COVID-19 will redefine the way we produce and consume content forever.
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We are devoting our Knowledge section to everything you need to know about the ways our industry is changing. If you have any questions at all, or want us to feature something here, please drop us a line and we'll be happy to help you.

Happy Thanksgiving, From Your Friends at Casual Films

Posted by Sanica Apte
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As Thanksgiving rolls around each year, we are reminded of all that there is to feel grateful for. 

As we turn the corner into 2021, there's no doubt we'll all go into the new year having learned something - about ourselves, about our communities, about the world. 

We'd like to take this opportunity to take stock, and give thanks. To inject a little optimism into this time of year. 

At Casual, we're grateful for our team. Through strange times, our staff of 45+ across London, New York, and Los Angeles have persisted in creating for our clients. We figured out how film remotely, film UGC content easily, film on COVID-safe sets, and keep making great films no matter the circumstances. We played team-bonding games, we bantered on Slack, we bonded (virtually). 

Empathy is the keyword of this year. Stressors extend beyond just work-tasks. We're all cooped up in our homes, worried about loved ones, feeling a range of emotions. We're so thankful for how supportive our teams have been to each other.

We're grateful for the relationships we've built to see us through these tough times. We're thankful that we can look out for each other, lean on one another, and take this Thanksgiving holiday to rest and reflect. 

Topics: Being a better commissioner, How-to, Innovation

Ariel Capture: Making user generated content easy for business

Posted by Oliver Atkinson
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As technology has improved, the little cameras embedded in the back of our phones have become a key selling point for Big Tech. They now have large sensors, stabilisation and are perfect for grabbing a snap of your gran doing the splits on her birthday. For all the wizardry, Big Tech still hasn’t solved one big problem... the user.

Ariel Capture Selfie

A weird location with no light, a piece to camera directly up the nose, or the old classic, a thumb over the lens. Yep, UGC or ‘user generated content’ can be a great idea for your next global campaign, but a real pain to execute. The content can be questionable to say the least and sometimes the final edit can end up being a mix of stock footage with the one or two UGC clips that made the cut.  With everyone trying their best, but failing, it’s an awful lot of wasted time and effort.

The solution to these UGBs or ‘user generated bloopers’ is Ariel Capture, a new mobile app from Casual that makes producing user generated content a breeze. To kick off a project your staff just need to download the app via the App store, drop in a project code, and they’re ready to go. Everything is on-screen: bespoke shot lists, questions and on-screen filming tips. Once the footage has been shot and uploaded to our secure servers, our award-winning post-production team will bring your content to life.

Ariel Capture Screenshot

With your workforce at home and a desire to record this exceptional time, Ariel Capture offers a cost-effective solution for not only remote filming, but also for managing your UGC projects in one place. Gone are the days of tracking down the clip named DC000375 from forty emails memorably named ‘my clip’. All your footage will sit in one project on the cloud rather than your desktop, where it’s draining the computer memory and sending your fan into hyperdrive.

Ariel Capture Phone

Sound useful? Get in touch with one of our experienced Exec Producers for a test drive...


Topics: Being a better commissioner, How-to, Innovation, Ariel

Webinar: Corporate comms evolves with interactive video for ABinBev

Posted by Lexi Mounsey
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We all need a drink sometimes - this year more than ever – but the harmful effects of alcohol are a problem, and something needed to be done about it.

Casual Films and our interactive video partner WireWax worked with ABInBev and their safe drinking force the ABInBev Foundation, to create an epic Interactive video to Reinvent How We Drink.

ABinBev Interactive

Moderation remains a fundamental factor in consuming alcohol, and ABInBev have spent more than three decades promoting responsible drinking, setting Global Smart Drinking Goals to be achieved by 2025. These Goals are informed by the unique and diverse causes of harmful drinking in the 50+ countries they operate. Casual Films traveled to Zacatecas, Mexico; Leuven, Belgium; as well as right here in New York City to uncover the stories of how ABInBev are bringing this change.

AbInBev beer cansAlcohol free beer: all the flavour, none of the danger!

In a powerful 6 minute interactive video, our interactive production partners Wirewax did an incredible job planning and mapping hotspot technology to reveal a deeper layer of content for the viewer. As you watch, there are 13 additional pieces of clickable content to increase engagement, including videos, imagery, articles and social campaigns. The narrative is neatly wrapped up in the hero film, hosted by ABInBev talent and Directed by David Potvin. Shot on location in a Brooklyn studio over one long shoot day, we were able to create a diverse set of locations as a way to reveal relevant stories and navigate the viewer through all facets of the Smart Drinking programme.

Launching on “Global Beer Responsible Day” - Friday, September 18th as a way to reaffirm ABInBev’s commitment to reducing the harmful use of alcohol, this is a campaign we are truly proud of.

Casual Films WireWax ABinBev WebinarIf you are interested in using Interactive Video, or would like to learn more about the process and some of the key pitfalls to avoid, Casual's Nick Francis is going to be discussing the project with Emily Wallen, Global Manager, Brand and Digital Communications at AbInBev and WIREWAX Co-Founder Dan Garraway on Wednesday 18th November at 12pm EST. You can sign up here.

It should be a fascinating discussion and well worth a listen if you want to know more about making really impactful interactive video content.

Topics: Interactive Video, Case Study, Events, Innovation

Using video to fight knife crime and wasted lives

Posted by Tarryn Paul
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Topics: Purpose driven video, Case Study

Produce One: Plant One - Supporting the Trillion Trees Project

Posted by Nick Francis
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After all the madness of this year, you could be forgiven for thinking that we've lost it. We’re pleased to report though, that we haven’t finally cracked – we will, of course, also make you the project. While we do that, we'll also plant a tree on your behalf. So, not only do you get to delight your audience, you get to leave a mark that will live long into the future.

Trillion Trees charities

Trillion Trees is an inspired venture between Birdlife International, Wildlife Conservation Society and the WWF. Once upon a time, the world was home to six trillion trees, over the years, human impact has reduced that number to just 3 trillion. Trillion Trees aims to replant and protect a trillion trees by the year 2050. It’s a hugely ambitious goal but one which will go some way to reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and creating a rich and vibrant natural world for the future. We are all so proud to be able to contribute toward such a worthwhile goal.

You can find out more here.

Topics: Purpose driven video, About Casual, Culture & Values, Sustainability

The lasting effects: video production sustainability during a pandemic

Posted by Maria Salcher
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Casual Films were recently commissioned to produce a brand-new film for BMW showcasing a sustainability strategy driven by their leading message: ‘We don’t do sustainability at BMW, we make BMW sustainable’. 

BMW is committed to ensuring sustainability at every level of production, reducing it’s CO2 footprint significantly. From the supply chain through to the final use phase ensuring they become a benchmark for sustainability within the automotive industry.

With this sustainability focus in mind, I wanted to see how this translated into the video production industry. Even now in the midst of a global pandemic, what can be done to ensure that the process has as little impact on the environment as possible whilst still adhering to government health & safety regulations.

We have all seen the vast amounts of barely consumed water bottles being thrown away after a day on set or have been told to avoid excessive printing ahead of shoots. What does it really mean to be a sustainable production and how do you keep your carbon footprint as low as possible? Especially when working practices in light of Covid-19 can appear at odds with a lot of sustainability measures that are supposed to be put into place?

Most of the planning to make a project ‘green’ starts in the very early pre-production stages. It’s important to realise that even small changes will have a big impact in the grand scheme of things and that it is our responsibility to ensure we are looking after this planet for future generations. Eco-friendly decisions can be a big win for both the production budget and more importantly the environment.

There are a lot of things to consider but here are some key points and sustainability tips I have picked up during on-set productions before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plastic water bottlesPLASTIC WATER BOTTLES:

Something so apparent and simple but often forgotten!

With plastic bottles impacting not only the earth's resources but the personal health of the people who drink from them, switching to reusable bottles is definitely a decision everyone should make.

It is estimated that approximately 700,000 water bottles are being thrown away every day in the UK.

Plastic-free shoots are on the rise in the industry and utilising water urns in combination with reusable water bottles are a great way to help make a large impact. Look out for a note on our call sheets reminding people to bring along a reusable water bottle on the next shoot!


It is now more important than ever to reduce single-use plastic wherever possible.

While there are cities like Seattle that have banned plastic drinking straws and utensils altogether it’s still too easy to fall into the trap of purchasing easily accessible cheap plastic cutlery for video shoots.

It is important to flag that there are fantastic eco-friendly alternatives listed at the same price as their plastic counterparts making them a go-to on all shoots.



'Support your local businesses' has been a big slogan coming out of lockdown so why not apply this same principle to catering.

Sourcing local and seasonal produce wherever possible will not only reduce the overall carbon footprint but also support local business owners during a time of uncertainty.

With all meals having to be individually packaged to adhere to Covid-19 regulations it’s vital to ensure consumables are environmentally friendly. Cleaning products, especially within the current climate, should be biodegradable and non-toxic.

We are ultimately going to move back to buffet-style catering on film sets and donations of leftovers to food banks should be factored in on a daily basis.

Jurassic World, which was partly shot in the UK, started a food donations program to manage daily leftovers which in total represented 145 kilos of food which would otherwise have gone to waste.

Avoid the classic production pitfalls!

If you have been thinking about a project, make sure you avoid the common mistakes with our Ten Commandments of Effective Video. You can download it right here.


Recycling conserves natural resources, saves energy, protects the environment and reduces landfill. Various recycling bins should always be made available where possible to ensure waste can be processed as effectively as possible after a shoot. 


Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 12% of greenhouse gas emissions and with the average office worker using approximately 10,000 sheets of paper in a given year, it's clear things need to change. Excessive printing should be avoided at all costs and if possible, documents shared digitally.



It almost feels like we are slightly moving backward ever since hitting a global pandemic which presented the need for face masks, with most of them disposable and non-recyclable.

More and more images are currently emerging online showing face masks ending up in our oceans and conservationists warning that the coronavirus pandemic could spark a surge in ocean pollution and endangering marine life.

Given the above, it seems a no-brainer to switch to re-usable face masks that can be washed and used over and over again with the added bonus of saving you money in the long run. While it’s Casual Films duty to ensure the safety of all crew on set, with full PPE supplied, we encourage each person to bring along re-usable face masks where possible.

Casual Films have always put the environment at the forefront of its work and are therefore passionate about keeping carbon emissions as low as possible. When creating Statements of Work we have Low Carbon stickers to help highlight the ideas that have the least impact on the environment and are therefore highly recommended by us:

Low Carbon Stickers

We feel it is essential to educate our crews on sustainability matters so each individual can implement them within their own homes or on future productions to make an impact.

Whatever you are trying to achieve with video, our experienced team of producers are on hand to get you there. To get started, share a few details here and one of the team will give you a call back.

Topics: Production process, Being a better commissioner, Purpose driven video, Culture & Values, Sustainability

Animation Case Study: UNHCR Nansen Refugee Awards

Posted by Emily Lay
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We are lucky enough to get to produce all sorts of work for all sorts of causes around the world. Every so often we get to work on a project which really hits us and reminds us just how powerful the medium we work with is. Our latest work for the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Awards is just such a project.

The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Awards, recognise individuals, groups and organisations who have gone above and beyond to protect refugees, displaced and stateless people.

Live action profiles were usually played at the awards to celebrate each winner, however due to the challenges of filming during Covid-19 the UNHCR approached us to help produce impactful films in a Covid friendly way.

Using a combination of live action, documentary footage and animation we were able share the journeys and incredible achievements of each of this year's inspirational winners. 


"[Casual] did everything perfectly. It was a very easy, smooth process. Because of the nature of the work, I wasn’t expecting it to be so easy. I can’t sing their high praises highly enough."

- Will Davies, Producer for UNHCR


The team at Casual developed a style and created bespoke characters for each of the awardees.  These were then animated, transporting viewers to the challenges that had been faced by the winners and refugee communities.  This was later combined with UNHCR footage which had been shot by local crews and edited by the team at Casual to show the reality of the winners' achievements. 


This year five inspirational women have awarded the honour, they are:

Mayerlín Vergara Pérez 

The Nansen Refugee Award Laureate, who frees children from the bonds of sexual exploitation:

Tetiana Barantisova 


The Europe regional winner, who led thousands of refugees to safety and helped displaced Ukrainians living with disabilities find support and security: 


Rozma Ghafouri 


The Asia Regional winner, who has transformed Afghan children's lives through sport.


Sabuni-Françoise Chikunda 


The Africa regional winner, who overcame personal trauma to champion other refugee women in the Uganda:

Dr Rana Dajani 

The Middle East and North Africa regional winner, who created the ‘We Love Reading’ program that has inspired and empowered thousands of refugee children:

The films were streamed online at a special ceremony on Monday the 5th of October and are currently displayed on the UNHCR website.  Social edits are regularly shared across Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 


"Right at the end of the project, we had to completely change the language of one of the films from Russian to Ukrainian. They were able to do that and turn it around really quickly. They were very good about cost as well. They never tried to charge extra. They stuck to budget very well."

- Will Davies, Producer for UNHCR


It was a privilege for the team at Casual to tell the stories of these amazing women. To find out more about each of each of the winners you can visit the UNHCR Nansen awards here.  


If you'd like to learn more about Animation at Casual Films you can check out this post also by Emily:


Or, if you want to speak to Emily or any of our excellent Executive Producers, you can drop us some details here and we'll get back in touch.


Topics: Animation, Purpose driven video, Case Study, Coronavirus Content, Events

Vote 2020: It's Never Mattered More

Posted by Lydia Chan
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AdobeStock_226381495 2If you haven't registered to vote, there's still time. Visit When We All Vote to figure out how to do so. 

Once you are registered, create a plan for voting. 

Voting is fundamental to our democracy. No person should be worried about being reprimanded or fired from their job to exercise this right. 

At Casual, we stand behind everyone's right to vote. No matter your circumstances or the community you live in.  Your vote matters and it counts. 

We encourage all managers and organizations to consider their employee's varying circumstances and play a role. 

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Talking head, Case Study, Postproduction

GoDaddy Icons of Our Tribe: San Francisco, CA

Posted by Sanica Apte
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For the past two years, we've worked with the GoDaddy team to travel across the country telling entrepreneur stories. We highlight everyday business owners making their own way and carving their own path. 

We kicked off January 2020 with another stint of GoDaddy shoots, this time in the San Francisco Bay Area. Little did we know it'd be one of the last big shoots of the year. As always though, these everyday entrepreneurs are a beacon of hope and optimism. Many of them were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they persevered through by shifting online. Check out their stories below! 

Anna Rotty Art


Anna Rotty reveals her mission to create art with a purpose and connect people through her unique prints in San Francisco, California. Influenced by the artistic talent of her mom, Anna Rotty chases her own artistic dream and pushes the boundaries of photography by creating one-of-a-kind prints with a mission in mind: to connect with others. Although she creates art for a living, Anna proves to be much more than an artist — she’s a social experimenter, storyteller and creative thinker. Each piece she curates provides a meaningful experience, thought-provoking dialogue and deeper connection for her patrons. Her purpose-driven prints allow folks to see beyond what the image represents and tells multiple sides of a story based on her interpretations. Staying true to her mission and zeal, Anna finds everyday success in the ability to express herself through art and make something that resonates with others.

Lily Ann Lam

From salon assistant to manager to entrepreneur, Lily Ann Lam’s deep family roots in hairstyling compels her to open a studio in San Francisco — despite the challenges that would come with rebuilding clientele from scratch. With the power of a GoDaddy website to showcase her plethora of skills catered to fresh hairstyles for both men and women, Lily Ann is given the opportunity to focus on what really matters. This mom of three teenagers shares her positive outlook on the life of a small business owner in the big city, including the priceless flexibility of putting family first. As she continues to grow her five-station salon, she finds the perfect balance in juggling a growing family and a successful business that keeps customers walking through the door.

SF Love Tours

The moment Allan Graves put his tech-finance job in the rearview mirror to pursue a more meaningful journey, he became inspired to bring his idea for a sightseeing company to life. He launched San Francisco Love Tours — a one-of-a-kind experience that captures the essence and rich history of the city. Sightseers hitch a ride on a decked-out 70’s van and get to see the city like locals, walking away feeling inspired by the stories, music and iconic sights that shape the city’s vibrant culture. Day in and day out, Allan is fueled by the energy from the thousands of folks that hop into his iconic tie-dye vans to experience his unforgettable tour every year.

Tres Leches Cafe


With the perfect caramel latte recipe and a coffee cart purchased on Craigslist, ET boldly took the first step towards making his coffee shop dream a reality. Locals fell in love with Tres Leches Cafe’s unique Mexican-flavored drinks and his business soared, expanding from the coffee cart to an 800 sq. ft. home to a 3,000 sq. foot space in just a few years. With its unmistakably friendly and welcoming vibe, the cafe celebrates Chicano art and culture in every way — from the art on the walls to the Insta-worthy drinks like flan lattes and strawberry horchatas. Wanting to expand his business further, ET took to the kitchen and set out to add his own baked goods to the menu. Despite a few burnt attempts starting out, he finally found his recipes to success. The pastry case at Tres Leches glitters with everything from donuts and empanadas to traditional pan dulce — and locals can’t get enough.

JN Design


Always having a knack for sketching letters and typography, it was a high school graphic design teacher who told Jahred he had something special—and he should go after it. In college, he led a team of designers, teaching them how to make top-notch creative choices through captivating design. He also founded his brand, JN Design, where he expanded his design experience through various creative projects. Once he was ready to take his business to the next level, Jahred created a customized website where he could showcase his creative talents through brand strategy, illustration, content and motion graphics services. Pulling artistic inspiration from fashion and makeup, he works with each client to infuse their personality and vision into his designs. Jahred continues to encourage creatives by holding steadfast to his definition of success—the ability to make a living with the freedom to create whatever he wants.

Lost Republic Distillery

After a late night putting together their business plan on cocktail napkins, Matt and Colin set out on a quest to start their own distillery. Knowing they wanted to do things a little differently, they pulled a page from Matt’s winemaking past, aging their spirits in wine barrels to yield a unique lighter style whiskey. From filling and corking to the handwritten touch on each bottle, the Lost Republic team is dedicated to staying true to their person-to-person business roots, hitting the road to hand-deliver their bottles and maintain the quality relationships they’ve built with their partners. As they expand their small-batch craft into new markets, including Texas and Colorado, their GoDaddy website carries the torch, sharing their story while staying true to their independent California spirit.

VIVIC Sparkling Coffee


During his barista days, Graham enjoyed testing offbeat flavor combinations and creating a secret menu that coffee shop customers loved. His skills and drive propelled him to team up with Louis to co-found VIVIC — a direct trade sparkling coffee brand made with real, honest ingredients straight from the source. Dedicated to doing their part in addressing the inequities within coffee trading, Graham and Louis source their coffee directly from a farmer in El Salvador (and even visit the farm themselves). The dynamic duo created VIVIC to represent a unique twist on coffee, bringing life into patrons with fun flavors of caffeine: original, sarsaparilla and lavender. VIVIC can be found in over 80 stores throughout the San Francisco Bay area, with more fizzy flavors and locations on the way.  

Puzzle Piece Athletics


Chad is the founder and CEO of Puzzle Piece Athletics, a program specializing in personalized fitness plans for neuro-divergent children and young adults. He and his team of coaches work closely with each athlete, creating a special bond and using functional movement exercises to build strength, balance, coordination and confidence. The incredible transformation of the kids and young adults is clear — they go from shy and unengaged to thriving as they become empowered to emerge from their shell and meet every challenge thrown their way. Pouring their heart and soul into this unique neuro-diverse community, Puzzle Piece Athletics is equipping its athletes to become champions both in and out of the gym.

Turf Feinz


Based out of Oakland, Turf Feinz is on a mission to bring newfound hope to the community through a unique form of art: turf dancing. Made up of all styles of dance, the crew uses their movements to express the emotions of everyday life and tell the stories of the journeys they’ve been through. Their dancing honors the legacy of the Oakland community, working to maintain the much-loved culture, even through modern times. Turf Feinz’s “I shine, you shine, we shine together” mentality reminds them to push for something bigger than themselves: to be a symbol of love and hope to their community and beyond.

Big Shout out to the team that worked on this: 

  • Sanica Apte, Producer
  • James Fair, Filmmaker
  • Katie Wade, Editor
  • Darren Will, Editor

The past six months has really demonstrated how creative we can get given such stringent limitations. Casual Films has pivoted to continue to meet our clients' needs even in our new normal. Need to communicate ever-changing strategy? We've got you covered with delightful animations and snappy edits. Absolutely need to show your employees or facilities? Our team is well-versed in all the COVID-safe precautions to make filming in-person both safe and effective. Contact us today to learn more. 

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Talking head, Case Study, Postproduction

Remote Filming + COVID-19 Safe Sets

Posted by Sanica Apte
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2020 has been a challenging year. The global pandemic has affected every business. In March, we paused. Through the summer, we waited to see how the situation would improve across the world. But through it all, we adapted to the new normal. We came up with creative ideas to shift the way we work. And now, we're all figuring out how to continue our pre-coronavirus objectives in a new global landscape.

For us here at Casual, that 2020 saga is no different. We saw as the months passed and the COVID-19 situation remained largely unchanged, especially here in the U.S. Out of that, we've carved out two clear paths to continue to create the same caliber of video content for our clients. 

John and Kendall Antonelli, filmed remotely for GoDaddy

Option 1: Remote Filming

Okay, so you mean Zoom footage? 

Picture remote filming and you're probably imagining video call footage that you've grown tired of seeing over the past few months. While Zoom is a good option for some projects, we have lots of avenues for filming remotely. And we can do some pretty nifty stuff with Zoom footage, too! Check out how we spruced up Zoom footage with some animation this HSBC piece

HSBC, Early Careers | Dupe

What are my other options? 

If you're looking to up the quality of your videos beyond Zoom footage we can certainly help with that. We've coordinated shoots across the the US, UK, and Europe by sending people equipment packages. Some of these are super simple: asking people to film on their own iPhones, or shipping them an easy-to-use camera. Here's one example all filmed with iPhones: 

GoDaddy | Roundtable Discussions

Or, we can upgrade the camera package even further to a consumer-grade camera like the Sony A7Rii or a Blackmagic pocket. This GoDaddy Success Story we did with Jane Ko, Austin blogger and influencer, is made up of interview footage filmed on her Sony A7Rii, Instagram Stories, and vlog footage she filmed herself. 

GoDaddy, Success Stories | A Taste of Koko

Option 2: COVID-Safe Sets

BTS from a COVID-safe shoot

Okay, so you might look at the above and think it's all swell. But it's still not what you're looking for? Perhaps you need to film new footage that showcases leadership, employees, or other essential visuals. We got that covered too: we've transitioned to filming on COVID-safe sets. 

This means that we are limiting the crew size to ensure minimal exposure. All Casual Films and client personnel will be asked to disclose travel and any symptoms prior to the shoot. On set, everyone will wear masks the entire time. Everyone will have their temperatures checked when they arrive on set. We break frequently to wash hands, sanitize surfaces, and disinfect. All catering and beverages are individually packaged. We'll scope out the filming space thoroughly to make sure it's large enough to allow for social distancing, renting additional spaces if necessary. We will also map out where we will be filming what throughout the day so the absolute minimum number of people are present in one location. 

Whether your shoot is a multifaceted extravaganza or a simple employee interview, we've got it covered. We're here to make sure that no matter what avenue you choose, the process is easy, simple, and efficient. 

The past six months has really demonstrated how creative we can get given such stringent limitations. Casual Films has pivoted to continue to meet our clients' needs even in our new normal. Need to communicate ever-changing strategy? We've got you covered with delightful animations and snappy edits. Absolutely need to show your employees or facilities? Our team is well-versed in all the COVID-safe precautions to make filming in-person both safe and effective. Contact us today to learn more. 

Topics: Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to, Project management, Coronavirus Content


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