ya' know, the folks that hire you!]

That being said, here is some information "specifically" regarding the video demo that I've intensely researched for almost 15 years. keep in mind that the results of this information are simply that... RESULTS and even though the results may vary from my own "personal OPINIONS" on the subject, they are irrefutable. We may not "agree" with the results, but that doesn't change the fact that they are what they are, OK?

First... a little background:
Almost 15 years ago my passion as a full-time performer and successful businessman called me to intensely discern and dissect what [when it comes to the art of marketing, sales, influence, public perceptions and persuasion] BUYERS of professional entertainment and event services where looking-for... SPECIFICALLY and in explicit detail!

Their respective "likes - dis-likes, questions of quality or not, what got their attention, what didn't, how-long, how short, to "edit" or not to edit... EVERY little frame-by-frame detail of EXACTLY what each were wanting in a "professionals" presentation offering up the greatest impact for the time that each were spending with an individuals presentation tools..." your tape!

More Interviews, deep discussions, exhaustive surveys, round-table discussions, poking and prodding into the minds of the professional entertainment and event purveyors all over the world, only to discover that some of the most closely held "myths" about the elusive video demo were about as useless and real as the Easter Bunny! [Sorry to burst your bubble... about the Easter Bunny]

What we "uncovered", was as priceless as a perfect diamond with precision gem-cuts designed to bring-out a glistening multi-faceted gem worthy of true royalty. JUST LIKE YOUR TAPE SHOULD BE!

I know, I know... sounds like a bunch of hyp-hewy! I would have thought the very same thing... the results definitely tweaked MY mind too! What I discovered, is: Whether I agree or Not, it's still the TRUTH!

Like it or not, If I wanted to work, I would have to "deliver" what they were looking for to be in the "top-pool of consideration" for the really stellar events and gigs. Well guess what... IT WORKED! ...And NOT just for ME, we tried this formula with several different performers and presenters in several walks of life... I couldn't believe it... they were booking us right and left! We were absolutely squashing the competition!

Acts that were by far better that I was, and I was killin' em with my tape every-time!

Yes, we-all had good strong commercial acts, but our booking ratio was hitting the stratospheres and for higher fees than any-one else in our respective markets! This tape eventually led me to the bright-lights and top showrooms of Las Vegas and Reno Nevada, where I now reside with my lovely wife.

Yep... as a relative un-known, my name was up in lights and I was lovin' it!

The good news for all of us is... as of January 1st, 2002, I am no-longer "contractually-obligated" to keep the result of this amazing research and profound formula a "secret"! With-out trying to sound like a "sales-pitch", The results of the information will be available to the magic community very soon. I'm just placing a few "finishing touches" to the manuscript and viola's, like magic It will be available!

As Randy so eloquently stated, your video is a "sales-tool", that's all... I realize, as "artisans", we want out "art and effort" to be recognized and appreciated. No offence, generally, "they don't care!". What they do have an interest in is "how can you help them get what THEY want and need"? How-ever crude you think that may be, our job is to support others in getting more of what it is that they want and need and in turn you will get more of what you want and need! [Bookings and Money]

More later, OK?

I am at your service,