It’s been an amazing journey so far in terms of skill set and direction.
I remember when first starting Big Ant, I had a clear goal of creating short films with strong narrative – and which were centered around people rather than special effects.
However life is rarely that straight forward, and if you keep an open mind you might find out that your ideal was not actually what you thought it was, and maybe your skills are better deployed in another direction.
I was lucky enough to win some decent contracts with FTSE 50 companies early on, and found a real need for quality training content that had several key criteria:
- Easily updated
- Easy to translate
- Easy to re-purpose
- Minimal impact to the business
- Maximum Credibility
- Maximum buy-in from staff
- Easy to distribute
- Location independent
- Minimal IT support
Because of a strong elearning background, and also a pragmatic approach to the different techniques of learning content I decided to let the need of the subject matter dictate the method of delivery. As a consequence I utilised traditional film techniques, CGI, diagramatic, 2D and 3D animation, composite 3D, ILT and of course multiple ways of capturing interest – spoken, visual, text, and dovetailed the course design in with the objectives and key learning points required from the company involved.
As far as possible I use subject matter experts within the company to present. Usually a short spot of media training and they come across as more authoritative and genuine than the actors I have used in the past. Not only this, but people within the business know they are experts, so listen more carefully, and are more connected to what they are saying because they are real people they have interacted with.
Ultimately though the proof is pretty black and white. I have always been averse to creating beauty projects that are no more than a homage to my own ego.
There HAS to be a purpose and goal and result, and this should be provable.
As an example together with key people within Howdens, we converted 6 large volumes of H&S guidelines into a suite of engaging videos, coupled with a LMS system which incorporated all the above points.
Compliance has gone up from the mid 40% to between 95/100%.
An interesting consequence is also the “halo” effect that the experts we used now experience within the business. They are recognised wherever they go and have said they sometimes feel like celebrities!
I try to keep everything in house as much as possible, but for where it isn’t, I have a small network of highly proficient media / training specialists, all with experience within the industry, who I can call on to help.
Ultimately though, the client has a single point of contact, and referring back to the criteria – impact to business – this seemingly small point is one of many that has a significant influence on keeping the stress as low as possible on the client side.