Lausanne Palace Hotel had seen our video for Suisse Majestic Hotel and reached out to us to create a corporate video for their establishment. I was familiar with the hotel, as it was in my hometown. A highly regarded luxurious hotel located in the center of Lausanne. As our conversation continued the inevitable dollars and sense question came up “How much?” And my inevitable retort is usually a restaurant related answer, “Depends on what you’d like to eat?” The wheels of how to create a simple effective video for a luxury hotel were set in motion.
Video production prices have been reduced to lower than bargain basement levels thanks to digital technology. Cameras, programs and computers have allowed amateurs the ability to be professional film makers. And that includes me! I did not go to film school, I was raised in advertising with the ambition of making films. I came into movies making one commercial after the other. And thanks to a Mac, a Sony Camera and iMovie, I eventually did become a film maker!
Today you don’t even need those 3 things. In the new iPad, everything is included; camera, computer and software. As well as free music and immediate uploading. The slew of self made videos is the latest fashion trend. And it’s not a pretty sight. But it’s often entertaining and sometimes quite successful. So we must adapt and survive.
The Lausanne Palace and Spa did not have a big budget. Which is common these days with clients, especially in the hotel business. Even though The Lausanne Palace & Spa is a five star hotel, the industry is facing difficult times, especially in Switzerland where everything is more expensive.
The one rule I apply to video productions is that it’s the idea that counts, not the execution. I started my movie career making cheap videos, and continue to do so to pay the rent. So I proposed to come and have a look at the Lausanne Palace and Spa and try to find an idea to fit their budget. It is a Swiss Syndicate mantra to “Never say no.” There is always a way.
Hotels all want to show the same things in their videos. Location, rooms, food, restaurants, pool, spa and more, more, more. They want to show everything their establishments can offer and clients want the same. I needed to figure out a way to show all these parts of the hotel. The idea was right in the middle of the hotel lobby in the form of an old Mediterranean Pine tree.
I had recently bought yet another cheap digital toy called a GoPro. Most amazing little camera device which delivers incredible quality. I’d gone horseback riding and tested the GoPro’s capabilities in this element. The result was incredible, smooth quality high definition images. Why not use the GoPro camera to fly throughout the hotel? The old Pine tree in the lobby whistled to get my attention, and “The Little Bird” idea was born.
I came back to the Lausanne Palace and Spa with an iPad and the concept written on my letterhead in one paragraph, a four photo mood board and the production notes were on the third sheet of paper. I was seated with my contact, the marketing director, and the hotel’s General Manager. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I showed a few video samples on my iPad. But this was cut short, the GM had little time. I read the story of the “The Little Bird” who fell from the tree and flew throughout the hotel. It was the fastest pitch and sell I had ever accomplished.
“Sold!” Said the GM. I looked at the marketing manager who had a big grin on her face. From then on the planing was set in motion and the story of “How to create a simple effective video for a luxury hotel” began.
“The Little Bird” is proof that it is possible to create a simple effective video for a luxury hotel. We added a little more to the budget by suggesting aerial footage, but could not talk them into spending for Angelina Jolie to swim through the pool. There are many great filmmakers out there, and many really bad ones. So when confronted with the problem of “How to create a simple effective video for a luxury hotel” consider to first buy an idea and then spend as much as you can on the execution. A good idea badly executed, is still a good idea. A bad idea well executed, is still a bad idea.