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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

Case Study: GoDaddy Black Lives Matter Roundtable: Episode 1

Posted by Sanica Apte
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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

Posted by Sanica Apte
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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

Posted by Sanica Apte
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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

Posted by Sanica Apte
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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

Posted by Sanica Apte
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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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