Winning work: How Shootsta disrupted video by turning its clients into filmmakers

Shootsta's vice president Asia Antoine Bouchacourt on the approaches and strategies that won his company 'Disruptor of the Year' at the recent Mumbrella Asia Awards

It’s a word on everybody’s lips, and something companies strive to achieve: disruption. And though it’s easy to confuse disruption with innovation, the difference is vast. 

So what is the difference between the two? Innovation is identifying a problem and coming up with a solution that’s faster, cheaper or better. Disruption takes a left turn by literally uprooting norms, changing expectations, and redefining behaviours and approaches. 

Shootsta was named Disruptor of the Year at the Mumbrella Asia awards, and here is how we got there.

The premise of Shootsta is simple: brands want to produce more videos across their various channels both internal and external, but are wary of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take for traditional production agencies to create videos at scale. 

At Shootsta, we categorise videos in a way that’s inspired by Google’s ‘Hero, Hub and Hygiene’ model of content marketing. While videos go beyond content marketing purposes, the principles are largely the same. 

On one end, ‘hero’ content refers to episodic big-budget campaigns meant for massive audiences, and on the other end, ‘hygiene’ videos refer to evergreen content that’s always on and is consumed by small groups of people at a time. ‘Hub’ videos fall in between the two in terms of budgets and audience sizes.

Shootsta was born out of a natural demand by brands for more ‘hub’ video: faster and at scale. Today, we’re the first vidtech company in the world that enables brands to produce high-quality video at such impressive scale and cost. 

We do this by providing our clients with the equipment, training and strategies to film their own content themselves. They then can upload the raw footage onto Shootsta’s cloud platform which our teams of editors turn into professional-quality content, all within 24 hours. 

While our solution is innovative, it’s the other intrinsic results that make us proud of what we do and inspired to continue disrupting. Here are some of the rules we abide by.

Speed and agility is the new normal: We’re challenging the traditional perspective of video production as an expensive, time-intensive endeavour for companies. Whatever the industry, customer expectations are rapidly shifting as services get faster and technology helps us become more efficient. 

For example, Amazon Prime customers who can expect their items delivered in two hours won’t be too keen waiting three weeks for their online orders from other sites.

Customers value agility, speed, and transparency. We’ve understood this, and our post-production team is spread out across six offices in four geographical timezones on standby, ready for post-production edits, guaranteeing high-quality videos within 24 hours. 

This 24-hour promise is changing expectations of service, and clients will inherently expect this level of efficiency and agility from other vendors as well.

Video is the medium of choice for every function: Who’s to say that video is only for branding and advertising purposes? A picture paints a thousand words, and a video paints exponentially more. 

We’re increasing the accessibility of video as a medium of communication for all purposes, be it recruitment, talent management and engagement, learning and development, and even regular stakeholder reporting.

Shootsta’s greater mission is to democratise video as a primary medium for communication by removing as much friction as possible between a brand’s communication channels and their audience, whether it’s employees, stakeholders or customers.

Making filming a skill for life: Give a man to fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he feeds his family for life. Just like catching fish, some training and practice is necessary to get started with filming videos, and this is a technical skill that can be disseminated across teams. 

We want our clients to feel empowered and bravely take the lead, telling their own stories in ways they know best. That’s why we have dedicated customer success managers to aid with cinematography training and content strategy, and filming techniques. 

Furthermore, we equip clients with a bespoke video toolkit, called ‘Kit’, that contains everything that’s needed to shoot professionally, including: a DSLR camera, teleprompter, tripod, gimbal, LED light, and lapel mics.

In the end, innovation is taking a process and making it more efficient, while disruption corresponds with a shift in beliefs and processes. If we find our expectations different from what we’re used to, we can safely say we’ve been bitten by the disruption bug. 

At Shootsta, we believe disruption isn’t a destination, or even a tagline but a journey that runs through our business. As 2020 looms on the horizon, and video shows no signs of stasis, we’re looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings.Antoine Bouchacourt is vice president Asia at Shootsta, based in Singapore


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