Alex O’Daly is on a mission to make you cry!

4 minutes read


The newest member of the Aruga family, Alex O’Daly, is an award-winning filmmaker with a knack for grabbing your attention and your heartstrings. Guided by passion, emotion and impact, Alex is a visual storyteller whose content always hits the mark and inspires smiles, tears, oohs and ahhs in equal measure.

She’s viewed the world through a lens for more than 20 years – seven of those in Canada – and we’re so thrilled she trained her viewfinder on Aruga. Alex loves nothing more than taking a client’s idea and running wild to produce inspiring videos that capture eyeballs – and occasionally make them leak.

She also genuinely loves working with animals and children!

Our clients are clued into Alex’s incredible talent and she’s in hot demand but we managed to grab some time with her between shoots to find out what inspires her, how video can elevate a campaign and why she’s so obsessed with the weather.

What inspires you as a content producer?

The opportunity to tell a meaningful, dynamic story fuels my passion as a filmmaker. I enjoy creating beautiful and inspiring imagery that enhances the quality and impact of the story and pulls on viewers’ heartstrings to leave a lasting impact with work that creates awareness or drives action.

I particularly love working on projects designed to inspire action for a worthy cause or educating or informing the community about a particular social issue.

Describe your perfect shoot day.

Look, you’re never going to have a completely “perfect” shoot; it’s all about being prepared and adaptable. But, if I did have the power to control the elements, my idea of perfection would look like this…

Weather: It is overcast but dry, providing even lighting and eliminating the need for additional equipment, like sunshades. This sort of weather would alleviate squinting from talent with the sun in their eyes or trying to find ways to shield participants and equipment from rain.

Time: Sticking to the schedule and not encountering too many unexpected challenges. Things like weather or location changes, alterations to the schedule or last-minute additions of new ideas that I haven’t had a chance to consider and prepare for can blow out the time.

Talent: If I’m working with kids, it’s great to have them arrive in good spirits, feel happy about their participation and eager to have fun!

What is the most challenging shoot you’ve ever worked on?

I was asked to capture “cinematic” footage of tree-planting on top of a mountain in Canada. I was following the tree planters who were on the clock and moving at pace! It was tough to keep up with them while lugging camera equipment around, and there was little opportunity to direct shots or capture the same action from different angles.

The weather was terrible – torrential rain and strong winds – and there was no shelter. I spent much of my time trying to protect the camera equipment. The ground was uneven with rocks, shrubbery, tree stumps and roots everywhere, causing me to trip and fall multiple times. I found myself prioritising protecting the camera equipment rather than myself.

[See Alex’s storytelling for Tree Era here.]

Why do you think video content is so important?

Establishing a digital and social media presence with engaging content and a uniquely portrayed story is necessary for every brand and organisation.

Engaging with audiences and potential customers through meaningful, authentic and dynamic storytelling-based video fosters a genuine connection with a business, organisation, brand, or product.

Establishing emotional connections typically sees deeper engagement which endures for the long term. Introducing people to the individuals behind the organisation and brand also strengthens the human connection.

What are the top three things to consider when planning a content shoot?

WHY? What is your video’s purpose? Is it to inform, educate, promote, inspire, entertain, encourage donations or something else?

WHAT? What is your key message? Videos with a strong key message will impact and engage audiences and viewers far more effectively than those where the key message or purpose is unclear. Keep it simple and minimise the number of key messages you want to include to avoid confusion or diluted messaging.

WHERE? Where will the finished video be distributed? For example, a website, social media, TV broadcast or screened live at a charity event? This helps us to ensure the content we create suits the environment where it will be presented.

Get to know Alex a bit better: ⬇️

Keen for some video content?

We can take care of all the nitty gritty details

Let Aruga do the running around for you, from ideation and storyboarding to scouting locations, sourcing talent and complete videography services.