4 Steps To Create Great Attorney Video

  1. Start with an idea
  2. Figure out why someone would want to learn the information you have
  3. Create an interesting story using that information
  4. Edit your story, then edit again

That’s it. A simple little four step plan to create great video.

You might be disappointed if I just stopped there, right? Well, I almost did, but I knew I’d get replies like “What was that?”

“You didn’t finish…”

“You didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know…”

“I don’t understand…use a real example.”

Ok, here’s a real example.

I just finished a trial and was so pumped up on the way back from court that I realized not many people use attorney video to explain trial practice to consumers. Sure, we all watch court-related and law-related shows on TV and in the movies. But ask your friend if he really knows what “Objection sustained” means. Ask if he knows what “Res Ipsa Loquitor” means. Most will not.

  1. MY BRILLIANT IDEA: I had a great cross-examination of a doctor during my trial. Why couldn’t I re-create part of it to show my legal brilliance (I’m boasting here since there’s nobody here to do it for me, so don’t think I’m getting all cocky. Besides, I won the case and got an incredible verdict, $1.5 million, in an extremely conservative venue.)
  2. VIEWER APPEAL: When you have an idea, you must ask why someone would want to know that information. Importantly, is this information that they readily have access to? Is this something that most people know? Is it something that I have a special expertise in? I asked the question “Would a viewer want to see/hear about a real-life cross-examination that was highly favorable to my case?” In my case, the answer was “Yes.”
  3. TELL YOUR STORY: It wasn’t enough just to give a textbook lesson on what is effective cross-examination. Nor did we have video cameras in the courtroom to capture my magnificent legal oratory and piercing, jello-quivering response I hoped for with this doctor’s cross-examination. (You know that never happens, right?) Anyway, you’ve got to tell your viewers a story about your idea.
  4. EDIT, EDIT & EDIT: You’ve got a great idea for a video. You came up with a wonderful story. The only problem is that it took you 8 minutes to tell it. (Imagine hearing a basketball game buzzer going off at the end of the game.) Edit your story down to bite-size chunks. Nobody wants to listen to your 8 minute story, no matter what result you achieved, or what a brilliant lawyer you think you are.

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I looked up what kind of production companies are out there producing the kind of videos that I was interested in. And really, I was dissatisfied with the vast majority of the videos that were out there. They were not what I was looking for – except for Gerry Oginski. We were looking for someone who understood our needs and yet had the expertise to be able to pull all of the necessary components of producing a video and getting it uploaded. Gerry was the one who stood completely head and shoulders above anybody else’s out there.

Jeff Helsdon
Oldfield & Helsdon, PLLC