Content video tips with award winning Photoplay Films

According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every single year. With staggering growth such as this, video marketing is a channel you can’t ignore. Adding a video to your email alone will increase the chance of your recipient interacting with it by more than two or three times.

We sat down with Oliver Lawrance, partner at Photoplay Films, to ask him how important it is to invest in decent video production.


Please explain the importance in the investment of professional video content to a small/ medium accomodation business to stand out?

It's about standing out in the marketplace. I come at this from a filmmaking perspective as a production company producer, and to me successful online video content is about great storytelling. Content needs to be interesting enough to demand an audience, and as long as it's done really well it can add a sense of individuality and personality for an accommodation business brand and help grow its audience and profile. 

PHOTOPLAY FILMS: Directed by Lance Kelleher for Cuca

Visual storytelling is a powerful marketing tool for businesses. How does video content play a key role in building the right brand and attracting the right customer or guest?

Online video content can both play a functional or a story based role for a brand. At a very basic level, stories and content films will help build the audience for that brand. Obviously you need to first work out what kind of brand and accommodation business you are, as this will affect the types of stories that suit you. Functional content films could be really about demonstrating the the features of your accommodation business, the facilities and location, whereas brand content films are about creating a storytelling experience.  A brand film may create a sense of that place that is unique can be presented well in a story, or it may be documentary-style and focus on the people and interesting characters and their individual stories.

In the end whatever you do, successful content films are stories well told. If a content video is boring then no one will watch it, or if they start to watch it then they will quickly switch off and click on another page.  In turn a successful brand content is going to be shareable or at least interesting enough to watch n social channels on Facebook and YouTube.  And the more your audience knows about your accommodation business, the more likely they will become a customer.

PHOTOPLAY FILMS: Directed by Lance Kelleher for Westfield

With your years of experience and extensive business and personal travel is there anything that stands out that accommodation business should be doing or stop doing to help them stand out and improve their reputation?

I’m particularly interested in seeing accommodation businesses use documentary style content films to tell their brand stories.  I think each brand should play to their strengths, and when you’re you’re in the accommodation business there’s usually locations and people which are well suited to a documentary style content film.

PHOTOPLAY FILMS: Directed by Gracie Otto for Bonds

What advice do you have for an independent hotel in the process of finding and attaining a professional director/ production company? ie. Could a random hotel simply call up Photoplay and ask you to make a video for their hotel? If so, what would they need to know and have ready for you to even consider it? Would they need crazy budgets to achieve anything reasonable?

Firstly, if your business is going to make content videos to help build your brand and audience then you need to really think about what your accommodation is about, why it’s special and stands out from others, and in essence what is unique about its brand story.  This information should drive everything you do.

Now if you’re going to make any content film, whether it's a documentary style content film or something more functional or even something with humour and visual style, you need to do it well. As everything that you do reflects on your brand identity and business reputation. So even if it's a documentary style content film it should be a story well constructed and edited; filmed by a professional cinematographer and director; and made with a sense of purpose.  

PHOTOPLAY FILMS: Who is Pappy Pariah? (Short Film). Directed by Gracie Otto

There are many production companies out there, some bigger and higher end like ours, and some smaller content companies, and even companies which are just made up of one or two filmmakers.  The best way to know who you are dealing with is look at their previous film work, watch the content films and see what you think. Budgets really depend on the kind of film you’re making. You may be able to make a simple content video for anything from $4,000 to $20,000 or you may need more than this if it's very complicated.  There’s many different ways to make a good film, but generally you need good filmmakers to make them. Good luck and feel free to contact Photoplay for advice.

For your next video reach out to Oliver and find out how Photoplay Films can help you stand out from your competitors.