What was the scope of their involvement?
TopLine Film worked with our unit and the corresponding academic departments to produce a set of introductory videos that would be shown on a weekly basis.
In the first project, they filmed the lead academic explaining the different topics that the class would cover. The lead wrote the script himself, going over week’s tasks and setting up interesting questions to guide discussions.
Having a script worked well for our purposes, but we decided to modify the format for the second project. I had the academics prepare points ahead of time on larger questions that they sought to answer each unit—but, this time, the videos were unscripted. This resulted in a more natural presentation and helped us generate more interest with the audience.
TopLine Film also switched to EyeDirect to capture footage, which helped the academics feel more comfortable when looking at the camera lens. This gave viewers the sense that the instructor was talking to them directly.
For both projects, the team developed eight accompanying animations from scratch. In the first instance, I directed them on how things should be visualized. But the second time around, we had to reuse existing animations. TopLine Film took the challenge in stride, cleaning up our legacy assets before creating new ones using the same style.
What is the team composition?
I worked with Sian (Senior Producer, TopLine Film), Jamie (Managing Director, TopLine Film), and an animator. Each time, there were always about 3–4 people, including the producer.
Everyone was super friendly and capable. I was particularly impressed with how Sian handled our academics, who are field-leading and well-renown. It was a pleasure to watch her guide them so that they would do what she needed them to do.
How did you come to work with TopLine Film?
Another team at Cambridge University Press had used TopLine Film in the past and recommended them to us. We had them come to meet us with samples of their work along with a few other agencies, and, by far, TopLine Film’s portfolio was streets ahead of everyone else.
How much have you invested with them?
In total, we’ve spent below $50,000. The first project was between $25,000–$50,000, and the second was a bit less than that.
What is the status of this engagement?
The first project lasted from February–July 2017, and then we worked with them again from March–June 2019.