Finding a Voice: How Saveur Approaches Video Content
A conversation with Leslie Pariseau, Saveur's special projects editor and 2016 Folio: Show speaker.
Leslie Pariseau knows how to tell great stories on video. In her role as special projects editor at Saveur, Pariseau leads a team dedicated to celebrating a world of great eating, travel stories, and lifestyle advice.
As a featured speaker at the Folio: Show on November 1 and 2, Pariseau will host a session entitled, “Developing a Video Strategy That Works for Your Brand.” Here, she tells Folio: how to create video content that draws in views without losing your voice.
Folio: As special projects editor at Saveur, which stories do you think translate best into video?
Leslie Pariseau: Anything that has a story behind it and, obviously, great visuals. If we find a narrative that feels like it could be wrapped into a print or digital story to enhance its characters or setting, or we get wind of a thread we want to explore further, that's a great starting point. Charismatic characters who like to tell stories and share their lives is another good place to start. It's something we're working on doing more in video, but everything we aim for at Saveur is about chasing stories with soul.
Folio: What are some common mistakes you see in other companies’ video strategies?
Pariseau: It's less about mistakes and more about forgetting to focus on finding a voice. Editorial is all about voice, whether it's words, photos, creative direction, or video. It seems like many video strategies are often based on getting a ton of hits, and for some brands that's important.
When it comes to video at Saveur, we're starting to think more about what we have to say that's different than other food and culture brands. For some pieces, two versions — one super tightly edited like a trailer or sizzle, and one that allows a story to unfold with more breathing room — can provide the best of both worlds: hits without compromising content. For other pieces, it's okay to understand and accept that hits do not always equal success. My idealistic, creative side insists that quality and voice trumps hits.
It's also important to consider video as its own department and not an afterthought. If you're launching video or trying to make it better, finding people who work specifically in video and video strategy is key to making it work. Video doesn't work the same way written editorial works. It's its own beast with its own rules and experts.
Lastly, make video for your audience. It's simple, but it can be easy to lose sight of.
Folio: What’s one media brand that’s doing video right and why? (Besides Saveur, of course.)
Pariseau: Vice. I don't necessarily connect to the brand's content, but it's one of the few places that had the foresight and the guts to invest in video early on and do it bigger and better than anyone else. They turned editorial upside down and dove into the deep end to make great video. Now look at them. They have major funding, a show on HBO, and their own network. And Vice's content is not mainstream, but it is 100 percent Vice and it's got a serious point of view.
Folio: Name one filmmaker (alive or dead) who you’d like to see on YouTube?
Pariseau: Baz Luhrmann. That guy is wacky. And he has crazy creative vision. I would love to see him making wild little shorts on YouTube.
For more information about the Folio: Show, taking place November 1 and 2 in New York, click here.