Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Creator-Centric Workflows: The Key to Leaner Faster Digital Content Production

Berlin, Germany
.fount co-founder Philipp Haeberlin-Collet on the evolution of digital content production and talent management and the exciting new solutions on offer
It is no secret that most of our current production models are not ready for the age of digital content. A need for digital native talent has emerged as content options have multiplied and the speed of delivery has rapidly increased. And while it’s tempting to hold on to century old traditions, what digital agencies and brands now need has changed shape. 

With evolution comes re-evaluation, placing us at a pivotal moment in the production world where new solutions and processes are waiting to be discovered to help bring what was once tradition, into the modern age.

Philipp Haeberlin-Collet and Jo Glenk, co-founders of talent platform and consultancy .fount, have been closely following the development of this changing production landscape over the past year as it begins to shift. Having launched the company at the beginning of last year, .fount was offering an innovative new solution to the growing variety of digital content and need for multi-skilled talent. Through their platform they were matching agencies and brands with digital talents outside of their usual bubble - with the right set of skills to suit each job in the context of digital productions.

Communicating closely with potential digital agencies and brands, .fount soon realised there was an even better solution they could be offering. “After more than 200 calls, our team noticed that potential customers were interested in working with the freelancers on our platform, especially those that produce entire content pieces on their own: creators and agile production studios focusing on digital content. Consequently we focused our value proposition from ‘freelancers working in film’ to ‘digital creators’ - but still the conversions for actual jobs were too low,” explained Philipp. 

“At that point our hypothesis was that digital agencies and brands want a more personal connection to both .fount and the freelancers because they are not ready to only use digital matching. To validate that, we carried out a number of user tests which showed us that focusing on the creators was right but not enough. Digital agencies and brands also wanted us to provide insights on how to collaborate with the creators and brief them in the most efficient way.”

Evolving with the Times

Testament to their open-minded, agile way of thinking, .fount were not afraid to pivot their business, taking the time to really pinpoint current issues in production processes and what digital agencies and brands as well as talent actually need and would benefit from.

“At that point we noticed that there is a sweet spot,” Philipp continued. “Creators are able to produce amazing content all by themselves but are not able to scale their workflows when working with bigger digital agencies and brands. And the agencies and brands need to find new ways to produce digital content faster and cheaper but are not ready to source and brief creators appropriately. That’s where we can hop in: combining the agility of the best creators with the reliability of a production company. We are the facilitator for digital content. As we started to focus on creators we noticed that they rarely work with established production companies, and if they do so, the production companies often apply their workflows (that are often designed for bigger projects) to the creators. We felt that this production mindset has to shift and be turned upside down.”

By boosting creator workflows rather than defining them, this 'creator-centric' model is able to offer 20-40% faster and cheaper production processes. “Creators want to get their stuff out there and eliminate factors that slow them down. They are used to working on their own or in small units and can cover many positions in one person. This obviously accounts for lower production costs,” said Philipp. “Their workflows are lean and therefore faster than classical ones. However, it‘s not only the workflow itself but also the level of control a client wants to have over the production that impacts the production speed - and therefore also the budget. Our goal is to use tailored production thinking workshops early on in the process to establish a level of trust between the creators and the digital agencies and brands that allows the creator to execute the production with as little client interference as possible.”

These workshops bring all the stakeholders together to focus on the client‘s content (from single piece to entire campaign) and how to get the best performance. A .fount moderator leads the workshop to arrive at a suitable 'production framework' ready to shoot (with or without .fount) - no detours, no briefing waterfalls.

“We want to establish a new, liquid production model that is an addition to existing structures and puts creators in the centre of the production process instead holding on to production processes from the past. We keep things lean and transfer our knowledge to the client‘s in-house team,” Philipp highlighted. “We want to become the go-to place for matching relevant creators with digital agencies and brands for exciting projects where they can unfold their potential to the fullest and grow through the service we offer. Change is rapid, and the only way to keep up is to collaborate and innovate.”

Work from .fount