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Building STEPS Social Videos
Building STEPS

OVERVIEW

Building STEPS (Science Technology And Education Partnerships Inc.) mission is to equip our city’s brightest students with the tools to propel them to college and career success. Multiyear programming exposes students to unimaginable STEM career opportunities, links education to professional opportunities, and ensures students earn a college degree as the first step in reaching their newfound career goals. Building STEPS provides programming to students attending fifteen partners Baltimore City Public Schools. Rock Shore assisted with our recruitment video campaign to secure Building STEPS 21st student cohort. With recruiting virtually, Rock Shore assisted with creating impactful social media video clips to reach Building STEPS young audience and create exposure for applying to our program.

APPROACH

This project was led by our Associate Producer, Mei Lin Lau Mann, and it was directed & edited by Dan Poole. Mei mapped out a timeline for the project and set-up times for pre-interviews with students. Dan spoke with the students prior to the shoot and selected his favorite students. Even though our deliverable was slated for only four students, we filmed seven so we have future content to use for later videos. Working within the constraints of the pandemic and a limited budget, Rock Shore’s Founder & Executive Producer, Nate Brubaker got a little hands on with some power tools and props and built a custom set in our studio located in Baltimore. Our Cinematographer, Matt Winter, painted light across the set to make the background pop and the student not left in the shadows.

We went with direct to camera framing so when the students are speaking directly to their peers it’s more personal. With the use of motion graphics we were able to enhance the flow of the video and highlight important quotes. We had over 16 videos delivered from 4 of the interviews that were each formatted in various frame sizes for social. With the 3 other interviews we filmed, we ended up keeping them for another project which we will be sharing in July of 2021.

CHALLANGES

Filming During a Pandemic Producing video has a lot of moving parts and when you add a pandemic into the middle of it, challenges come your way. With cases rising we had to stay nimble with our crew and only allow one student in our studio at a time. We harnessed the technology from our sister company, RemoteVV, to stream live video and audio to the Building STEPS staff. 


TikTok Ad Approval Since the majority of our audience is on TikTok, we built this campaign around advertising on TikTok. Shortly before we went to launch the final videos on TikTok, they changed their approval process on Non-Profit Organizations. With time at an essence we shifted our approach to an organic strategy and the videos outperformed all other social platforms. As of February 2021, all nonprofits need to go through an extensive approval process to prove they aren’t promoting political ideas.

"We were thrilled!"

"Our goal is to accept and support as many promising, eligible Baltimore City high school students as possible. The 15 sec, 30 sec and 1 minute clips yielded a larger return in students applying for our program. We were thrilled!"

"Rock Shore was kind and patient"

"Their patience was most appreciated. Our staff is very amateur with video production and final presentation. Rock Shore was kind and patient with reviewing and explaining the process, as well as answering all our questions. Even if there was a moment of uncertainty with the end product, they were clear and concise with explaining the vision and steps to get there."

"Supportive Team"

"Our goal is to accept and support as many promising, eligible Baltimore City high school students as possible. The 15 sec, 30 sec and 1 minute clips yielded a larger return in students applying for our program. We were thrilled!"

THE RESULTS

Rock Shore was able to deliver a series of videos that are fun, engaging and that serve as a useful recruitment tool for Building STEPS for years to come. With over 20K Impressions and 10K Organic Views this series of videos allowed Building STEPS to reach a record number of virtual enrollments. Although this program is only available to fifteen partner Baltimore City Schools these videos will live on to help expand their program to the larger region for years to come. Thanks to grants and donors, Building STEPS now has multiple video assets to use for future cohort recruiting. 

Our partners at Clutch recently had a conversation with Jennifer Descoteau, Logistics Directors at Building STEPS  to learn about their experience. 

Describe their project management style, including communication tools and timeliness?

“Rock Shore led an introductory planning meeting on Microsoft Teams. New to our staff but easy to adapt. Dropbox was used for sharing Building STEPS personal videos and photographs to be used within video  Google Docs was used for group edits to filming itinerary, scheduling, names and titles and locations. 

Frame.io was used to review various versions of the deliverables. Very accessible and easy to coordinate. Video was shared by the Rock Shore team for Building STEPS to view and make real-time edits to video drafts. Overall timeline was smooth and efficient and worked conveniently on both Rock Shore and for Building STEPS schedules.”

What did you find most impressive or unique about working with Rock Shore?

“Their patience was most appreciated. Our staff is very amateur with video production and final presentation. Rock Shore was kind and patient with reviewing and explaining the process, as well as answering all our questions. They were clear and concise with explaining the vision and steps to get there.”

To learn more about the Building STEPS experience working with our video team at Rock Shore, visit their 5 star review on Clutch. 


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Behind the scenes

Rock Shore designed a custom constructed set in our video production studio located in Baltimore, MD. Our set was themed around STEM and built to draw a young audiences attention. We used our RED Helium 8K Digital Cinema Camera and Schneider Xenar III Primes to capture these interviews. Shooting high format allowed us to reframe our interviews in post without losing resolution.

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