- Produce a video for the mayor’s State of the City address
- Highlight the developments the city is currently undergoing
- Create the video for the address that can also be shared on social
- Make sure it feels unique and different from previous State of the City videos
- Tell the story through residents, businesses and other city contributors
We’ve been fortunate enough to work with the City of Akron and the Mayor’s office on the State of the City project for a few years.
The main challenge in doing a piece multiple times is making sure you are capturing everything in a new way. We want to be sure each year presents a new, unique approach to the video. We don’t want it to feel stale, repurposed or feel like a video from previous years. With the continued rejuvenation of the city, we decided to create a video that captured the changes – and the people who helped make it happen.
For 2019, we wanted to explore new techniques and styles to provide the city with a feature piece the city could rally behind. Because the State of the City address is centered on the Mayor’s speech, we wanted to create a video that engaged the audience and paired will with the key messages of the address.
The focus of this year’s video was to use a voiceover and Akron residents presenting a common message: “I remember when…”
The residents all spoke of the time when the city was different and opportunities weren’t available. The goal of the video was to capture the growing pains of a changing city, but to show how through those struggles and changes new opportunities arose for current and future residents.
After viewing the city through a series of older, black and white photos that portray a challenging past, each resident, standing in front of a recognizable Akron backdrop, relays their own message, viewers would get a sense of the corner the city of Akron has turned.
The scene ends and transitions with a young child who says, “I don’t remember any of that.”
A strong message that was as thought-provoking as it was positive. And we knew that moment would shift the video into an more upbeat and colorful second act.
From city officials to residents, construction officials to young Akronites, we made sure the video incorporated a huge cast of people to ensure the right stories were told, the right way.
With the city on board with our approach, the one major obstacle was scheduling. Casting such a wide variety of talent leads to scheduling conflicts and our Account Manager had to juggle time slots to make sure we got everyone on camera as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Our team made detailed schedules of people, locations and times so the production team could capture all necessary slots. The extra work and planning paid off when we had the right people sharing all the challenges the city faced in the past – and how the present is looking bright as the city continues its resurgence in northeast Ohio.
With some additional b-roll and unique locations throughout the city as a backdrop, we were able to capture a true-to-life representation of the city and the people responsible for its revival.
With a solid plan in place, our team was able to confidently get right to work back at the office. Since a script, shot list and style frames had been approved early in the process, there were minimal changes at the video editing stage. And since the team was ready with multiple options and ideas that complimented the original concept, we were able to seamlessly incorporate changes while still maintaining the City of Akron’s story.
The video was originally shown during the Mayor’s State of the City address. And with over 20,000 views on social, the video also had a strong showing online too.
The city appreciated our involvement from start to finish handing the details on this complicated project. From scripting to on-camera contacts to scheduling, we handled all the logistics of the project, so the Mayor’s Office could focus on the city and its residents.
In the end, the city shone on stage and online – and we made it easy for the city to tell the story they wanted to tell.