"Look Beneath The Surface" is one of the U.S. EPA's most successful videos in terms of exposure and accolades. For this project, I served as Creative Director, Producer, Writer, Co-cinematographer, Editor and Social Media Marketer.
A few main points-
The video was created to promote a new crowd-sourced forum in which the general public could discuss environmental issues important to them.
All of the creative decisions were rooted in optimizing the video's "shareability" online. I made the decision to work without a script and tell the story solely through visuals and audio; the goal was to evoke a genuine emotional response from the viewer.
Viral videos need a “hook”, a special element that stands out and provokes conversation. I found the hook in my "inspiration folder"--an Evernote folder where I keep fresh or interesting ideas I can revisit to help spur my creative process later. Here is the original image by Ferdi Rizkyanto.
Now I had to research whether this technique was even possible on a small production budget. Our freelance motion graphic designer had never tried this particular effect but was excited to give it a spin. I budgeted having him on the set to ensure our shooting complemented his animation skills. This proved invaluable to streamlining the post production process.
I also served as a social media marketer for this piece by helping frame the online presentation and interacting with many social media influencers on the possibility of sharing the video.
- The final product received almost 3 million views on Facebook, plus thousands of shares. The forum welcomed many new visitors, and the video won the EPA its first Emmy award, among other accolades.