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  • Shmuel Hoffman

A Different Approach to Open House Films


You have probably seen films about educational institutions, and one thing that most of the ads, films, promo videos have in common is: they show a story arc, interviews with teachers, faculty, parents and the student body about the CURRENT student's experience at the institution. 


This works very well in most cases. But we have worked with Flatbush for almost a decade on their Open House films, and while its programs and atmosphere and rigor are stellar, of course, we wanted to hit on a subject that would make it stand out, something completely different.


Here was our thinking: When you go out and shop, let's say, for a car, do you want to see and learn about the actual manufacturing process, the care and love a car brand puts into their marketing, how their operations functions efficiently and safely? Or do you want to know what the car looks like, what features it carries, what are the benefits FOR YOU as a future driver of that new shiny automobile? 


The same can apply when it comes to recruitment for high schools and colleges. This is why we actually wanted to make a film about alumni for Flatbush - where students go after they graduate, what dreams and aspirations they achieve - it's all a testament to their high school experience laying the groundwork. 


While one of our first Open House films for Flatbush highlighted some of their Nobel Laureate and celebrity alumni, this time we wanted to show prospective students what their immediate post-high school experience might look like: what kinds of colleges, jobs, and ventures they go on to in the first maybe 5-10 years after high school.


Don't get me wrong, the normal approach of showing an institution “today” works, and we have been making such Open House films for private high school and university clients successfully as well. BUT an alumni film can carry more staying and convincing power.


The catch is that it’s also a bigger effort to produce such a film; it entails more than just going into the school, filming daily student life for 3-5 days, and then you have a film. Flatbush's alumni are on the move, about town. An alumni film takes prep, organization, planning and most time consuming: casting. 



It’s important if you decide to make an alumni film like this that you find 5-6 protagonists that come with different strengths, backgrounds, and achievements. You want to cover many aspects of what potential incoming families are generally looking and hoping for for their teens. 

Show them the potential future and how your institution's education can make those dreams possible.


Parents and incoming students want to see the future, how they might turn out themselves. They want to see where this education can get them. We want our audience to relate to the six alumni on screen and say: Wow, I want my son/daughter to be like Sarah, like Ezra, Norma, Stephanie, Benji and Albert… 


Let me know about other approaches you have come by. 

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1 commentaire

29 mars

This was overwhelmingly beautiful. Seeing students juxtaposed to graduates was sweet, but showing grads who are married couples AND with KIDS...was a HONEYCOMB!!! Shifting between career & spiritual shots was powerful, but the mention of the importance of CHESED in their lives was another...HONEYCOMB!!!

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