Video Production for Tech Startups

Cowan Agency is comprised of an expert team of artists, including Forbes featured film director, Fern Cowan, who work to transform the face of your business by delivering a world-class digital experience.

 

 
$10,000+
 
$300+ / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2013
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • 101 California St.
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Castlight, Koniku, Shadow, Cloud Technology Solutions.

Reviews

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Product Demo Videos for Digital Medical Platform

"As a startup, it was easy for us to have a high-production video at an affordable cost."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cowan Agency produced two videos for a digital medical company—one to provide a product overview and another to be used as a product demo. They also conducted research to help create a go-to-market strategy.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
California
Executive, Digital Medical Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cowan Agency successfully delivered high-quality videos and a comprehensive marketing campaign. The firm’s owner is responsive and leans on a wealth of experience to provide creative solutions. They respond well to feedback and make every effort to produce error-free videos. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am an executive at a digital medical company. We write clinical notes for physicians. We have developed a technology that uses AI that can construct a medical chart through the natural patient conversation that the physician has with their patients.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cowan Agency?

We engaged Cowan Agency when we decided that product videos would be a crucial part of our sales and marketing effort. We wanted to create a product overview video and a demo video that includes more of a detailed walkthrough of how the product works and how it addresses the fundamental problems that physicians have.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We met with Fernando (Brand Strategist & Producer, Cowan Agency) once to scope out the project and define the requirements. We gave him the creative freedom for our product overview video, but we presented stricter guidelines for the demo video, only because it was going to be much more technical. Fernando created the storyline for his video, and we created the storyline for ours. Once those were complete, we exchanged feedback and gave approval.

Fernando assisted with the search for an actor for the videos, but we ultimately selected one of our own customers because we thought he would be the most convincing doctor. We brought Fernando and his team to two production sites: a studio to get some sophisticated product shots and the actual hospital where we have implemented the product. Fernando interacted well with the physicians and coached our actor/doctor as much as he could. 

Once we finished filming, we left Fernando to his own devices to edit the videos. He returned a few weeks later with the first iterations of the videos. Overall, his work was high-quality, but we had to make a few rounds of edits with the demo video. Fernando was extremely accommodating in that regard—not limiting us to a specific number of revisions. One video is 2:30 long, and the other is 4:30.

Not only did Fernando complete the videos and exceed our expectations, but he also helped us formulate a go-to-market strategy to monetize the videos. He walked us through the landscape of our competitors and their digital marketing efforts. Fernando helped us define what the sales funnel should look like with these videos.

What is the team composition?

We predominantly work with Fernando. He brought in assistants and a cameraman when necessary, and many of the edits, I believe, are done by contractors he hires.

How did you come to work with Cowan Agency?

Our CTO searched for a production agency, and we were drawn to Fernando’s portfolio. We appreciated his attitude toward creating the videos and trying to accomplish the goals behind the videos, which were to increase sales and awareness.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement began in March 2019 and remains ongoing. The videos were complete by the end of April, but we are still working on the go-to-market strategy.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have yet to execute the plan to monetize the videos, but we are confident that the strategy will be successful. The videos are excellent, but Fernando’s most significant impact has been the ability to help us with the marketing work we would have had to do anyway. We have been able to leverage his experience in putting together the go-to-market strategy so that we can focus on the myriad other things we need to work on.  

How did Cowan Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Fernando is always on-call and responsive. He also pushes the agenda whenever he can. His production agency is pretty lean, which allows him to be client-oriented. As a startup, it was easy for us to have a high-production video at an affordable cost.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Fernando’s responsiveness stands out. I’m sure he has a lot of clients, but he always returns our messages quickly. Also, given the quality of the equipment and the team he had, I was pleasantly surprised by the price of the videos.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Our experience as a whole has been great, but we did have to go through a couple of rounds of revisions with the demo video. This wasn’t altogether surprising because many of the changes were extremely technical and things that only someone familiar with the product would genuinely understand. But still, we’d sometimes have a handful of revisions, and some would be missed.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

If future clients have a lot of nuances in their videos, I’d recommend they be explicit and descriptive about what those are. But if the video is more straightforward, I’d advise them to lean on Fernando’s creative instincts and experience. He’ll deliver good work when afforded creative freedom.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Photography & Video Production for Nonprofit Symposium

"Fern and his team captured every moment of the event, and the summary video is one of the best we’ve ever had."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Feb. 2019
Project summary: 

Cowan Agency provided media production services for a non-profit membership organization. They recorded video and photographic content at a symposium and posted their work on the organization’s website.

The Reviewer
 
1 - 10 Employees
 
Santa Clara, California
Almaz Negash
Founder, African Diaspora Network
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cowan Agency delivered a polished video that effectively highlighted information from the event. Efficient and dedicated, their team delivered high-quality content within a short period. They provided additional support through in-person walkthroughs and content formatting for the client’s website.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder and executive director of the African Diaspora Network. We’re a Silicon Valley-based membership organization for African entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs, and government partners. We also have non-African members who support African interests.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cowan Agency?

We hired Cowan Agency to take photos and deliver high-quality videos of each session at our annual symposium.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Fern (Producer, Cowan Agency) brought his team to the symposium and recorded everything, including each of the breakout sessions and panel discussions. They also took pictures of the event and curated both the photos and videos before publishing them on our website.

Their team created three separate videos. They made a two-minute teaser video, a nine-hour video that included all of the sessions, and a summary video that highlighted specific moments from the symposium.

What is the team composition?

Fern brought several other media specialists with him to the event.

How did you come to work with Cowan Agency?

They were referred to us by someone who’d worked with them previously.

What is the status of this engagement?

The symposium was in late January 2019, and we had a finished video by the end of February 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Fern and his team captured every moment of the event, and the summary video is one of the best we’ve ever had. They did a fantastic job of editing the videos to focus on the essential content of each session. We were excited to share their work with the members of our network.

How did Cowan Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was exceptional. They were quick to follow up with us when we had questions, and they completed the video editing process in a short period.

They also walked me through their production process, which I appreciated. Fern came to my office several times to show me his work and how the finished product would look. I was glad to be kept in the loop.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Fern was disciplined and focused throughout the symposium while also showing enthusiasm for his work. I was also impressed by his team’s ability to edit the video quickly to meet our deadlines. They followed through with their commitment, even offering to help us format the video on our website.

Fern is courteous and supportive. He’s someone that we can count on moving forward. We haven’t had such a high level of customer service with any of our previous vendors. We plan to use Cowan Agency for our next symposium.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I really can’t think of anything. They were terrific.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Give them a call, even if you have a limited budget. They’re flexible and can deliver what you need.

5.0
Overall Score They’re a fantastic partner.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I would give them a 10 if I could.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them to anyone.

Documentary-Style Video for Venture Capital Company

"The quality of their work was exceptional."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Apr. 2019
Project summary: 

Cowan Agency produced a two-minute documentary-style video to serve as a marketing tool for a venture capital company. They coordinated all scripting, filming, and postproduction tasks.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
California
Executive, Venture Capital Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cowan Agency delivered a brilliant video that successfully conveys business objectives. The team is organized and creative, making for an efficient and agreeable workflow. They excel at managing the full process of video production.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am an executive at a venture capital company. I scout early-stage travel companies that occupy the experience market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cowan Agency?

As part of our branding efforts, we engaged Cowan Agency to produce a video that helps to explain our process and our story.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We relied on Cowan Agency to lead the video production process—scripts, shooting, and editing. The finished product is two minutes long and is a short-clip documentary-style video.

What is the team composition?

Fern (Brand Strategist/Producer, Cowan Agency) headed our team, which also included an assistant and a light and production manager.

How did you come to work with Cowan Agency?

I found them on the Clutch website. Cowan Agency was among the top firms in Northern California, so I contacted them and a few others after reviewing examples of their work. I was drawn to Cowan Agency’s style and price.  

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement spanned January­–April 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The quality of their work was exceptional. The excellence of the video far exceeds what I anticipated with my budget. With the video, we can communicate our story well to entrepreneurs and our PR partners.

How did Cowan Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

We organized much of the project through text messages. We worked very well together.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I was impressed with how they managed the video production process and ultimately delivered an incredible video.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we had a successful engagement.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s vital to have a vision for what you would like to film. Clients should be able to give their team some sort of direction.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Video Production for Training Consulting Company

"Their responsiveness and high-quality work make them a stronger team than others in the industry."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Winter 2018
Project summary: 

Cowan Agency produced a three-minute video to showcase a business’ strengths and services. They collaborated to create the script and handled the filming and editing processes.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
California
Jeff Butler
CEO, JButler International
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The video was successful and has been a crucial element in attracting new customers for the business. The Cowan Agency team’s speed and expertise made them stand out in a crowded field. The engagement ran smoothly and resulted in high-quality, exemplary work.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of JButler International, a training and consulting company. We help organizations with different generations in the workplace with marketing, management, and retention support.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cowan Agency?

We hired Cowan Agency to create a video to showcase the keynote speaking and presentations our company does.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Cowan Agency helped us create the script for the video. They incorporated all of my ideas, and we went through a few rounds of edits for the final version. We filmed several shots around the city and other highlights of the keynote presentations. Their team edited the content and produced the three-minute video.

What is the team composition?

Fernando (Brand Strategist & Producer, Cowan Agency) was our main point of contact, and he led a team of editors and others who supported the process.

How did you come to work with Cowan Agency?

I posted an ad online, and Cowan Agency responded. Their team stood out head and shoulders above everyone else because of their portfolio and videography skills.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in late 2018, and they completed the video within two weeks.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

This video is crucial in our efforts to earn new business. Before potential customers hire us, they first consult the video and make a judgment. We’ve received great feedback and have seen a definite increase in customers because of the quality work Cowan Agency produced.

How did Cowan Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management skills are some of the best I’ve seen in the industry. We had a few in-person meetings to discuss the scope and to film. All of our other communication was primarily through email and text.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their responsiveness and high-quality work make them a stronger team than others in the industry. We received the right amount of personal interaction, and the work was completed faster than expected.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s nothing I can think of for them to improve on—they’re an all-around great team.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Do your homework before engaging with their team. If you have a solid idea and know what you want to get out of the project, you’ll have a more successful engagement.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Event Video Production for Catholic Nonprofit

“After posting some of the footage Cowan captured, we received a lot of great responses from the community.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Feb. 2019
Project summary: 

Cowan provided video production services for an event, including one-on-one interviews of staff.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Digtal Communications Manager, Catholic Charity
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cowan did a great job of providing high-quality videography services with just a day's notice to prepare for the shoot. Highly professional, responsive, and collaborative, working with their team was seamless.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the digital communications manager at a Catholic nonprofit that provides service to people in need.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cowan Agency?

We needed to capture video footage from an event celebrating black history.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Cowan filmed footage at one of our events, including interviews with our staff discussing the significance of our one-year anniversary event to the community. It took place over the course of about three hours in one day. They took care of equipment set up, which included a soundboard, and provided some editing services as requested, including name overlays.

What is the team composition?

We worked with Fern (Brand Strategist and Producer, Cowan Agency) as well as a videographer and an additional producer.

How did you come to work with Cowan Agency?

I think we found them from a positive online review from a website like Upwork.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent less than $5,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We literally reached out to them the day before our event, which took place in February 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

After posting some of the footage Cowan captured, we received a lot of great responses from the community. They did a great job of meeting and even exceeding our needs, despite requesting their services at the last minute.

How did Cowan Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very responsive and efficient during the day of the shoot. They were very concerned with all aspects of production quality, going out of their way to interview people in ideal locations for improved sound quality.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I'm most impressed by their responsiveness. I had initially contacted them about another project but ended up working with another company. Cowan stayed in touch with us and kept sending over great ideas, so we decided to work with them when we needed a quick turnaround on this event and they quickly stepped up to the plate.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not for this particular project. If we would've had more time, we would've requested more editing services, but it wasn't in our scope of work.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be clear on what deliverables are needed from the beginning and keep all lines of communication open, because they're very responsive and collaborative.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were able to meet our very demanding deadline and take on a last-minute project.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    As a nonprofit, we'd always prefer lower costs, but we got a lot of value overall.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The sound and videography quality was excellent.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Video Production for Health Technology Provider

“Their team is equally meticulous about maintaining quality, working hard to fulfill my requests on time.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

Using provided scripts, Cowan Agency developed an explainer video for a non-invasive glucose monitoring solution. The video consists of three clips, merging animation with traditional interviews.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Menlo Park, California
Alodeep Sanyal
Co-Founder, LifePlus
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The video premiered at medical forums and garnered an enthusiastic response from investors and partners alike. Despite strict timelines and a few delays, Cowan Agency collaborated well with internal stakeholders to produce a high-caliber product. Customers can expect a strong commitment to quality.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder and CEO of LifePlus. We’re developing one of the first wearable, completely non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring solutions. Our product allows users to measure multiple physiological parameters, including heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cowan Agency?

Because I speak at so many different forums, it was important for me to have a video that accurately conveyed my product; simple, succinct videos often carry more weight than words. I tasked Cowan Agency with producing an explainer video that I could use at the beginning of my pitch and send to potential partners and investors.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The video consisted of three distinct clips, combining animation with a more traditional interview format. I provided Cowan Agency’s team with the scripts, and they handled the production. We then collaborated back and forth on the editing.

The first section introduced my solution and how it addressed the current problems in the glucose monitoring domain. The second was an animated video that demonstrated how our product works, highlighting the different components and how they interact with each other. The third featured user testimonials about their experience using our solution along with my own commentary on our product roadmap.

What is the team composition?

Fernando (Principal, Cowan Agency), was instrumental to the project. There were also 3–5 video assistants as well as a photographer who took still photos for our business collateral and website.

How did you come to work with Cowan Agency?

We have a PR firm that handles all of our marketing, branding, and media outreach. During one of our discussions, we decided to create an explainer video for our product, so they searched for local production houses that fit our budget. After identifying 4–5 candidates, including Cowan Agency, they passed them to us, and we interviewed them.

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work started in October 2018, and they finished within the month.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve received a lot of applause from the broader community at conferences, including investors and partners. Viewers have explicitly told us that the video clearly explains what we’re doing. Since Fernando and I worked on the project together, the end product is strong. It’s a high-quality, professional set of clips.

How did Cowan Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Before starting tasks, they informed us of the timeline and worked accordingly. Overall, they stuck to the schedule, though we did have a few small delays. Since I had to present the video at certain forums, we had a tight deadline. However, Fernando did his best to deliver the clips and finished the project mostly on time.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It was a great experience. They were willing to work with us and completed the project professionally. I can be a picky person, so if things aren’t exactly how I like, I’ll go back and forth until we get them right. Fernando was happy to oblige, going above and beyond to meet my expectations. Their team is equally meticulous about maintaining quality, working hard to fulfill my requests on time.

Are there any areas they could improve?

As they gain more experience, they’ll inevitably work with scripts from various domains that they’re not familiar with. While they're not expected to have an in-depth understanding of all industries, they should take the time to do more initial research. If anything is unclear, they need to reach out to ensure that they understand the requirements to the lowest level. This was difficult to do in our case because we had a tight deadline to meet.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Just as it’s important for vendors to do research, the client also needs to put in the effort to explain the video details when establishing the scope. Don’t assume that the vendor can figure out everything themselves; rather, the client has to provide enough information for them to perform at their best.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They did their best to meet the deadlines, but, in my case, they couldn’t stick to all the timelines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Without a doubt, it was money well spent. They delivered an extremely good product for the price.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re pretty good, but there’s definitely room to improve.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer