Six Best Tools To Manage Video Production As A Virtual Team
While the current state of the world has everyone working from home, Demo:60 was operating as a completely virtual team long before it was the cool thing to do. Nearly 10 years, in fact. So whether you’re a long-time web-based company or you’re in the process of transitioning to the virtual world more full time, here is a countdown of the top six tools our team uses every single day to keep in touch and keep production moving along, all without ever having to sit face-to-face:
BOORDS: The storyboard holy grail | Perhaps no single tool has saved us more time than UK-based Boords. As a video production company, we spend an inordinate amount of time project sketching, storyboarding, and designing a video before it ever hits the animator’s desk. Boords makes that process easy as we can layout a video’s visual design, as well as match-up voiceover and action items frame by frame, so our animator can ensure the sound, visuals, and movement all come together seamlessly. And once it DOES hit the animator’s desk, it’s used as the flow bible. Pro Tip: Spend the extra money to get the additional team seats. It’s worth it. Also, use the Animatic feature that produces a fancy slide show with music, frames, and voiceover (even if temporary). This helps give you an advance view of a video’s rhythm before you get too far down the road. Use this feature — you won’t be disappointed.
SLACK: The official virtual “office” | At Demo:60, email is our front-of-house, while Slack is our back-of-house. We create custom channels for every project, big or small, which allows our team members to stay organized and know exactly where each project stands. It is also a great tool to send updates, plan meetings, and give feedback as needed. Pro Tip: be sure to add @channel or @here to channel posts to ensure all members get notified, especially when working across many timezones and on deadline. And once a large collection of client changes come through, it’s a little tough to keep track of all the details in Slack. To address that, we shift to Asana…
ASANA: The “to-do” list-er’s dream | While Slack is great for keeping everyone up to speed, Asana allows us to juggle as many projects as we need to. Every phase of the project is there for team members to view, comment, edit, add links, or other necessary information. The ability to incorporate deadlines into each phase of a project and sync with your calendar means that your team can stay on track. Pro Tip: Think of Slack as great for hallway conversations; Asana’s like an all-hands meeting.
VIMEO: More than a video platform | Asana is terrific for keeping organized, but when it comes to getting down and dirty with your video edits, Vimeo’s Review feature is a lifesaver. By simply clicking on the playing video you can insert comments at the exact time code. No more tedious time code tracking. Several other platforms have this feature, but we just happen to like Vimeo’s as it’s our hosting platform of choice. Pro Tip: Make a decision upfront if you plan to share this feature with clients. If both clients and your team are commenting in the same session, comments are seen by both parties. A snide comment from an editor about a client can lead to an uncomfortable phone call.
DROPBOX: Literally everything goes here | Dropbox is where we put everything. Every project has its own folder with all the standardized phases of production. There’s a spot for storyboards, brand assets, stock footage, voiceover tracks, music files, and so much more. Our whole team utilizes this tool to upload and share the various elements of a project. Pro Tip: establish a naming convention and stick with it. You’ll save yourself hours of hunting for images, scripts, and whatnot. It’s also a Godsend for version control. We haven’t yet explored the ability to bring in Google Docs into Dropbox.
ZOOM: For the days you just need to talk | Sometimes Slack and email only get you so far. While scheduling a meeting between three global time zones can take a little patience, getting on that call and hashing out unclear details with your team is an invaluable use of time. While being on a virtual team allows for incredible flexibility, sometimes that human connection is lost. Zoom restores that and makes company check-ins easy and productive.
Demo:60’s success as a virtual company would not have been possible without these tools. With them, our team stays connected and safe. Put these tools in your toolbox right now: Boords.com | Slack.com | Asana.com | Vimeo. com | Dropbox.com | Zoom.com
Alena Follestad-Jutilla, Production Manager at Demo:60, received her Bachelor’s in Strategic Communication and Pubic Relations from Northern Arizona University. She has experience in multiple industry areas including film, photography, production, digital marketing, content creation, influencer marketing, social media, and lead gen. She joined the team in early 2020. Visit our website: www.demo60.com or view our portfolio: https://vimeo.com/showcase/demo60portfolio.