April 26, 2021

Feature

In Focus: Force Field Entertainment

Martin de Ronde started working in the games industry over 20 years ago as a PR manager and later as development manager in publishing. After this, he wanted to see what life was like on the other side of the game industry fence and founded his own development studio in 1998, which he sold to multimedia conglomerate Lost Boys a year later. Here, Martin became co-founder and managing director of Lost Boys games, the company’s newly set up games division. Lost Boys games went independent in 2001 and was renamed Guerrilla Games when sold to cross media company Media Republic in 2003. Guerrilla Games grew into one of Europe’s largest independent developers. Martin was commercial director, witnessing the birth of PlayStation 2 hit Killzone for Sony Computer Entertainment and PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox hit Shellshock: Nam 67 for Eidos. Just before the studio was sold to Sony. After this, Martin founded Vanguard Games, delivering 2 games based on the world famous Halo franchise. Vanguard Games merged into Force Field in 2015, a company focused on AAA VR and AR. Over the past 6 years, Force Field has grown into a 65 man studio, delivering over 15 VR games and experiences for a wide variety of different VR platforms, most notably Oculus Quest.

 How did your creative process change given all of the unexpected turns of the last year?

 Interestingly enough, it didn’t change that much in the short term. We had just wrapped up the first part of a two stage demo/proof of concept for a new project, just before the lock down kicked in and we all had to start working remotely. The second part was delivered during lockdown and in terms of quality and creativity, the second part was as good if not better in certain departments without more time and budget needed. So you could argue that our process didn’t have to change that much to cope with the unexpected turns. And in some case, thanks to tools like Miro, a digital whiteboard for creative ideas, our creative processes were even better than before, the era of physical whiteboards and markers and post-its.

 Force Field has a motto of including an element of something that has never been done before in all of your work, how do you think that impacts the work that you make?

 We like to think that it has a positive impact on the overall quality of whatever you are making, as it helps foster a certain drive. If you are working on a demo, no matter how small and simple in terms of scope, and you know that it’s going to be revealed during a keynote as part of a new hardware reveal, as a world’s first, that makes it extra special. Working with unannounced unreleased hardware is frustrating sometimes, as the goal posts keep changing, but it’s magical at the same time. That helps foster a drive to turn that assignment into something special and that’s why we think it’s so important that there’s always something unique associated with our products. And it’s not just linked to new hardware. We have worked on games and experiences where we were doing something that had never been tried before in software. Again, somewhat frustrating when you are looking for reference titles or examples, but captivating at the same time because you are exploring uncharted territory and you know that you are one of the few studios in the world dealing with that subject matter. That makes the product that extra bit special and creates a drive to give it your best shot.

 What was the biggest hurdle you faced and what surprised you about creating during a lockdown?

As I said before, the biggest surprise was probably the relative smoothness with which we were able to transition. And credits here should go to both operational management, who did a stellar job of facilitating this new ‘normal’. But also to all our team members, whose flexibility and adaptability were instrumental in making this work. And then for them to deliver the same output as before, was amazing.

What do you think is the secret to having a successful creative team?

Force Field is unique in the sense that it is a creative work for hire studio. We don’t carry out work as an assignment, we are given a goal or high level objective by our partners and then pitch a creative solution to achieve that goal. That means we need to be creative but also are bound by predefined deadlines and milestones and strict budgets. That is different from an indie studio is laser focused on an internal idea they are committed to. That also means a different creative approach. 

The secret to being successful with such a company is to find a balance between those two worlds: the operational excellence (Force Field has never missed a milestone and always delivered on time and to budget) and creative freedom. It is also a result of finding a balance of creative ownership between company management and the team. This has been an on-going process and interestingly enough, it has been accelerated by the pandemic, as letting go was mandatory for everyone. So two of our most recent projects see an even more balanced division and I’d like to think they will again be better products than anything that has gone before, in terms of creativity.

 What do you Telly wins mean to you?

 These awards mean a lot, because they are all about recognition. Given the fact that we operate in a market that witnessed a lot of hype in 2015/2016 and then went through the classic trough of disillusionment, VR and AR haven’t been up there with other digital platforms in terms of limelight. It’s changing rapidly and the market is growing fast, but when you release a game or experience and sometimes only a handful of people experience because only a handful people have access to the hardware, it’s all the more important to see recognition coming back through any channels. It’s motivating for the team to read glowing user reviews, but it’s just as important to be recognized for the amazing work that they are creating.

 

March 31, 2021

Feature

In Focus: Velocity Creatives

NATALIE SCHWAN is an award-winning commercial and narrative director and producer who is known for work that celebrates the vastness of the human condition, the journey of the overcomer, and the spirit of adventure. She has received multiple Telly Awards for directing and producing, produced Webby-nominated work, and recently won 2nd place in the She Directed Audience Awards Competition for her J.K. Rowling biopic short film Jo.

She is constantly drawn to historical narratives, and is set to direct her debut feature Rebel, an action packed film based on the true story of Deborah Sampson, the first female soldier in US history who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Revolutionary war. She is also developing a period era Ellis Island narrative series surrounding stories of immigrant children, a female-driven scripted anthology series that celebrates hidden histories of bold women who dared to defy the status quo, and a traveling docuseries focused on international cuisines.

In 2015, she launched her full service, award-winning production company Velocity Creatives, which creates commercial and narrative content that present stunning visual stories that inspire, challenge and excite. She has created work for brands including SONOS, Colgate and Goldman Sachs. In Spring 2021, she is launching a new branch of the business focused on episodic and feature films. Her heart is in travel and exploring, and you can often find her planning her next international adventure.

 

How does your creative process differ when working on Music Videos vs working on other short films/branded work?

Every project is different, but in general music videos are unique in the sense that the client can often also be the talent. We’ve had great opportunities to work with artists directly when crafting music videos – which makes them specific to the artist’s vision and means we are creating something that really resonates with them on a personal and artistic level. It can give a bit more room for creative autonomy and expression, and the passion is always an undercurrent driving the project forward.

For our branded and commercial work, there are often more departments and decision-makers to coordinate with – whether that is the brand’s in house creative team or a creative agency (or both) and high level creatives involved. While this means there can be slower approval for each step of creative prep, the core of strong storytelling and authentic content remains integral in every video or photo campaign we produce. We have also had the opportunity to work with smaller brands and startups who have trusted us to craft all the scripts and creative concepts for their campaigns. We can be as truly full-service as our clients require; the unique requirements and approach for each and every project is what makes our job so dynamic and rewarding.

Short films run the gamut from developing ideas from scratch alongside the writers and directors, or taking a finished script and treatment directly to the screen. We work with filmmakers that want to tell stories that challenge and excite and align with our values as a brand. There isn’t a set formula on what kind of stories we put our name on, but we’re drawn to content that explores the vastness of the human condition, challenges perspectives and celebrates the overcomer.

 

What do you think are some essential elements to having a successful creative team?

Trust, integrity and competency. We work with creatives that have a strong voice, talented track record and a strong work ethic. We don’t like to micromanage our teams, and aim to give each department the autonomy to do their job well and then bring those ideas to the greater team in a spirit of collaboration and inclusion. When you set the tone of trust, you give everyone on the team some headspace to be inspired and work more creatively. (We’ve been greatly inspired by the Pixar memoir Creativity, Inc in the way we work and highly recommend this as a blueprint for creating a healthy work environment that fosters ingenuity and value). We don’t tolerate disrespect or internal competitiveness on our projects, and have attracted incredibly talented and hard-working freelancers because of our reputation in taking great care of our teams every step of the way.

 

How has your work structure changed with all of the fluctuation of the the last year?

When our typical commercial and branded production was put on hold due to Covid, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work developing our slate of longform (both episodic and feature) content. In coming months, we will be launching a second branch of our business that will deal exclusively with longform scripted and unscripted content. We have engaged in some exciting partnerships we will be able to announce in coming months for these projects. The same heartbeat of Velocity Creatives is mirrored in these projects – stories that challenge and excite, stories that encourage conversation, stories that celebrate the complexities of humanity.

When it was safe to do so, we got back on set working with our clients in alignment with COVID safety protocols. The entire world and the way we work in this industry has shifted, and we have adapted alongside it. Remote prep, smaller on set teams, and limited client exposure with virtual video village have all become the new standard of our workflows. We’ve been challenged to work smarter and more creatively without compromising quality.

What do your Telly wins mean to you and the team?

Winning a Telly confirms we are doing something right – it is a badge of honor that confirms our work is being recognized in our industry. Receiving a Telly Award validates the quality for our work, and gives each collaborator recognition for excellence in their respective craft. It is a benchmark we strive for in all of our work.

March 2, 2021

Feature

Defying The Limits: Weyo

Weyo is a creative-driven tech studio co-based in Melbourne, Australia and L.A, USA. We are storytellers, obsessed with bringing to life kids’ favorite content through the magical lens of Augmented Reality and interactive video. We empower trusted brands and content creators to engage directly with their little fans through digital play, to spark imagination and open up a world of possibilities. We are passionate believers in technology’s capacity to support learning and a growth mindset in an ever-changing digital landscape, striving to find new ways to inspire and excite young minds.

Baz Palmer is an experienced tech founder and CEO with a lifetime spent in content creation, licensing and managing IP & rights. Created Soundhalo, a global first HD live streaming mobile platform. Co-Founder of Vampr, the world’s largest musician network. Multi-platinum songwriter with iconic Australian band and Hall of Fame inductees, Hunters & Collectors.  

Stuart Berwick created the very first commercial application of  Augmented Reality for iconic “band” the Gorillaz back in 2010, when Head of Innovations @ PIAS. Stuart and Baz have worked together for 9 years, beginning with Stuart’s roles as Head of Product at Soundhalo.

 

 How did your creative process change given all of the unexpected turns of 2020?

With our two co-founders on opposite sides of the globe – Baz in Melbourne, Australia and Stuart, based in Venice, USA – to a large degree working remotely was business as usual, however significant opportunity to explore new opportunities came from this unlikeliest of scenarios. With travel time to our respective offices paused and similarly, Baz’s frequent trips to LA and NY nixed, a very considerable amount of time was freed up to pursue collaboration on our new Weyo Reading platform, and its product roadmap, which ultimately accelerated conceptualisation and development. With many others in the content industry seemingly in the same boat, we were also able to take many more meetings and ultimately fast-track partnerships and contractual conversations. The end result sees us launching Weyo Reading six months ahead of schedule in early 2021! Silver linings and all that :) 

 

What’s the most important lesson you learned while making work outside of the traditional video platform?

One invaluable insight we learnt from introducing our new user behaviour (interactive AR video) to kids is that they are even more open-minded and willing to engage in the “new” and immerse themselves in the experiential possibilities that come with it than we originally thought. Adults frame their engagement with all kinds of preconceptions, preferences and biases and too often shut down the imagination- the suspension of disbelief- with a critical mind. This is where the fun really begins! How much real potential is there for inculcating a growth mindset in young kids’ via digital play experiences? And, how far we can go in exploring creativity and open-ended play when breaking the fourth wall?

 

What do you think is the secret to having a successful creative team who thinks outside of the box?

Weyo is fortunate in that both founders have a lifetime of experience working in the creative arts and know intimately the journey of a successful product from inspiration and ideation, through to execution, launch and hopefully, mass-market adoption. The strength of the original idea and the evaluation of product market fit is fundamentally important, equally so, how they are realised in the product road map, app dev and marketing is inextricable to the products potential success. However, in our experience, all is for naught if the collaborative process, with all its dependencies and personnel, is unable to come together to take the product on its journey. An environment that supports creativity and inspiration, underpinned by mutual respect and a willingness to take on diverse opinions and ideas is essential. If the collaborative process is firing on all cylinders, then you are halfway there to making something amazing.

 

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during your creative process?

By “breaking the fourth wall” and bringing kids onto the screen and into the action – seeing themselves as their favorite characters and interacting in real-time with the AR face filters – was a massive UI/UX challenge. Considerable R&D and user testing were undertaken to get the initial onboarding right as well as the “signalling” for when a user (who let’s remember is only two years of age!) is to participate in the content creation. We also had to test appropriate content and granular editing to guarantee full attention and active participation. We also had to be mindful of not overloading the experience with too many Wizz-bang distractions. Another major consideration was the privacy, safety and security issues that come with the territory of capturing content from kids. Ultimately this led to the biggest tech challenge of all – doing all that Weyo does, in real-time on the device with nothing sent to the cloud, for instant viewing and saving to the camera roll, by kids!

 

What do your Telly wins mean to you?

It was mind-blowing to receive this level of validation from The Telly Awards’ judges and it’s voting community. As is so often the case, new technologies that disrupt the way we view the world and/or require new user behaviors can struggle with a real-world use case and adoption and even recognition from the technical community. These awards shout it out loud and clear that our unique user engagement is being noticed and appreciated. We had already captured our own extensive and consistent data from our analytics that definitively demonstrated kids’ preference for our interactive video experiences, choosing them over regular “lean-back” and passive YouTube-style video experiences by a factor of 3 to 1. So while we know kids love Weyo, having industry experts recognising the value of our apps as well as winning People’s Choice, was nothing short of thrilling. Thank you!

 

Feature

Nasreen Alkhateeb: Cinematographer

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, Nasreen Alkhateeb

Cinematographer
Nasreen Alkhateeb is an award-winning Cinematographer, who has dedicated the last 10 years creating content that amplifies underrepresented voices. By illuminating racial injustice, marginalized youth, melting ice, women peacekeepers, and the construction of the largest telescope NASA has ever attempted, Nasreen thrives as a leader on diverse storytelling projects.

As a multi-heritage woman of color, Nasreen has a plethora of lenses she sees the world through. Being Black, Iraqi, and disabled she is constantly translating these worlds, with one foot on three continents.

In 2020, Nasreen was chosen as the lead Cinematographer for Oprah on the series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, and the Kamala Harris campaign. In 2019, she produced East of the River that screened the Tribeca Film Festival, and captured two campaigns for NASA and Women’s March, in addition to the Director of Photography on two narrative films highlighting LGBTQ and disabled storylines. In 2016, Nasreen was awarded Cinematographer of the Year by NASA for her work in Greenland. Nasreen has participated in the Sundance Film Festival, and helped program AFI DOCS, The Nantucket Film Festival, The Brooklyn International Film Festival, CINE, TIVA, and the local EMMYS.

What Video/Television piece inspired you recently?

HBO’s Lovecraft Country uses a combination of historically relevant social justice
themes, coupled with stellar production design, to immerse audiences into current
political strife, while keeping them entertained.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your idustry?

Studios, companies, and institutions are being encouraged to touch on human rights
issues.

What is one thing The Telly Awards community should know about you?

All of the projects I work on have social justice themes as a bedrock.

1. I was chosen as the lead Director of Photography for Kamala Harris’ campaign. (this
is not public information yet, so please do not share)
2. Night Waking is a film the Frankly Film Festival was just nominated me for Best
Cinematography award. A women lead scifi production, focused on a queer family.
3. East of the River, a film I Executive Produced, was chosen by the Tribeca Film
Festival in 2019. A film that focuses on the school to prison pipeline in Washington
DC.
4. In 2016 NASA awarded me Cinematogrwpher of the year for my work in the Arctic
covering scientist measuring the melting ice.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

In 2016 NASA awarded me Cinematogrwpher of the year for my work in the Arctic
covering scientist measuring the melting ice.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?

With 2020 shifting my ability to be on set for 6 months, I was able to dedicate
more time to facilitating the creation of content coming from the disability
community and youths of color communities.

February 2, 2021

Feature

Defying The Limits: Hayden5

Aimee Mann is a producer at Telly Award Winning Hayden5, a full service video production partner for agencies, brands, and networks. Hayden5 is the innovator of the Video Drop Kitand Drop Kit Photo.

How did your creative process change given all of the unexpected turns of 2020?

Our creative process changed drastically by implementing an entirely new business strategy: contactless capture.  To be able to film safely during COVID19, we realized we needed to strongly commit to this pivot, and thankfully we did .  As early adopters of contactless workflow, we invented new systems and workflows, including video Drop Kits™. Video Drop Kits™ are contactless, broadcast quality camera system deployments that come with remote video communication, autofocus facial detection, professional equipment, and a comprehensive pre production process led by a team of seasoned remote production specialists. Drop Kits™ soon after became an industry term. We have captured everything from popular broadcast television shows and commercials to online livestreams and digital content. Some recent examples of our work can be found in everything from the NBC 30 Rock Reunion Special, the Democratic National Convention, live streams for We’re Magnetic, and captures for various clients featuring those who otherwise would not have been able to be on camera.

 What’s the most important lesson you learned while needing to adapt to an unpredictable world environment?

The most important lesson my colleagues and I have learned thus far, is to exercise flexibility and adapt to the current needs of the marketplace — no matter how unprecedented. We developed contactless capture expertise based on testing and analyzing a broad variety of deployment strategies. For example, our team developed and tested differing models of capture kits, rigorously detailed pre-production processes, and methodical sanitization techniques to ultimately end with the absolute best tried-and-true solution.  Our willingness to change, open mindedness, and speed to test and deploy solutions to the market allowed us to make responsible decisions to pivot the business and have the confidence stick to that pivot.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced and what surprised you about creating during a lockdown?

The preparation and considerations that go into filming during lockdown are significantly different than the preparation one would deploy for a pre-pandemic capture. A unique type of planning and scrupulous pre-production process is required when we are upholding strict safety and sanitization standards, when minimal to no crew is allowed on site, and when we are subject to pandemic related shipping delays.  Since this process is entirely different from industry standard filmmaking, a hurdle we have overcome has been educating and training clients, crew, and talent on the different needs and timelines required to ensure successful contactless and/or socially distanced captures. Implementing this system consistently requires steady commitment, as it is crucial not to cut corners when the safety of others is involved.

How do you think the outcome of your work changed given the environment it was made in?

Filming within the confines of social distancing and contactless captures have forced Hayden5 to allow new ways to be creative — how can we tell the best stories without any proper, physical connection.   We realized quite quickly that when additional confines and restrictions are created, new storytelling techniques are born.  One example – we have strategically shot talent in a way that they could be cut together to have them interact with one another without being in the same room as one another, resulting in a visually stimulating content style that without the need for social distancing may have made more sense to film as a standard two shot.

What do your Telly wins mean to you?

The entire team at Hayden5 is incredibly honored, grateful, and appreciative to be recognized by The Telly Awards, an organization that has led celebrating great storytelling and excellence in video production for over forty one years. It is an enormously humbling experience to be selected.

January 5, 2021

Feature

Defy The Limits: We Are Parable

We Are Parable is an award winning film exhibition company that provides opportunities to audiences to experience Black Cinema in culturally relevant, memorable and unique ways.

We spoke to We Are Parable Co-founder Anthony Andrews:

 

Given one of your core company beliefs is “Experience over everything,” how have you all adapted to keep hold of that value in the times of 2020?

What a great question! In order to survive the year we’ve just had, it was really important that we stayed true to this very simple statement, and we treated this our North Star; so if any proposed activity didn’t get us closer to the value of “Experience Over Everything”, then we wouldn’t do it.

One of the things that we did early on in the pandemic is try and understand how we could translate the experience of coming to our events online; once we created events like a “Queen and Slim” Watch Party, we started to bring in activities like a live DJ set on Instagram, a poetry performance and a Q+A prior to watching the film together. Although this was all on a digital platform, we felt that we were able to offer a different experience to other Watch Parties at the time, which I think helps with our competitive advantage.

It’s also about understanding the audience. We know how much they love films and culturally relevant moments around that, so it makes our job easier when we start to create experiences that hopefully marries these two elements together. Knowing what we stand for, and priding ourselves on knowing what our audience are saying they want has been crucial for us in 2020.

You collected research surrounding willingness to return to cinemas, what’s the most surprising thing you found in the results?

I think the most surprising thing about our research (we looked into the confidence of Black audiences returning to cinemas) was the size of the disconnect between Black audiences and White audiences. For example, over a third of Black audiences said back in June that they were not sure when they would go back to cinemas, as opposed to 15% of White audiences. The research came out of hearing how cinemas were planning to recruit audiences back to cinemas, but with Black people being four times more likely to die from COVID, we wanted to know about the strategy to encourage this vulnerable audience group. We were disappointed with what we heard so, we went and asked the British Film Institute to commission us to carry out this research. This is the other thing that surprised us – the response from particular bodies in the UK film scene about protecting and communicating to Black audiences, especially when you consider that we are the second most frequent visitors to cinema in the country.

What do you think is the key to creating a successful creative and inclusive team? What positive changes have you seen come out of 2020?

Well, at the moment, it’s myself and my wife Teanne who make up the permanent team, but we are scaling to include some full time members very soon! When that happens, we’ll keep the same philosophy of  “Audience first”. It’s really important that we stay true to that, because that’s what we’ve always done and it’s what has got us to this stage. We also think it’s massively important to identify things that we need to develop in and to bring in others who might have a more authentic voice than we do. I don’t pretend to be an expert in Black Queer Cinema, to give you an example, but I know of creatives who have spent huge amounts of time producing work, articles and programmes in this space so I would take my interest in this area and hopefully collaborate with them to make  a project as honest as it could be for the intended audience. We are also really passionate about offering young people opportunities they might have to ordinarily wait a long time to be a part of – knowing how hard it is to break into some spaces. Young people have some of the best ideas, so it feels silly not to include them in a bigger team.

 

I think a collective ability to slow down and take stock of what’s happening and assess whether something is helping or harming you is a huge positive, not only in business, but in life. By discarding what’s not needed and keeping everything else, we’re able to really focus on what we want to do. Lockdown was helpful because we had no choice but to slow down and really think about what we mean to our audience; prior to then, it was always something I knew I should do, but because of moving at a million miles an hour meant I never gave myself the headspace to sit with those thoughts.

Seeing how cinema has adapted has been interesting to me as well; people may bemoan the big screen experience, but if we flip it, more people are watching films on streaming platforms they may not have watched before; people who couldn’t get to the cinema for whatever reason now have a film that was released this week available to watch on VOD. D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse audiences can all benefit from improved accessibility on the latest films. These are GOOD things. It’s really not all doom and gloom.

 

Are there elements of your 2020 work or creative structure that you hope stay beyond this year? 

I think a collective ability to slow down and take stock of what’s happening and assess whether something is helping or harming you is a huge positive, not only in business, but in life. By discarding what’s not needed and keeping everything else, we’re able to really focus on what we want to do. Lockdown was helpful because we had no choice but to slow down and really think about what we mean to our audience; prior to then, it was always something I knew I should do, but because of moving at a million miles an hour meant I never gave myself the headspace to sit with those thoughts.

Seeing how cinema has adapted has been interesting to me as well; people may bemoan the big screen experience, but if we flip it, more people are watching films on streaming platforms they may not have watched before; people who couldn’t get to the cinema for whatever reason now have a film that was released this week available to watch on VOD. D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse audiences can all benefit from improved accessibility on the latest films. These are GOOD things. It’s really not all doom and gloom.

Another great question. And my answer is that I want to keep asking great questions to, and about our audience so we can learn how to serve them in even a better way, and giving ourselves the space to that. I want to keep combining offline and online activity to create integrated events here and in time, across the world, and we are both really focused on fast tracking opportunities for Black British Filmmakers and creatives in the UK. So, not that ambitious at all, really… :)

 

December 21, 2020

Feature

Defying The Limits: Disney UK

Happy Holidays from The Telly Awards team! Part of our mission this year is to highlight the stories of creative teams that are defying the limits of technology, geography, society, and more. To close out the year, we are shining a spotlight on Disney EMEA and their new viral Christmas campaign From Our Family To YoursThe heart-warming, animated story celebrates the Christmas traditions of a Filipino family that cross multiple years and generations.

We spoke with Angela AffinitaDirector of Brand Marketing and Creative at Disney EMEA to find out how her team crafted this beautiful campaign.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape? Do you see any of these changes staying once we return to normal?

Our aim at Disney is to always work with great talent, and we’re prepared to go wherever that may be.  For our Christmas campaign ad, From Our family To Yours, we partnered with Flux Animation Studio in New Zealand to develop the story. Once we had agreed the creative approach, specialist animators worked simultaneously on the shots. Due to time differences, they could share updates at the end of their day, which we could review and then feedback. It became a 24-hour production.

Are there things you looked at in a different way this year when thinking of pieces for the holidays, considering the state of the world?

We wrote ‘From Our Family To Yours’ back in January 2020 and the story has always remained the same, although the elements of family and togetherness throughout Lola’s story seem to have resonated with audiences much more than perhaps in previous years. 

What do you believe to be the key to having a successful creative team?

Understanding how to lean on each other, getting the most from each other’s skills, and knowing when to support and build up your teammates means every project is a team project. The more people who take ownership of key elements, the more potential your creative has to fly. When you’re brainstorming ideas and crafting the details – having diverse minds round the table adds to the richness of inspiration.

How does your creative process typically play out, when beginning a new piece?

Before you go into animation, you work on storyboards and finessing the narrative. We worked collaboratively on the storyboarding with Flux for over four months. The team brought an incredible amount of creativity to the table with their own ideas. Once the storyboard stage was complete, each scene was edited together to create the animaticThis was then used to present to everyone at Disney.  It’s been a really collaborative process with whomever this project has touched.

Are there any emerging trends are you excited about in the industry?

Increased use of AR in storytelling and audience engagement – it’s more accessible now, we’re all used to Instagram filters and Zoom backgrounds. Whether we realize it or not, this has sparked creativity in so many of us. With more of us working from home, and trying to create experiences within a personal space, I think people – both as consumers and as an audience – are ready to do more with it.

October 19, 2020

Feature

A Refreshed People’s Telly Award!

Enter The People’s Telly categories. Be Shortlisted by the Judging Council. Have your work shared and voted on by the global public!

 

The People’s Telly Award is back with an exciting new update! All pieces entered in The People’s Telly categories will now first be shortlisted by The Telly Awards Judging Council before being placed on our rating platform for the public to vote! Work with the highest average rating will be awarded the Bronze, Silver, or Gold People’s Telly Award!

Learn more below about why you should enter The People’s Telly Awards this year:

1. Get More Eyes on Your Work

Entering The People’s Telly is the perfect way to have your work seen by an international community of video enthusiasts and industry leaders. When your work is placed on our rating platform it is viewed by everyone from leaders at top companies, to other creatives and storytellers (as well as your own networks). All work on the rating platform can be shared and amplified by you and with the support of The Telly Award community!

2. It’s Another Chance to Win

Winning a People’s Telly Award is another chance to win a Telly Award and prove that you make innovative video work and help signal to the rest of the industry that you are at the top of your field!

3. Be Shortlisted by Telly Judges + The Public

Most importantly, if your entries are shortlisted, they will have been given the thumbs up by both our Telly Judging Council, and the general public! This helps give your work even more credentials and more views!

Get ready to enter The People’s Telly Award for the 42nd Annual Telly Awards, and check out the rest of our categories for this season. 

May 27, 2020

Feature

CBS Interactive wins Telly Company of The Year for Second Year Running!

The Telly Awards is thrilled to again honor CBS Interactive as the 41st Annual Telly Awards Telly Company of the Year for the second year running! The Telly Company of the Year Award recognizes the company that has proven to have the most success during this year’s competition across Gold, Silver, and Bronze. 

CBS Interactive’s award recognizes years of achievement in multi-platform narratives including content from 60 Minutes Overtime, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Branded Content work for clients including Google, Toyota and Oculus Quest.

    Founded in 2008, CBS Interactive is the premier online content network for information and entertainment. Its brands dive deep into the things people care about across entertainment, tech, news, games, business and sports. 

    Congratulations again to the entire team! 

    March 31, 2020

    Feature

    How To Keep Communicating – A guest article by Telly Award Entrant Casual Films

    At a time where we are all figuring out uncharted waters, we have heard from many Telly entrants and judges on how they are keeping production going at a time live shoots have all been halted.

    We asked one of them, Casual Films , to share a little insight into ways in which they are keeping communication going for their clients in this new era.

    Do not hesitate to reach out to us with ways in which you and your work is adapting to our new reality at sabrina@tellyawards.com 

    How to keep communicating

    With the current crisis, there are more people on screens at home consuming content than at any other time in history. Of course, they’re hungry for news but they also want to hear from their employers, their suppliers, from the companies that they know and trust. Video remains the best way to communicate with them. This presents a fairly unique challenge for communicators: an unprecedented demand for content matched by unprecedentedly hamstrung production.

    Luckily, there are a number of ways that production companies like Casual Films can help:

    Say it in Sixty – Casual’s proprietary commissioning platform makes producing quality videos fast and cost effective. The system walks you through a series of targeted questions to clarify what you’re after and then delivers a professionally produced video back to you in a couple of days for a set price.

    Podcasts – They’re so popular now because of the way they allow you to reach your audience – wherever they are. Our sound designers work with you to create professionally mastered shows with music and a minimum of fuss.

    Virtual events – Using the latest tech, we can remotely capture video chats and virtual round table discussions from anywhere in the world, allowing you to bring your speakers to your audience, wherever they may be.

    Once captured, we’ll edit and package the footage. This could be a full version of a round table discussion, or the key takeaway points from a Skype call. We can animate power point slides in time to your presentation, or even bring the content to life through animation.

    ReEdits – Ok, so it might not be feasible for us to film on location with you any time soon… but did you know that we hold onto all of the footage we have captured for you previously? This means we’re on standby to create a cost-effective repurposed film whenever you need it.

    Find out more about how Casual Films are approaching production and more here.

    February 10, 2020

    Feature

    In Focus: SAP on smart recruiting and employer brand videos

    Our next In Focus interview features multinational software company SAP and their Global Employer Brand Team, which is made up of experts in recruitment marketing, talent attraction, and engagement and employer branding. Producing Telly Award-winning video content in the employer brand space is just one of many tactics that their team is responsible for. 

    Here’s what we asked their team: 

    Where do you/where does your team gather inspiration? 

    We gather inspiration from our very own employees—more than 100,000 strong. Recruiting in the digital age, especially in the IT space, is a challenge. Recruiters and Talent Sourcers have to take their recruitment strategy to the next level to find the best talent. SAP has learned that by developing a strong employer value proposition and employment brand, and by coordinating efforts throughout the company, we can find the best talent and create strong brand evangelists that will help us thrive in the years to come.

    What does a day look like for the team at the start of creative process? 

    When starting our creative process, we focus on two key questions:

    • What makes a great employment brand?
    • What makes a great place to work?

    The key to answering these ‘what makes’ questions is understanding what employees, candidates, and the market truly think and feel toward working for a business; not what a marketing department says or ‘spins’.  Real people, real authentic opinions, expressed honestly.

    What do your Telly wins mean to you and the team? 

    Knowing that our videos attract great talent and engage audiences, but are also regarded highly by our peers is a great motivator. We continually look for ways to improve what we do, and so winning Telly Awards is a great motivator to continue to strive to be our best in the employment brand space, the best for our candidates and our employees. Having the recognition that our employer brand videos stack up against peers in commercial marketing is fantastic.

    How has such a focus on people and diversity made your team different from others? 

    Mediocre recruitment is easy. Good recruitment is challenging. The best recruiting is more than tough: it’s an art.

     Though often overlooked, recruiting can have a huge impact on an organization. What we do can make or break our organizations. If we attract average talent, the quality of the organization’s work and ultimately its financial profitability will only be average. But if we attract the best talent, our organizations will be stronger, and the bottom line can be phenomenal. It’s why talent-driven organizations tend to be the most successful. 

    This is where employment branding, essential to modern talent acquisition, comes into play. We need candidates to go beyond knowing and understanding SAP to actively caring about it. We need our employees to champion SAP as a great place to work. The employment brand team must harness the authentic voice of the employee to spread the word about SAP. 

    To find the right person, we make an effort to recruit from groups that are sometimes neglected by other companies. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the technology field and SAP is working to change that. Producing great video content that highlights these messages, showcases our people and allows our audiences to see the diversity within our organization is a huge factor in our employer brand.