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  • Brady Gilliam

Crafting Unity in Finance - The Visionaery Creation for Consensus

Updated: May 16



Just as the confluence of rivers leads to the mighty force of a waterfall, Mark Vogel and Matt Boersen's strategic partnership has given rise to the business Consensus.


This pioneering financial firm elegantly combines structured settlements and wealth management. In an industry where these services typically vie for dominance, Consensus emerges as a harmonious solution, offering a dual advantage to the clientele of attorneys. 


Recognizing the potential to unveil this unique synergy at the annual dinner of the Michigan Association for Justice—a prime gathering of legal minds—Mark Vogel approached Visionaery Productions with a vital mission: to create a compelling video that would not only introduce Consensus but also highlight its groundbreaking approach. 


With a brisk timeline of just 3.5 weeks from conception to delivery, the stakes were high, but so were our spirits, ready to encapsulate the essence of Consensus in a narrative as seamless as their services.


Challenge: Tight Timelines and Capturing the Essence


The challenge was multifaceted, as it involved a pressing deadline and the ambitious task of portraying the innovative union of two competitive financial services under one brand. The video needed to resonate deeply with an audience of discerning legal professionals who could potentially refer their clients to Consensus. 


It required a blend of clarity, credibility, history, and engagement to effectively communicate the firm's unique value proposition, all within the brief window of a gala dinner event.


Solution: Strategic Storytelling and Expert Execution


Our solution was twofold: meticulously scripted interviews and a dynamically structured narrative. By orchestrating scripted interviews with co-founders Mark Vogel and Matt Boersen, we crafted a storyline that seamlessly integrated their expert insights with the overarching message of unified strength for the target audience of attorneys.


A voiceover was employed to introduce, conclude, and elegantly transition between segments, ensuring a cohesive flow. The testimonial from Stephen Pontoni, a venerated figure in the legal community, added an invaluable layer of endorsement, fortifying the trust in Consensus as a sponsor and innovator. 


Through swift and thorough planning and our adept handling of production logistics, Visionaery Productions triumphantly met the tight deadline, ensuring the premiere at the Michigan Association for Justice dinner was not just timely but memorable.


Pre-Production Planning: Choreographing Consensus's Cinematic Debut




Location Scout Images


In the bustling world of finance, where precision and foresight steer the course, the initial steps of any venture are critical. Such was the ethos guiding the kick-off meeting for Visionaery Productions' latest project with Consensus, a financial firm that harmoniously melds structured settlements and wealth management.


This video production kick-off meeting, held at the sleek and modern Straight Path Wealth Management (Matt is a Managing Partner) in Jenison, was not just a gathering of minds but also a meticulous location tech scout.


Setting the Stage: Location and Logistics

With a keen eye for detail, our team explored the expanse of Straight Path Wealth Management, capturing the essence of its contemporary design through a lens that appreciated aesthetics and functionality. The selection of filming spots—ranging from the grandeur of the main entryway adorned with vast, luminous windows to the intimacy of small meeting rooms—was strategic. Each location within the office was chosen to reflect Consensus's innovative and forward-thinking ethos.


Armed with insights and imagery from the location scout, we dove into scripting, aiming to weave a narrative that piqued curiosity right from the opening question: "What if securing your client's financial futures were more straightforward and efficient?" This query set the tone for a story that would gradually unfold the unique advantages of Consensus through voiceovers and interviews, ensuring a hook that kept viewers engaged without revealing too much too soon.


Crafting the Blueprint: Script, Shot List, and Schedule

The creation of the script underwent several iterations, each refining the narrative to better capture the essence of Consensus and its groundbreaking approach to finance. Parallelly, a detailed shot list was developed, utilizing the photos from our initial scout to dictate the composition and angle of each scene, ensuring that every frame would contribute to the storytelling.


Scheduling was a puzzle of its own, orchestrated with precision to accommodate the availability of key participants. The pressure was on with Stephen Pontoni, Executive Director of the Michigan Association for Justice, traveling from Detroit for his afternoon interview and Mark Vogel needing to depart by 2 pm for a client meeting. 


The solution was a fluid schedule that slotted all interviews in the afternoon, leveraging the morning hours to capture dynamic B-roll. The natural light from the main entry's large windows, perfect for the interviews, would complement the afternoon schedule, as it was ideally out of direct sunlight by then.


Innovative Solutions: Enhancing Visuals and Overcoming Obstacles

To address the visual distractions of roads and parking lots seen from our chosen interview backdrop, Jason Caudill crafted a creative solution—welding steel plates to mount artificial boxwood shrubs, transforming the view into a lush, green landscape that resonated with the brand's vibrancy and focus on growth.


The Team and Tools: A Symphony of Skills and Technology


Arri Alexa 35 packed in a cinema camera case

The project team blended expertise and creativity: Brady Gilliam as the Producer/Director, Harley Dean wielding the camera as Director of Photography, assisted by Jason Caudill, and Len Tran supporting as the Production Assistant. 


Their collaborative efforts were about to be captured through the industry-leading technology of Harley's Arri Alexa 35, known for its unparalleled dynamic range and color reproduction, paired with DZO Pictor Zoom Lenses for fluid, organic movement in B-roll. The interviews, demanding the highest fidelity, would be shot using the Canon C300 Mk III and Canon C70, set to RAW for optimal color depth and resolution.


This meticulous pre-production planning set the foundation for a video that was not just a presentation but a compelling narrative of innovation, collaboration, and financial acumen—all aimed at illustrating the seamless synergy at the heart of Consensus.



Production Day: Capturing Consensus in Action



Behind The Scenes


On May 1st, the orchestrated harmony of meticulous planning met the lively pace of production. As dawn heralded the day's shoot, the Visionaery Productions crew arrived punctually at 7 a.m. at Straight Path Wealth Management. The day began with a strategic move: setting up the kitchen as the nerve center for our equipment, ensuring a smooth flow for the day's activities.


Morning Hustle: Setting the Scene

The first call of action was in Matt's office, where we captured essential hero shots of him at his desk, establishing his persona within the professional habitat. Soon after, Mark joined in for a pivotal "discussion" scene, symbolizing the collaborative spirit of Consensus. This scene was crucial, visually representing the unique partnership between structured settlements and wealth management.


With Matt stepping out for a meeting, the focus shifted to Mark. We utilized this time effectively, filming him in various work settings, reinforcing his role in the narrative. Meanwhile, the technical team expertly set up the conference room for one of the day's significant shoots. Employing two Aputure 600Ds as key lights outside the windows and a 300D for ambient fill, we prepared to capture the dynamics of a company meeting.


Afternoon Insights: Client Interactions and In-depth Interviews

Once Matt returned, the energy in the conference room was palpable as we filmed the "Company meeting" shots, followed by a "meeting with a client" scene. These segments were designed to showcase the real-time application of Consensus's services, adding a layer of authenticity and engagement to the video.


The transition to interviews marked a shift to a more introspective setting. Here, the technical setup was refined to capture the essence of the speakers. The primary light, an Aputure 600D with Light Dome II and added diffusion, created a soft yet distinct look.


A secondary Aputure F22C served as a hair light, strategically using a 40x40" Floppy for negative fill to sculpt the subjects against the backdrop. The Canon C300 Mk III, stationed on a tripod, served as the A camera, capturing the breadth of the scene, while the C70, handled by Harley, allowed for close-up, dynamic shots.


Lunch was a well-timed interlude, especially coordinated to fit around Mark's schedule. This allowed us to capture his interview before his early departure. Post-lunch, the focus shifted to completing Matt and Stephen's segments, rounding off the interviews with the depth and detail expected in such pivotal moments.


Wrapping Up: The Final Frames

With the interviews wrapped, the team swiftly captured the remaining b-roll footage, adding layers to the visual narrative. These final shots were important, providing the connecting pieces between the major scenes and enhancing the story's flow. The day concluded with a systematic pack-up, leaving the location as we had found it, respecting the space that had facilitated our creative endeavor.


As the sun set on Straight Path Wealth Management, the buzz of the day's shoot faded into a quiet satisfaction. The footage was in the can, ready to be molded into a compelling narrative that would soon grace the screens at the annual dinner for the Michigan Association for Justice, showcasing the innovative partnership that is Consensus.


Post-Production: Crafting the Narrative


Consensus Film Stills


Once the raw material was securely backed up across multiple hard drives, the post-production phase for the Consensus video project began in earnest. This stage was crucial, transforming hours of footage into a coherent and engaging narrative, a vital component for the upcoming annual dinner for the Michigan Association for Justice.


Music and Initial Edits

The first step involved selecting an appropriate soundtrack for the video. The chosen music was upbeat yet tasteful, setting a professional yet inviting tone. Mark and Matt approved this selection from the music examples early, ensuring the soundtrack aligned with their vision.


The interview footage from both cameras was then skillfully interwoven, creating a seamless dialogue between Mark and Matt. Strategic switching between camera angles added dynamic visual interest and maintained viewer engagement.


Innovative Use of AI

In an innovative twist, we utilized Eleven Labs, an AI Voiceover generator, during the initial editing phase. This tool allowed us to streamline the editing process by providing a temporary voiceover from the script.


It was crucial for timing and pacing the visual edits before the final voiceover was added. Importantly, to enrich the diversity of the project, which predominantly featured male voices, we selected a female voice for the final voiceover, adding a fresh perspective and balance to the narrative.


Visual Enhancements

The editing suite became a canvas as we spliced in the b-roll footage, creating a dynamic flow visually narrating the Consensus story. Color grading was the next significant step. The high-quality footage from the Arri Alexa 35 was especially conducive to grading, matching seamlessly with the Canon C300 and C70 footage.


We adopted a Teal/Orange color scheme, slightly adjusted to a cooler blue to resonate with Consensus's brand colors of blue and green. This not only created a visually appealing contrast but also enhanced the lush, vibrant feel of the video through enhanced green tones.


Final Touches and Client Feedback

Lower thirds were added to bolster Mark and Matt's credibility, while animated text in the intro segment helped retain viewer attention and add an element of visual engagement. Once the initial version was locked in, it was sent for review.


The feedback from Mark and Matt was overwhelmingly positive; their only request was a minor adjustment to increase the visibility of the Consensus logo at the beginning of the video. This modification aimed to maximize brand recognition during the crucial initial moments of the dinner presentation.


With the feedback incorporated, the final change involved replacing the example AI-generated voiceover with a human voice to add warmth and personality to the narration. This human touch was the final puzzle piece, ensuring the voiceover resonated emotionally with the audience.



Conclusion: A Symphony of Teamwork and Expertise


The video was finalized and ready to debut at the prestigious annual dinner. The project not only showcased Consensus's unique partnership but also highlighted Visionaery Productions' meticulous craftsmanship. In addition to the main video, we were able to include a few short edits and a silent website header video for when their website is ready to launch.


Crafting such a piece within a tight timeframe was challenging, yet it became a rewarding endeavor with a talented and dedicated team. Consensus's open-mindedness and receptiveness to our professional guidance made our journey through the complexities of production smoother. Their willingness to trust our expertise allowed us to refine the project into an exceptional final piece that exceeded expectations.


This case study is a testament to the power of collaborative creativity and technological innovation in producing compelling corporate narratives. It underscores how tough tasks become manageable, even enjoyable when backed by a team that excels in their respective roles and thrives on mutual support and shared goals.


This project was not just a success in terms of its aesthetic and technical achievements—it was also a triumph of collective effort and professional harmony.


Visionaery Productions: Leading the Way Among Michigan's Video Production Agencies


Visionaery Productions team posing with the Arri Alexa 35

At Visionaery Productions, every company has a unique story that deserves to be told. Interested in bringing your company's narrative to life? Book a discovery call to discuss your project goals, vision, scope, timeline, and strategy.


Whether you are in need of explainer videos, training videos, testimonial videos, product videos, or more, we have your video production needs covered.



Let's take your vision to new heights together and craft a visual experience that resonates and inspires. Contact us today to start your journey towards a standout corporate video that tells your story and showcases your brand's distinct identity.





 



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