If you are a person career-minded creative individual that struggles with finding time to relax, perhaps the best way to improve your career is to do the opposite of completing that next to-do… instead, take a quick pause and recalibrate with a hobby that will help you relax AND benefit your career. As strange as it sounds, learning a musical instrument improves cognitive function, relieves stress, increases creativity and, in my opinion, allows you to approach your creative projects from a three-dimensional view.
As a content creator, copywriter, producer, voiceover talent, director, or video editor that is responsible for generating content at-scale, playing an instrument and understanding the intricacies of music composition will compliment your storytelling. The parallels between music and narrative pieces are endless. Songs, for example, follow the narrative structure, and I have mentioned before that a music-bed is the ultimate directing hack. Furthermore, an understanding of instrumentation will allow you to dial-in emotional tone faster. For instance, knowing a major chord will typically sound more “cheerful” than the “melancholy” of a minor chord might enable you to find a music-bed quickly or help you to communicate tone to the voiceover talent and client. Other nuances appear as well: for instance, a string instrument generally pairs well with a spec pushing “inspiration, “ and acoustic guitar plays well with “warmth.” In short, a grasp of instrumentation opens the door for more dynamic storytelling because creatives have a more holistic understanding of the pieces being crafted.
Picking up an instrument will undoubtedly benefit your creative career by dramatically enhancing the skill of script interpretation. To begin, music has its own language that parallels storytelling. For instance, a music piece will begin with an intro and conclude with a resolve just as a narrative piece offers an exposition and resolve. Similarly, a song can crescendo while a story climaxes. Additionally, many musical words such as staccato, tempo, beat, and accent all correspond with directing voiceover talent, interpreting copy and scoring a script. Even the word “score” has a shared meaning! And there is the obvious parallel between voiceover director and conductor…
Understanding music and playing an instrument also makes you a master of pacing and tone, thus creating a “good-ear.” The nuances of a music bed and understanding how a voiceover compliments a piece can improve directing abilities, and learning an instrument enhances this skill. For example, when working with pitch, a director that comprehends musicality can offer the best places to lift words and create emotional pivots at the appropriate times. Similarly, as a voiceover talent with a “good-ear,” directing notes are interpreted more clearly (even if the client is struggling to "speak creative"), because the subtleties of one’s performance are more easily identified and adjusted, since tone has been practiced with an instrument.
In short, music and instrumentation offer many ancillary benefits to a career minded creative individual. By learning a musical instrument, creative minds will benefit from the numerous parallels between storytelling and music. Theses parallels – song-structure, the language of music and listening – will create more enriched content from creators, copywriters, directors and video editors. Simply put, the skill-set that is acquired from playing an instrument is transferable to other creative endeavors building a more holistic understanding of each part of the creative process.
Did you make it to this paragraph? If you have reached this point, I would like to thank you for taking time to read this post. I take pride in crafting unique perspectives on the advertising industry that cut through the clutter. As the world moves faster, I am striving to build connections. True connections take TIME and the ability to slow down when appropriate. Clearly, we are on the same page since you scrolled through an article that took more than :06. I would like to collaborate with you. So please reach out with a “hello,” and let’s make great content together. I would appreciate you commenting or sharing this post if you found it insightful. I can be reached at Chris@ChrisBurnettVoiceActor.com. High-fives from a fellow creative-mind and voiceover artist. ChrisBurnettVoiceActor.com
Let's have a brief chat about the economics of content in today's market, because it is no secret that the "global attention span is narrowing." As the attention span of a viewer decreases, the volume of content has to increase so you still have the opportunity to catch the viewer. So how can a video production company, advertising agency, or producer shoot more content while maintaining quality?
Shoot in bulk with your Advertising Agency or Video Production Team
A simple way to gather more content quickly is to shoot the material all at once with the video production team.
So when developing concepts, strive for concepts that play well together as a series versus stand-alone ideas.
Then, rather than set up lights, camera, and sound for one concept, you will have a series of fleshed-out ideas that can be shot on the same day/time, maximizing your time and resources. You can then make the finals slightly different through wardrobe changes, different camera angles and lighting adjustments. Release each completed video separately on different days and boom – your advertising agency, video team and producer, look like a content-generating production machine.
Crowd-Source Concepts from your Target Audience
Content creation and idea generation can be difficult when developing ideas on a daily basis for video production. In order to navigate this challenge, reach out to your own audience for inspiration. Ask them what they would like to learn, see and consume from your advertising agency, video production team or creatives, so you can free up your creative energy for client projects and new business pitches. By simply listening and maintaining a dialogue with your target audience, you will discover content needs while simultaneously growing engagement of your followers.
Allow your Video Production Team to Edit On-The-Go
If your advertising agency is striving for quantity, a desk or stationary location will inevitably provide a barrier for your video production team, since you are required to be at that location to edit. As an alternative to spending many late evenings editing small clips for clients and social media on Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, download a basic editing app on your mobile phone. Quick, simple edits with royalty-free splashes of music dramatically increase editing speed because you can do it from any location - appointments, Zoom meetings, basically anywhere you find yourself waiting with downtime. By keeping your footage in the cloud and utilizing an editing app, you can take your editing with you on-the-go. This will increase the speed of completed videos from your creative production team.
Are you looking for quality content AND lightning speed? Reach out and let's chat about your creative needs. Audio, voiceovers, copywriting, editing, idea generation - do you have a creative idea that needs fleshed out? I can be reached at Chris@ChrisBurnettVoiceActor.com or 213.761.8212. ChrisBurnettVoiceActor.com
As creatives, we may not always be communicating with clients that work in a similar space. For instance, as a voiceover talent, I may voice an internal piece and take direction from an HR representative, and this individual may not be accustomed to communicating tone and direction to voiceover talent. Therefore, it is important to meet your client in familiar territory.
Are you struggling to understand a client's desired tone? Rather than asking the client how they would like the project to look and sound, consider asking about the company culture.
Usually, the culture within a company is reflected throughout the branding, both internally and externally. By having your client describe their company culture to you, they are effectively communicating the tone and style of the messaging.
For instance, if the company offers a relaxed, remote working environment and encourages casual dress, their messaging is typically delivered to the audience in the same manner. Alternatively, if a company operates from a fun, creative, personality-driven space, then the messaging will more-often-than-not reflect the entertaining, quirky nature of its employees.
In short, communicating a project’s intended tone can be a tricky task for individual's outside the creative field. However, by having the creative team clearly understand the core values and culture of your client's company, you can easily grasp the style and honor this in your content. For several examples of different “styles” of corporate e-learning narration projects, please visit ChrisBurnettVoiceActor.com/elearning
If you have questions regarding your project, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Chris Burnett - seasoned voiceover talent, on-camera talent, coach, creative thought-leader and hopefully your new best friend. Let's chat-preferably over cocktails.