4 Tips for Making Better Videos from Launch Creative Director Wes Kennison

February 2, 2017


If you’re considering video or animated content to help articulate your message in 2017, Launch Creative Director Wes Kennison has some pro video tips for you.

Wes has been planning, writing, directing, producing and editing video and animated content for 6 years. I asked Wes for his advice on approaching a video project, creating a finished product that meets your goals, and finding a unique visual path.

Start with the Why

Wes says videos give you more control over the audience experience than, say, websites or print ads. Video allows you to create a voice, add in sound, and include a sense of movement, simulating a human interaction. Video is a powerful way to directly connect with an audience, but only if you understand your goals and purpose up front. “Video is an incredibly diverse medium,” he says, “so there are a lot of aspects to consider before getting started. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Why are we making this video?
  • How do we want the narrative to make people feel?
  • What do we want people to do after they watch?

Wes has found that the most successful video projects start with the “why” and focus on making a human connection with the audience.

Look Around for Creative Inspiration

Once you’ve landed on the ideal way to connect with your audience, the next question is “What is this going to look like?” There’s a ton of video content out there that’s pretty similar, Wes says.

Before you create yet another talking head interview, look around for visual inspiration from a wide variety of sources and consider treatments you could combine or layer to create a unique final product. “Picking a unique look is critical if you want your piece to stand out,” he says. “I especially like combining type and color treatments, finding conceptual design elements, and testing out clever editing to create a piece that’s rich with visual interest.”

“There’s a growing image culture because of the Internet. There’s so much imagery out there. Using sites such as Pinterest, Cargo Collective, Vimeo, Dribble and Behance can give you a point of reference for a visual concept that you can make your own. If you find something you love, use it as a starting point,” he says.

Shoot for a Process-Based Video Plan

The best video projects run like a well-oiled machine. Producers and creative directors work together to understand the end results, then visualize a solution — all before picking up a camera.

At Launch, we think process is incredibly important. Here’s what our time-tested creative process includes:

    • A kickoff conversation involving the director, who’s in charge of the creative side, and the producer, who’s in charge of tactics. “That allows us to have a creative voice who’s in charge of coming up with the idea and seeing it through to execution, and then someone who can manage all the moving parts that have to come together to be successful,” Wes says.
    • Development of a creative brief, which is designed to outline the needs and challenges of a project, and then provide a clear answer to these challenges in the form of a unique concept .
    • The scripting process, which starts with a story outline, and ends with a fully written narrative that is delivered for review with a “mood board” full of images curated from the web, to assist in establishing the intended aesthetic.
    • The power of a team. At Launch, one of our core values is working as a team to vet ideas up front and then execute them once the plan is established. It’s always a good idea to run your ideas by a group before you dig in. We rely on our dedicated team of staff and freelancers to build on our ideas and make our work better.

“The amount of time you spend doing due diligence before shooting or producing assets always pays off in the end,” Wes says.

Ready to Get Creative? Consider Virtual Reality

The future is finally here: The idea of virtual reality has been around for a long time, Wes says, but it hasn’t really taken off until now because there wasn’t a platform to deliver VR widely.

As a result it’s primed to escape its gimmicky reputation. Wes says VR is likely to be a major go-to for business videos that provide new, exciting perspectives and draw the viewer in. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook now offer native 360-degree support, making it more feasible to create and promote the content.

Technology advances also have made shooting immersive 360 video more accessible. Wes says more companies will leverage it for storytelling, so look for ways to immerse viewers in your organization and the work it does.

How could you create inspiring, unexpected videos in 2017? If you’re looking for ideas, we’d love to help. Check out our project archive for inspiration or get in touch to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.


Launch Media is an award-winning, full-service media production company. We strategically conceptualize, design, produce and distribute visual content – video, motion graphics, and digital media – that delivers an immediate impact and leaves a lasting impression. Ready to launch? Contact us.

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