Better Cheaper Visual Storytelling

Everyone knows that the best way to captivate and influence people is with a good story.  All great visual content tells a great story.

wd044wdw201411868905934Think about Disney.  It is very good at telling fun stories that have captivated my children in their early years.  When my son was two he got completely obsessed with Lightning McQueen so we took him to Disney World.

Netflix’s $151 billion valuation is the best example of the power of easy access to visual storytelling.

Like most people I love movies, shows, and short films but I get really annoyed with ads.  Advertising has always annoyed me except when it tells a funny or interesting story.  Despite that I am aware of how huge of an affect advertising has on my decision making.  Something that I appreciate is when companies communicate their core values in their ad campaigns.

Creating visual content that tells a story and communicate’s core values is the most rewarding job I can think of.  Seeing my work have a positive influence on society is exciting.  Connecting with people who have similar values is energizing.

In the photo below I’m about 2000 feet above the fjords of Gross Morne, Newfoundland.  I was flown in by helicopter and dropped off with my drone for the day commissioned to capture aerial video.  Blue Ant was telling the story of this incredible place and I was honoured to be a part of that process.

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Filming with drones was a dream of mine back in 2011.  I wanted to support visual storytelling by providing a fresh and new perspective.  On second thought, I mostly just wanted to play with toys and get paid for it.

I knew it was a risky venture so to limit my liability I incorporated Kaspi Films as a separate entity from Kilikopela’s Aperture Studio Photography Inc. (KASPI).  My mission with Kaspi Films at the time was to get the highest paying drone aerial photography jobs available.  Depending on the job my 10 hour day rate ranged from $3500 to $6500 not including travel expenses or per diem.  Word of mouth kept work flowing in at a rate I couldn’t keep up with.  I had to turn down several great jobs because of overlap.  At the time I was consumed with getting bigger and better contracts to film with my personally made drone.

While I was pursuing my dream at Kaspi Films my wife and production team kept producing inexpensive content for KASPI and adding it to my portfolio.  Month by month and year by year KASPI’s portfolio grew in value while I fought hard to win bigger and bigger clients.  In 2014 I landing a job on a Super Bowl commercial for Mercedes in Portland, Oregon.

In 2015 I burned out.  I took a few months off then decided to make a pivot.

When I observe producers and directors they seem to be of the same mindset I was in – bigger, better contracts.  That’s not what I want to focus on anymore.

Instead of applying my energy to wooing a big client I’ve decided I want to make visual content creation and storytelling as affordable and easy to create as possible.  So I fired ALL my clients to focus completely on self-funded micro-budget productions.  My new mission was to create meaningful content to license to designers and editors.

In my experience with Kaspi Films and KASPI I hope to assimilate what I’ve learned and apply it to building something big.  In my opinion using technology to bring down the price of visual content is so much more rewarding than constantly trying to win and keep clients.  I believe more affordable visual content that conveys core values will provide value for visionary companies in the long run.

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