The audience needs to care. By getting to know the main characters - their weaknesses, wants and the obstacles they face - we identify and become invested in their success. Whether it’s a self-absorbed billionaire morphing into selfless hero (Iron Man) or a construction worker pressured to cut corners (Covered), the viewer must connect with characters on a human level, recognizing their goals and feeling their struggles.
Years of slogging through the Hollywood trenches drilled one thing into our heads: always read EVERY sign before parking your car.
It also gave us the tools and connections we need for telling stories that capture hearts and change minds. Whether for the silver screen or the YouTube, we have a strict checklist against wooden actors, cardboard dialogue, phony situations, and creepy. Instead, we lovingly transform a company’s legalese and policies into vibrant narratives that teach while entertain. Be it a legal drama, documentary, animation, kabuki French musical -- we'll guide you to the perfect genre for captivating your audience...and we'll help convince your VPs that more explosions are always better. Especially in Hawaii.
RESONATE launched in 2007 when international consulting company Bearing Point asked founder Marc Havener to develop sitcom-style ethics and compliance training (read about it in Fast Company). While working in Hollywood, Marc met his go-to screenwriter Bryan as well as a close network of friends who have gone on to play integral creative roles in film and television for companies like HBO, Showtime, Disney, Netflix, CBS and Sony. We tap into this network as a project requires.
Beginning. Middle. End.
It’s not innovative, trendy or shiny. It's Aristotle circa 335 BC. When training films ignore basic story structure, the message fails and the viewer feels patronized. A video needs a hook (beginning), some conflict (middle) and a resolution (end). Forgo the dramatic arc and you get cardboard characters with nothing at stake and audiences with no reason to care.
Resonate Pictures turns your training into story so the ideas stick with employees. We use the three act structure. Here's how...
Hooked, the audience is along for the ride, entering the story as if it's their own. As the hero grapples with challenges, viewers enjoy the tension and suspense while actively living your intended message rather than passively sifting through lifeless information. Capturing attention also knocks down any hardened opinions or walls of defensiveness.
Cinema is the art of transformation. Characters will ultimately change by learning about themselves or how the universe works. This makes film the perfect medium for spurring personal growth or perspective shifts in employees’ beliefs, attitudes and actions. Expertly structured stories help your team internalize the “why” behind company objectives and then apply them at work.
Story guru Robert McKee states, “A story is actually a delivery system for the teller’s theme and purpose.” This truth was seen when great stories increased Navy recruits 500% (Top Gun), introduced healthy menus to fast food chains (Super Size Me) and convicted Robert Durst of murder (The Jinx). Resonate Pictures harnesses genuine storytelling power to meet your company’s objectives by moving your employees to action.
"No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight of the soul."
"If you want to send a message, try Western Union."
"I like dogs. I just don't want one right now."
“Film is the greatest educational medium the world has ever known.”
Marc Havener, Founder & CEO
Marc worked in Hollywood for 10 years as an Assistant Director and Production Assistant on feature films (Pirates of the Caribbean, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Fun With Dick and Jane; see the full list) where he gained insight into creating stories for the big screen while developing connections necessary to make it happen. His filming adventures have taken him to global locations like Africa, Europe and Central America, while his short films have been official selections at 60+ festivals around the world, including Raindance, NewFilmmakers LA, and DC Shorts, winning multiple awards and a regional Emmy. His training films are breaking new ground by intertwining storytelling, cinema and messaging. Marc is a hop head (who prefers his beer to taste like freshly mowed grass), a tea snob, married to the best writer in Kansas, and currently working on his most challenging venture yet: training three children to listen.
Bryan Belknap, Creative Director
Bryan is an award winning screenwriter raised in the Lone Star State before driving his Dodge Daytona to Los Angeles post-graduation. (He paid a lot for his 3.97 GPA from Baylor University that absolutely no one asks about.) His first big break came writing the infamous Fantasy Football Pillow Fight commercial for FOX Sports. Dozens of short films followed, culminating in developing film and television projects for companies like Sony, Lionsgate, FOX Television Studios and Radical Axis (where they now patiently await their turn in escaping development hell). He also placed top 5% in the Warner Brothers Television Workshop twice... garnering two less than impressive certificates. When not combing his majestic beard, Bryan is walking his wife and son through the Criterion Collection and praying the Dallas Mavericks somehow win another championship.
Sara Miller, Director of Training
Sara has 12 years experience driving successful Ethics & Compliance programs at companies including Colgate-Palmolive, Citi, BearingPoint, Duke Energy and ADM. She loves working directly with clients to define and customize training solutions while keeping the creative types in line. She joins Resonate having been an integral player in the critically acclaimed (and ground breaking) Aggrieva training series way back in the aughts. In her seemingly unlimited free time, Sara writes, travels, rescues animals, and spends time with her husband, toddler son and three dogs.
James Duke, Producer
James has almost 20 years experience in film/television/video production whose credits include writing, producing and directing over a hundred award-winning short films, documentaries, and theatrical productions. He has produced several feature films including “The Least of These” starring Isaiah Washington and Robert Loggia, and “Ragamuffin” about the life of Christian singer/songwriter Rich Mullins. Previously, he served as the president and CEO of Updog Studios, an independent production company based in Florida, that seeks to create provocative, thought-provoking entertainment and commercial cinema. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and the Act One screenwriting program. (The photo on the right is not James)
"HOW TO MAKE CORPORATE TRAINING ROCK"
We brought sitcom style training to the workplace. Dan and Chip Heath, authors of NY Times bestseller MADE TO STICK, discussed our original hit series Aggrieva in this issue of Fast Company Magazine."New episodes debuted each Monday, but employees were so ravenous for the next episode that they started tracking them down on the company's staging server where the videos were posted on the preceding Friday.
"Note: When your company's employees are madly searching for your compliance videos, you've done something right."
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