Video Imagineering

Recently I was listening to an Audiobook by Paul Mason titled Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future and a word jumped out at me with so much impact that I paused the audiobook and went straight to Google. The word that struck me was:


What is Imagineering?

According to, Imagineering is the implementing of creative ideas into practical form. A blend of imagine and engineering, the word is actually a registered trademark of The Walt Disney Company. However, the term was neither coined by Disney nor did it originate there. The word was “invented” by Alcoa Corporation around 1940, to encourage innovative usage of aluminium in order to keep up demand.

A Time magazine ad from February 16, 1942, titled “The Place They Do Imagineering” relates the origin,

For a long time we’ve sought a word to describe what we all work at hard here at Alcoa… IMAGINEERING is the word… Imagineering is letting your imagination soar, and then engineering it down to earth.

How Does Imagineering Apply to Mobile Video?

When I think of imagineering and video production, I picture brainstorming but in a highly structured order that is accompanied by an enjoyable step-by-step process. Video Imagineering sessions need to be enjoyable because videos are better when they evolve from the ‘want to entertain’ as opposed to ‘need to upload’. The first step in the production of any video is coming up with ideas and there are 3 important points to consider here:

  1. Everyone has ideas
  2. Sometimes the best ideas come from the people who you least expect.
  3. There are never too many ideas


There are never too many ideas.png

You may already have a number of video ideas, but why not create a target for building a spreadsheet of 100 ideas? Don’t stop until you hit 100 and when you do, you can then start developing a strategy by categorizing the ideas under video headings such as Event Videos, Training Videos, Entertaining Video etc. Once you have your categories you can start to consider timelines for publishing them and the sequence in which you’d like to publish them. Essentially once you have all of your ideas you then have the ingredients to create your video strategy and instil confidence in your managers or funding partners.

Succeeding at Imagineering:

So how do we take the ‘fluff ‘out of imagineering and bring it to the boardroom in a way that participants in the session will take it seriously? Below are some actions that you can consider and customise to suit your working environment before, during and after the meeting:

Before the Meeting

  1. Plant the Seed – Send an e-mail to anyone that has power or  interest in the videos that you are producing and invite them to a meeting the following week. Explain what imagineering is as well as the objectives of the session. Ask them to spend a few minutes of each day considering ideas that they might have.
  2. Follow Up – A few days later send the group a message with an idea or a link to a video or an image or that is a  good example of the type of idea you are looking for.
  3. Pick a Number – Decide on the number of ideas you’d like to generate before the meeting. Be realistic but ambitious. Create a list on a whiteboard, a flip chart or use a computer and projector. Just make sure that the group will be able to visualise how close their re getting their to the target.

During the Meeting

  1. Introduce the Objectives – Explain why you have asked everyone to meet, remind them of some of the links or images that you sent prior to the meeting and tell them how many ideas you are hoping to imagineer today.
  2. Create Agreements – It is important that everyone in the session starts by agreeing to a few basic agreements such ‘I will only think of the positives in other’s ideas’, ‘I will be confident in expressing my own ideas’.  Better yet, ask the group to establish their own agreements.
  3. Hit Your Target – Next, hand out different color post-its or stickies to each person and ask them to start calling out ideas and writing each one on a sticky. Collect the post-its and stick them to the wall in groups of five or ten so it’s easy to count how many you have.
  4. Grab, Group & Grow – Once all of the post-its are on the wall, ask the group if they can see any connections between ideas.  You’ll be surprised how many could fit into one ‘series’ of videos such as How To Videos, Event Videos and Testimonials. Grab the post-it’s, group them under headings and then grow the ideas by asking the members to expand.

After the Meeting

  1. Strategize  – Transfer all of the information  to a spreadsheet or document. Consider which videos could be filmed as part of a series or in the same location and the same people and group these together.
  2. Create a Timeline – You should give your self time to plan, film and edit each video or video series. As soon as one video goes into editing you should consider planning the next video so that there is no lag in your output.

Imagineering Session Tutorial Video from Salvation Factory on Vimeo.

Now you have a framework for gathering ideas and putting them into a strategy you should be more than prepared to start uploading valuable content for your current and prospective customers.

Happy Videoing!

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