226: Filmmaking Magic with Breakwater Studios founder Ben Proudfoot

Ben Proudfoot, founder of Breakwater Studios

On this 226th episode of “Marketing Today,” host Alan Hart interviews Ben Proudfoot, founder of Breakwater Studios.

In today’s episode, Proudfoot talks all about how brand films can thrive and closing the gap between the brands and the filmmakers. We also discuss how he has been able to produce a multitude of films during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proudfoot’s career as an entrepreneur and filmmaking began after his success as a junior magician in Canada, becoming an international champion at a very young age. We discuss how that success led him to the University of Southern California. Proudfoot shares how his films bring “sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary people’s stories to life.”

Proudfoot then discusses how today’s younger generations won’t trust brands who are not clear about who they are or solely focused on making money. We discuss how the recent deaths of his father and other people in his life have taught him that “our life is so fragile and so short and could be over at any moment…and it’s intensely motivating to me.” This discussion teaches many lessons on brand-filmmaking today.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Becoming a championship magician as a teen. 1:37
  • Magic became a career in filmmaking. 3:58
  • Changing his mind from a career in magic to one in film. 5:25
  • A short viral documentary launched Ben’s career. 7:08
  • Establishing a relationship with The New York Times. 8:38
  • There are a plethora of layers to all of Ben’s stories. 11:30
  • Sometimes there is no more elegant way to tell a story. 12:50
  • Ben can be compared to the anti-Ken Burns. 13:48
  • Why Ben chose to do branded films. 15:30
  • It is incredibly difficult to make content that serves the brand. 17:57
  • How marketers can work directly with filmmakers. 19:10
  • The problem is that marketing and advertising get all the money. 22:00
  • Bridging the long-term and short-term schools of marketing. 23:20
  • Staying neutral will cause your audience to distrust you. 24:45
  • Young people don’t trust companies that exist to make money. 26:10
  • Clarity in brand identity leads to success and options. 28:00
  • The pandemic has led to innovation in the film industry. 29:20
  • A series of death-related experiences have shaped Ben’s driven mindset. 32:15
  • Advice that Ben would give to his younger self. 34:30
  • An impactful purchase that has cost under $100. 35:53
  • Brands and causes that people should be taking note of. 37:05
  • The biggest opportunity in today’s industry. 38:59
  • The biggest threat to filmmakers/brands right now. 39:52

Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with the Guest:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-proudfoot-09347a118/
https://twitter.com/bgproudfoot
https://twitter.com/breakwaterstud

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