The Phoenix Effect is an Australian video production studio, specializing in traditionally considered non-traditional communications. We spoke with founder, Nigel Camilleri about winning a Cannes Lions, getting involved early and how Hightail helps save money on post-production.
The Phoenix Effect is a video production-based business
I started out in the agency world but moved into content creation. After setting up a content division for a global agency, I left to do my own thing and started The Phoenix Effect. We create a cross-section of material from short-form social media content, digital content and commercials to full TV shows and documentaries.
Success is subjective
For some people success can be defined by having a prestigious award adorning their desk, and we’ve been fortunate to have played an integral part in winning a few of these. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have won a Cannes Lion, but in all honesty for me, success is about creating work that people engage with, and forming relationships with clients and suppliers that result in producing work that we’re proud of because it’s delivered on objectives. I think it’s pretty simple, if I make my client look good, I’ll look good, and then I’ll get repeat business. And most importantly we like to have a lot of fun throughout the process.
We like to be involved early on projects
Whether we’re working directly with a brand or via a production company or agency, it’s better to be there at the strategic level, discussing the problem, coming up with a solution then figuring how to bring it to life creatively and where to distribute it. Often if you’re working with an agency, that part is already in place and we’re there to execute their concept. But that process is still collaborative and as the director you have a lot of input.
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Documentaries usually come together in the edit suite
With short form work like commercials you have scripts and storyboards locked down before you shoot. So post-production is often about putting together that story. But with a documentary or a TV travel show, whilst you have a clear idea of the big picture, you often find that the narrative can change based on what you capture. It’s a more a fluid collaborative process.
Technology is breaking down so many communication barriers
It’s important to build a good rapport
We try and have face-to-face meetings when we first start working with a new client. It’s not always possible though now you can jump on a video call and still have that personal experience. Technology is breaking down so many communication barriers.
Getting feedback used to be cumbersome
Sometimes we’d manage to find a time when everyone was free to present to the client in-person and take notes on their feedback. Or we’d upload videos to Vimeo, which was better than clients having to download the file each time. But they would have to write their comments in an email with the timecodes. It wasn’t very effective.
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Hightail makes post-production more streamlined
Not only can we upload a video to Hightail for clients to view without having to download it first, it also consolidates their comments in one place. They’re often based in different states or offices, so it’s great that everyone can see what other people are saying. It helps them align their feedback. Hightail also makes managing multiple projects easier as you can always check out the Space to remind yourself of what a client said or where a project is at.
Spending less time in post-production saves money
With Hightail, it’s very clear what the client’s feedback means. Compared to our previous process, it can save us 5-10 hours on a project (depending on size and scale). In terms of an editor’s time, that’s a couple of grand saved. Across multiple jobs throughout the year, that’s a lot of money. I also don’t need to present videos face-to-face as much any more and that saves me time.
Using tools like Hightail has been critical in our constant pursuit of cost efficiency
People are increasingly entertainment-hungry
It’s no surprise the volume of video production is increasing. In many scenarios however, we’re seeing production budgets being squeezed. A common conversation I have with clients is about the importance of cost efficiency as opposed to being “cheap”, and this is fundamental to our approach. I’ve got no doubt using tools such as Hightail has been critical in our constant pursuit of this goal.
To find out more about The Phoenix Effect, visit www.thephoenixeffect.com.au.
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