The role of film at Red Hat

Yesterday, Red Hat launched a new series of short films called Red Hat Stories. These films are a key element in our effort to document “the Red Hat way” of doing things. We’ve started with sixteen films covering everything from an overview of what makes Red Hat useful, to our technology leadership, even a set about our perspective on how to liberate innovation. The piece below is a short, sweet distillation of the Red Hat way, and it speaks for itself.

I use the word “film” rather than video on purpose because it better captures the spirit of what we are trying to do with digital media at Red Hat. Films are what you make when you are captuing stories. Videos are what you make when you are selling your stuff. So we aspire to film, certainly with our most strategic work, but sometimes settle for video when the project demands it.

Red Hat’s first attempt at using film as a medium for storytelling was Truth Happens, which we created almost seven years ago. I’ve told that story in an earlier blog post. Since Truth Happens, we’ve expanded our efforts to use film, video, and other digital media tools in many ways.

Some have been spectacular successes. Some, not so much. When we are at our best, we use the medium to capture the emotional spirit of what we do at Red Hat. Passionate people talking about the subject of their passion directly, rather than distilling their message into marketing jargon, corporate-speak, collateral, whitepapers or the nine million other ways that corporate life tends to suck passion out of everything.

Part of the reason that we have been pretty successful is that most of our work is done by Red Hat employees. Our Brand Communications + Design team at Red Hat includes a small group of dedicated folks who work on digital media projects every day. They are not just passionate about digital media, they are also, as employees, deeply passionate about the company and mission. They are not hired guns. They know the people they are interviewing personally. They know the subject matter and they believe.

To do digital media well, what you see on the screen at the end–the person telling the story– is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind that person are the expert interviewers, producers, editors, animators, and storytellers that make up the digital media team.

In the wrong hands, digital media can be a painful corporate experience. But the combination of a talented group of internal storytellers and a passionate group of smart employees with something to say can create some pretty effective communication. Hope you like these! And if you want to see more of our team’s work, check out more examples here and here.

About Chris Grams

Chris Grams is Head of Marketing at Tidelift. He is also the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World.



  1. Pingback: Sharing your brand story (and here’s ours) « Dark Matter Matters - July 29, 2009

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