WorkCabin Creative is about having a genuine connection to conservation and our conservation clients. It's about walking the talk and understanding the language of what we film and produce for organizations big and small. WorkCabin Creative's difference is why leading conservation organizations choose WorkCabin Creative, Ontario, Canada's Conservation Media House.
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Real is better than perfect in a video

How to be more real in videos

Real is better than perfect in a video


If you’re a filmmaker and you pitch these two words about videos to some customers, most will be like Whoa! We don’t want an outdoors adventure, tourism or environmental video like that!”

Unscripted and unchoreographed is not the easy approach to filming and editing an outdoors or conservation video. Stuff happens.


An employee could get emotional about the joy of their role with your organization, and say something that’s off script but very heartfelt.

A raven might suddenly caw loudly overhead, right when someone is doing a sound bite.

Or maybe it’s a scene where someone is demonstrating outdoor field work, and his/her attention is diverted away. Why? Because a moose is rambling across a path in the distance!

Most humans are conditioned to think, Darn, bad timing! for any of the above. Why? Because it didn’t go according to some perceived script that the scene or sound bite had to be 100% perfect.

As an outdoors and environmental filmmaker and producer for the past 10 years, I’ve had to adapt to these challenges countless times in the post production room. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

being real in environmental storytelling

Unscripted and Unchoreographed

Life is unscripted. Stuff in the outdoors is unscripted. We can’t control Mother Nature. We don’t want to control Mother Nature.

WorkCabin Creative is about filming and making environmental visual storytelling content that is believable. Period. That means we prepare for the story and the scenes that will be needed. But I can guarantee you this: Stuff will happen. It always does. And that’s OK. The worse thing, in my opinion, are scripts and staged scenes. Everything needs to happen naturally. Or else it won’t be believable.

Audiences have really good Bullsh#$! Detectors today.

Better conservation storytelling

You Don’t Want To Be Unbelievable

I groan every time I see over-produced and over-scripted videos for organizations. I know those videos cost a small fortune to film and produce. Sure, the videos look glitzy and super polished. But there’s a problem. They look so corporate-like and slick that they seem unbelievable.

Step back and think about all those corporate press releases you’ve seen over the years. There’s a reason people read such releases and are skeptical. The releases are nothing but jargon, polished words, and edited to perfection. Heck, the darn thing probably went back and forth between the communications department and management a hundred times before someone finally signed off on it being 100% perfect. UGH!

Now, imagine: What’s the feeling that audiences get when they watch an over-produced and staged video that feels like a corporate press release?

You can spend a fortune, get a video with high production value, but the end result will be the same. Money is wasted. Audiences won’t believe what they watched (if they even finished watching it). And worst of all, they won’t trust what they saw was the real you.

mountain bike bloopers

Real Is Better Than Perfect in a Video

A big part of high-priced videos is you are paying heavily for time spent scripting, planning, and staging. All that pre-work is obsessed with wanting everything 100% perfect. Well, truth bomb: Come shoot day, it won’t be. Being a believable storyteller is about knowing things won’t always go according to a plan, and capturing it. We call that capturing real life.

Absolutely, I go into every video project prepared. But being prepared means something different to me. It’s trusting my instincts and experience that some of the best content captured is always stuff that wasn’t staged, scripted, or planned. It’s spontaneous.

My goal is always to head into the editing suite armed with footage that screams authenticity. It’s here that I will put my time — and your budget — to good use to craft a story that is real.

Conservation videographers in Canada

People Will Trust What They Watched

Yes, there may be the sounds of some waves crashing on a shore at an inopportune time in some scenes, or a raven cawing over your voice, or a moose stealing your attention right in the middle of a scene. I don’t look at any these moments as bloopers to be cut and put on the editing shop floor.

Maybe there were also some minor fades of audio caused by wind, or clouds suddenly moved in and darkened the light.

All of the above are real moments. In the real outdoors.

None of it is 100% perfect.

But I’ll tell you something that matters…. the story will be good, it will be believable by audiences, and the people in it will be authentic.

And when your video is finished playing, people will trust that what they watched was real.

That’s capturing reality. Period.

That’s also my job as an authentic storyteller and videographer.

Gregg McLachlan
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