One of the areas of film making in which we specialise at FLETCHERWILSON is Corporate Documentaries. Many people don’t know what a corporate documentary is so let’s start with that.
A corporate documentary is a documentary film who’s focus is a corporation. It could be the corporation itself, it’s staff, it’s clients, it’s products, it’s relationship with the community. On the face of it this sounds pretty dry, and it has the potential to be. On the other hand it has the potential to be about people, relationships, ambitions, community, the future. All things that people relate to and find interesting.
What is a corporate documentary for?
A corporate documentary is typically commissioned by the company that the film is about. It’s purpose is to show the true character of that company, the passions of it’s people, what it’s values are, and to share it with the wider community.
In allowing viewers to understand a bit more about a corporation, it’s values, what it stands for, and the character of the people who work there a company becomes more accessible, more relatable, and because people typically engage with people and companies that they know hold similar values it means that viewers may be more likely to engage with that company at some point.
What are the benefits of a corporate documentary?
Advertise without Advertising
A corporate documentary advertises a company without advertising. People are often turned off by traditional advertising, and often times rightly so. Traditional advertising can treat the viewer as a passive entity to be sold to. A corporate documentary sets out the facts and invites the viewer to make their own decision as to whether what they see chimes with their own values and requirements. A corporate documentary credits the viewer with intelligence and agency. This can be a refreshing change in a world where one is being constantly sold to. Because a corporate documentary doesn’t ‘sell’ in the traditional sense it subconsciously portrays a company as being confident in it’s own worth and it’s products which can be an attractive quality in a person or a company.
Discovery and introspection
The process of being involved in making a corporate documentary can be a very positive experience. It necessitates some soul searching, some introspection, and some understanding of what a corporation is and what the corporation stands for. This process can help the organisation discover where their strengths and weaknesses lie which can be helpful not just for the purposes of the film, but in defining company ethos, staff engagement policy, team building and strategic planning. In short there is a lot of value to a company knowing what it is and what it stands for.
One of the benefits that our clients see from making a corporate documentary is when it comes to pitching. Specifically when a corporation’s employees feature within a corporate documentary the viewer who may be a potential client will get to know them a little bit. They’ll understand a bit better what their motivations are, and they’ll understand their skillset and where their expertise lies.
If a person or people who feature in a corporate documentary attend a pitch there is a halo effect that comes from having first seen that person or people on film. The potential client no longer seems them as a stranger, but as someone they know and as someone who is an expert in their field.
The process of being filmed can initially be daunting, but for anyone who takes part it is invariably a liberating experience where they discover that they can come across well and be engaging on film and in other scenarios where they need to ‘perform’. This can include meetings, public speaking and pitching.
What makes a good corporate documentary?
A great corporate documentary must identify the character and fundamental values of a company and the people within it. Through research and engagement it must truthfully characterise what the company and it’s people stand for and what they strive for. These requirements apply to any documentary film, not just corporate ones.
A great corporate documentary must not sell, and instead ‘tell it like it is’.
Below is a link to a film we’ve made about this subject and which includes footage from Corporate Documentaries that we’ve made at FLETCHERWILSON