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How to Tell Your Story: A Juicy Case Study

The Russian River Valley in Northern California is now known for it’s world class Pinot Noir grapes and the tasty wines they produce, but it wasn’t always so. We recently produced the below video story for the Russian River Valley Winegrowers organization to celebrate their 30 year history and rise to international recognition.  Please take a look, enjoy and we’ll walk you through what it took to make this video and what the results were.

The video project started off with a simple goal: To create a short video that tells the story of the area and the RRVA organization in a clear way that can help explain why this area is so special. We worked closely with the organization to develop a cost-effective plan that would give us enough time to get enough material to tell this story in an engaging way.

For us, this mission meant focusing on two core things…

1) We want to hear the story from the people who were and are involved in the organization.
2) We want to show the things that help define it: the history, the fog, the grapes, the wine and the process.

The Video Production Process

We developed a plan to get several of the local growers and winemakers together in one place to shoot interviews for one day. By working with the organization, we developed a list of about a dozen questions that helped frame the answers for each interviewee. We started at about 9am and shot 7 interviews by 1pm.  It was challenging with all the road noise from the highway nearby and the airplanes that had appeared due to a local air show event causing many pauses until in got more quiet.

We also shot a few hours of footage in a couple vineyard of the morning fog and late afternoon sun, showing both green and red grapes to represent the different varietals.

We also made sure to stop by at least two separate wineries to get footage of the wine-making process: the fermentation, the barrels, the sampling and final bottles.

We also were smart enough to bring a handful of grapes and leaves back to the studio!  These came in very handy as generic b-roll options and we used that footage a good bit.

We knew it was also very important to show the finished product so we procured and shot a bunch of beauty shots of the wine from each of the members of the organization. (We assure you, no wine was wasted in the process!) We also were fortunate to get a handful of historical photos from the client to show the rich history of the organization. (Pro tip: Be sure to get high resolution photos that are horizontal so they work with HD video).

Our editing plan consisted of our standard 2 rounds of editorial revisions from the client side. We first created what we call a ‘rough cut‘, then sent to the client for feedback, we then discussed the feedback and executed the changes that made sense. After that second round we submitted another ‘fine cut’ to show how the changes were working. After a small last round of additional changes, we submitted the ‘final cut’ to the client in a digital format.

The Results

The entire organization was very pleased with the process and result and they now have a video that they can distribute online, in emails, on disc, in person and in a variety of other ways. We designed the video to be ‘evergreen’ so that it can be used for some time to come, probably for years. Compared with alternate ways of telling their story, I think this video does a great job of effectively telling the RRVA story, in just a couple minutes, and in a way that anyone can appreciate and savor.

I hope this case study gives your organization some insight on how to go about telling your story. If you want some more helpful perspective, check out our complimentary downloadable guide outlining 5 ways you can use video to help your organization grow, complete with case studies and examples!

Hungry for even more? Download our free Online Video Marketing Guide: Learn How to Promote your Organization with Video (Free Download)**

Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help answer them.

Good luck!

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