Things are looking up for video.

Most of us know that video is taking communications by storm—and projected to be fully 80% of web activity by 2020. We’re now entering a new era in the video revolution with the rise of portrait mode videos. That’s where videos are shot vertically to meet the “taller” dimensions of a smartphone or tablet when held naturally in your hand.

Landscape mode, or our typical widescreen format, has been the default size for videos, films and television for decades. Our televisions and movie screens are wider than they are tall, and generations of professionals have been brought up to create content within this format. To many, portrait mode videos have been flashing-red indicators of amateur hour.

Mobile devices invert that stigma. Experts report that we spend more than 30% of our screen time on a mobile device, which is mostly in vertical mode. Accordingly, apps from Snap to Facebook to Instagram often default to portrait mode with billions and billions of videos. Snap has said that vertical videos perform nine times better on many standards of viewer engagement, and many production studios are now creating new sets optimized for portrait mode. There’s no doubt that the latest generation of consumers are growing up with vertical videos as a standard.

This is sacrilege to many pros! But a new format simply presents a new challenge to creators in terms of layout and storytelling. By eliminating landscapes and extraneous detail from a camera shot, we’ve found that vertical videos create a tight focus that can draw the viewer in. It’s a natural fit for faces—which is how the term “portrait view” got its name! And it helps us eliminate the mild-but-real hassle of rotating a device in our hand or viewing a landscape video shrunk down to fit portrait mode.

At Feel Good Video, we’ve been producing a number of explainer videos that describe how to use products. These videos live inside a mobile app, which is typically held vertically. While it takes a little creativity to adjust to this direction, the format is ripe for creativity, and we’re working with clients to create fresh storylines that fit the space.

What does this mean for clients who want to cater to mobile users—which is most of us! Increasingly, we’re working with companies to first create baseline video content, such as a longer product or brand video. We then splice and dice that core content to generate additional videos, such as teasers or shorter videos optimized for quick viewing and sharing social media.

We’re now offering portrait videos as part of our base packages. It doesn’t take much more cost or effort to record vertically during a production shoot, and capturing video in this format opens many more doors for companies to engage their customers—and establish themselves as a creative leader.

Drop us a note to learn more about how to add portrait videos to your arsenal of communications weapons.

Last week, we covered the top five questions we get when people inquire about creating a killer video. Today, we’re taking it a step farther with video tips on the top six questions organizations should ask when creating a video. It’s a best practice at Feel Good Video to ask these questions with every client—and they’re also terrific fodder to help organizations think through their narrative.

What’s the purpose of this video?
As much as we’d like to make videos just for fun all day, a video needs a point. Do you want people to learn about your organization/product and get involved? Buy something? Support a crowdfunding campaign? Use your product correctly? Laugh so hard they share on Facebook? A clear understanding of your video’s purpose saves time and ultimately makes a much sharper narrative.

Example: Clean Solar wanted a video that would drive phone calls and sales. We designed a video to get the phone ringing and helped them win several customers in the first week after we launched.

Who are you trying to reach?
Investors? Consumers? Kickstarter backers? Moms? Doctors? Engineers? Different audiences have different levels of interest in many video attributes, notably comedy, length of the video, heartfelt storylines and technical details. Even colors we pick for color correction matter depending on the audience we target. We develop the perfect story based on science, tests, research and data.

What videos do I love?
Show us your favorite videos—ideally the ones that weren’t just entertaining as all get out, but also got you so excited you actually did something they wanted you to do! A few good links help us create a storyline, tone, look and feel that’s right for your brand.

What are the key product benefits to emphasize?
There’s a lot to say about your organization or product. What are the top three reasons viewers should care? We focus on showcasing benefits rather than features. That’s because video is far more interesting when we see human beings overcoming obstacles and achieving a big payoff rather than sitting through a laundry list of technical details that may or may not make sense. The more precise list of feature you give us, the more compelling story a story we can bake for viewers to fall in love with your product.

Our video for Dynosense’s Adore scales does just this–underscoring ease of use of and the power of the product to instantly understand holistic wellness, all told through the lens of daily life.

What’s the perfect thing I want to happen once this video is published?
Give us one goal: a retweet by Elon Musk, quadrupling a Kickstarter campaign goal, reduced customer service time. We’ll aim all of our resources in creating and marketing the video to get you what you need.

Time to launch your new product? Kick off a crowdfunding campaign? Up-level your corporate video? That means you’ll need a video–and a video production team.

Which should be really fun! But can also be a little terrifying. There’s so much to think about, from vendor selection and budget to scheduling and storyline. And that doesn’t even begin to get into all the little parts of creating a video that you probably haven’t even started to think about—wrangling equipment, managing casting, scouting locations, keeping everybody fed, editing—that can make a seemingly simple video request a massive production.

That means you’ll probably have a lot of questions. Don’t worry, we have a lot of answers (though not ALL the answers!). From decades of combined experience working on video projects of all stripes, here the top five video questions we get from organizations ready to get started–also known as the Feel Good Video FAQ.

What’s your price range?
Budgets vary–a lot.

Yes, it’s an admittedly annoying answer that means you have to send us an email, but it’s the only fair response simply because there are too many variables we just don’t know—and which can make a big impact on pricing.

There are a few rules of thumb. The bigger the cast, the more it costs. The more locations, the more it costs. Complexity costs more, but you also get more of a discount with bigger projects as economies of scale kick in.

We don’t even give ballparks because they might be totally unrealistic for what you have in mind. That said, I can say that we strive to deliver awesome value to all of our clients—and they tell us we do too.

How much of the process do you handle?
We do as much or as little as you need—from storyboarding and scripting to casting and location scouting, style mood boards to editing and color correction. Most clients let us take as much as we can off their plate for true turnkey service. And we always include our clients in all major decisions, particularly scripting, casting and final cuts.

Where are you based?
We’re proud to work with companies around the world! We’re physically based in the heart of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto and we do most of our filming in Los Angeles. We also film in New York, Chicago and about 25 countries abroad. LA talent is typically less expensive—and really good. And California is famous of having stunning weather and the best locations opportunities for filming any time of the year. That said, we have an extensive network to get the job done just about anywhere. (Still looking for a client to challenge us on Antarctica!)

Do you have equipment?
We take care of all equipment for you to meet professional specifications and deliver cinematic quality. If you have specific questions about cameras and gear, drop us a line and we’ll sort that out.

I need a video yesterday. What’s your timeline?
We’re really fast. Like, once did a video soup-to-nuts in 12 hours fast. Sometimes we may get jammed up with shoots, but it’s rarely us holding up production. Try us!

Any more questions we missed? Just let me know. Thanks—and let’s go make a video!

We’re delighted to post our first-ever guest post on a topic we can’t get enough of–the role of emotion in creating connection with companies. Not only do emotions create brands–but fresh research shows that we turn to brands to express our emotion! Read on for new findings on this fascinating connection via Adam Gordon, Chief of Strategy at The Oya Group, a Bay Area-based strategic creative agency.

Did you know that couples use them to argue with each other? It’s true. According to a recently published study, couples use brands to communicate frustration and opposition. With over 20 years in marketing I thought I understood just how powerful a brand was, yet this was one of the most surprising things I have learned about them.

When you work with brands you learn just how pervasive and powerful they are, and this study showed me that it goes beyond even what I thought. It’s amazing when we thought we knew something really well, then some new aspect of it suddenly presents itself. It’s one of the funnest parts about working in marketing; you learn to expect the unexpected. Whether we, as marketers, like to admit it, very little in marketing is predictable, which means that you have to always stay open to the new.

I got an unexpectedly large surprise when I heard an interview on NPR by Shankar Vedantam (11/16/16) with Gavan Fitzsimons of Duke University. He and his colleague, Danielle Brick of the University of New Hampshire stumbled across a completely unexpected “use” of brands.

Couples use them to argue with each other.

What? Yes, it’s true.

“Well, the study finds that love can shape the course of brands, and brands can shape the course of love,” says Mr. Vendantam.

According to Professor Fitzsimons,
“When people are frustrated, they make dramatically more choices that are oppositional, that are against what their partner would want them to buy. So if my wife is a Diet Pepsi fan, and she has frustrated me in some way, I will choose Diet Coke. And in fact, we find that oftentimes, people in the frustrated conditions will actually choose brands they personally don’t like to spite their partners.”

If we ever doubt the emotional power of brands, this should set those doubts to rest. Whether in a B2C or B2B context, brands communicate at a deep emotional level and, for me, this study provided the ultimate proof of that.

And there’s more. Not only will people use brands to communicate or act out on their displeasure with their partner, they will also use them in a defiant manner–even if their spouse doesn’t know about it.

According to Mr. Vedantam, “So you’re frustrated with your partner. You know your partner likes Starbucks coffee. So on your way to work, you stop and buy coffee at Dunkin Donuts. No one other than you knows about this act of defiance. The researchers find a couple of things that are interesting here. The people who are likely to behave this way are often people who feel powerless in their relationship. So, you know, you feel you’re not being heard. You express your frustration through this kind of low-key oppositional behavior. The second thing that they find is that people often feel better after these acts of defiance. So it may be some kind of venting mechanism.”

Totally unexpected use of brands, no? As a marketer, of course, the question I have is, how we can use this? Perhaps we can’t. Perhaps we shouldn’t. Either way, I can’t think of a more powerful example of how ubiquitous and pervasive brands are today–they have truely become an integral part of our emotional landscape.

Indeed, the attachment to, and awareness of brands becomes part of our psychological makeup. Professor Brick puts it well when she says,

“Marketers assume consumers are making brand choices consciously and deliberatively, when often, factors outside consumers’ conscious awareness and control are impacting their decisions.”

Yes, brands–whether B2B or B2C–become part of our culture and psychology. Those of us who work with brands are playing with awesomely powerful tools. It’s good to be reminded of that.

I spent four years as executive producer of The Bachelor across Europe. From jetting around the globe on a moment’s notice to editing episodes for three days straight, it was a thrilling experience that profoundly shaped how I approach storytelling.

I was incredibly lucky to learn from the best and brightest in television about how to create amazing stories that kept people coming back for more. Today, Feel Good Video uses the same lessons to help companies create emotional connections—and help our clients achieve amazing things.

Casting is everything

Without compelling characters, it’s hard for viewers to care. On The Bachelor, thousands of real women—not actresses—applied for the show. As you might imagine, many of them were gorgeous, talented and brilliant.

But to have an interesting show, we had to go beyond the obvious and be more thoughtful about the type of people we brought on.

Was this person truly marriage material? Were they natural troublemakers—and sure to make things interesting? Did they play well with others? Were they competitive or docile? Did they represent the audience? Most importantly, was our Bachelor relentlessly interesting and handsome, precisely the type of well-rounded hunk viewers at home could envision giving everything up for?

At Feel Good Video, we take the same level of care into casting for our videos. We review hundreds of possible actors and see dozens in auditions before picking the perfect actors for your audiences to cheer for, care about, laugh with and occasionally root against. Some companies gloss over casting or opt for featuring low-cost actors or even employees. While some of us may have a latent Meryl Streep living inside, most of us have other strengths. Casting matters and is worth the hassle.

Honor traditions

We recruited a bachelor who hailed from the Romanov dynasty. That’s the equivalent of a British royal in the UK—and that connection to hundreds of years of history instantly appealed to large audience. Keep in mind the show itself is based on the classic Cinderella story—another instant connection with audiences.

The most successful stories are based on archetypes that we carry in our minds since childhood. We always keep this heritage in mind when creating new stories. Every symbol, every character we incorporate can reference a tradition—and make the video’s impact even more powerful.

Likewise, corporate videos that pay homage to the past instantly strike a chord with many more people. We recently produced a corporate video that honors today’s tradition of carpool karaoke with the “ancient” tradition of singing Bohemian Rhapsody in a crowded car (paging all Wayne’s World fans!). It was a double dip on tradition—and helped rake in 2M+ views in just a few weeks.

Take us on a rollercoaster

On The Bachelor, people went through the ultimate relationship rollercoaster. They met new people, visited new places, overcame fears, faced backstabbing, endured rejection and—if they were lucky—fell in love.

In a single episode, a participant could experience shame, stress, relief and joy while doing everything from enjoying a candlelit dinner to jumping out of an airplane.

Also: nonstop action with lots of twists and turns is inherently fun to watch.

When I think of the ultimate rollercoaster rides, I think of health technology videos—FGV’s fastest-growing market segment. Nearly every health technology product was invented to address seriously bad news. That means our videos kick off by putting viewer on a rollercoaster of sadness, fear and pain. The product’s healing and comforting qualities help help straighten out that roller coaster to reach a safe place of comfort and joy—but it’s important to keep at least one more loop-de-loop in there to keep the viewer engaged.

Wear your heart on your sleeve

When we see an emotion expressed by someone we care about, we usually internalize the feeling. This carries to stories on the screen too; sad movies bring us down, comedies pick us up. When we showed what The Bachelor participants were feeling—disappointment at not getting picked, joy after a romantic date—the audience responded in kind.

Power your audience with emotion. The more real and pure the on-screen emotion, the more powerful feedback you will get. Show the flood of tears, the barreling laughter, the confused eyebrow-knitted face-scrunch, the ugly face of agony, the broad, confident steps of someone in love.

Here I think of the multigenerational dance party we captured created for the VAVA Voom video—a smorgasbord of joyous, semi-competitive rug-cutting. The video was charged with fun and energy—and the viewers felt it.

When you leave all your feelings on the dance floor, the audience comes to dance.

Have a feel good moment!

Spending several weeks competing for one man, away from friends, family and your own bed—well, that’s really tough. And the viewers felt it too.

That’s why at the end of each episode of The Bachelor, we presented a “feel good moment” that kept viewers coming back.

A kiss after a series of dates and agonizing anticipation. A new exotic adventure after a mentally exhausting rose ceremony. The positive energy is inescapable. The crew can’t help but smile, and the viewer breathes out—and smiles as well.

Needless to say, this was my favorite part of the show—and it’s why we named Feel Good Video what we did. We seek to include a pick-me-up in every video we do here, be it a guy in a bear suit or a fun virtual reality sparring match.

Life’s hard enough—and leaving things on an up note goes a long way.

Follow the rules for a ratings bonanza

At The Bachelor, I’m delighted that our hard work following the directions above paid off. The season finale for our first season in Ukraine achieved a national rating of 48%. That means that 48% off all the televisions in the entire country were tuned in to see the Proposal. Incredible!

And at Feel Good Video, we’ve applied the same rules to create dozens of videos that have earned millions of views and helped advance their business. Now THAT makes us feel good!

We call ourselves Feel Good Video because we focus on telling stories that create an emotional connection—and make viewers feel good.

Today, we’re feeling extra-good because our client VAVA launched their amazing new dash cam on Kickstarter! In under a day, VAVA smashed their target, hitting 250% of their goal and getting featured as a top-15 project on Kickstarter. Wow!

We’re honored to work with VAVA to create the video promoting this campaign. VAVA is a terrific partner in so many ways (awesome products and fabulous people, to start), and we especially love how they’re so committed to infusing joy into all they do.

As a leading San Francisco Bay Area video production agency, we managed all aspects of production, including 3D graphics, motion graphics, editing, music, voiceover, sound design and color correction.

More than 200% funded (!) with 407 backers in less than 12 hours. VAVA more than TRIPLED their goal in just 72 hours.

Under that line of thinking, we baked a massive amount of joy into this video, all while underscoring the benefits of a dash cam for safety, security and old-fashioned fun.

  • A guy in a bear suit is instantly joyful—after all, haven’t we all wanted to be a mascot for a day? (Or at least a few minutes.)
  • For those of us who consider Wayne’s World a pinnacle of modern entertainment, the Bohemian Rhapsody car singalong is a profound expression of joy paired with the powerful force of nostalgia. We loved filming this scene, as the cast sang heartily for at least 30 minutes, many times without cameras rolling. It’s a good reminder: is there really anything better in life than singing at the top of your lungs in the car?
  • Loss aversion research shows that loss hurts more than gain. In this video, we take viewers to the all-too-familiar cliff of automotive agony–and then bring them back to sweet redemption with salvation via the dash cam. Joy never tasted so sweet!

This feel-good spirit won us 200,000+ views on Facebook BEFORE we launched and is a wonderful encapsulation of VAVA’s fun-spirited brand. It also echoes an earlier video we produced for the VAVA Voom wireless speaker, which celebrates impromptu home dance parties everywhere—especially those involving water.

Team Feel Good Video


A few more fun facts from this video:

  • Filming inside and outside a moving car is no easy feat. (Of course, it’s now a lot easier with a VaVa dash cam.) I drew on my experience as executive producer of The Bachelor in Europe, where each episode began and ended with a car ride, to set up the car shots to work smoothly for high-end video and sound.
  • In the end, we developed XX final versions for this video—one for social media with the heart of the story, one for Kickstarter with more about how it works and the team, and WHATEVER ELSE YOU DID.
  • We wrote, produced, edited, and finalized this video in under two months. Our LA crew topped out at 24 people on the team!
  • Can you spot the FGV team member in the final shot?

Congratulations to VAVA for their impressive launch!

Watch our full video for The VAVA Dash Cam: Capture the Road Ahead

UPDATE: February 19, 2017 – Our VAVA bear video keeps spreading! More than 1M views on GIGadgets:

Team Accenture Interactive surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and released an interesting infographic.

The survey found that video advertising is still viewed as invasive. How marketers can overcome that? “This study proves that it all hinges on quality. That component alone will trump whether the content is branded or not.”

Video Content

Shooting a Kickstarter video series in Los Angeles for our friends at VAVA. Stay tuned for some awesome videos – they are coming in a few weeks!


Check out the complete behind-the-scenes session on our Facebook page.

Vava Dash Cam is your on-the-road companion:
– 360-Degree View
– Auto-record + remote capture functionality
– Captures footage even when car is off

Place the VAVA Dash anywhere on your dashboard to capture the views you’re most interested in. The VAVA Dash Cam works at any angle to make sure you’re always capturing what matters most to you.


With YouTube and Facebook now supporting 360 degree video content, we’d love to produce 360 experience for your company – from eye-catching product videos, branded content, corporate events to panoramic virtual tours.

Mark Zuckerberg: “When my nephews took their first steps, my sisters took photos and videos on her phone, so she could send them to us. And when my daughter Max takes her first steps, hopefully later this year, I want to capture the whole scene, with a 360 video, so I can send it to my family and my friends, and they can go into VR, and feel like they’re actually right there in the living room with us.”

You can do those exact things for your company or startups, see our 360-degree storytelling example below:

To find out more about our creative 360° video production services or discuss an upcoming project, please get in touch. Let us take your content into the next dimension!

As a leading San Francisco Bay Area ad agency, we managed all aspects of production, including 3D graphics, motion graphics, editing, music, voiceover, sound design and color correction.

Loved working on this awesome product / commercial video for VAVA.
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video production

As a leading San Francisco Bay Area ad agency, we managed all aspects of production, including 3D graphics, motion graphics, editing, music, voiceover, sound design and color correction.

Let’s Shake It To The VAVA Voom!

Shake it to the VAVA Voom 20. See our ultra-portable, splash-proof speaker in action!

Learn more at

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Posted by VAVA on Friday, September 23, 2016