New testimonial video for Nashville Film Institute

NFI Screenshot

NFI called me to produce an alumni testimonial video to increase enrollment. I’ve done a lot of testimonials, and for me the ones that work are the ones that show something about the person talking. I don’t want to just put him in a chair to talk to the camera or to a point just off screen. The setting of an interview and the pacing can be just as informative as the questions. And they can be a lot more interesting than a sit-down.

So I suggested we shoot this one while our subject was in the middle of his own shoot. How better to show the success of an NFI alum and tie it into his NFI experience?

Kappel Cloninger is a camera-ready and highly successful alumnus who graciously agreed to have me interview him while he was producing a  “post-apocalyptic motor cycle gang video short”. I found him and his crew on a desolate dirt road surrounded by a real ( and very nice!) motorcycle gang setting up for a monster drive-by scene. Wardrobe ran to animal bones and leather. Post-apocalypse, the “found object” style finally had its day.

Moving among about thirty crew and cast, I followed Kappel, hand holding a Canon 100 with a 17-35 wide angle zoom as he adjusted wardrobe bones, added mud to bikes, and kept things moving. With the zoom mostly at the widest setting, it allowed me to keep this wild scene moving around Kappel, keeping the excitement level that potential students would love. We quickly set up shots where I could throw him a question that he could answer while he was working, or during a brief talk to the camera, then back to the work.

This kept the action moving, the scene changing, and just as importantly, told the potential students and their parents that this grad was so busy he could barely stop to talk — thanks to NFI. Exactly the subtext we wanted to project. And with key word titles underlining key concepts along the way, we had a fun, strong video with a clear message.

NFI student Gerry Scott handled the edit via email with me. He  showed a great grasp of the tools and the job of editor. I would work with him again any time.


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