Cross-Country Collaboration For Gwynedd Mercy University

We love being able to work with clients near, far, and everywhere in between. We’ve mentioned the lengths we’ll go in order to make sure we deliver an unforgettable product, on time and on budget, and apparently word has really gotten out.

We’ve created a process for working remotely. While we’re a Philly-based firm, a lot of our clients are, surprisingly, from around the continent. We have clients in Seattle, Vancouver, Maryland, Las Vegas, and many other wonderful cities.

Part of being able to collaborate remotely is creating a post-production process that gives the client the ability to fully immerse themselves in the project. We want them to access the footage that they need to see, without having to sit side-by-side next to an editor. Thankfully, if you have the proper tools and process in place, those days of needing to be right next to each other to get the job done can really become a thing of the past.

Near or far, we’ve got the team & tools to get the job done.

We’ve invested so much in our staff, and are proud of everyone we’ve brought on board. They’re so wonderful to work with, and talented in their individual fields!

Our administrative staff is responsible for organizing, coordinating, and maintaining timelines. They help our editors stay on track. In turn, the editors can focus on what they do best…editing.

On the tools side, we’ve invested in Dropbox and Vimeo Review Panel. Dropbox is a great tool for sharing assets and large files. Almost all of our files are backed up to the Cloud, which gives us the ability to send and receive content with our editing teams quickly. This allows us to be a better quarterback for natural projects where it doesn’t always make sense for us to fly our shooters all over the country.

The Vimeo Review Panel allows clients to review content that we’ve shared after each round of edits. They can insert notes throughout the video, consolidate all of their feedback, and ensure that the direction they are giving is being understood. It allows multiple stakeholders within your organization to collaborate and make decisions on editing points, instead of seeing countless back-and-forth revisions and risking comments being lost in the mix.

This program also gives us the ability to share content that may not be incorporated in the edits just yet, but have potential. We’ve done projects in the past where we’ve shared miscellaneous testimonial content or B-roll, and allowed our clients to make the selection of what gets used and where. It really empowers you to be as involved as you’d like to be.

Some clients are really hands-off, and prefer that we take the reins of the creative direction. Other projects, like pharmaceutical training films, are incredibly specific. The client needs to be able to review the shots we’ve selected and make sure the way we’re implementing them match with medical standards and procedures. For this reason alone, Vimeo is an incredibly useful tool and worth the investment. Plus, we’ve found that it allows us to complete projects faster than we normally do, and noticeably faster than we did in the days of clients sitting with editors going through the project in real time.

About The Author

Jon Sherman

Creative Director

Midwest Meets East Coast

For Gwynedd Mercy University in suburban Philadelphia, this ability to work remotely is key to the success of their projects. They have partnered with Synergist, a marketing company with headquarters in the Midwest, and had just wrapped up work on their 2018-2019 school year marketing campaign.

The print, radio, and TV commercial spots had been scripted, and what could be published, was. However, they needed someone to take the script they had come up with and run with it. Synergist reached out to us after an extensive search for a local organization close enough to the University to meet when needed, but with the capacity to do most of the work remotely.

We took the drafted script in the pre-production phase, and converted it into a table-based storyboard. This allowed us to lay out the shot list – our action items – and to figure out the duration that each shot needed to be. We also covered logistics, super-overlay, and copy.

We were able to grab stock content from online, gathered the photos we took from our sight scout, inserting them into the storyboard so that we could really plan out our shoot.

According to the budget, we only had one day to capture all the content we needed for three different videos, which were later edited down into five shorter social media cuts. Being able to do that requires us to be nimble on set, which makes it all the more important to have a very well-defined plan and to know the content you want to get before you begin shooting.

One thing that wasn’t included was a talent budget. This is very unique for a project like this, and definitely presented a challenge on set, since we only had one day to film. The plus side was that there were plenty of students and faculty members willing to talk about how much they love Gwynedd Mercy University. The down side meant that we had to send a mass email out asking for volunteers, with a brief outline of how they should dress and prepare. This meant that many volunteers showed up in t-shirts with logos that we could not share, as there was no one working in wardrobe to help choose the proper attire for our volunteers.

The areas we were filming in were also “live sets”. If we were filming in a classroom, and a group of nursing students happened to have chosen that room to eat their lunch and discuss their notes, there was nothing we could do about it. This forced us to think quickly and stay on our toes, working around the given setup with the people that we had.

Another challenge was coming up with a way to present the diversity that Gwynedd Mercy fosters with such a tight timeframe to figure everything out and get our footage recorded. Sometimes it was as simple as happening upon a classroom full of students, but other times it required a lot of staging shots. This was key in putting our videos together, and a true reflection of why it’s important to collaborate closely with our clients.

Our top priority is to understand the goals of our clients and the messages they want to convey. Having directors who are kind and empathetic allows for them to easily navigate situations with people that aren’t necessarily camera-ready, while at the same time understanding the goals of the project and the need to reach those ends.

The directors in charge of Gwynedd Mercy University’s video were confident and assertive enough to direct a group of volunteers who have never been in this situation before. This made for a really well-balanced approach and, ultimately, an elevated experience, as we obtained heartfelt interviews that were unscripted and totally natural.

It was truly a pleasure working with Synergist and Gwynedd Mercy University. We had a blast bringing the visions of two organizations from different parts of the country, together!