Kindly take your seats so that the video portion of our program may begin.
For nearly three minutes, relax and prepare your mind to be immersed into the experience of a stranger.
The stranger is facing many challenges so be ready.
Your heart may hurt for this stranger and you may have tears in your eyes after you view the video which was produced here locally in Cleveland by Goldfarb Weber Creative Media. In the end, it will be worth it because it will allow you to fully understand what it means to walk in another’s shoes.
Now let’s dim the lights and begin.
As you sit for a moment in a world that is constantly bombarding you with information, you have no choice but to focus on the message before you. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t even know if it will be good.
Then, one by one, the thought-provoking animated figures and graphic narration begin to flash across the screen: “Imagine a young woman living in poverty. She works hard just to make ends meet, provide for her family…Imagine just one thing goes wrong. She can’t afford to hire a lawyer. She has no help, no voice, no right to counsel…Her children see the system is broken. Justice isn’t for everyone...Now what if mom got the legal help she needed? What if someone who understood the system intervened? What might the future look like then?”
Unconsciously, your heart leads you to a place your mind has no intention of going. Suddenly, you are contemplating the plight of a single parent with no money, no house, and no job. For a moment, the heartbreak feels real.
It’s how Goldfarb Weber wants to convey its client's message.
They strive to create impactful videos that grab your attention so that a message you may not have been anticipating gets across. Now, you have no choice but to act. Whether you donate, say a prayer, cry or tell another person about the video you saw, you are acting upon emotions triggered by a video.
While not every video is intended to trigger strong emotions, when that happens to meet the client's need the mission is achieved.
“Our best work comes from our best clients,” Goldfarb Weber President Ron Goldfarb says.
“It’s those clients who are challenging us to do something different. They give us the freedom to figure out the best way to get their message across," adds Goldfarb. “It takes trust and communication. It’s the mission-driven people that we resonate with.”
An example of a client who clicks with Goldfarb Weber is The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. In 2014, Goldfarb Weber produced the video entitled: Legal Aid Society of Cleveland “Two Futures.” It’s the same video described in the paragraphs above. The video first aired at Legal Aid’s annual fundraising luncheon in which over 1,000 leaders from Cleveland and surrounding communities were present.
When Melanie Shakarian, Legal Aid director of development and communications in Cleveland, realized what a positive response the video had locally, she asked Goldfarb Weber if she could present the video nationally. Goldfarb Weber obliged and offered to personalize the videos not only at cost, but also donate half of its fee for each video back to Legal Aid of Cleveland.
“There is so much power in video today,” Shakarian says. “Videos have to be quite short to keep people’s attention span. There’s where GW’s talent comes in. They take a complicated topic that not a lot of people know or understand and condense it into three minutes. They make it emotional. It’s really a powerful tool.”
Colleen Cotter, executive director of Legal Aid in Cleveland, says she has watched the video hundreds of times. Every time, she gets teary eyed.
“Working with Goldfarb Weber is just an amazing process,” Cotter says. “They have the creative expertise. We are lawyers so that creative side is not as accentuated in our brains. The fact that they can really understand our organization and bring it to life is tremendous.”
To meet the needs of their clients, Goldfarb Weber brainstorms with each client at the start of the process to determine the message it wants to express. They gather talking points, data, fact-specific information and details which will help bring a message to life. Once the ideas are gathered, Goldfarb Weber lets the creative process take over.
“A video is most impactful when you get to the heart of the story,” Weber says. “We know how to do that better than anyone. We strive for that. We like to lead with the heart. We chose to do that because we think it’s what make the work most powerful.”
So powerful that a story about a stranger’s struggles may move an individual to tears.
“Clearly, Goldfarb Weber is very talented in their craft and their profession,” Cotter says. “They are grounded in Cleveland, they really care about Cleveland and they know Cleveland well. They don’t just have the craft part of their profession. They really care about Cleveland and they know their craft, so this shows through in their work.”