Hello, friends! Today, I am incredibly excited to introduce you to a talented LOCAL client of mine :: Nikki Tripp of Tripp Films! This past fall, I had the pleasure of working with Nikki to rebrand her film business.
In her initial inquiry, she wrote:
Tripp Films produces creative films that showcase stories. I specialize in small businesses and creative brands, and I love getting to know each of my clients on a personal level to better understand their passion, style, and needs. From there, we create a customized plan for the film that tells their unique story in a visually engaging and artful way.
I really get excited when businesses have an idea of the content they want, but trust in my creative talents to bring it to life. These are the people and brands I love working with. I also get excited when I get to shoot other creatives in their element and finding unique ways to showcase what they do.
(When I read, “trust in my creative talents to bring it to life” I nodded furiously and knew we had to work together.)
I like my current brand, but think it could be more polished and amped up… [I need it to be ] cohesive and more consistent. I think a branding facelift would really take my biz to the next level!
Convinced we were an excellent match, I reached out to get the ball rolling. I shipped Nikki a Branding Workbook, she organized her brand inspiration, and I got to work. After her project wrapped up, we decided to “interview” each other with some Q&A about our respective fields. Scroll down if you’re considering a professional film for your business! Nikki is the real deal and, despite my fear of talking in front of a camera, she’s actually someone I’d feel comfortable fumbling over my words with… plus, she has some GREAT branding advice for you!
PHOTO OF NIKKI TRIPP BY SWISH AND CLICK PHOTOGRAPHY
1. When did you decide you wanted to be a videographer? Did you have a different career before starting Tripp Films? What was it that made you start your own business?
When I started college, I had no idea that filmmaking/videography could be a career! Luckily I was required to take a class unrelated to my major, and I chose a class called The World History of Film. It introduced me to that whole world and I immediately fell in love with all aspects of film! Looking back even before then, I was always making videos for class projects so it kinda makes sense now. During college, I interned and worked for people who owned their own business, so I was familiar with that environment and knew I would likely end up doing that, mostly because I wanted autonomy and freedom with my schedule. But I didn't know what that would look like until I moved to Houston. I was introduced to the creative community here, which got me thinking more about starting my own videography business. I ended up going on this epic road trip along the west coast that completely blew my mind and changed my perspective: I didn't want to waste any more time doing things I didn't care about. I came back from the trip and started Tripp Films shortly after.
2. Who is your ideal client, and what type(s) of project(s) do you dream about?
My ideal client is a small business owner who understands their brand and client, knows what they want to convey and appreciates a collaborative creative process. I like working with people who want to be a part of the process of creating their Branded Film but who are also comfortable with taking suggestions and input. As far as dream projects... Part of the reason I love my job is that it never gets boring, every client is different and takes a different approach. With that said, I do keep a Wishlist of types brands I hope to work with each year.
3. How would you describe your film style? Do you adapt to the look/feel of various businesses, or do you prefer to work with brands that mesh with yours?
That's a really good question. My film style is cinematic, personal, warm and authentic. Most brands that want to work with me are already drawn to my particular style, so I don't necessarily need to change it to fit them. However, I do ensure that their film fits their own brand as well by using color, branding, fonts and music. My style is also somewhat adaptable. It's not pigeonholed into one particular tone, it can fit many styles from light and airy to bright and colorful.
4. Did anything about the branding process surprise you?
My own pickiness haha! I think I got caught up in the details too much sometimes and you were great at keeping things on track and empowering me to make decisions with the big picture in mind.
5. What was your favorite part of the branding process? Which part was the hardest?
I loved the initial concept phase. When you sent over the first round of concepts, I literally started tearing up seeing my brand come to life in these designs. The hardest part was narrowing down what I wanted from there and getting down to the nitty gritty details.
Here’s a peek at the designs we played around with before settling on the final concept:
6. Do you have any advice for creatives thinking about a rebrand?
Yes! I would echo the advice that you gave to my readers. Do not jump into professional branding too early. I created a simple brand to start my business with and then waited two years into my business to get professional branding. I'm so glad I waited, because I know my business and clients so much better now than when I first started, and this new branding is able to speak to that.
Yesss! This is great advice, so I’m going to highlight it.
Do not jump into professional branding too early.
7. For any readers who've been thinking about a brand film, where should they start?
I would definitely start with the big picture in mind, thinking about tone and style and go from there. Look at examples of other Branded Films and make notes about what you like and dislike. You don't have to know exactly what you want from the beginning, but it does help to have some sort of starting point before reaching out to a videographer. I also have a ton of helpful resources on my blog that cover the Branded Film process.
8. What can a film do that photographs and web copy cannot?
The most obvious is that your audience can literally see you in action. If you're a photographer, they can see the way you interact with your clients. If you're a maker, they can see your process and the care you put into your products. There is also this special kind of emotion and connection that film provides for you and your audience. You can speak directly to your audience in your own voice with all its inflections and emotions, something that web copy cannot do. There are also so many elements to a film that it make it a more robust representation of your brand: from the music and text to the narration and footage of your business in action. I could go on and on, but the last thing I'll say is that not only does film represent your brand in a way that no other medium can, but it also elevates you above the rest. One thing I hear over and over from clients is that their clients chose to hire them because they had a video. A video on your website tells your audience we are experienced, qualified, and know exactly how to serve you.
9. I'm an introvert and I'm terrible at remembering lines (especially if there's a camera in my face or some sort of audience). How do you work with people like me? Haha. But seriously... I've seen people talking in your films and the dialogue feels so natural. How do you accomplish that while still getting them to say what they need to?!
Well thank you, that's a huge compliment! It is definitely something that is super important to me. And I'm an introvert too and super awkward, so I totally get it! I want to make people feel comfortable, so that they can share their story with confidence. Scripts don't work for everyone, so a lot of times I will come up with a list of questions that lead to important talking points. I love this method, because it's more conversational and there isn't as much pressure if you're just talking about your amazing business with a friend! I know for clients, shooting day can be stressful, so I make it my goal to be a calming presence for them. Deep breaths and shaking it out are also some tricks I use :)
10. Are you excited to hand out your business card now? :)
Umm yes!! I've already started passing them out to anyone and everyone!