Creativity is about finding solutions that have value. When you think about it, creativity is most needed when you're facing a challenge and you need to find the right solution. And the more creative you are, the better you will be at turning your knowledge into a creative solution. That's why creativity is be part of everything we do - not just among the art directors and producers, but also in sales meetings, HR policies,... everywhere. Someone in a "creative" role, such as a copywriter for example, might have moments in which they're not creative at all, while our production planner - classically seen as a more organizational role - often gets really creative in finding solutions!
Let me illustrate how StoryMe sees creativity with a recent example:
One day one of our clients came to us with a tight budget for a screencast and a company explainer, meaning both would have to be produced at a very basic level. After a quick brainstorm, the client partner and I came up with a creative solution: we would teach the client how to make a screencast, as you don't need experts to do this once you get started, and then use the rest of the budget to make the company explainer. This way, the client could still have both videos, while we could spend our precious production time on making a next level company video they could be proud of!
That's what I call creativity.
People who are afraid of being wrong, are often afraid to try new things. Afraid of being creative. That's why we at StoryMe, we put a lot of time & effort into creating an environment that rewards people for trying something new. Because making mistakes is necessary to be able to get creative.
Our own top topical content, for example, is something for which we give complete freedom to the team - there is no right or wrong here, these are projects in which everyone can let their creativity roam free.
Another example I'm thinking of is that, in the past, we've mainly focused on film and 2D animation projects, but there were actually a few people in our company who've been wanting to try their hand at 3D animation projects. So when Michael, Art Director at StoryMe, recently saw the opportunity with a project proposal for Greenspeed, he proposed to turn it into a 3D animation. I discussed it with him and the client partner Yasmin and concluded: "Do your thing, try to stay within the budget, but if that's not possible then we'll see it as a learning cost." How that turned out? We delivered our first full 3D animation video, within the given budget, with a happy client and one really happy art director. And of course, the project provided loads of learnings about 3D for the future!
We love clear briefings, because they narrow down a million ways of telling a story to a handful clear paths you could take. In fact, one of the worst briefings we ever got was "just do something, you are the creatives here." This was never going to lead to a great end result, because you need to know the client's challenge to be able to find a creative solution. That's why it's one of our focus points to make sure as much information as possible flows directly from the client to the creative team. When you don't understand their challenge perfectly, you can't find a creative solution.
It's like when you ask 10 people to draw 'something'. They will lose a lot of time deciding what to draw, and 5 of them will not even get past this stage. However, when they're asked to draw something that makes them happy, they immediately know what to do, because they understand the desired end result. They have the briefing, they have their knowledge and tools, and all there's left to do then is to be creative.
Smack in the middle of the pandemic, Fujirebio came to us with a complex briefing. They wanted to highlight multiple sectors and the people working there. Pre-pandemic, this would've been a shoot with multiple locations - for some of which we would have needed to get permission - and multiple actors, all within a specific budget.
The first idea was to work with stock footage, but that often doesn't come across as very authentic. Enter the creative thinking of @Thomas Vandenbroucke (nicknamed T-Rex), the art director on this challenge. Using backdrops and projections, we managed to create wonderful scenes that formed a unique and creative representation of the sectors we needed to highlight. Because of this way of working, we were also able to shoot the whole video in one day - saving us precious budget for the later stages.
What started off as a difficult briefing, ended with a video that exceeded the clients' expectation. Not only did we overdeliver, the team could also add one of the most visually enticing videos we've made to our portfolio.
Without creativity, there is only mediocrity. That's why I think it's our duty as a video agency to identify & reward creativity in all its forms. We have to stimulate creativity, keep challenging the status quo and come up with solutions that achieve real results. Because that's what our clients value, and that's what it takes to stay on top of the game today and in the future.