Brian Vos is Executive Producer for Jump Studios in Calgary, Canada. His wide range of experience includes live and post-produced content across all genres, corporate communications, media strategy and buying, brand marketing and project management.
In this edition of Content POV, he talks about the importance of storytelling and the secret sauce for Jump Studios teams.
New York Festivals: 2020 was a year of all kinds of disruptions, including production schedules and audience viewing patterns. Looking ahead to the near future, what do you think will attract the most audiences?
Brian Vos: 2020 was the year of binge watching for most everyone looking to fill the void for things to do with so much available time. Thank goodness for shows with a large roster of episodes that you could commit to and lose yourself in while the world was at a near standstill. But most of those reality, comedy and dramatic series didn’t pay off – payoff in the same way a good documentary can, leaving you with a better understanding of a situation you might be in or others close to you. As an example, the HBO Sports documentary “The Weight of Gold”, explores the mental health challenges that Olympic athletes often face. The film comes during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the 2020 Tokyo Games and greatly exacerbated mental health issues. For myself, I’ll always best remember the story of struggle, like we see in this documentary, over a comedy series that gives instant relief but doesn’t cause me to think of how real life can affect us and those close to us. That’s not to say comedy isn’t good for you – it is – it just doesn’t impact you the same way that a documentary can.
New York Festivals: Over the years, Jump Studios output has shown strong production volume and high production value. Could you give backstory on the creative process and the importance of the creative team?
Brian Vos: Collaboration is key at Jump Studios. It's how we maintain our production volume with high production values. Every project member is a contributor to the process, and this includes our clients. It starts with our clients and what their video needs are. Sometimes they have a creative direction, sometimes they don't. That's our springboard. From there everyone brings something to the table from pre-production ideas and design to production efficiencies and post-production workflow. No step is left out and no member of our creative team is left out; from creative director, to accounts, to production and business affairs it's how we operate to create the best possible product for our clients. A favorite saying of mine is, the worst you can get is exactly what you ask for, anything more is a bonus – collaboration is that bonus.
New York Festivals: What would you love to do as your next project?
Brian Vos: Early in my career, I produced several documentaries, music variety series and specials as well as news and interview/talk shows. If I were to return to that time, I’d love to produce a dramatic, fact-based feature film centered on kindness and selflessness. Something to give cause for the concern of others and illustrate how self-centeredness never contributes to the greater cause of humanity – sounds deep but I know there’s a story out there that’s looking to be told, it‘s the search for that story that’s always the bigger challenge than producing and completing it.
New York Festivals: Will storytelling be the key element for engagement?
Brian Vos: It’s easy to forget about the basics of filmmaking and get wrapped up in the technical aspects that go into a production while ignoring the heart of your project – the story. Stories and the telling of them with active characters who engage us, make us care about them, have empathy for them is truly what brings heart to your project. Storytelling is the key element, and always will be, it allows the audience to remember a scene or an instance and recall that moment for years and sometimes what feels like a lifetime later. Without story we’re just filling time by not engaging our audience to want more, to care about what they just consumed and feel satisfied that their time was well spent and rewarding.