Your video should
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Cutting a ‘Good’ Interview for Your Next Brand Video

If you’ve ever watched an unedited interview – yawn – you know how extremely helpful the editing process can be. Music, graphics, cutaways…  all of these elements help drive a compelling video. As far as Bottle Rocket Media’s Dave Sarno is concerned, a great brand video requires both a “relaxed subject” and a creative mind at the console.

How do interviews enhance brand videos?

Because you get to see faces. After all, brands are people, right? We all want to feel something when we watch a video—interviews help the audience get something emotional and passionate directly from the client. They create memories. If someone is excited about their products or services, it’s so much more impactful to see that excitement.

What video editing techniques help interviews come alive?

A relaxed interview subject is a great start. I have to rely mainly on the producers and directors to create the right atmosphere on set. Beyond that, there is only so much an editor can do with broll, music and graphics to add texture and mood to an interview. A great music track, for example, is a great way to set the pace. B-roll and active footage are also nice additions to balance out a monologue and keep the audience interested—matching words with product-related visuals can help emphasize the point and leave a lasting impact.

What constitutes a good interview?

Good interviews move quickly. They share important information, clearly. The composition is balanced, and multiple cameras provide variety. But most importantly, a good interview feels like an honest trip into the mind of the person and the brand.

It usually takes the combined efforts of a passionate subject, a seasoned producer or director, and a creative editor at the console to create the most honest, effective result. Again, it’s about finding and exploiting those compelling moments. At the end of the day, if the interview sticks in your head, it’s a success.

Interviewing sometimes takes skill Learn some tips on being a great interviewee.

Why is editing interviews a unique process?

It’s a specific balance between getting the best content and the best performance while staying true to the intended message. You have to scour the footage and find the most human moments to really underscore the message. The performances are what they are, so I try to make everything flow through the most honest quotes and authentic reactions I can find.

What are the main challenges?

The more natural the subject matter, the better. Oftentimes the performer isn’t relaxed in front of the camera. Most of us aren’t. Remember, these are usually real people behind the brands, not actors. So if the piece is feeling stiff or unemotional, I simply start with my personal favorite moments and go from there. Maybe it’s someone unexpectedly laughing or smiling during a serious monologue, or even a natural exchange between takes when we were still rolling. There is always a way in, if you look hard enough.

Can an editor help ensure a good interview before it arrives in post?

Yes. If you are on a collaborative team, like we are, you’ll definitely have a say during pre-production. It’s the best opportunity to offer ideas for provocative or message-driving questions, and that will influence the end result.

My team almost always conducts pre-interviews with our subjects to give all parties a sense of what to expect on set. This helps the subject become comfortable with the camera, while helping us prepare to capture, and cut around, their individual personalities.

How would you describe your editing style?

My goal is to offer whatever style best meets the piece. If it’s comedic, I try to push the pace. If it’s a music video, I look for visuals to match the nuances of the melody. If it’s a brand video, I aim for a little professional polish. The style should seamlessly match what the client wants. Editing at its best is invisible.


Ready to make a video for your brand? Click here to find out how Bottle Rocket Media can help.

This is Bottle Rocket Media | Meet Project Manager, Stephanie Jaslowski

When project manager, Stephanie Jaslowski grabs the ball, it’s game on. As the “quarterback” of every single Bottle Rocket Media production, it is her responsibility to know all the plays beforehand and ensure a winning video production –from beginning to edit.

What does it mean to be a project manager?

Being a project manager is like being a quarterback. The coach, or producer, relays all the information that you need to set your team up—but, it’s your responsibility to know the plays, the expectations, and what’s going at all times. You pass everything along to your teammates, who look to you to keep the project moving efficiently. 

Why do you love what you do?

I love being the person who knows what’s up, and I love being the main point of contact between Bottle Rocket Media’s clients and the team. It’s definitely a challenge to juggle many projects at different stages, but that’s what I live for. Also, being involved in the entire video production process, from start to finish, is very fulfilling. Watching a simple idea morph into a successful creation for the client makes even the toughest projects worthwhile.

How did you get your start?

After graduating from Loyola University Chicago, I worked as a production assistant for McDonald’s Corporation. Spending time in the creative services department, helping out on large internal conferences, I realized how much extra work and dedication is required behind the scenes that so many don’t see.

How did you end up connecting with Bottle Rocket Media? 

I saw the post on LinkedIn and applied right away! Ready for the next chapter, I wanted to move on to a video production company with an engaging and inspiring vision. I was ready to meet a new group of people who love and thrive at what they do. It was the perfect fit.

How does your working style fit with the team?

I like to get things done, and so does everyone else. We all take our roles and responsibilities seriously and know what’s expected of us. We also collaborate together because we know we are better as a team. It’s pretty great to be surrounded by such creative individuals. Everyone on our team is crucial to our success.

What types of projects are you looking forward to in 2019? 

I’m looking forward to seeing our top secret Aragon Ballroom piece come together next month.  It’s exciting for us to be a part of a historic music venue that means so much to Chicago.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the field/why? 

I’m proud to say that I have never given an incorrect call time or address. It’s easier said than done (I probably just jinxed myself) but I take pride in getting people to show up when and where they’re supposed to. It’s all on me.

Favorite movie/video of all time and why…

There are so many films that have inspired me in so many different ways. I’ve always loved “You’ve Got Mail,” because of Nora Ephron’s writing style and directing. But, “Remember the Titans” will always be the first film that I watched over and over until I knew every line, every music track, and every actor. The well-drawn characters really changed my perspective for the better. In the end, I love movies that make the audience laugh, cry, think, and come together.

Client Spotlight | American Girl

Encouraging thousands of kids each day to let their individuality shine through play, no brand is more focused on empowerment than American Girl. After collaborating with their creative team to develop a series of traditional promotional videos, the perfect opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge 360 Video sprouted when they reached out to Bottle Rocket media to create guided tours of its New York and Chicago locations.

Since its start in 1986, American Girl has developed into one of the most popular doll purveyors in the country, with roughly 20 major retail stores that also serve as restaurants, party hosts, and play centers. With so much going on at each spot – including stations where kids AND their dolls can receive makeovers and ear piercings –it was the perfect opportunity to utilize 360 video to create a fully immersive experience for viewers.

According to Bottle Rocket Media co-founder, Brett Singer, a successful run with American Girl on past productions was enough to set the stage for the use of 360 video: “We had worked with [American Girl] on many other promo videos, and fortified a wonderful working relationship,” he says. “As a result, the brand’s creative team approached us to produce 360 VR store tours with accompanying motion graphics to help guide the viewer throughout the experience.”

Not every client Bottle Rocket Media comes across can expertly dialogue about the latest in media techniques – however, as Singer implies, it certainly helps. “It should come as no surprise that American Girl is a very forward-thinking company, and early to embrace new technologies – including both 360 video and AR (augmented reality). Loaded with creative talent, including an in-house design team, we were seamlessly provided with brand-specific graphics, and new ones created just for the videos. Working with them is always a pleasure, as they come to each project as a partner. No one knows the subject matter better, so it’s a no-brainer for us to welcome them into the process.”

Client Spotlight | Byline Bank 

When it comes to sending the right message through video, a down-to-earth brand requires the vision of a down-to-earth production company. It was a match made in marketing heaven, therefore, when Bottle Rocket Media and Byline Bank seamlessly came together to produce a series of effective promotional shorts – featuring a signature human touch both are known for.

With over 40 years of serving local businesses and entrepreneurs under its money belt, Chicago-based institution, Byline Bank, sought to share the tale of its evolving enterprise through a select group of real people – customers who have benefitted from its community-focused programs and services. Enter Bottle Rocket Media producer, Siobhan Summers, who pitched the idea of a team-up and brokered the first meeting of the minds. From the start, it was clear that both companies held a strong passion for positive, Windy City narratives and a HUGE love of documentary-style video.

From there, Byline began banking on Bottle Rocket Media to help bring its customers’ inspiring stories to life: “This was a project right up our alley,” says Fisher. “There is not a single director on our team who doesn’t embrace the importance of genuine emotion in video storytelling. Ultimately, we created three pieces revolving around thriving, local businesses that use Byline [see video below]. The project was unique in that it focused on the people, rather than the client itself, yet still showcased how Byline Bank was an integral part of their financial stability.”

Entitled Written By…, Byline’s campaign series from Bottle Rocket Media puts front and center the owners of Chicago’s Trader Todd’s, Village Fresh Market and Euro Collision in order to demonstrate the bank’s direct impact on the community it serves. Check out the videos to see how its customers are able to truly “write” their own futures:

This is what Byline Bank had to say about working with Bottle Rocket Media: “At Byline, we loved working with Bottle Rocket. They put together inspiring videos telling the Byline Bank customer story. We loved how they made the video process seamless and painless. With little direction, they were able to hear our needs, create the vision and carry it through to reality. We’re excited to continue working on more videos and continue to grow our relationship and our testimonial library.”

Summers concludes: “The entire Byline team was very easy to work with. They were open to our ideas and willing to collaborate on creative – a vital tool we always try to encourage among our clients. Bottom line? Byline gave us some awesome, compelling stories to tell – and that made our job a breeze. We look forward to much more down the line.”

The Bullhorn| Meet Director Kristina Perreault

Meet Bottle Rocket Media Director Kristina Perreault

Kristina Perreault has been everywhere, man. This world-traveling lens master brings both a breathtaking portfolio and endless vision to Bottle Rocket Media’s growing roster of creative talent. Discover the inspiration behind her work!

What got you into directing?

I have always had visions—even from a young age, I was able to make them happen. When I was 14, I began making up random stories and I would enroll my friends to act them out. It was a blast! I guess I naturally fell into that role. It was never a goal of mine—it’s just who I am.

How/why did travel become such a big part of your work?

The world is magical, and I want to share that with people. Travel opens our eyes to different ways of life and takes us out of our little bubble of reality—it expands consciousness. That’s what I’m here for.

How does your style/technique tie into creating successful brand videos?

My work is an extension of the way I see things: full of wonder, excitement, sensuality and grace. I want people to feel how I feel about the subject through my work. With every project, I am focused on connecting viewers to a real emotion that brings them further into the message—one that hopefully stays with them long after.

What unique element(s) will you bring to BRM’s portfolio?

With all the dudes around here, my style definitely brings a much-needed feminine touch. That said, I feel my contributions nicely complement their existing slate.

What types of projects are you looking forward to in 2019?

More festivals and more travel!

What video technology/storytelling technique are you most excited about right now?

360 VR is finally on the rise in the travel industry. It’s the closest you can get to experiencing something new, somewhere else, without leaving your seat.

Favorite movie of all time and why…

Avatar really knocked my socks off when it came out. I love the story, the vibrancy, the world the characters live in, what they value and all the messaging throughout. It also looks a lot like my dreams – which is fun to see on film.

Resolve to Create Your Next Brand Video in 2019

Ok, so maybe we have a dog or two, or three, in this fight, but what kind of a video production team would we be if we didn’t truly believe in the power of the modern brand video?

At Bottle Rocket Media, we have learned that a successful approach to marketing requires pulling out all the stops—and in this 24/7 world of online sales, thriving brands are the ones bringing potential customers closer than ever to products & services through 360-degree video, immersive VR, drone-captured footage and so many other cutting edge, visual techniques.

AND considering everyone and their mother (and their father, sister, brother, grandpa, 7-year-old spoiled nephew, etc.) has a personal screen in either their pocket or on a desk somewhere, we think it would be tragic to NOT use this ubiquitous medium for brand video experiences that can help your brand gain visibility.

So here are four reasons why a new brand video could help make 2019 a much more promising year:


When telecom giant, AT&T, began using the term “reach out and touch someone” in the 1980s, they had NO IDEA how easy that would one day be! Now, thanks to the Internet, any individual or brand can reach out and “touch” millions with a simple upload to YouTube or Vimeo. By cutting out the traditional TV network “middlemen,” brands can go worldwide, cheaply and with more creative freedom than ever before.


Fact: if you’re not using video in some way to promote your products & services, you are behind the times. But, don’t just take our word for it. Endless research from top names in business reporting reflect our consumer-based society’s growing desire (and expectations) for as much upfront info as possible—and video is perhaps the most enticing way to draw in today’s potential shopper, who is well-accustomed to watching ads and infomercials on screens large and small, 24/7. All things being equal, wouldn’t you rather click through to the competitor with fun videos to watch?


It’s not just about using video—it’s how you use it! No matter if you are marketing products or services, modern 360-degree video techniques can give your potential customer a unique, closer look like never before. With or without accompanying headgear, viewers can virtually immerse themselves into every inch of your office buildings, hotels, retail shops, restaurants, warehouses, and explore your widgets in a way that makes them feel as if they were right there behind the camera. Plus, now that drones have become an accessible way to shoot video, brands can offer fast-paced, high altitude visuals, without the need for renting cranes or helicopters.


Listen… Hear that? It’s the sound of your brand. The problem is that only you can hear it. Is it classic rock? Smooth jazz? Bluegrass? Engelbert Humperdinck? Video is a great way to give your products and services a soundtrack that fits with both the tone of the company and spirit of the intended target audience. If your melody is good enough, it will hopefully stick in your viewers’ memory banks for weeks – along with the accompanying visuals. Hey, you may have gotten sick of the Chili’s baby back ribs campaign, but you’ll never forget it!

Ready to kick off 2019 with an impactful brand video? Click here to learn more.

How to Integrate Video Into Your Marketing Strategy

Details on how to use video to market your business

No one can deny the importance of video marketing in today’s world. Between Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform you can think of, people spend one-third of their time online watching videos. On Snapchat alone, users are consuming more than 8 billion videos per day; Facebook users watched over 100 million hours of video in 2016; and almost one-third of all people on the internet are YouTube users. From email marketing and landing pages to promo pieces and social media, now more than ever impressive video content is a must to make sure your voice is heard.

Tell Your Story

Sharing your brand’s story with the consumer has come a long way from the static “About Us” pages packed with a wall of text. While a visitor to your site can get a pretty good idea of what your company is about by perusing the page, text narratives just aren’t as engaging, making it a necessary but often neglected corner of your website. Video content has proven to be an extremely effective tool for storytelling, giving companies the power to present their story with more nuance than ever before, and connect better with your audience by showing them what goes on behind the scenes. Not only can a visually driven version of your company story create engagement and generate leads, it can provide vital face time with potential consumers and help to firmly establish your brand.

Tailor Your Content

If you’re looking for an easier way to delve into the wide world of video, start simple. Most social media platforms have some sort of native video built in, which you can use to your advantage. Be sure to tailor your content to each platform and coordinate the release of new content across multiple platforms at once to help push sharing, clicks, and site visits. Whether you’re livestreaming seminars and Q&A sessions on Facebook Live or responding directly to your followers via Twitter’s 30 second video capabilities, the more you use video to engage with your audience, the deeper connection you’ll be able to forge over time. Eventually you’ll be ready to tackle bigger projects and ideas like motion design, how-to’s and explainers, 360° experience videos, documentaries and more (with the help of an expert video production company, of course).

Educate Your Audience

Explainer videos are a popular outlet in video marketing, and the possibilities are virtually endless. Short, fun, and informative, explainer videos let your company flex its inventive side and show some personality, all while giving your products more context and wider exposure. Internet distractions are a dime a dozen, so the more creatively and quickly you can get your information across, the better. Learn more about how to make a great explainer video here.

Get Inspired

Not sure which direction to go? Take inspiration from the brands who are doing it better than anyone else. Carol’s Cookies uses footage of actual employees baking up a storm to tell the story of how one woman’s recipe became “More Than Just a Cookie…”. It’s fun, it showcases the close-knit feel of a local business, and it reminds you of someone in your own life with a famous family recipe. The iO Comedy Network enlisted the power of 360-degree video to tell their story, and the result is an improv experience that puts the audience front and center. Don’t take our word for it–stellar examples of digital content are everywhere. See how other brands are putting video to work for them in unconventional ways, and don’t forget to have fun!

Whenever you’re ready to tackle your brand’s video marketing journey, Bottle Rocket Media is ready to jump on board with a team of experts in the art of digital storytelling. We can’t wait to help create standout video content to represent your brand. Contact us to get started.