For LA-based Statement Advertising, remote technology plays a key role in their everyday collaborations. Working across a number of high profile, 360 campaigns for leading creatives and studios, harnessing these tools to speed up their workflows and offer their clients greater flexibility and choice has become paramount to their business.
The real need for such technologies became clear when Statement introduced Theatrical A/V to their successful creative branding, marketing, and design offerings. Sohonet speaks with Statement’s Vice President of Post Production, Corey Walton who joined the team three years ago and was tasked with creating a modern workflow for this new division.
Statement’s AV division’s pipeline begins when a studio or network gives them video content explains Walton; “For example, we’re given a rough feature and general guidelines of what they’re looking for, and then we devise and create from that point”. The next step in the workflow is creative iteration, he continues, “We present what we’ve devised to the client, and then we exchange notes and revisions,”.
This is where Walton encountered a challenge. “Some of our clients have AT&T or Frontier fiber” he explains. “They connect with their vendor over fiber and watch the live-edit, on the monitor from the editor’s bay, and give notes over the phone.”
But installing fiber at Statement Advertising proved problematic. Finding a carrier able to offer the service in its location was difficult. Furthermore, installing it was expensive, and, once installed, the cost rose more with per-minute-usage charges.
It was at that point, another client suggested ClearView Flex as a solution – Sohonet’s real-time review and approval tool. “We went to Sohonet directly to talk about ClearView Flex,” recalls Walton. “It turned out to be the specific product we were looking for. It had the option of mirroring fiber, so it was a great alternative and also much less expensive than an actual fiber installation. It’s also got a better usage model, enabling us to watch in offices and on phones, and laptops, just by sending a link”.
After he had the division up and running, Walton made the decision to add the tool as a key workflow component. ClearView Flex ticked all the boxes Walton explains. “We were looking for four things: connectivity, security, streamlined access, and cost-efficiency. ClearView Flex gave us all those things.” With regard to connectivity, ClearView Flex enabled Walton and his team to connect with a client at a moment’s notice to look at a specific cut. Security was especially important, and Sohonet has long-standing relationships with studios and networks to develop matching security protocols.
“This was a big plus for us. IT and security people at the studios were completely aware of Sohonet, and reviewing ClearView Flex from the earliest stages,” says Walton, who notes that this fact helped streamline the process of getting client approval.
The setup process was “easy – not disruptive” Walton explains. Once installed, he adds, “the functionality was easy to learn. Now clients are excited to hear we have this alternative. They’re used to calling the machine room and talking to IT to hook up fiber. With ClearView Flex, we send a link, they open it in their browser, and we’re connected.” Clients also like the fact that the connection can be secure on mobile phones and iPads he adds.
Since early this year, Statement has had “Flex” sessions with Warner Bros on Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Pokemon Detective Pikachu, among others. On Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Walton recalls they were close to finishing when a quick change came up. “We were able to get online quickly, go through the cut, see the notes and make the change right away.”
“We’ve also had Flex sessions with Netflix for a trailer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series,” he adds. ‘as well as with Universal Pictures on campaigns for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Abominable.”
“ClearView Flex gives us the ability to do live reviews with our clients and meet their needs for quick collaboration and secure delivery,” Walton notes. “These demands are the new norm.”