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We have had the pleasure of partnering with our friends at Tailor Made Media for the past several years to produce beautiful videos that complement each new issue of Fig. Owners Chris Cotter and Joe Acchione have a heart for telling the compelling stories of local businesses and nonprofits, as well as creating documentaries which are filmed all over the globe. We love their passion for creatively communicating a story through the art of film and were excited to sit down with them recently for an interview.
Tell us about the services that Tailor Made Media offers?
Tailor Made Media creates original video content for businesses, schools, and nonprofits. We collaborate with our clients and take care of the whole production process starting from the initial conception to the final editing and delivery. We take a partnership approach with our clients – our first step is to gain a deep understanding of our clients’ story, mission, and strategy so that their video content is a true expression of their brand/identity, etc.
What is the difference between Tailor Made Media and Tailor Made Films?
Tailor Made Media is a video production business that creates content for clients who have a need for video content. Tailor Made Films is our own creative entity that produces original documentary films about topics we feel are interesting or important, usually around subjects relating to human rights and the environment. 20% of the profits from Tailor Made Media goes directly to help fund Tailor Made Films.
What is your greater goal for the business?
Our greater goal for the business is to discover and tell important stories that might otherwise be unknown, in order to engage, inform and inspire people to create positive change.
How do you fund and produce your original films?
For the most part, our films are produced by a handful of passionate filmmakers who volunteer their time, talent, and expertise. In addition to getting some of our funding from Tailor Made Media, we also commonly partner with nonprofits who benefit from having us shine a light on a particular issue.
You are known for helping businesses convey their brand through creative storytelling. What does a video in this format do for an organization or business that is looking to refine its messaging?
Film is the most powerful medium for conveying a message because it combines so many important elements of communication in one tight package. When using those tools to craft a good story, the result can be very powerful. This is the reason why films are potentially more moving than text or photography alone. (When is the last time you cried reading a book or looking at a photo? How about while watching a movie?) We think that the most important thing organizations – especially nonprofits – can do to market themselves is to tell their story. Stories are what people remember and what moves them into action.
Can you give us an example of a project you have worked on that has been impactful for that organization? How have they used their video content in a successful way?
We recently finished a short documentary about a local nonprofit foundation with whom we have worked for several years. The video was presented at their annual meeting where their donors, affiliates and general community members gather to reconnect and review their annual progress. Many of the attendees remarked about how the video reinforced their commitment to the organization by giving them a deeper understanding of how it came to be. It also resulted in the creation of a large fund that was added to the foundation’s portfolio. The attendee who created the fund said the video informed him about aspects of the nonprofit he had not previously known, which influenced him to start the fund.
What are the elements that make a story compelling?
Every compelling story can be boiled down to the same general elements: relatable people overcoming obstacles to reach a particular goal. The most important part of a story is the people involved – the same goes for every business and organization. Without people, there is no business, no story. This is why we take time to get to know our clients and learn who they are as people so that we can understand what their particular endeavor is all about.
You guys travel globally to tell your stories from many different places and perspectives. Why have you settled in West Chester as your home base?
We mainly settled in West Chester as our home base simply because we live here and so we have strong relationships with people in the community. This has been the main reason our business got off to a good start and has been successful since.
What exciting projects are you looking forward to in 2020?
In 2020 we are planning to release several short films and videos from our recent journeys to Kakuma in Kenya, and Navajo Nation in the U.S.. Our Kenya project is a collection of biographical vignettes of refugees we met while visiting Kakuma, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. Our other project, Drained: Tales of a Modern Water Crisis, is a collection of stories about people dealing with a water crisis in the Navajo Nation, particularly in Arizona and New Mexico.
How can people connect with you for their next project?
People can use the contact form and info on the TMM website: tailormademedia.com or give us a call at 484-324-8105.
If you have a project in mind or are a brand looking for a creative way to connect with your target market in 2020, we highly recommend working with Tailor Made Media. To see all the videos they have produced for Fig, click here.