person throwing black and white Canon lens

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Chuck It and Try Something Else

Along with my partners at Redtail Media, I just completed a series of videos for the new Anchor Brewing website.  They’re the folks who brew Anchor Steam Beer.  To tell the story of their Bock Beer, we decided to bring a goat to the brewery (Why a goat?  See the video.)

A “film goat” would probably actually be three or more identical goats– one to “baaah” on command, one to go up stairs, one to stop on the right mark, etc.  That kind of training costs thousands and takes weeks.  To save time and a few bucks (okay, a lot of bucks) our producer found Hazel, a petting zoo goat and a dead ringer for the goat on the bottle of Anchor Bock.

Since all we wanted Hazel to do was walk around the brewery all by herself and check stuff out, it seemed reasonable. Goats are naturally very curious.And Hazel was curious.  She was curious about the bottling machines.  Or a chair.  Or what paper tasted like…or…. pretty much anything except whatever it was we were pointing the camera at when we rolled.  Take after take we never knew where the goat was going next.

We could have kept trying, burning hours we didn’t have following her around, hoping to luck into our goat shots.  Instead, we stopped and brainstormed.  Was there another way?   We originally wanted Hazel to appear to be by herself, but that clearly wasn’t working.  What if we gave Hazel a human friend?  And what if that friend owned a leash? We introduced Hazel to one of the brewers and made their relationship part of the story.  And got the shots.

The moral:  If at first you don’t succeed, chuck it and try something else.

See more of our beer videos at

laptop 1

Get a free preview of the new video course!

Sample two lessons from our new video course free right now. No signup or credit card required!

Posted in

How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: The Video Course

Steve Stockman Portrait
About The Author

Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman, president of LA-based Custom Productions, Inc., is a prolific producer, writer, and director, known for over 200 diverse media projects. He is also the author of the best-selling book "How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck," taught globally from middle school to graduate level, and available in 9 languages.

One Comment

  • Jon says:

    Very nice video… it's like Spielberg… he wanted to show the Jaws shark in as many takes as he could but because the mechanical shark didn't work… he was stuck only showing the fin and only had one shot (at the end) where it did work… this "problem" is what launched his career!

    Founder of

Leave a Reply

Want free weekly video tips?


Enter your email and get Steve's weekly newsletter with tips, videos, and amazing offers.

Share via
Copy link