How I Got Hired to Shoot My First YouTube Video

  • Harry Hayes

Categories: Business Video Production Company Corporate Video Production Corporate Video Production Company Marketing Videos Product Marketing Product Videos Video Marketing Video Production Video Production Expert Video Production Services

My Big Break Was Directing a YouTube Video for a Client Over 3,000 Miles Away.

People often ask me how I became a video director, and I tell them my big break was a YouTube video.

At the time I was a freelance writer, working with a client over 3,000 miles away.

At this point in my career, I had been an advertising copywriter and creative director for years. I had worked on a lot of big brands, including Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and AT&T.

Brands like that have big budgets, so I had been fortunate to work with A List directors, and had learned a lot.

In my YouTube Video directing debut, I gave the actors a lot of freedom to improvise.

The YouTube Video

Liquid Agency in San Jose, CA called with a freelance project for Intel, the microprocessor company. They were launching a new product, and needed ideas for a YouTube video.

I sent in some ideas, and figured that was that. But then a few weeks later, they called again.

The client, it turned out, liked one of my ideas.

But Liquid Agency was so busy, they needed more freelance help. Could I produce this video for them here in Atlanta?

Never Waste an Opportunity

So there I was, a freelance writer turned freelance producer. And I was on a limited budget. So why not become a freelance director, too?

As I mentioned before, this was over 10 years ago. Production was more complicated (and expensive) back then. So I turned to my friends, and other people I had worked with before, to actually create the finished video.

Mark Simon at Fizz City Films put together a crew and helped me find a location. Tim Vece at Outback Editorial agreed to edit the video. Rebecca Shrager at PeopleStore helped me cast local actors. And another local talent, Smith Harrison, was the VO announcer.

When I directed this YouTube video, I didn't own a camera. I hired a production crew.

Lessons I Learned That Day

Looking back at this video now, I realize that I did a lot of things right. Just lucky, I guess. 

I worked with the actors and gave them the flexibility to improvise. And I used visual storytelling—something I still try to do today.

Of course, I’ve learned a lot more about production since that first YouTube video. I have my own cameras and lighting. And a better sense of what shots I’ll need in the edit, before I start shooting.

Now if I can just get Liquid Agency to call me again…


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

Blog by Content Puppy Productions