The power of independents
Small production companies often handle their own representation, marketing and public relations, while producing top-tier advertising campaigns that can stand up against the work of companies two or three times their size. Drive, talent and a strong independent spirit are obvious reasons why these smaller shops succeed. But another common thread is that many use Wiredrive to level the playing field.
Small shop, big production power
James Bartolomeo is the director and owner of the the East Coast-based independent company Protagonist Films. Bartolomeo says that Wiredrive’s features, usability, and elegant design make it possible for Protagonist’s three-person staff to self-handle their promotional workload.
“Being able to cater reels to a client’s needs and capitalize on the quick turnaround has been key to our success.”
“Wiredrive has proven to be a fantastic sales tool. We can create tailored reels at the click of a button that are beautifully presented and play back in DVD-quality resolution without recipients needing to enter a username or password,” he said, adding that “being able to cater reels to a client’s needs and capitalize on the quick turnaround has been key to our success.”
The Wiredrive Library and Projects one-two punch is loaded with task management features that usually require multiple third-party vendors. Wiredrive provides small companies with a seamless digital workflow that is both user-friendly and cost-effective. Don’t have room in the studio for a dedicated vault or vault guy? Upload your company’s catalog of video, music, graphics, etc. into Wiredrive Library for digital storage and find it instantly using customizable credits and keywords.
Taking control of your career
Independent film director Scott Young has eight years of experience behind the camera and seven years experience as a commercial editor. Young said that Wiredrive Library gives him control over his promotion and sales efforts. “If you’re a director who does any amount of freelance work, you want control over your career, and Wiredrive gives me that.”
“If you’re a director who does any amount of freelance work, you want control over your career, and Wiredrive gives me that.”
Wiredrive gives Young the ability to quickly and easily send reels to past clients, which keeps him in their view for jobs down the road. “I can put together reels for sales people, agencies and other production companies, and keep in touch with past clients by sending them my latest work through Wiredrive. There are so many different ways to get a job, but Wiredrive allows me to act as my own sales rep.”
Wiredrive delivers insight where DVDs leave a blind spot
Efficiently creating and sending reels isn’t the only challenge that independent self-promoters face. The hassle of working with physical media and keeping track of who has viewed it can hinder your career. “The problem with sending DVDs is that even when the money’s spent, there’s no guarantee that you’ll seal the deal,” Bartolomeo says. “You spend all this time putting the DVD together, making sure it flows effectively, plays back perfectly, and then you have to package it in jewel cases, prep it for mailing and pay exorbitant shipping or messenger fees. And still, there’s no surefire way of knowing if the reel was even watched.”
“A tool like this is helping to change agency business models.”
Library conveniently solves these issues by giving you the option to be alerted when clients view your work, making it an ideal tool for freelancing. “The tracking system in Wiredrive is one of my favorite features,” states Young. “When you physically send out a DVD, you always want to know if it’s getting watched or if it ends up in a pile. Instead of wondering, I can send out a Wiredrive reel and gauge its effectiveness through Wiredrive without being intrusive.”
The podcasting feature in Wiredrive makes your work portable, adding yet another level of high-quality deliverability. Your clients can take your spots from their computer to their pocket and review your work whenever they have time, wherever they are.
Keeping in touch with your global network
For companies that may be small in size but have large global networks of freelancers, Wiredrive Projects takes tracking a step further by integrating a commenting function and approval system so clients and production members can provide indispensable feedback. These features streamline communications, ensuring that directors from L.A. to clients in New York and vendors in between are on the same page.
“Our agency contacts love the immediacy of Wiredrive. Once you zip them a Wiredrive reel, they’re hooked . . . after that, they never request another DVD.”
Peter Martin and Sergio Cardenas are principals of the L.A.-based marketing and design agency United Front Design, a small company that sees big benefits sharing, reviewing and collaborating with clients and freelance creatives on Wiredrive Projects. “We all tap into Wiredrive to streamline communication, enabling us to act much larger than our initial numbers. This means we can accomplish more work much more quickly,” Cardenas explains. “Everyone in our workflow has their own Wiredrive log-in where they can upload any file format that designers, composers or producers use, such as Illustrator and Photoshop files, PDFs, word documents, audio files, final QuickTime [files]—basically any rich media they need me and Peter to review, comment on or approve—which we do from within Wiredrive.”
For United Front’s first few years, Martin and Cardenas were able rely on Wiredrive Library’s versatility as an online marketing tool to server as their primary website. Martin said of Wiredrive that “a tool like this is helping to change agency business models.” Cardenas added that “the versatility of Wiredrive has enabled us to cater to the ever-growing needs of our growing client base. It’s a solid component of our business plan.”
Cut costs, not corners
Wiredrive not only saves time, but it can save small production shops a lot of money. Production budgets aren’t going up anytime soon, so it pays to trim superfluous spending. Protagonist Films saw its FedEx bill cut by 20 percent. Scott Young and United Front cite similar reductions in their monthly shipping bills.
Although some of the more traditional agencies still prefer DVDs sent via mail or messenger, Bartolomeo says that more clients are starting to see the value of using Wiredrive over old-fashioned delivery methods. “[Sending DVDs] is deficient spending. Handling this all through Wiredrive is so much smarter, because we’re using our resources and time more efficiently. Hopefully our clients who receive Wiredrive reels recognize it’s indicative of how we make good decisions about how to spend our money.”
“It’s a great tool for big production companies and a godsend to us smaller ones, because it helps us do everything those guys can do, and sometimes even better.”
Bartolomeo adds that the shift in favor of digital reels he’s seeing is driven by the need to meet deadlines and gain a competitive edge. “We still send hard copy reels on occasion, but in the frenzied, deadline-crazed industry that is commercial production, ad agencies need things as quickly as possible. We find that our agency contacts love the immediacy of Wiredrive. Once you zip them a Wiredrive reel, they’re hooked. Usually after that, they never request another DVD reel.”
Wiredrive enables companies to keep generating quality work within their customer’s price points. “People take a guess at what it costs for us to do these big network promo packages, and it’s always way off,” comments Cardenas. “Our goal is to always be mindful of our client’s budget, not pitch anything they can’t afford, and to put as much on screen or outdoor as their budget allows. Wiredrive gives us added firepower. The initial investment has definitely paid off.”
Tailor-made for creative companies
Wiredrive was designed as a very specific communication tool catering to companies in advertising and production. “The creators of Wiredrive understand that we’re in a visual industry, so they’ve given it a very user-friendly interface,” says Bartolomeo. “It’s clear the creators were acknowledging Apple Final Cut Pro and similar programs that people in our business work with every day, because they’ve definitely designed Wiredrive’s language and navigation with that in mind.”
For Young, Wiredrive has become an integral part of his business vernacular. “I’m always saying, ‘I’m Wiredrive-ing something to you,’ and it’s a verb my business partners all understand. As one of Wiredrive’s earliest adopters, it’s been really cool watching it become an industry standard.”
But Wiredrive is clearly more than that — It’s a way to level the playing field in the sometimes-brutally competitive creative industry. “I used to push Wiredrive on friends and people I worked with by telling them that they needed an online delivery system if they wanted to remain current and competitive. Of course, now that everyone’s using Wiredrive, there goes its exclusivity. I’m no longer the ‘cool guy’ with this great tool in his pocket that everyone envied! It’s a great tool for big production companies and a godsend to us smaller ones, because it helps us do everything those guys can do, and sometimes even better.”