What came first: The Idea or The Customer?

The age old question - the chicken or the egg?

The age old question - the chicken or the egg?


You have an idea. That’s a great start. Now what's next?

As business owners it can be hard to know what the next step is. You know what you want to achieve; more sales, more traction, more market share but what do you do to make sure your idea actually works?

How do you take your idea and make it into something your customers will watch and connect with?

The first thing we always tell our clients is- how does your idea make your customers feel? Will it make them feel inspired? Will it make them think? Does it make them feel understood? Listened to? And most importantly Does it solve their problem?

It’s imperative to put yourself in your customers shoes and ask yourself ‘what will they think when they see this? Is it relevant to them?

When you focus your message and communication on the customer and their needs, they are much more likely to feel a connection to what you are saying. Basically you are telling your customers you care about them and their needs.

Whether you are selling cars, harvesters, jumpers or IT support, you should always focus on the customer and what you can do for them. Not just what you do.

Answer: The Customer

New Year, New Idea

Image by Next In Line Films

The start of a new year can be a really energising time. Looking back at the previous year analysing what worked, what didn’t, contemplating new markets, new customers and new products. It can make you excited and giddy, eager to get stuck into the new year. 

While the end of a year can feel like a sprint to the finish line, after some rest and relaxation you can start to feel that spark of inspiration for work again. This is a great time to be reflective and creative.

By sitting down and committing time to writing down some goals for the year, it can help you formulate a plan. This is the perfect opportunity to figure out what you want and a path on how to get there.

This is a great time to think big.

When you are looking forward to the coming year, in a way it gives you permission to think bigger and more creatively. The New Year can signify excitement and growth and the opportunity to do something different. It’s in those moments that new and exciting ideas can be born.

New markets, new customers, new products, new branding, all these ideas have the opportunity to create growth in your business and by taking your new idea and putting it into action, it can be the turning point to greater success.

This is the perfect time for reflection, contemplation and creation.

What sets you apart from everyone else and how can you communicate that to your customers? Use this time well and think bigger and better than before.

Key Message – What do you really need to say?

Too many messages can be overwhelming 

Too many messages can be overwhelming 

When it comes time to marketing our business we usually have a lot to say. We are excited about our product or service and we want to share that with the world. But when it comes to video messaging, less is always more.

Less is always more

The more information you try to squeeze in the more diluted the video narrative becomes and it lessens the impact on the audience. You want your message to create an instant connection and maintain that during the entire video. By keeping the message short, concise and on track it allows the audience to connect, feel and react to what you are saying. Loading the audience with message after message makes them bored, confused and overwhelmed.

When you have a single strong central message it allows the video to communicate to the audience in a way that connects, informs, emotes and is memorable.

Stay short and concise 

Put yourself in your audience’s position. If you watch a video bursting full of different information packed in to 90 seconds you would probably turn off. Decide on what you really want to say, keep it on track and take your viewers on a journey that make them feel something.

One key message per video is a good rule to follow. Anything more than that will be tedious for the audience to follow.

The hardest part of key messages in video is not what you want to say but what you don’t need to say.

Video: Why the Where is important

TV or Online? 

TV or Online? 


Video is an amazing tool in communicating with your customers. The how and why of the video are central elements to good communication but what a lot of people don’t think about is the where- Where should this video go to reach your viewers?

The where is important to think about as it can determine the type of video you will make.

After you determine what message you want to communicate and who your target audience will be then you need to know where your audience is and where they watch. Are they watching on YouTube, Facebook, on your website, Television or Instagram? Where do your customers consume videos? You need to know where your audience will be so your video can get the maximum views.

Once you know where you want to broadcast your video you can then craft your video to your chosen platform. This is a really important step in the video process. You wouldn’t make a 10 minute promo video for an online audience that will turn off after 30 seconds. You need to tailor your video for the correct platform. Remember online video needs to be short and to the point as it has a high drop off rate meaning you need to connect straight away.

Its important to know what you want to say but also where you want to say it. 

Other points to think about are the types of videos you make may determine the platform. Television need to be short with a duration of between 15 – 30 seconds. Instagram you have a maximum of 60 seconds to connect and hold your audience. Facebook you can target your videos to specific markets and demographics, YouTube you can play around with a more creative angle or utilise humour to communicate your message.

Keeping in mind the platform you want to use to broadcast your video will help shape and craft an engaging and exciting video that talks directly to the audience.



Branding - What does it mean?

BRanding Picture (1) september image.jpg


This word gets thrown around a lot in the advertising and marketing world but what does it actually mean? Branding is a combination of a few different elements. I like to break it down this way- Branding is the external representation of your internal business values and philosophy (Thanks to Kerri at pepperpotmarketing.com for your words of wisdom). Basically what your business looks and sounds like to your customers.

But what is good branding? And more importantly how do you find out what your brand is? This is the first and most important step. You need to know who you are as a business because if you don’t know then your customers definitely won’t. This is where you need to ask yourself those annoying but important questions; what do I stand for? What do I believe in? What is important to me? How do I want to communicate? What do I want my customers to feel and think when they see my products / services? All these elements are so important because if you don’t communicate to your customers what to think and feel about you then they will make up their own mind and it could be damaging to your business.

When you think about famous brands around the world i.e. – Apple, Coke, Nike, Channel you have an instant feeling or thought about them straight away. You know exactly the type of brand they are and what they stand for. Apple = design and innovation, Coke = fun and youth, Nike = strength, street style and determination (just do it) Channel = luxury, extravagance and high design. With just the name of the brand it conjures up all the feelings and ideas the companies want you to feel about them. It’s not a fluke, it’s on purpose. They have worked for years to create those ideas and feelings around their brand. And the good news is you can do that too.

When you show your customers through your branding – your logos, graphics, website design, copy, advertising, promotional material, customer experiences, you tell them who you are and what you stand for and how they should think and feel about you. When all of these elements fit together you are telling your customers who you are and what they should think and feel about you.

What do you stand for and what do you want people to feel when they think about your business?

What does it take to make you look great?

The most asked question we get from clients is ‘how much does a video cost?’ To us that’s like asking how long is a piece of string? Like most industries the price depends on a lot of factors. But with video it can be quite deceiving as the end product does not always make it obvious about how much is required to make it.

Content is king and audiences today are savvy, smart and discerning and expect a high level of quality. When people are watching programs like Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things audiences don’t want to have to suffer through terrible audio and bad vision. But what a lot of viewers may not understand is the long hours and expertise it takes to bring high quality video to your screen. It may run only 30 seconds but that online video you watched may have taken weeks of pre-production, several days worth of shooting and weeks of post-production.

So let’s take a look behind the scenes to illustrate the time, effort and skill that goes into making video look great.

1. Pre-Production

To us this is the most important step in the whole process. If you take the time to get this right then everything else will fall into place. This is the stage where we ask all those vital questions – Who is your audience? What is it you want to say? What do you want your audience to think, feel and do? What do you want to achieve? How will this deliver your message? All these questions need to be answered so we can make sure your video does exactly what you want it to do.

With all the above information we then can create the concept, storyboard, scripting, organise and schedule shoots days, book on camera talent and crews. There is a lot of organising and coordinating to make sure everything is ready before we say ‘Action’.



2. Production

It can be as simple as arriving at a location and shoot. We use the existing light either inside or outside and follow the subject around as they undertake their tasks. With shoots like this it can quick and seamless and the most we will ask is that you do the same task a few times so the camera operator can get different camera angles of the same action.

To make interviews look well-presented and professional we will usually have the interviewee wear a lapel mic and a boom mic rigged up over them. If we are indoors we will set up three point lighting to light the subject. If we are outside we will use natural light and rig up diffusers and bounce to soften and bounce light on the subject. This can take from 20 minutes to over an hour to set up.

When we have a full crew for a production then this is where it can take hours to set up just to get one shot. We can have crew numbers starting anywhere from 5 up to 20 people. The time it takes to set up lights, audio equipment and camera can be hours. That’s not including the time to block scenes with on camera talent and coordinating between the Art Department, costume and makeup. And if we need to move to different locations we have to pack everything up, move and start all over again. So that 30 second video you saw could have taken 3 days to shoot.


On set Filming

3. Post Production

Once the shoot has been completed we enter the last stage. This is where we take all the footage that was filmed in production and start editing it all together. But what a lot of people may not be aware of is that post production includes a lot more than just cutting shots together. This is where we mix the audio to make it sound polished and refined, add music and sound effects, add any titles, graphics and animations and where we colour grade.

All of these components go into bringing the video to life and make it look like something you would normally see on Television or online.


For many of our clients this is a very new process to them and we love to bring them on the journey with us. In the end they have a great video that they can use to promote their message and hopefully love video and film making as much as we do!



Who is watching? Online Video

A big part of creating a video is asking the question ‘who will be watching?’ This is the place we always start. At the beginning of the process when we meet with a client for a prospective project the first question we always ask is ‘who do you want to watch this video?’

Audience. Who is watching? That is your starting point. We need to be able to craft your video and message around who you want your audience to be. And be as specific as you can; female/male, age group, where they live, their job/industry they work in. The more you know about the audience the more effective the video will be.

As a video production company we want the video to hook the audience from the first few seconds and maintain their attention throughout. Online video has a quick drop off rate so if we can craft the video to engage with the target audience then that’s your first win.
Think about WHO is watching and then we can create a video that makes them WANT to watch.

A successful video must deliver your message in a way that captures and engages them (the audience) specifically.

Things to think about;
Who is your audience?
 Their age
 Gender
 Job
 Lifestyle
 Where they live
 What they do for fun
 What else do they watch

The more you know about audience the more we can create a clear concise video that speaks to them in their language and makes them want to keep watching.

Here some stills from videos we have produced that were able to capture the imagination of the audience and get the messages across in the agriculture industry, real estate and the transport industry - 


murrami video production
intellifleet wagga video production
john mooney real estate video production wagga

Lucy Buttenshaw

Continuing on with the Regional Artist Profile series, our next short documentary is about painter Lucy Buttenshaw. We had a great day shooting with her in her studio in West Wyalong and near her childhood home at Lake Cowal. 

Lucy creates amazing scenes in her paintings and likes to add the fantastical to create complex stories. Lucy shared her passion for painting and the inspiration for her practice.


Hindsight Innovations and Young Henrys

We recently became involved in a new project with Hindsight Innovation and Young Henrys Brewery. Hindsight Innovations (hindsightinnovations.com.au) is creating handcrafted beer tap handles for Young Henrys Brewery (younghenrys.com/newtowner) made out of timber from their old bar top. The idea is to gift the bars around Sydney that supported the new brewery in the early days of their career with a piece of Young Henrys history.

This is a great story of how they collaborated with each other. Video was the best way to tell this story and we were lucky enough to make the video and in and around Newtown in Sydney's Inner West. There is no shortage of beautiful locations in this part of Sydney. 

Wagga Civic Theatre Season Launch 2017

We are getting close to the half way mark of 2017 which also means the 2017 Civic Theatre Season is kicking into gear.

We were fortunate enough to collaborate with the Wagga Civic Theatre (civictheatre.com.au) to bring their 2017 season to life. This promo showcase the 2017 season. We also collaborated with animator Phil Henderson to bring to life some of the stills. He did a great job injecting some eccentricity into the images.

Robert Thirkell Workshop - Sydney

Last month we were fortunate enough to be involved in a masterclass with renowned factual Television producer Robert Thirkell. 

He has produced award winning television programs all around the world including Kitchen Nightmares, Wife Swap, The Apprentice, Undercover Boss and Jamie’s School Dinners.

Thirkell took us through his CONFLICT toolkit;
C, find the Characters
O, think Out of the box to write the script
N, find a Narrative drive, the big question of the film leading to a big answer, and small questions and small answers that contribute to this
F, make a Front of your film that highlights are characters, why they are setting off, what they are up against, and the reason
L, Love your characters and turn them into people
I, Interview for feeling, write short terse commentary for fact
C, Make your audience Care, at every moment, and promote your film so people watch
T, get a Timeline going from the start, find a good Title, and how the Truth is best

He is all about compelling storytelling and casting your story with unforgettable characters. What
makes a character interesting? What makes people interested in the story? What makes audiences
keep watching? All these things are so important when putting together an idea for a film project.
Whether it’s factual or fiction, ultimately the fundamentals of storytelling are the same. It’s all about
moving the story forward by putting your characters under pressure.
Thirkell also emphasised the importance of spending your time on budget and pre-production. By
making sure you get the right cast, crew and your preparation done then you will save in production
and post-production later on.

Lastly another little piece of advice he left us with – when it’s going wrong then it’s usually right,
when it comes to story. Always follow the story, regardless of where it takes you.
I think there’s a lot to be said with getting the fundamentals right. It’s all about story, story and story.


Documentary Shoot in Bangkok

Bangkok is a lot of things at once. Capital of Thailand, a sprawling metropolis home to 8 million people, a chaotic, vibrant and exciting city that houses the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor. The city is constantly loud and on the move. The streets are laid out like a rabbit warren with traffic filling the tangled roads. Every few yards, the aromas on the ground change with street vendors selling everything from fruit on the roadside to markets with copious amounts of raw fish and meat sitting in the stinging sunlight. A lot of the apartment buildings are old and rundown with dreary facades set behind electricity lines tied together in a mess. Of course, next door will be a 45 story luxury hotel tower full of some of the thousands of tourists who fill the city every day.

I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Bangkok for a week of filming for a documentary project. The film is centred on a man called James as he undergoes a massive shift in lifestyle to help cure his diabetes. The Bangkok phase focuses on experimental plasma and stem cell treatment he is undergoing at the Sukhamivt Hospital.


Please enjoy some pictures of vibrant Bangkok:


Andrew Whitehead – Artist profile gets a great audience

The Regional Artist Profiles is a project Next In Line Films is conducting where we make short films about regionally based artists. We share a bit about their story and their practice.

At the end of last year we were fortunate enough to spend time with artist and sculptor Andrew Whitehead. We spent the day with him in his workshop on his farm in the small town of Urana, NSW.

Andrew is a very talented metal sculptor who uses scrap metal to make amazing sculptures any figures. Andrew’s video is currently enjoying one of the largest audiences we have had, over 150,000 views and counting.

Most of the feedback we received from people who watched the video said what they really connected to was Andrew’s passion for what he loved to do. Viewers may not necessarily connect with his art practice but what hooked them was that Andrew found something in his life that he loves to do and that makes him insanely happy. A friend of Next In Line Films animator Phil Henderson said after watching the video “This guy calls a spade a shovel! Brilliant guy” One of the biggest things we learnt by making this video is the importance of story and context and how audiences find connection to a subject. A lot of people watching the video may not have a particular connection to sculpting and this form of artistic practice but as humans we all want to feel happy, useful and have something we do that makes feel fulfilled.

That’s the magic we are all after in being able to find that ‘thing’ in a story that we can all connect with. The magic that takes video from good to brilliant.


Check it out here:

Fleurieu Film Festival

Our short film Dirt, directed by Damian Jenkins and written by Ainsley Jenkins was recently accepted into the Fleurieu Film festival. So last weekend we decided to make the trek over to South Australia.

After a very long 10 hour drive we arrived in Adelaide.


Endless driving.

Endless driving.

The festival was held in McLaren Vale just a short drive south of Adelaide.

The theme for the festival was ‘landscapes’ and Dirt fit with the theme quite well.

Dirt was lucky enough to make the finalist list. The other short films that made the list was You and Me, Super Sounds and Daudalogn

So the long drive was worth it – Dirt took home 3 awards; Best Editing, Best Sound and Best Actor!

Best Editor – Olivia Jean

Best Sound – David Freeman

Best Actor – Craig Alexander


We had a really fantastic cast and crew on this film who all contributed to make this film.

A big congrats again to Olivia, David and Craig on their awards!




Festival De Cannes

I had the chance this year to attend the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France. It was a quite a whirlwind experience but I learned a lot of useful stuff about filmmaking, business and networking. I also devoured a lot of bread and cheese and alcoholic beverages in the Riviera sun. I spent a day of two in Paris solo before I took the train down to Cannes. I just hung out in my hotel and had a little walk around the area trying to get over my jetlag and find some good coffee. Once I stepped off the train in Cannes and found my apartment things became quite hectic in an amazing sort of way. I met some excellent people from all over the world. (I also met some pretentious bores, but you take the good with the bad). I saw some cool films. I had some great conversations with other young filmmakers and some older filmmakers, it was just one big learning experience. My short film 'Dirt' was received well and impressed some people. Hopefully it is the first notch in a great journey. 

- Damian 

Production wrapped on our short film ‘Dirt’ in late December 2013.

We have spent months on post production and are nearing the end of the process. A lot of talented young people between Wagga Wagga and Sydney have helped us out on the film. Once the final cut is locked off and sound and colour all tied up we will be submitting to Film Festivals. It has been quite a journey to get the film made. We had setbacks early on finding a suitable location and then we had to wait for the right time of year for the grass to dry out and the land to have the correct arid feel we needed. Overall all the elements came together like a dream. Once you get the ball rolling on these kinds of projects all the pieces gradually stitch together. I am really looking forward to getting the film in front of audiences. 

Dirt - Behind the scenes.

Dirt - Behind the scenes.