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What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to work with us on production)

You’re a brand about to embark on a content production journey—a film, photo set, or animation. Maybe you’ve done this before, or maybe it’s your first go. Approaching large scale production tasks with only your internal team can produce echo chambers where ideas get recycled or reduced so they miss the target altogether. Agencies offer outside perspectives that an effective production project needs, and often results in the quickest solution with the most impact.

Our focus on brand, organizational and experience design informs how we move through projects. We don’t recycle past work, and we’re not afraid to bring in outside experts to “plus” the task at hand. From tapping into our strong network of partners to enhance the work we’re doing to digging deep into our talent communities, we don’t exist as an island. We know our process, what works, and when it works.

We know production, and we have a gameplan that delivers.

Establish Alignment Between Teams

Any successful production requires both sides find agreement on what’s being done. Alignment starts with discovery. Discovery consists of key insights generated from research to frame up a strategy for the project. This helps produce client buy-in and an accurate set of expectations—ensuring alignment on both sides before anything gets made.

After dozens of successful projects together, the Okta team came to us to produce a series of videos explaining their two main products as they evolved into another chapter—their 47th to be exact. To someone outside the cloud computing, identity, and security industries, these products can be indistinguishable. Attentive discovery sessions and client buy-in on a defined strategy meant that, when it came time to write scripts and build visual treatments, everyone was on the same page. Naturally, this rippled into the remaining phases of a production project.

Don’t Underestimate Pre-Production Planning

Pre-production is as important as production. Once we’ve established alignment on project goals we can plan for what will need to take place, what is likely to take place, and what may possibly stand in the way of success. Circumstances can change and, inevitably, some things happen on the fly for quick solutions. A strong pre-production plan keeps the “winging it” to a minimum. In economic terms, careful planning is how you get the most bang for your buck.

In the summer of 2018, we worked with global sports behemoth, Nike, to reimagine their career site. On the content production side, this resulted in a global production tour spanning 5 weeks, 10 locations, and 4 continents. Multiple crews, dozens of stakeholders, and real employee talent in each location meant planning was 90% of the success. Impeccable organization for this project resulted in +100 hours of footage and +10,000 photos for a robust content library Nike could reach into at any time for their content needs. The content we produced helped tell the missing story of their global employee network and culture, and ushered in an immediate spike in applications as well as significantly boosted applicant engagement once the new site launched.

Execute With Precision

All learning and planning roads lead to execution. When the day of production comes for your project, we’re prepared to execute. We tap into our partner network to make sure that the client as well as project needs are taken care of in a professional way so the results exceed expectations. A rocky sail is a more fun adventure, but only when there’s nothing to lose. For production, it’s all about smoothness, precision, and accuracy.

In the summer of 2019, the rideshare juggernaut, Uber, returned to Butchershop to revisit its internal security and privacy policy video that we made 2 years prior. This time, we called our friends at Photon Studio in Portland to build a full-blown newsroom set and record a 24-minute broadcast covering trust and security measures at Uber. Great planning and clear communication translated to razor sharp execution, wrapping by 3pm on the day of the shoot. The campaign garnered so much success, Uber reached out for additional production work and an internal print campaign. Our entertaining and engaging approach to their trust and security content led an increase in information retention and a decrease in security incidents globally.

There’s Budget for Experience

You could have hired a group of stodgy suits, but you didn’t. It’s likely because you know there’s inherent value beyond capabilities alone. Experience is its own kind of ROI. We’ve been making amazing for over 10 years, but we’re still young and hungry. We find meaning in cultivating the space where creativity finds expression, and expression finds a way to blossom during a project.

Recently, we worked with FinTech darling, Blend, on a digital campaign to show their audience that there’s more to them than mortgages. Breaking through the bland perception of the FinTech market started with proposing a soap opera centered around the drama of lending, ultimately creating a series of animated shorts that showed how topics considered boring can be enjoyable like any other. Both Blend and the Butchershop production crew had a great time imagining ways to “keep the drama out of lending,” and the resulting outputs were illustrations for digital ads that were then used across several other platforms.

People and Process are Important

It’s not just the operational smoothness we wanted to highlight in the examples above, but the resulting impact and solutions given to our clients. Great results are often derived from unique people with a dialed process. Who you choose as your production partner will always affect the outcome, and external partners are often the best way to find the most impactful throughline that delivers the results you’re looking for.

Published:

Summer 2020

Author:

  • Myles Soderstrom