There’s a special place in my heart for sick kids. I was one. I had major bladder surgery when I was three years old and had a heart attack during surgery. Even though I was only three, I have vivid memories that I attribute to hearing my father telling and retelling the story. So when we enter a hospital room or a clinic, I have a unique perspective. I see more than a sick child. I see a family that will forever be changed.
Video production crews can be invasive because they bring people and equipment into places that are often small and crowded. But that doesn’t mean they have to be disruptive. Children and families come first and it’s our job to be a bright spot in everyone’s day. We do that by showing compassion and respect. Our videos often become life affirming for these children and their families. Parents want to give back and they want to help others. Sharing their stories to raise money for research or to build better facilities adds meaning to their struggles.
Producing these videos requires a balance between planning ahead and being spontaneous. There are explicit and implicit messages that need to be delivered. Some will be delivered with words, many will be told with the way a mom strokes a child or the way a nurse smiles. It takes a team to be successful. And it takes trust.
In the early days we would produce these videos and use them for their intended purpose. A fundraising video would be used with potential donors and that’s it. But we learned that the same video that could raise millions of dollars could also raise employee morale. And that the same video that could strengthen your external brand could strengthen your internal brand.
It’s been 13 years since we produced our first children’s hospital video. We’ve lost many precious children during that time but many others have survived against terrible odds. It’s a privilege to have been in their lives and tell their stories. It’s a joy to honor their team of caregivers. And it’s rewarding to play a role in making a difference.