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Kyle Shannon Talks Self-Service "Automagic" Political Video Production and Storyvine NOW

The new Storyvine NOW smartphone app is tailor-made for political campaigns looking to generate usable testimonials and ready-to-air media via remote, hands-off, automated productions. In this interview with Streaming Media Producer, Storyvine CEO Kyle Shannon explains how it works.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has made in-person and on-site video production considerably more difficult, and pushed largely untested remote production strategies into the mainstream, videos still need to get done, and stories still need to be told.

If 1948 marked the first year television cameras became a permanent fixture of presidential campaigns, and 1960 ushered in a new era where mastery of the medium could propel a candidate to victory, today, the need to deploy video effectively in all phases of a political campaign across multiple media goes without saying, regardless of any new barriers to production COVID-19 might impose. One particularly popular vehicle for attracting voters to a candidate is a method largely akin—for lack of a more gender-neutral phrase—to the “man on the street interview,” in which campaign media strategists seek out enthusiastic supporters for testimonials about a candidate, and why the supporter supports them. But how does one gather “man on the street” interviews when the streets are supposed to be relatively empty, and those who are out and about expected to keep their distance?

Trying to replicate this strategy with remote production demands different techniques for drawing out testimonials that resonate. There’s far more to a usable testimonial than, “Hi, I’m Steve, and I support Candidate A, because she really knows her stuff, and she's so much better than Candidate B." Effective testimonials are all about stories. They need to be concise, authentic, and personal, and establish some sense of shared values and experiences between the stranger on screen and the viewer at home.

Most experienced media strategists have little difficulty pulling good testimonials from enthusiastic supporters when they’re face to face. But how can they do it when traditional campaign events simply aren’t happening, and they find themselves running campaigns that are largely devoid of in-person, real-time interaction?

Storyvine, a company that has spent years perfecting the art and science of capturing effective, professional testimonials for enterprise-level clients—particularly in the pharmaceutical world—through remote and largely automated production and editing, has turned its attention to the campaign world and considerably upped the automation, self-service, and ease-of-use quotient with a new app called Storyvine NOW. Marketed specifically to campaign managers and strategists, Storyvine NOW is designed to make it easy for any campaign supporter to deliver a professional-quality, “automagically” edited, story-driven, ready-to-air testimonial by accessing the app on their smartphone, looking into its camera, and answering questions.

And as Storyvine founder and CEO Kyle Shannon explains in the interview at the top of this page, “It’s all about the questions.”