...by reconnecting to what's important.
Camera. Tripod. Location. Script. We had every element, we believed, to film an engaging video explaining our Kickstarter campaign. After filming for a day, we came home to review and edit the footage. We had nothing workable. We had nothing that showed US. We followed the script, smiled broadly, said our lines (some of the time). We were the Stepford Brewers and it was appalling.
We had some wonderful footage of Vic Martinson, owner of South Jersey icon the Bus Stop Music Café (and our landlord), speaking from the heart about what the location means to him and why he is ready to retire. The contrast was clear– Vic was open, true to himself, and flatly forthcoming. We were grinning automatons with a script. We had no time to reshoot. We had to work with what footage we had, and we had nothing.
Acts vs. Arts
Following the script was the problem. The formula is: People will see straight through the formula. We started brewing years ago because we had enough with buying a beer and finding out the best part was the label. What did we want to be in that bottle? Let's brew that! We studied and committed to the craft until we could create brews that threw out the script entirely. You can't fake it or clone the formula. The Blues is the Blues, but it had better be your Blues. The Rolling Stones are LEGENDS, the Monkees...well they sold well.
Showing the Core
We had to scrap all of our initial assumptions about how to present our brewery to the world. Seeing a stiff and grinning persona was a wake up call that we can not fall into the trap of putting a polished lacquer over the natural core of our intentions. We were able to get some fantastic footage of artists performing live and raw in the location; footage that captured the energy of the community engaging with the arts. We presented what was important and real. That meant owning up to the fact that we had not succeeded in our first try.
Success is in Truth
We were selected by the Kickstarter staff to be featured as a "Project We Love." We are thrilled that we were able to create a campaign that merited their attention and boosted our outreach. We feel successful, though, ultimately because we were able to communicate what the Human Village Brewing Company means, and what we value as most important. We had to own our imperfections, eat some humble pie, and show that true growth comes from recognizing opportunities to improve. There are too many people grinning with a script in this world– we learned how important it can be to open up and reveal the substance. Its not easy, but it is necessary.