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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.

Sanica Apte

Sanica Apte
Sanica is a Producer at Casual Films and has been with the company since 2018. She has worked with clients like Marriott, Autodesk, and GoDaddy over the years. Most notably, she’s worked on GoDaddy’s Icons of Our Tribe and Success Stories campaigns, interviewing 70+ entrepreneurs across the country over the past two years. Outside of work she enjoys reading, spending time at home, exploring Los Angeles, and finding new local restaurants to try.

Recent Posts

GoDaddy Icons of Our Tribe: San Francisco, CA

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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

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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

Case Study | GoDaddy: 301 Permanent Redirect

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Last month, we worked with the GoDaddy team to edit a series called 301: Permanent Redirect. The episodes were all filmed by the GoDaddy team in isolation, and the whole gang sure got creative! 

You may be asking, 'what does 301 Redirect mean'? It's actually quite clever: the name is inspired by the HTTP response code 'Error 301' which means that a URL has been permanently redirected. This series hinges on this metaphor -- creators, developers, and designers are at a critical inflection point. It has gone way past learning to cope with the COVID-19 situation, it's a permanent shift in the way we do business. Remote working has changed the nature of the industry, seemingly putting a limit on the type of creative work that can be done. Or, so you may think! 

 301 Permanent Redirect: Kitchen Sink

In this episode entitled 'Kitchen Sink' -- GoDaddy enlists Anthony, their Lead Photographer and Kyle Nutt, Tik Tok influencer. Both were sent a mystery box of everyday items, and were then challenged to take the most creative photos they could with whatever they had around the house. Together, they show that you can take the most normal, mundane everyday objects and make them shine. Armed with items like scrubs, brushes, hammers, and Rubik's cubes, their creativity is unleashed as they make the everyday exciting and artistic. With everything being filmed in isolation, our challenge here was taking a myriad of DIY footage: Zoom, vlog style, photos, and turning that into an engaging, fast-paced piece. Check it out! You might be surprised at how much you can do with so little. 

301 Permanent Redirect: Ad Hack

In the second episode we edited, 'Ad Hack' -- the GoDaddy team kept this challenge-theme going. They enlisted three developers at Over by GoDaddy to design advertising that would make people click through to their client's sites. The three participants had varying levels of experience in web design -- and used both new and traditional tools to pull it off. Want to create a mood board, logo, or visual consistency? These devs tackled it all head on -- with great success!

Lastly, a big shout out to the LA team that worked on this project: 

  • Darren Will, Editor
  • Katie Wade, Editor
  • Myke Dodson, Producer
  • Sanica Apte, Producer

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, Purpose driven video, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters, About Casual, Coronavirus Content, Video production from home

COVID-19 Safe Filming: on set from the comfort of your own home!

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Filming in the time of COVID-19 looks a bit different than it used to. We've implemented new safety precautions to make sure that all the shoots we do are in line with state and local regulations.

Whether you're doing a remote-filming set up, a socially distanced set, or dialing into a shoot remotely, we've got all your video production needs covered. 

Filming these days doesn't mean that your options are limited to just stock edits, animations and Zoom footage. While all those are great options for some projects, sometimes you want to be able to interview your own employees or film bespoke content.

To achieve this, in the 'new normal' we're all living in, we are able to shoot on socially distanced sets. This means that we'd limit the crew to include only essential personnel, and all client stakeholders can dial in via Google Meet or Zoom. 

How do we do that? Via live feed, of course! 

 

This set up means that everyone dialed in to the call can see exactly what the camera sees, and hear everything that's going on. Clients can watch the live feed just like they would on set, and easily share feedback. 

The only person required to be there in person is the interviewee. With a minimal crew, safety precautions are front and center while still being able to capture the content that our clients need. Need us to film your product as well? Ship it over! 

The world's been changed forever with the pandemic but we're at the ready to tackle all the same needs as before, just with a few safety tweaks.

Shout out to the team that worked on this: 

  • Filmmaker: Cara Gordon
  • Editor: Cara Gordon
  • Executive Producer: Felicia Jamieson 
  • Producer: Phi Thi Thach

 

We're here to provide an outlet. A supplier that will hit the ground running with the most proactive and reliable production service around.

Our experienced team will make commissioning your video project the easiest part of your day.

Click here to get started and find out what makes Casual so special.

Topics: Being a better commissioner, Coronavirus Content, Video production from home

Case Study: GoDaddy Black Lives Matter Roundtable: Episode 1

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A couple of weeks ago, we worked with the GoDaddy team to put together this BLM roundtable, featuring a panelist of guests to talk about Black entrepreneurship, culture, and history. 

The 45-minute conversation features four amazing panelists: 

  • Andrea Lewis -- Canadian actress, filmmaker, and founder of Jungle Wild Productions
  • Xavier and Lynisha Henderson -- co-founders of SoulfulofNoise
  • Joy Brunson, actress and founder of Tee2Tea and The Joy of Acting
  • Ashten Fizer, GoDaddy Employer Brand Manager, and DJ 

This video is an education on how to be better allies, how to be anti-racist, and insight into the distinct challenges that face Black entrepreneurs. The discussion covers the importance of black buying power to the importance of group economics within the black community. The roundtable also covers when to use the terms ‘POC’ vs ‘Black’, and the significance of the ‘American Dream’ and if that idea still is indeed a reality for black communities in this country.  

The full conversation was originally broadcast on IGTV:

GoDaddy Black Lives Matter Roundtable

In the coming weeks, we must keep our foot on the gas. While our Instagram feeds are no longer 100% focused on the Black Lives Matter movement like they were two weeks ago, protests are still happening. Injustice is still happening. People are still dying. Being an ally means that we think about these topics even when it’s not trendy and cool. Being anti-racist means that we have tough conversations in the workplace. We push our friends and colleagues on their viewpoints and encourage them to learn and grow. Being anti-racist means that we speak to our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles and ask them why they hold their perspectives & help them expand their worldview to be on the right side of history. 

If and when life ever goes back to ‘normal’ we have to keep calling our representatives and senators and demanding that they represent our values. It means that we all vote in November and not let a plurality dictate the lives and fates of the rest of us. 

Not all of these things are ‘social media friendly’ and that’s fine. Doing the work means that it’ll be a slow, arduous process. No one can undo 400+ years of institutionalised racism in a few weeks. There’s so many blocks to dismantle and a lot of us are just starting. 

So keep going. Keep reading, keeping learning, keep calling, keep protesting. Keep improving. This is not a moment, it’s a movement. Being anti-racist is a habit we must develop for the rest of our lives.  

Topics: Train and develop staff, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Case Study, Coronavirus Content, Diversity & Inclusion

#ThoughtforThursday: Exercise your right to Vote

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Over the past few weeks, protests and grass-roots movements have been spurring on long overdue progress in communities, police departments, and state/local governments. People are re-educating themselves, learning how to be anti-racist. Growing and changing. Becoming better allies and advocates.

But we need to keep going. Over the summer, a few remaining states will hold their primaries. And in November, those of us in the US will have our biggest chance to make a difference. We are so lucky to live in countries where we have the right, the power to vote. We must use that power — in our local elections, primaries, and in the big presidential election. Each and every single election matters. We can appoint officials that share our values and move us forward. It’s our duty as citizens. Our voices together will make a difference.

If you’re not registered to vote yet, or want to request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election(s), check out @whenweallvote for all the resources you need to get signed up.

Topics: About Casual, Culture & Values, Coronavirus Content, Thought for Friday

GoDaddy : Small Business Stories, Covid19 Edition

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In these Small Business Stories, we revisit some of GoDaddy’s everyday entrepreneurs to see how they’ve pivoted their businesses to meet the current global crisis. With millions around the world still under stay at home orders, businesses are struggling. But, these savvy entrepreneurs saw this as an opportunity to do something different. Some digitized their operations, offering online shopping, delivery, and curbside pick up for the first time. Others began hosting online events to keep their community engaged and provide a bit of a distraction from daily stress. 

Others forged headfirst into the fight against COVID-19, shifting their manufacturing businesses to make PPE for our frontline workers. These stories showcase the agility of our small business community, demonstrating how they can adapt and overcome even the most difficult situations. Check out their stories below! 

 

 

Ahana Yoga

 

In the wake of the pandemic, Ahana Yoga founder Dawn Feinberg didn’t hesitate to find a way to remain profitable and avoid the drain — she adapted her brick-and-mortar studio located in the heart of Miami’s Design District to become a premier online yoga studio. Staying true to the Ahana mission of connecting mind, body and spirit within their sweaty yoga practice, they infused a new type of flow by streaming online yoga classes to hundreds of remote yogis around the globe. And the response has been overwhelming. Being the extrovert she is (and used to interacting with over 100 students daily), Dawn has found the silver lining in the struggles of COVID-19 through the priceless gift of quality time with her family. Like she ends her practice, she offers words of hope to entrepreneurs to stay strong and believe in themselves during this rollercoaster of a journey.


Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

 

John and Kendall Antonelli are more than just owners of the only cut-to-order cheese shop in Austin, Texas — they’re fine cheese experts who have been serving their beloved community for over 10 years. After COVID-19 cancelled the city’s annual SXSW festival, they put their heads together to make a plan for the extra cheesy goodness that had already been prepped. By offering online and over-the-phone orders for pickup, along with virtual pairing events for over 150 cheese-loving customers, the Antonellis have been able to keep their business afloat in these pandemic floods. This power couple encourages entrepreneurs to seek self-grace, stay positive and remember each day is a new day as they make tough business decisions.


The Snap Bar // Keep Your City Smiling

 

Once cancellations started pouring in due to COVID-19, Sam Eitzen shifted gears quickly and spent all night brainstorming how to pivot SnapBar, a photo booth rental business. Seeing how local business owners were being impacted by the pandemic, the SnapBar team launched Keep Your City Smiling, a care package delivery service supporting small businesses and giving customers a reason to smile during these uncertain times. The care packages are filled with hand-picked goods from local shops — everything from yummy treats to skin care products and trinkets to fit your lifestyle. The success of the care packages has been overwhelming and Sam stands strong to ensure his team stays included in every part of the pivotal success they have created together throughout this pandemic.


DedCool

 

Since 2016, Carina Chaz has been creating multi-purpose fragrant concoctions through her sustainable brand, DedCool — a 100% unisex, nontoxic and vegan fragrance company in Los Angeles. But March 13th is a day she’ll never forget. On top of finding herself face-to-face with the retail apocalypse (also known as COVID-19), this freaky Friday was also the last day in the office with her team and she had just launched a new detergent product. Despite production coming to a stop and customers holding on to their pockets during the pandemic, Carina quickly shifted her battle plan to utilize her strong eCommerce presence as a tool to sell sanitary essentials that her quarantined customers needed now. With much excitement, her solutions for new products have been a hit. By staying true to her mission for sustainability and green beauty, DedCool has become more than a personal fragrance brand — they strive for the greater good by generously donating proceeds to support impactful organizations like the CDC and Meals on Wheels.


FABRIC

Fueled by healthcare worker’s urgent need for protective gear, Angela Johnson and Sherri Barry gear up to make a bold move: transforming their nonprofit Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC) into a total PPE gown production center. The FABRIC team put their normal routine on hold to wholeheartedly dedicate their time and resources to research, development and production of CDC and FDA certified PPE gowns. Despite the low supply and high demand for the materials needed, Angela and Sherri overcome every challenge to do their part during this time of crisis. Thanks to the financial support of their community, they are able to expand their “war room” production and meet the demand of creating thousands of reusable medical gowns (25,000 per week!) to healthcare facilities across the nation. This humble and compassionate duo is both directly and indirectly impacting millions as they continue to do business with their heart and seek to accomplish the 1 Million Gown Challenge.


FOGUE Studios

 

As Patti Curtis saw the COVID-19 storm rolling in, she knew she needed to start preparing her brick-and-mortar art gallery for a big adjustment — without knowing how big it would eventually become. Thankfully, she acted quickly enough to get photos of every art piece and adapt Fogue Studios & Gallery into an online store just before shelter-in-place orders took place. From closing the studio doors to receiving a grant to help support her struggling artists, Patti carries the torch to ensure her business and the artists stay safe during the pandemic. In order to keep the community engaged, Patti creates videos on social media to chat with art enthusiasts, showcase current exhibits and share fun things artists are doing while social distancing. Her advice for other entrepreneurs during these uncertain times is to jump on the train and start building a strong online presence in order to keep the dream alive.


GoodWood

 

Pre COVID-19, the GoodWood team made beautiful, handcrafted furnishings for commercial businesses. But the pandemic changed everything in a flash, causing GoodWood to completely pivot their everyday operations to build something else: face shields. From taking big financial risks to keeping everything locally-sourced and staying true to their sustainability mantra, GoodWood has successfully made over 30,000 FDA approved face shields for healthcare professionals — with a hefty goal of reaching 50,000 face shields per week (!) once they expand to a bigger manufacturing spot. Until this environmentally-conscious business can return to making nifty things with wood, they remain good stewards of their materials while supplying this high-demand product to those on the healthcare frontlines. 


The world of production is opening back up. As you can see in these films there are a wide range of ways that you can still make really effective videos safely. If you have a project that you would like to discuss, drop us some details here and one of our experienced producers give you a call straight back.

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, News, Coronavirus Content, Video production from home

How to Keep Teams Engaged Remotely

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Two months into lockdown, we’re all pretty good at this work from home thing. As states and countries begin to ease restrictions, some of us are going back to the office. Others will remain in a remote setup for a while longer. 

While we’re in these mixed working situations, it’s important to keep teams connected and communicating. The last thing you want is for people to feel lonely, or siloed due to the lack of interpersonal connection. Or, for productivity to suffer in the monotony of days that all look the same. So here are four easy, low-cost tips that are sure to keep the work fam going strong! 

Keep it Creative 

One day, we were all chatting about how every day feels the same and how hard it is to differentiate time passing. Cue: an opportunity for one filmmaking trick that we’ve always wanted to try, inspired by Donald Glover’s TV show, Atlanta. What better way to scratch that itch than to do something fun for ourselves? It was really fun to be our own end client for a change. And, to work as a team to create this piece together. Check out the video below! 

 

 

Have a #teaminning

A couple of weeks ago, we all received an email asking for our home addresses. Cryptic! Most of us assumed it was for mundane HR info reasons, but instead it was for a secret plan of fun. 

Our management team ordered pizza delivery for everyone across all 3 offices, perfectly timed for a Friday afternoon happy hour. We all ate pizza together on Google Meet & went off into the weekend in great spirits. Easy, low cost, in line with current restrictions, and supporting local businesses. Win-win-win!

PizzasExec Producer, Lexi's pizza + an NYC view.

Nick Pizza Disaster

Co-founder Nick, DROPPING HIS PIZZA ON HIS KEYBOARD cause he wanted to show us how good it looked. 12/10 would do it again for the #memories [it was a really great pizza - Ed.]

 

Daily Team Check-ins

It’s pretty standard to have a stand-up or two or three with your team but we take it one step further and do two check-ins a day. A morning coffee stand-up, and an EOD goodbye.  

We kick off the day at 9 a.m. all saying hello to each other with a cup of coffee. Sometimes we are discussing work priorities but other times we’re just enjoying each other’s company. These meetings can last 2 minutes or 30 minutes, depending on how the team feels every day. 

And at 5 p.m. we all meet to sign off the day together, somewhat replicating the ‘bye, have a good evening!’ chats you’d have in the office in pre-COVID-19 times. 

It’s a great way of keeping everyone connected, but also an easy opportunity to discuss stuff that you may not have otherwise gotten a chance to. Almost as good as an impromptu chat in the office kitchen.  

 

Try Some Zoom Games

Every Wednesday at 5 p.m. our team attends a meeting called “Hump Day Zoomies.” Sounds strange, sure, but it’s jam-packed work-family fun: 30 minutes dedicated to some sort of game.

 Zoom games can be anything! Here are a few of the ones we’ve done: 

  • Guess the Zoom Background: everyone dials into Zoom with their background changed to an image of some unidentified location. Points to whoever guesses it! Great way to see how much you know about each other & see who’s traveled the world a bunch. 
  • Where’s Waldo: we each photoshopped a filmmaking object into a photo of our choice. Whoever spotted the object got a point! 
  • Pictionary, corporate filmmaking style: everyone drew an interview background of one of the videos we’ve worked on in the last year. 1 point if you guess the video it’s from! (We watch and rewatch every one of our films hundreds of times to the point where we quote lines from them like they’re movie references.) 

At the end of the month, we tally it all up and see who won the most points, and the winner will get some kind of mystery prize! 

Topics: How-to, Video production from home

#FoodieFriday: Producer Sanica's Fish Curry

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If you’re looking for something warm, spicy, and comforting look no further! This is a great, simple curry that’s way easier to make than you think. The gravy is delicious by itself and the fish absorbs all the flavour as it cooks through in there. 

And, this dish is made with things that you probably have in your cupboard already! As long as you’ve got some good spices on hand, you’re all set. Pair this with some naan or rice, and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal. (Frozen naan from the grocery store are super tasty, just bake them for 5-10 minutes and they’ll come out fluffy and delicious). 

The best thing about this is that it’s infinitely customisable! Don’t like fish? Sub in some chicken or tofu (or paneer)! Prefer lower spice? Dial the number of chillies back! You can iterate on this in so many ways, the possibilities are endless. And, it takes less than 30 minutes to cook.

Ingredients (makes 2 portions): 

4 x fillets of fish of your choosing. (Or chicken! Or Tofu! Use whatever you want y’all)

1 x large onion 

½ can of tomatoes

½ cup cilantro (use as much as you like) 

1-2 green chilies (or skip if you don’t like it spicy) 

1-2 tablespoons of Garam Masala OR Fish Curry Masala (Garam Masala is more versatile, and you can use it on anything. Fish Curry Masala is obviously a bit more specific.) 

1-2 tablespoons of salt

1 tablespoon of chopped garlic

1 tablespoon of grated ginger 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

Steps: 

  1. Chop your onions, chilies, ginger, and garlic and cilantro. Cut fish into 1-2 inch cubes.
  2. Add oil to a hot pan.

  3. Put in your onions, chilies, ginger, and garlic and sauté until caramelised.
     
  4. Add in your masala and salt. Mix in.  
  5. Add in your tomatoes. Add half of your cilantro. Mix again. 
  6. Cook until it’s a nice orange color (only takes 2-3 minutes).
  7. Optional step: Remove your mixture from the pan and put it into a blender and blend into a smooth consistency. Restaurants do this to make it all smooth but it doesn’t really change the taste. Feel free to skip if you don’t care about having it blended. 
  8. Once your base is ready, add in the fish and simmer until cooked through. 
  9. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
  10. Enjoy with rice or naan or roti! 

Topics: About Casual, Coronavirus Content, #FoodieFriday

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