Breathing Life into Educational Videos


Breathing Life into Educational Videos

We’re helping clients create important educational and instructional videos for their employees in a way that is fresh and engaging.

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When thinking of captivating or exciting activities, running with the bulls in Pamplona or skydiving during an electrical storm probably land slightly higher on your list than watching an educational video, but at Barbershop Films, we’re working to change that.

Recently, we produced a series of videos for one of Western Canada’s largest industrial companies. The task required us to strike a unique balance: create a set of internal educational videos that distilled the complexities of the company in a digestible manner, is captivating to the audience, and imbued a sense of pride within the employees.

“Traditional ways of teaching and training are getting stagnant, and are not getting the same response and retention,” said Alex Stevens, senior producer with Barbershop Films.

“So with this opportunity, the client wanted to create something different in their training videos. Something that was more informal, more casual. Something that felt like being in a conversation rather than being talked at.”

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The result, through a collaborative process with the client, was a series of TED Talk inspired videos – created with the same energy, intellect, and accessibility as the well-known educational videos. (Moderately known fact: ‘TED’, in this case, is not short for Theodore, but for ‘Technology, Entertainment, and Design’. So the next time someone calls them Theodore Talks, you can correct them with confidence).

As the company’s operations are extremely vast and complex, the videos began by imparting a basic foundation of knowledge on the company and the industry, before diving deeper into intricacies of their workings – whilst using real-world examples that viewers could relate to on a personal level. We not only shot the TED-like videos with several speakers from the company, but supplemented the talks with b-roll footage from inside their operation – providing concrete and vital visuals to the new employees.

“It’s not to replace the step-by-step curriculum you would need to do your job. It’s more about getting people a better understanding of how things work and how they personally fit into the company,” said Stevens.

“We want people to learn, be genuinely interested, and not feel overwhelmed. Then, they understand how they fit into the bigger picture.”

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In summary, engaging your employees in a thoughtful and interesting manner is certainly a better approach than sending them off into a compulsory siesta.

The response to the video has been decidedly positive. According to reports, the glimmer in the eyes of some employees suggest some may have been to Pamplona during an electrical storm, and the experience of watching these videos was not far off.