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Cutters Studios' Altruistic 'Project For Good' Delivers First Initiative for Chicago Non-Profit Bootstrap Villages


The project provides basic housing to help get homeless people back on their feet

Cutters Studios' Altruistic 'Project For Good' Delivers First Initiative for Chicago Non-Profit Bootstrap Villages
Over the past 37 years, commercial editorial company Cutters has expanded its core skillset to include world-class live-action production (Dictionary Films), design, animation and visual effects (Flavor), interactive development (Picnic Media) and audio mixing (Another Country). Beyond its impressive facilities in downtown Chicago, the Cutters Studios operations also currently extend to Los Angeles, Kansas City, Detroit, New York and Tokyo. Now, thanks to a highly compassionate company ethos that endears clients and employees alike, a new "social good" initiative has been established which is about to come to fruition.
In the global commercial industry, Cutters Studios artists and producers have forged solid working relationships with most production entities and advertising agencies, to the benefit of hundreds of brands. The group's impact has also been felt in many global, national and local cause marketing initiatives, through vital contributions to campaigns for important charities, human rights and climate-focused organizations. Over the past three years, company collaborations have supported major communications efforts for the United Nations and the People+Planet Project action network, the Unmask My City initiative from The Global Climate and Health Alliance and its partners, and the ambitious ongoing #HeForShe campaign for UN Women, among many others. Ultimately, the altruistic roots shared by many of these projects led company executives to formally organize Project For Good.

As a result, last February, Cutters Studios invited more than 200 employees worldwide to pitch ideas for projects the company might produce to help make the world a better place. "I've been part of Cutters Studios for ten years now, and there has always been a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for the work we do," said Ryan Schnizlein, Cutters Studios' Chief Technology Officer, who is also a member of the Project For Good curatorial committee. "Project For Good is the perfect representation of the company's values, our combined strengths, and our collective desires to make positive differences."
In its first cycle, the call for purposeful pieces promoting the talents of Cutters Studios by incorporating production, design, creative editorial, sound and/or digital artistry, yielded eight submissions. Among them, Chicago-based Digital Services Specialist Adrianna McKinley submitted a request for a short film to help her local non-profit organization, Bootstrap Villages, strategically tell its story using the power of video. McKinley and her Bootstrap Villages board members felt certain a well-crafted film could provide vital support to their mission, which is to build a tiny house village and provide services for homeless individuals in Chicago.
"Our committee consisting of myself, Kathryn Hempel, Cindy Duffy and Craig Duncan weighed the merits of all the submissions, and chose Bootstrap Villages based on our sense of how impactful we felt our contributions could be," Schnizlein confirmed. As a side note, he also mentioned that the group agreed to underwrite Flavor LA Creative Director Jason Cook's public service announcement for California water conservation.
For McKinley, the Project For Good inspiration she felt from everyone in the company ran deep, resulting in the magnificent film she had hoped for, and much, much more. "For the film itself, which reflects contributions from every office and facet of Cutters Studios, everyone here helped us construct our narrative in a way that ensures viewers can understand and respond to our goals," she said. "We were also given the chance to visit the successful Opportunity Village in Eugene, Oregon, in person."
McKinley continued, "The people here have been endlessly supportive with offers to help outside of the film, actively participating in our fundraisers, and even allowing me to adjust my work schedule to accommodate the needs of Bootstrap Villages. Without a doubt, our non-profit's growing success is due to the giving nature of everyone here."
The finished Project For Good film for Bootstrap Villages is now available online and on the institution's Facebook page. And it will screen at its Fall fundraising event set for 9/27 in Chicago. Naturally, all support is greatly appreciated, and additional details including contact information are available online.
While Schnizlein and his fellow committee members are beginning to think of the next round of Project For Good, the emphasis for now is on "feeling our way forward and doing everything we can to deliver on the goals of the first projects." With that said, the second round is likely to open within the weeks ahead. "From there," he added, "determining what happens next really depends on what we see, how everyone feels about the submissions and where those conversations lead us."
Providing more perspective on Project For Good's inspirational aspects, Jason Cook shared these thoughts: "This initiative has shown me that this company has a deep collective conscience, and an aspiration to make the world better. Getting the assistance to produce my PSA makes me eternally grateful to the Cutters Studios family. And working for a company that shows it cares about inspiring its employees and having a real awareness for philanthropic pursuits is really satisfying."
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Cutters Studios, Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:24:01 GMT