CNW Creative is the video production and distribution arm of Canadian newswire organization, CNW. We spoke with Producer, Darrin Suzuki about being a full-service video agency, the challenges of collecting feedback and why Spaces arrived at just the right time.
CNW is the largest newswire service in Canada
We’ve been around for 60 years but the business has changed a lot in recent times. We now have departments dealing with webcasts, photos and CNW Creative, where I work, which does video production. My team acts as a full-service video agency for our clients, doing everything from initial concepts and budgeting to post-production and publishing.
We use other distribution channels besides the wire
The main bulk of material published by CNW happens on the newswire. But we also have other distribution models, whether it’s broadcast outlets for commercials and public service announcements or social for other types of videos. We’ll seed videos on Facebook or Twitter and can help out smaller clients, who may not have a department that manages social media.
I started out as a video editor
I went to Ryerson Film School and had been working as a freelance video editor for a while before I landed a job at CNW in the creative department as an Editor. I moved up to a Senior Editor role and from there became a full-time Producer. I still cut, though not as much as I used to. Mostly I’m on set during shoots and project manage the whole production.
We were looking for a more collaborative way to exchange feedback.
Our challenge was getting feedback in a cohesive way
To get comments from clients we were using a mixture of emails and multiple phone calls with different people. You’d get feedback from one person then someone else would give their thoughts later. We’d have these massive chains of emails and call notes. So we were looking for a more collaborative way to get our team and clients together to exchange better collective feedback.
Spaces arrived at just the right time for us
We had used Hightail for a long time to send large files but when working with an editor in B.C., he introduced us to dedicated video collaboration software, which we thought was a great idea. Just as we were contemplating switching over, we got an email from Hightail about the new creative collaboration features in Spaces, which included video. It was exactly what we were looking for.
It’s much better than dealing with a shopping list of edits in an email.
Our clients really like Hightail
It saves them a lot of back and forth in email detailing their feedback and they no longer have to write down timecodes. This type of visual feedback is a lot faster because I can see exactly what we’re discussing. I know that at 1:28, this exact frame needs to be a specific color or the text has a spelling mistake. It’s much better than dealing with a shopping list of edits in an email that you then have to relate back to the video.
Working with agencies adds another communication layer
We often work with PR agencies and communications companies, who will be the main point of contact for the end client. Hightail has been great for allowing us to collaborate with them and get the video to a place where they’re happy to show it to the client. Because they don’t want their client to see all of the management that went into the final cut, the ability to make a clean copy of the Space with one click is perfect.
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