Tips for Shooting Company Videos | How to Share your Mission with Branding Videos | Purpose-driven Videos for your Business

In 2008, Adam Kunes traded in his cushy corporate job for a 1991 Ford Winnebago RV, and started an entire social movement.

“It was the best and the worst decision at the same time. It was my best mistake.”

Adam had only graduated 11 months prior, but already had a gut feeling that cubicle life was not where he wanted to be. While still in the confines of corporate America, Adam began reflecting. He thought back to a service trip he took to New Orleans in college where he met his buddy Andrew Blythe. He had a blast on that trip. Yes, he was gutting houses with mold, but he loved it! Adam wondered why there was a stigma that young people, like him, didn’t care anymore – he still did! But he felt stuck.

Burning with a desire to have fun and do good again, Adam talked things through with Andrew, and soon the duo landed on a plan to make their calling a reality: a 30-day road trip that would take them across the country volunteering. They had no plans after the trip, no vision of the future. They just knew that they needed to go, and now.

“It was like a calling, a need to serve and to do something that would matter.”

Now they would just need a mode of transportation… It would take Adam and Andrew a whole lot of courage over the following nine months to actually prepare for their adventure. First, they needed to raise $9,500 to buy “The Warrior,” the name they fondly bestowed unto their beat-up RV camper.

They told everyone they could about their idea with no reservations and held amateur fundraising events to get the word out. Yes, the idea was a bit unconventional, but Adam and Andrew’s enthusiasm was contagious. “We didn’t know what we were doing … we were just so passionate, and it fed the whole mission and what we were doing.”

They even got their parents on board. “I remember my Dad helping us fix up The Warrior in the backyard. There was so much support from our families. I don’t think we would have been able to do it without them.”

With “fixed-up” wheels and a longing to serve, Adam and Andrew set out across the country. They also decided to bring along their video camera, with plans to create a documentary of sorts to share the story with their supporters back home.

They would shoot the video in the only way they knew how: wing it (’cause they had NO idea what they were doing).

But just like the trip itself, the documentary would prove to be a serendipitous decision, helping snowball the trip into an entire social movement.

You can check out the result right here:

A Serendipitous Story

The Call to Serve was filled with laughter, jokes, personality and a whole lot of heart. Ok, the audio quality is not great, and it’s super-long, but the message still shines through.

Adam told Rank & File, “We knew that our trip was impactful to us, but we didn’t realize how much it would be to others too. We started to show the documentary at colleges, and students would come up to us and ask how they could do a trip like that. We knew we were on to something. The students could identify with us in our video, in our story, and they wanted to be a part of that.”

Adam knew he couldn’t deny the response. He had to provide the same opportunity for other young people to get out there and volunteer. So Adam launched a social good travel company, which today is called Have Fun. Do Good.

“I am just trying to create an outlet for people to get out there, to do some good and to have some fun. The name says it all.”

Have Fun. Do Good. runs a wide range of gatherings and trips that combine charitable volunteer work with having a great time. They have done everything from prepping dilapidated garage doors for street artists in New York City to crafting handmade fleece-tie blankets in time to donate for Thanksgiving at a “Friendsgiving.”

“There is this stigma that young people don’t care. We are starting this to show that people do care, that they want to give back and that they want to make a difference. I am trying to continue that message with Have Fun. Do Good.”

Adam has come a long way since his Warrior days and the amateur documentary, but those roots are still clearly seen today in Have Fun. Do Good. The same passion, mission and personality are there.

Adam has also continued to use the power of video to share their story. “The main product we are selling is our trips, the experience, which lends itself to video very well. People watch our videos and can see what we are about. They see our passion; it shows through in each video we do.”

Over the years, Adam has mastered his film-making craft and is now also the founder of a branding company, That’s Crisp, which creates upbeat, powerful videos for their clients. Being an amateur-turned-professional in this area, Adam had great insights for Rank & File on how beginners can and should start to share their stories through video, even with limited resources.


with VIDEO

1. Don’t get distracted by fancy equipment

Adam and his buddy Andrew originally didn’t have plans to turn their documentary into a branding piece or a company for that matter: “We just wanted to document the whole trip to show people, ‘Hey, this is what you supported.’” Even though the film was made by some kids living in an RV, it captured something powerful. Passion, personality and even a movement can emerge from novice videos that truly capture a story.

“With my other branding company, That’s Crisp, we are all about putting out a quality product. But from our rudimentary documentary back then, you can see that we didn’t have camera guys following us around. We had two cameras that were not that great, and we did what we could with what we had. I think a lot of people go out and think they need to buy expensive equipment and that their videos are going to be a game changer just because of that. It’s not.”

Adam suggests starting out with an iPhone if your budget is tight. In fact, Have Fun. Do Good. still shoots some of their video this way. “We have shot some of our recent videos on our iPhones. It produces really good video. If you are in a pinch and are starting with limited resources, start with that and focus on the story you are trying to tell.”

2. Be “boots on the ground”

Have Fun. Do Good., as the name suggests, is truly “boots on the ground.”

“We are giving our time and our talents, and so our video should show that action.” Adam suggests that no matter what your mission or product is, you should show action. “Show where it is going and how it is making a difference. Let them see something real. Truly tell your story.”

3. Go into it with an actionable plan

Adam says, “Things can get pretty busy at the scene, so knowing exactly what you are going to shoot before going into it is crucial.” It seems simple, but Adam says it’s extremely important to first think through how you want to tell the story. Then, outline an actionable plan for what you are going to capture that day and include all of your interviews in the timeline. You should have a general idea of how those interviews will fit into your overall message, so you can craft your questions too.

4. Take a ton of B-roll footage

“B-roll is extremely important,” Adam says. He suggests shooting as much as you can. “Then add music to it, to show your brand’s personality in the video.” As a beginner, overdo it on the B-roll footage so you have plenty to chose from. When selecting music, pick a song that evokes the emotion you are after. Always keep your mission in your head when selecting songs. It should fit in with your cause and your overall approach.

5. Keep it short and sweet

Adam has actually learned this the hard way. “We were interviewed by a radio station and they watched one of our early kickball videos beforehand. The video was 14 minutes long, and I remember one of the guys saying, ‘Man, that’s a long kickball video…’ People start to lose interest after a minute and a half or so. Keep the video between one and three minutes max.”

6. Remember that simple wins every time

“I have learned that less is truly more and simple wins,” Adam says. “Have a minimalistic approach.” If you are on a shoestring budget, use the clean and simple aesthetic to your advantage when putting together and editing your video.

7. Grow over time

Lastly, Adam suggests that all newbies out there remember the power of patience. “It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. As you continue to grow, your brand grows, your story grows, your followers grow.” Just keep reminding yourself that the journey takes time. But don’t let your limited budget and experience keep you from sharing your story. Take Adam’s courage and his “tell everyone who will listen” approach.

Getting your story out there in some form is the most important part as you seek to start a social movement.


© All photos courtesy of Have Fun Do Good.
This interview is a copyright of Rank & File Magazine, Inc.