Capabilities

Strategic thinking and tactical execution are the right and left hand of successful marketing. Never trust a “video guy” with your most valuable asset — your brand. But you should also have healthy doubts about a thinker who’s not a doer, too.

The paradox of marketing today is that the less you focus on marketing, and focus instead on satisfying your customers, the better your marketing will be. WOM, buzz, client evangelists … social media will spread the word, create expectations, and build the brand. As we stated on our home page, you need both strategy and tactics to win: both clear thinking that doesn’t stop till it clearly crafts the right message for the right audience; and deft tactical movement with the media tools at our disposal to channel that message with the direction and power that fits your audience.

Here are our ideation, production, and design capabilities:

Content Development

Starting with curiosity and imagination, and fertilized by wide experience in many industries, we can partner with you to generate workable, actionable ideas for content that will have value and meaning for your audience. We can create that content by writing, filmmaking, photography and design. And now we can partner with you and our mobile app creation company, Story Continuum LLC, to publish your content and maximize its monetization.

Persuasive Strategy

We identify your audience with precision, can measure their attitudes and awareness with the help of our trusted market research consultants, and then identify bridges that can be built to bring audience and communicator together. Expect a useful feedback loop from us, and an authentic presentation of your story and brand to your audience.

Persuasive Tactics

In today’s world influence is a measure of the audience’s trust, rather than the speaker’s clout. As such, influence flows from the users of information, and the media channels they want to select determine what forms your message can take. Broadcast, mobile, disc, print, internet, email, YouTube, radio, cinema, mobile apps … we’re comfortable delivering on any platform.

Production

Like the rainbow within the visible spectrum, production values and delivery platforms offer a wide range of digital media flavors… each with a style that may not be appropriate for a given audience or message. We can help you figure out how to optimize your choices for each of the projects you undertake.

Owen Kindig with interview lighting kit, HD monitor, camera

Ztoryteller production van, by client Jack Hire

We have our own production van, our own cameras and editing systems, our own lighting and camera support/movement gear. We also have wide experience with assembling film and video gear for higher production values… and we’re comfortable with experimental, guerrilla style approaches to image acquisition as well: cell phone cameras, flip cams, lipstick and extreme sports cameras, aerial and underwater techniques, UAV cameras on small planes or helicopters … and even if it’s never been done, you can rely on us to hit timing and budgets in the midst of new and cool production techniques.

Travel

We are ready to depart on short notice, with lightweight, reliable gear we can carry in backpacks and schlepp without 2 donkeys and a servant. Interviewing, action, car mounts, portable lighting — we can capture your money shots without spending much of your money.

Editorial

With two fast Final Cut Pro systems — one completely portable with 4 TB online in 2 hot-swappable hard drives; the other with 25 TB currently available online in the shop — we can edit your video in the field, at your office, or in ours. We can ingest digital files of almost any flavor, or HDV, DV, or Betacam tapes. That’s just the technical part. What’s far, far, more important, is we are very good at finding the story in the perhaps meandering, perhaps momentary footage, and find creative ways to bring that story before your audience in ways that are surprising, compelling, and authentic.

Standard equipment package:

  • Production minivan
  • 4-ft. Travato Arm jib crane, great for movement or simply fast camera angle adjustment during interviews or product shots.
  • Jib is mounted to a highly mobile doorway dolly with a solid Travato column with leveling plate. Dolly contains hardware to hold C-stands, lights, and grip gear.
  • 3 Joker-400 HMI lights with Chimera boxes, egg crates, pancake, and Joker Tube.
  • 2 Joker-200 HMI lights with Chinese lantern Chimera, X-small Chimera boxes, egg crates, and removable reflector on “Joker bug”
  • 5 C-stands, one extra tall.
  • 2 black cutter flags, 18×24 inch.
  • Wide assortment of color correction and party gels, diffusion
  • Stingers, 3fers, dimmer
  • 6×8-ft Green screen flex frame
  • 3 flex-fill reflectors from 12 inch to 36 inch – 5 surfaces and translucent
  • Production camera of your choice — waiting a little longer to see where the market wants to be
  • 3 Sony HDR-SR12 camcorders. These give us excellent 1080×1920 images with good audio. Nice for an inexpensive solution to 3-camera shoots.
  • Letus Direct 35mm adapter (vibrating prism) and Nikkor lenses from 24mm to 135mm for fixed focal, shallow depth of field cinematic shooting.
  • 2 lavalier mikes, one wireless.
  • Zoom H4 audio recorder
  • Misc. grip gear. A folding carpeted 4-inch platorm, 3×7 ft  is available.

Web design

Working in web design is a lot like working with type. It used to be, you had to know a whole bunch of codes and do a 4-year apprenticeship to become a typesetter. I know because that’s how I started in this business. Along the way I also learned about the equipment and the paper tape codes and how to fix electronics with an oscilloscope. Now, there’s no such thing as a typesetter.

Web started the same way, and is heading along the same arc. Yes, there are codes there, and always will be. But the interfaces that allow you to interact with the codes keep making it easier and easier to just focus on what you want to say, and how you want it to look. Personally, I know some HTML, CSS, and Flash, but by working with WordPress, (and Headway!) and Dreamweaver I can mostly focus on your content and design. I also have good working relationships with a number of really geeky developers who do Javascript, HTML5, Silverlight, and the whole alphabet soup of databases and content management platforms) who can deliver cost-effective code that won’t break on different browsers, etc.

Bottom line, web is more important than print for the transmission of ideas from person to person. And anyone who thinks understanding the web has much to do with the technology, is missing something very important. It’s all about people, perceptions, how the hand and eye moves, how the brain thinks and the heart feels. I’m happy to say we’ve been involved in some web projects that really made a positive impact on the organizations that use them.

De Dietrich boilers site thumbnailSecurityHow ecommerce site thumbnailMagnetic Studios website thumbnail

A good website is a lot like a movie. It can be done by one or two people, but if it’s going to be big and really really good, it probably needs a whole team of specialists, working together and focused on that one project. Have you ever noticed that movies are not made by people on staff? They’re all assembled for that one project… director, designers, producers, actors, craftspeople, sound mixers, etc. … all specialists and all working together. The project defines the talents needed, and the director at the helm is the main guy responsible for the right casting and staffing decisions. So while we don’t have a big staff (just 2 of us right now) we can assemble an incredible team for you, no matter how big your next movie… er, website, is.

Print

Just as books are holding their appeal longer than expected, brochures, business cards, annual reports, and direct mail flyers continue to have a value and fill a need. This is the root of our communication experience, and we have proven our ability to deliver a product that will not disappoint. Ask to see our print portfolio.

Trade Show Booths

Yeah, I know, that’s an old technology taking a beating from the cost of jet fuel. But whether it’s a display in your lobby or a booth that’s going to travel from city to city, there are a lot of things that can be done to break the paradigm and make the booth stand out in a crowd … for less money than all the standard purveyors would like to have you think. This is not a specialty,  just a problem-solving arrow in our quiver. Here’s a shot of one we did recently for LaserMotive: