Shooting For Success

by Julian Ryall
Shooting For Success For price and quality, now is better than ever for a corporate video

If a picture tells a thousand words, a moving image must be worth many times more in terms of getting a corporation’s message across to the right audience.

And the common concern in the past that costs might prove a hindrance to small or medium-sized firms no longer rings true, according to Olivier Martinez, the 26-year-old chief executive officer of Video Solutions Ltd.

“We have a totally different way of looking at videos,” said Martinez, who arrived in Japan two years ago, then identified the business opportunities that exist here and set up his firm six months later.

“When companies think of having a video made, they assume that it will be very expensive and that it has to be something very special,” Martinez said. “But the equipment has become much cheaper in the last few years and the technology has improved.

“We consider video as a tool, a sales and marketing tool, and focus more on the efficiency of the video than on its creativity,” he said. “The goal of our videos is to have a direct impact on the sales rather than improve communication or brand image.”

Before coming to Japan, Paris-born Martinez had risen to the position of first assistant director on a number of independent French feature films, working with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Jean-Pierre Mocky.

He had also set up a firm filming theatrical performances and made two short films of his own. In Japan, he worked briefly for a Belgian firm making promotional videos before branching out on his own.

“I was lucky to work for some big companies very quickly,” he said. Video Solutions was commissioned to produce a DVD for the launch of the Peugeot 308 in Japan and the firm was so impressed by the final product that it sent the DVD to every one of its dealerships in the country.

Much of Video Solutions’ work is through the French Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the French Institute and Ubi Japan — which helps French firms gain a foothold in overseas markets — but that exposure has led to further projects for Elle magazine’s videos, the French Embassy in Tokyo, Longchamps and Givenchy, among others.

In each case, the process involves a lot of early discussions with the client to determine what precisely is required.

Martinez says his relative youth has been both a hindrance — such as when confronted by a group of older Japanese executives who are perhaps somewhat conservative in their approaches to marketing — and a positive attribute.

“Because I’m young, I can think quite fast and usually when I step out of a meeting I already have several ideas,” he said. “When discussing with a client we listen to them and bring our knowledge of videomaking to show what can be done that fits and serves their strategies.”

Martinez employs two part-time video experts at present and, with business booming, aims to take them on full time in the spring and hire more staff.

“We are a new concept to many Japanese companies, but they are slowly evolving and we are hoping to seal a deal with a big Japanese client in the new year,” he said. “The French side of our business is going well as we have benefited from word-of-mouth recommendations in that community, but we are also looking to make advances in the English-speaking side of our business.

“I think the Japanese market can be very stable, so it’s only natural that if we don’t make too many mistakes than we should be able to operate in this market quite successfully,” he said. “And that’s our aim.”

Video Solutions