Audience is everything

The most important question a film company can ask is, who is your audience?

And the second question should be, what do you want them to do when they’ve watched your film? This week’s charity video is targeted like a laser on its audience and uses lots of easily understood techniques that can be adopted by any charity.

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It’s not the most glamorous of subjects nor is this film simply worth watching because it’s touching or sweet. It’s not even particularly well made*. But what is deeply impressive is the knowledge it demonstrates of its audience and its channel

Made to help young and expectant mothers to understand their employment rights this video features 4 young mothers talking about their experiences and giving some useful advice about pregnancy and work. What’s clever is the way the film mimics blogger style films:  in your face close-ups talking to camera, jump cuts and big bold graphics and sound quality that’s not perfect all add to a DIY aesthetic that feels authentic and immediate.

Even more clever is the mums themselves:  they’re all video bloggers who are happy to share their stories. And even more clever(er) they’re all bloggers on YouTube’s Channel Mum. In a single decisive approach this film brings together audience and channel in a way that’s sure to connect with young mums in their own language.

The film is part of a campaign that’ll be supported with social media and the bloggers own social using the hashtag #powertothebump. Made by 23rd for the Equality and Human Rights Commission

(* and deliberately so…)


Think about using a presenter: it’s a staple of TV productions and allows a film to give out clear information in a controlled and direct way. In this film Jess, one of the mums, takes on this job and does it wonderfully. You don’t have to hire a professional – we often use a contributor or someone for the charity and work with them to be confident on camera.

Use your audience: if you want to engage people make sure there’s someone like them in the film. We all respond better to someone who can show they’ve had similar experiences or we have something in common with.

LoFi works wonders: sometimes a carefully filmed and crafted video can feel like an advert or a corporate communication. For a more authentic and immediate feeling go for a home-made look – hand held cameras, lots of natural lighting and even keep in a few slips or bloopers. The Co-op Bank are great at this and Anthony Nolan make wonderful films with a DIY feel.

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London Video ProducersJeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A. More about Jeremy

health video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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