What was the scope of their involvement?
We’ve worked on a few projects with them, but the employee videos project was the biggest one. There were 17 videos, with footage shot all across the country that we had to piece together. We’ve done that three years in a row. From the initial kickoff meeting, they would present us with ideas and the look and feel. We would then get approvals from our internal clients and then go to a more formal storyboarding phase. In this case, we worked videographers from across the country, and it was up to Cloud In The Sky to take that footage and combine it to form the final pieces.
So, once they actually got the final footage, there was the creative, back and forth process and feedback, whether it was in-person meetings or via email and telephone. We would just discuss the vignettes as they were shaping up, and they were able to provide their professional insight. If the internal clients made suggestions, they would provide their professional insight as to why or why not those edits should happen. They have a really keen eye for storytelling. In a lot of the cases, we just handed over the footage, and they put it together for us.
The videos were for internal use at the awards ceremony. The award winners knew they were being filmed, but they didn’t see any of their vignettes prior to the ceremony, so it was kind of a surprise for them to be seen on the big screen, so to speak. They were given those videos as part of their awards package. After that, we made the videos available on our employee intranet, and we’ve used them to promote various programs and even the awards themselves. I know some managers and departments are using them in their onboarding process, but there’s no formal plans in place for that.
Cloud In The Sky has also worked with us to create videos featuring our CEO, updating employees on things that are going on in the company and strategic direction kind of scripts. In those cases, the scripts were developed internally, and they were able to work with the CEO to film using a teleprompter. They really worked with the on-screen talent to get used to the teleprompter and make sure we get the best final product. People who aren’t used to using teleprompters might come across a bit clunky, but they were good at working with our CEO to make him feel at ease and get the best product. We’ve done that a few times.
The interview type videos are the biggest thing for us, whether they’re scripted or not. We just cut out the questions and use the responses. We’ve also had a couple instances where we’ve had live stream of something that’s two hours long, but we want a recap video to make available to employees. We’ve given Cloud In The Sky the footage and a quick turnaround time. They were able to pick out best bits and give us an overview montage that’s two minutes instead of two hours. In those instances, with very little prompting, they’re really able to find the best moments, quotes, and sections of the footage, and really create the best possible final recap.
How did you come to work with Cloud In The Sky Studios?
The relationship was already in place before I was in that position, so I can’t speak to that. I think some of the deciding factors were their technical expertise from a filming perspective, their personalities, and their ability to put people at ease, make them feel comfortable, and pull the best emotion and the best footage out of people. They’re able to get the footage they need by making people who are not used to being filmed feel comfortable.
How much have you invested with Cloud In The Sky Studios?
We’ve invested roughly $20,000 so far.
What is the status of this engagement?
I believe we started working with them around June of 2014, and the most recent project was completed in March of 2017. That was a one-off request where we had footage we needed them to put together. I believe they’re already working on the awards vignettes for next year, but I’m not in that position anymore.