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THE POWER OF THE HIGHLIGHTS REEL (AKA SIZZLE)
by Jonnie Halstead, VP of SHW Studios & Brooke Jenkins, SHW Production Manager

JONNIE
Alrighty folks, gather ’round! It’s time to fire up the hype machine and sizzle up some video storytelling. In this post-pandemic world, the highlights reel is the key to captivating audiences and driving engagement. Let’s dive into the spicy world of sizzles and see how they can light a fire under your next event!

BROOKE
Hold-up Jonnie, you’re already speaking in production jargon here. How about I jump-in to explain what you mean? Hopefully I can help demystify some of the nomenclature of the video world, and make it even more fun and accessible.

“What’s a Sizzle?” is probably our reader’s first question. A “Sizzle Reel” is a “short promotional video in a fast visual style, meant to captivate the audience and share an exciting story.”

JONNIE
Thanks Brooke. I like to think of the sizzle as a Marketing Supernova! Picture this: a full length event, or series of events, packed into a bite-sized montage bursting with the most engaging moments. That’s what a sizzle reel does; it condenses hours or even days of experience into a quick-hit, digestible video snack, ready to tantalize taste buds and keep audiences coming back for more. Share it on social media, spark connections, and get those clicks flowing to the source story or promotion.

BROOKE
Woah Jonnie, are you hungry or something? Firstly, “Marketing Supernova” is not an industry term, that’s just a Jonnie-ism. But “Montage” means “the process or technique of selecting, editing, and piecing together separate sections of film to form a continuous whole series of quick cuts.”


 

Sizzle reels do more than just look good; they drive traffic and amplify your message, making them a DOUBLE WHAMMY in the marketing world.

 


JONNIE
Yeah, well executed montages perfectly capture the energy and variety of scenes in a seamless sequence. Often set to music. It’s a very popular technique in the movie, TV and documentary worlds. Think of those cool intro and segway scenes of Ocean’s 11, a classic!

Here’s a great example of a corporate event’s sizzle in the montage format: SHW Studios Q1 Recap – it utilizes a variety of post-production techniques, including:

  1. A cold open, with text or Icon slates, visual & sound effects and even a little retro camera
  2. A sound track, that once it kicks-in, times the edits and drives momentum
  3. Animated text and motion graphics
  4. A variety of dreamy B-roll from our drone or cutaway cameras, and select clips from A-cam footage
  5. A hard outro with logo lock-up and a call to action by way of the message “Let’s Tell Your Story” and the producer’s website URL.

BROOKE
Think I might need to jump back in here with additional video production terms and definitions for our readers.

Post-production”: The process of editing, after filming is wrapped, when editing of visual and audio begins.
Cold Open”: A technique where you jump right into the action of the video before opening credits or title sequence.
Text or Icon Slates”: Title card with key information.
B-roll”: “This is the tasty footage that spices up your video. Think of it as the secret sauce to the main dish, adding depth with venue shots or audience reactions.”
A-cam”: (and “cutaways”) The Primary camera. Often the most wide view or central angle. Sometimes a subject talent will deliver lines direct to A-camera.
Outro”: Final content that marks the end of a video.

Also, a brief word on “Animations, Visual Effects, and Motion Graphics”: this is an entire topic of its own, one we will cover in a future Blog. Let me simply say, it’s one of the coolest and most dynamic capabilities of the SHW Studios team. More to come on this subject!

JONNIE
Sizzle reels do more than just look good; they drive traffic and amplify your message, making them a double whammy in the marketing world. Our video production division aims to help event planners and promoters reach a wider audience through optimizing creative content. It’s like a ripple effect of engagement, spreading the word and driving new leads.

In the end, a highlights reel is your trusty Swiss Army knife, bridging live experiences with digital engagement and generating excitement across the board. So, fire up that sizzle reel, build anticipation, and watch as your event visibility skyrockets.

Thanks for reading!
Jonnie & Brooke

For more on SHW’s Video Production, Creative Content, and Storytelling Services, check out our refreshed webpage full of videos and content for inspiration.