Sharing Your Films: Instagram

So you’ve just received your films… what now??? This blog post is all about helping you take your new films (brand and/or social media films) and share them with the world!

STEP 1: Get them onto your phone

In order to share a video clip on Instagram, you first have to have it on your phone.  When we share final films with clients we share via both Vimeo (link to where we’ve hosted it on our Vimeo channel) and Dropbox. So we recommend using the Dropbox app on your phone to get the films to your phone.

When you open your Dropbox app you can view files in various forms (see the bottom of this screenshot), but once you’ve accessed the folder we’ve shared (which we always title ‘Final BDLB Films’) you’ll see your films there.

Once you click on the film, the next step is to select to DOWNLOAD. You can do this using the ‘Save’ icon in the top right corner (see the green circle in this screenshot).

Select ‘Save Video’ and it will begin exporting to your Photos app on your phone. Note, this may take awhile. And sometimes, it will save your Export failed. It does this to me all the time, and I find the odds go up of a successful export when I leave the app open while exporting.

Once it finishes, open your Photos app and you will see the video (see screenshot below, and please do not judge the number of #tobsteroven photos currently on the phone).

STEP 2: Upload to Instagram

Next, you’ll open up your Instagram app and click the post button (bottom of the center, looks like a plus symbol). You’ll then select the video from your Photos and it will appear like this.


STEP 3: Undo Crop

When Instagram adds a video to a post it tries to crop it into a square. This might work for personal videos, but for a professionally made film it’ll throw off the composition of the film, and often crop out important part of the visuals. But no worries! This is a super easy fix. All you need to do is click the two arrow button in the bottom left and it will undo the crop.

With crop


Once you remove the crop.

STEP 4: Choose a cover image.

Once you post a video to your Instagram it will then become a permanent part of your ‘grid’. This is the visual aesthetics that someone sees when they first go to your profile… take a look at our grid below to see what I’m talking about.

To some people their grid doesn’t really matter at all, especially if they’re using Instagram just for personal use. For businesses, however, this can be important. Your grid is your visual brand identity, and especially for visual artists this is a form of portfolio. For these reasons, selecting a cover image is an important part of the process. If you don’t select one, Instagram will pick for you, and if there’s a fade at the beginning or end of the film this might just be a black screen.

But again, no worries! Super easy fix. Just select ‘Cover’ in the bottom right of the second screen and you’ll then be able to scroll through the film to select any frame you’d like as the cover image.

STEP 5: Please don’t use a filter…

I know filters are super fun to use (trust me, I use them on my personal Instagram all the time!), but it’s a little trickier when it’s a film made professionally by a videographer (or a photo taken professionally by a photographer). Color and exposure are two things we obsess about in the editing process, and we can sometimes spend hours getting them just right. A way that’s both true to life and true to our artistic style.

Instagram has made it super easy to undo all that with just the click of a button, and to allow others to share work of an artist that isn’t truly representative of their style or skill.  We know that when it does happen it’s with good intentions, which is why we like to share exactly why this can be so hard for photographers and videographers who create work for you.


STEP 6: Create a caption and hashtags

The last step! You’re almost all the way there, and the last step is to write a caption, add hashtags (where helpful) and share!

BDLB Education

As many of you may already know, but many more might not, my background before video production was in education. I taught middle school and high school, and then went on to coach teachers in a K-8 charter school here in Durham.

My heart, and a lot of my professional skills, remain in the world of education, so it probably shouldn’t have been unexpected when a past client gave us the (very helpful) feedback that we needed to share this more with potential clients.

So while we’re never very good at making films for our own business, we’re excited to share OUR newest promo film, spotlighting our expertise in schools and with education organizations. Hope you enjoy (especially the throwback pictures and my awesome teacher outfits…)! 😬👍🏻😁

Case Study: Fairview Garden Center

End Products: 3-5 minute Brand Story Film* and Instructional Videos for Content Marketing**


What made this project special/unique

Fairview Garden Center has the most heartfelt story behind their store, and I loved getting to know the main characters. I won’t give away all the details (you’ll have to watch the film to see for yourself), but anytime a business has a good story that we can help bring to life through video, we’re in our happy place. Because at the end of the day, marketing films are infinitely more compelling when they’re telling a story behind your business, rather than just outright marketing what you do, why people love you, and why others should come spend money there.


In addition, we LOVED venturing into the world of Video Content Marketing for the first time when working with them. In addition to their Brand Story Film, we helped them create useful, informative content for their email newsletters and social media. This included container garden recipes, tips for different kinds of pruning, and planting in clay soil. Again, rather than straightforward marketing you’re creating and distributing content that’s genuinely useful to your current and potential customers. In this case, as a gardening center it made sense to create films that would help support homeowners with some of their most basic questions. We’re including two examples below for you to take a look at the kind of content they’re putting out for their customers and anyone else its helpful for!


Brand Story Film

Planting in Clay


Container Garden Recipe

*Brand Story Films are 2-3 minutes in length, include up to four interviews (with the main character as well as supporting characters), and an additional half day shoot to capture visuals. The goal of a Brand Story Film is to tell one story of your business in a compelling way that will connect with your ideal clients and inspire them to action.


**Video Content Marketing is providing video content that is useful to your ideal clients and gives them reasons to connect regularly with your business and your brand. It isn’t about explicitly marketing your business so much as it’s about providing resources that help your clients do things in their everyday life, which may or may not require them to shop at your business J


Instabrand + Social Media

In November of 2017 we launched our Instabrand Films. It came from a realization that our signature brand films (what we call a Brand Story Film), wasn’t a perfect fit for smaller, newer businesses, often with only 1 employee.

SO, we created a film just for them. We took away all the frills, cut back on the shooting time, and made a shorter version of the film (60-90 seconds). This also allowed us to cut back significantly on the investment, making it more attainable for a new business who can benefit the most. Let’s take a look side by side…

Social Media Films

Regardless of whether you invest in a Brand Story Film or an Instabrand, you always have the option of adding on ‘Social Media Films’. We find that when we’re sitting you down for an interview we live with way more good content than we can use in a short 60 second-3 minute film. Yet what is left behind on the editing room floor is often good content; just not the right content for your brand film. So a couple years ago we started creating add-on films that are short and pulled directly from your interview (or interviews with your employees/clients. It helps you get the most bang for your buck when you’re already taking the time to capture you business on film. Don’t believe me? Here’s what one of our clients had to say about it…

But enough from me. Time to see an example! Below I’m sharing with you an Instabrand Film we made for Early Bird Photo last year, and then two examples of social media films we made from interview content that didn’t make the final film.