What Is An Out-House Creative Video Agency
THE MAD, MAD MEN TIMES
Back in the 60’s there used to be one kind of advertising agency. Back in the madmen days. In the Don Draper era. The in-house agency model.
And, as you probably already figured, those agencies hired all their creatives in-house. These people were regular company employees responsible for helping new clients promote their goods and services and sell them to consumers. Each time they’d get a new account, the in-house creative team’s job would be to figure out the game strategy. And back in the olden days, they’d get everyone in a room, smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, spirits and spitball ideas. Over the years this workflow hasn’t changed much. Except for the cigarettes and liquor. And most advertising agencies still operate very much in the same fashion.
But as the years went on and these companies grew and technology evolved, something else happened. Same category competition got very dense, which created an unstable influx of clients at certain times throughout the year. A need to scale quickly due to many projects happening at once became obvious and these companies had to find a solution. So they started to contract outside freelancers on a per project basis, as it was more cost efficient than putting another person on a payroll. This is how the idea of an out-house agency was born. Sounds like nut house, doesn’t it? We thought so.
THE OUT-HOUSE AGENCY MODEL
Our structure at Sandbox Video is based on an out-house agency model. That’s how the company was formed and how it evolved. And as most of you know, if you’ve had to cobble your way up and do things yourself, then you know that one person often has to handle everything from start to finish during a production. And these are the kinds of currencies we looked for. People with the ability to direct and write and edit, but who were really good at visual effects. Or, someone who knows their way around After Effects, Premiere and color grading, but who is amazing at writing copy. Because when you work with people remotely, you have to be not only very clear with your instructions, but also to have people who understand you, as well as the entire workflow (big picture) from concept to delivery.
So, do you think we’re a nut-house agency yet? If you’re not convinced, keep reading.
PRICES, WORKFLOW & DELIVERY
In our initial conversations, we had to figure out the 3 main things: prices, workflow and delivery time. First, we figured out our minimums to stay in business. Surprisingly, this was actually quite easy because math never lies.
The workflow was definitely the most complex because we needed to create something universal and simple. Luckily, a lot of the work had already been done for us by companies like Slack, Dropbox, Airtable and Frame.io. So what we had to do is to very clearly spell out the processes from the moment a new lead got in touch. Where that lead goes. Who picks it up. How long before we respond. What questions do we send them. And a million other little but really important things that live in the fairyland of the details.
And lastly, we had to figure out how much time it would take us to ideate, write, cast, produce, edit, color grade and deliver a project to a client, while working on multiple videos at any given time. This was based on an internal analysis where we had to determine what our average time was. Then we added some of the normal things that could go wrong during production. Say a missing prop gun because someone is a kleptomaniac. Then we accounted for the paranormal. The improbable but not impossible occurrence of your pet eating your solid state drive while you’re exporting the final cut. See also alien abductions, el chupacabra, spontaneous combustion of a workstation, etc. Once we accounted for these scenarios, we nailed our processing time.
Well, there you have it! We hope this article helped shine some light on our company, because honestly, if anything at all, the commute is simply amazing! ;)