Brand Video

Voices of Change

© Nicole Phillips | nicolejphillips.com

Nicole is a client I worked with prior to this project, so I was familiar with her speaking style, her story, and most importantly, her vision for a world where all human beings operated with more kindness. With the publication of her book, Nicole’s public speaking engagements began to become more frequent, and she brought me on board to help tell her story and capture some speaking samples for her to share with the National Speakers Association circuit.

“Working with Hailee was an enjoyable collaborative experience. Hailee listens, catches a vision quickly and works efficiently. I was so pleased with the product Hailee delivered that I ended up using her skills several more times and will continue to do so in the future.”

Nicole Phillips, owner of Kindness is Contagious, LLC

From my experience with this project I learned the value of a personable, colorful subject. Nicole’s personality shown brightly in person, so translating that to video was simply a matter of being at the ready as she engaged with people the way she always does – with love, sincerity and kindness – and capturing authentic connections.

Brand videos are not necessarily something you lead your messaging with, but it is content that should live on your site and will serve your audience when they come across it naturally.

© Nicole Phillips | nicolejphillips.com

Role call: Storyboard, Production and Editing by Hailee Tavoian. Assistant production by Mallory Golski.

You can read more about Nicole’s breast cancer journey and watch the video series I produced for Ohio Today magazine by following the link below.


Feature Video

Betty Bounces Back

Screen shot of the cover of Ohio Today magazine, which features Amy Meeks.
© Ohio Today magazine | Summer 2018 issue

The first lesson during a roller derby “fresh meat clinic” is how to fall.

“As a kid I remember thinking that if you fell, you were a dork,” says Amy Meeks, BSJ ’13, MA ’16. “In derby, everybody falls—it’s part of the game. How fast you get back up is what matters.”

Meeks grew up mastering roller skating in Hocking County, Ohio. The skill came in handy when she joined the region’s Appalachian Hell Betties Roller Derby Team more than 30 years later.

As a blocker, Meeks helps the scorer get past the opposition’s defense. “You need to be willing to risk going down if it means your teammate gets through,” says Meeks.

When her sister Connie showed symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)—a disorder that took the lives of her mother and grandmother at young ages—it wasn’t a question of if Connie would need a kidney transplant, but when.

Without hesitation, Meeks was ready to “take the fall.” “Test me,” she said. And she was a match. “I didn’t ever really stop to think about it.”

Meeks had to make peace with the risks: the donation surgery could end her career as a Hell Betty. Yet, in the end, the sport was Meeks’ saving grace. Her “derby-fit” body provided a healthy kidney to her ailing sister and made for a productive and motivated recovery.

Meeks was back on the track just 12 weeks post-op, with a few cool scars to add to the team’s collection.

Screen shot of story above as it appears in print magazine.
© Ohio Today magazine | Summer 2018 issue

My greatest challenge with this assignment was getting Amy to come out of her shell. It was fascinating to watch her have more nerves about an interview than she had before a roller derby match – and I must admit I could not relate to that at all.

Derby was a sport I knew nothing about aside from an impression that it was quite brutal. It did not disappoint in that department, but during this project I also learned about the high bar for athleticism and grace required to be a savvy competitor. Developing an understanding of the rules was critical to my team’s ability to shoot good video, and trim it together with cohesion.

All things considered, this is a sport unlike any other when it comes to capturing quality video. It moves really quickly, there is no perfect vantage point, and try as you might to line up a pretty shot, wipe outs are frequent and you need to be able to get out of the way fast. It was a fun challenge to take on.

Role call: Written story by Hailee Tavoian. Written story edited by Kelee Riesbeck. Video storyboard, production and editing by Evann Figueroa and Hailee Tavoian. Photography by Ellee Achten.


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Feature Video Series

Breast Cancer Video Series

Nicole Phillips, wife of Ohio University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Saul Phillips, and their three children were floored with her breast cancer diagnosis. It came less than a year after they moved to Athens. Watch Team Phillips demonstrate how it takes an entire community to beat the odds.
For 12-year-old Jordan Phillips, her mother Nicole’s breast cancer diagnosis was a call to action. Partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Jordan has used her sewing skills to raise funds and spread awareness for breast cancer across the United States.

Cancer is a word that means many things to many people – it is simultaneously a reminder of the frailty of life and an aggressive call to action. It is a term loaded with emotion, experience, memories good and bad, and it makes for challenging subject matter. When I first met Nicole and took on the assignment of capturing her story she was newly cancer free and moving into the reconstruction phase of her recovery. She welcomed me into doctor’s appointments, physical scans and even her home during the days after her procedure. As both a writer and a videographer, it is very rare that I am able to have the level of access to the intimate moments that Nicole so generously gave me.

In between takes we talked about my experience as a young woman during my own mom’s diagnosis with breast cancer. Nicole wanted to know how I coped, how I struggled and how I felt more than a decade into her fortunate remission. This personal connection we made helped to put the entire family at ease, and resulted in a more authentic, rich story for print and online.

This was a project that I was very grateful to have both mediums to tell the story. Navigating what content was covered in my strict two-page spread word count for print is always easier when I know that the story can continue online in video form. What started as a single video merged into three – two relating to different aspects of the family’s journey through breast cancer and the third was a social media cut for promotion.

Screen shot of story above as it appears in the print magazine.
© Ohio Today magazine | Winter 2017 issue

From this undertaking I learned to approach my video storytelling with still frame and written word in mind as I captured motion, audio and interactions. I also learned the importance of compromise with your editor. My initial story only had a couple of basketball puns, but my editor liked them so well he wanted to work that theme throughout the entire story with subheads and additional references to the basketball team. While I wanted the article to center on Nicole, he helped me to understand that our readers were interested in Nicole because of who she was to the Bobcat community. This process and compromise showed me that it takes diversity of thought and an editor that will challenge your perspective in order to grow as a writer and tell stories that will resonate with your audience.

Role call: Storyboard, directing, production and editing by Hailee Tavoian. Assistant production and editing by Mallory Golski.


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Narrative Video

Slam Poetry Video

This project was such a pleasure to produce. Our goal was to work with a student poet to fuse together their experience with words from iconic OHIO songs in a message of gratitude for alumni support. What resulted was beyond my expectations, thanks in large part to the tremendous talent of our subject and writer Yaphet Jackman.

Through audio challenges, script drafting, equipment limitations and a tight timeline, my small team was able to achieve our mission under budget without compromising quality. The piece was received with high praise by alumni across the globe, which prompted a screening during the Ohio University Board of Trustees meeting by special request from the University President Roderick McDavis.

Role call: Words and performance by Yaphet Jackman. Storyboard, production, and art direction by Hailee Tavoian. Editing and assistant production by Jarrett Lehman. Concept development by Jennifer Bowie and Hailee Tavoian.

“Hailee is a multifaceted titan with a humble heart of gold. My time with her has shown me her great attention to detail, reservoir of patience and her ability to remain calm and focused in high stress situations. Her kind spirit is an asset as a team player and leader.”

Yaphet Jackman, featured slam poet

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