We speak with Michael Ellis, Director of Marketing and Communications at Milacron.
Milacron, a global leader of highly-engineered systems for the plastics processing industry, had recently acquired a number of companies within their industry and needed to unify these nine distinct product brands into one, not only for client communication but for internal staff as well. They reached out to us to create a corporate film to help them achieve their objectives.
We spoke with Michael Ellis, Director of Marketing and Communications at Milacron to get his valuable insights on the process of making this film to share with other Marketing professionals looking to produce a film.
Silverpoint: Do you have any advice to others producing a large corporate film like this?
Michael Ellis: Yes, a few things. The partner company you select that is going to work on these films with you, they need to be a partner with you. You need to have candid open discussions with them about your expectations, your vision, but you also need to listen and allow a company like Silverpoint to really apply their stamp of creativity because that is how you’re going to get a fantastic result in the end.
I would say when you are doing a corporate film like this, especially working in a manufacturing or industrial B2B environment, definitely don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort it will take not only for the immediate marketing team but also the people who are involved in the filming. This was huge for us, we spent a lot of our marketing time on the film because it required it. When you initially think the corporate film is going to be 2 minutes in length and film for a few days, it seems very simple and finite. However, to get the story right, it takes a ton of footage and effort. Organization is key. I have worked with a lot of suppliers and I thought Silverpoint was super organized, and we would not have gotten through this project if that had not been the case. Whether it was shooting or scripting timelines, all of those things were totally key. There also needs to be a really good camaraderie and meshing between the thought leaders at Silverpoint and marketing individuals. You need to make sure you really mesh as a team. You become one team for that certain amount of time. You need to feel confident that they will be an extension of the marketing team.
One other note, when you are manufacturing large products that take multiple months to manufacture and assemble, it is difficult to determine exactly what is going to be on the plant floor on shoot days. To get those key product shots you have to make sure that your manufacturing floor is prepared and ready for the shoot.
Silverpoint: Is there more value talking to a company’s ‘why’ rather than their ‘what’ (their products) in a film?
Michael Ellis: When you are doing a corporate film, I think you need to tell the story of the company. You have a salesperson sitting in the room there that can tell your customer or the market what your value proposition is from a technical, product perspective. I think if you can use a 2 minute film to give the high-level approach that your company takes with a customer to basically shed some light on what your company does internally, how your company operates, why your company has been successful and how your company can help make a customer be successful. If you can hit all those points in a story type of format that is emotional – that’s very different than a normal technical product film.