There are some common misconceptions about what it’s like to live in Lincoln, Nebraska. Episode #7’s opening is proof of that. My co-hosts proudly demonstrate their big city bias ‒ both Frank and Carly needed a geography lesson before and during the show. As a product of the Cornhusker State (my dad was a grad theater student at UNL when I was born), I’m compelled to defend its appeal. Thankfully, I have help from two of the most creative minds on the University of Nebraska’s Admissions’ staff.
Amanda Christi and Andrew Swenson have plenty of experience convincing teenagers that Nebraska’s capital has more to offer than cows, corn, and football. But before this summer, they’d never had to do it in 15 seconds. Programmatic pre-roll is the fancy name for online video ads that play before the content you actually want to watch. There’s an algorithm that is constantly learning how to serve up the video, i.e. where, when, and to whom. They chose to show off Lincoln’s energy and diversity to prospective students in 2 major markets ‒ Chicago and Minneapolis.
As a co-creator of the No One Saw Coming series, Amanda acknowledges her part in devising a concept that would require 21 recording locations throughout Lincoln in 3 days time, then another 8 locations in the Windy and Twin Cities. As the cinematographer, she had only herself to blame for the ambitious production schedule. Framing and lighting at each location had to be precise. The slightest inconsistencies would create major headaches for the project’s editor and colorist, also Amanda Christi. Thankfully, shooting 4K on the Arri Amira gave Amanda the latitude Amanda might need in post. Based on the outcome, she’s still on good terms with herself.
Co-director Andrew Swenson says the objective behind almost everything they produce is to earn consumer attention the hard way — making objectively good videos, not just videos that are good enough for higher ed. “There’s so much stuff in the market place. If we can get someone to slow down, turn their head and consider us for a second, the strength of our other marketing can take hold.”
Before listening to episode 7, watch a few videos from The Perls of Knowledge series. Your regular content may not resume shortly.