I’m afraid this is not about a new camera that films at 10,000,000 frames per second, or riding through the desert at 200mph trying to film some birds… It’s about delivering quick videos and fast animations.

Fast animation

Let me be clear, I don’t encourage 2-3 week (or sometimes less!) turnarounds for script-to-screen video projects. There are many reasons why it’s not ideal, but the point is, demand has changed and video content producers should be changing with it.

The projects I’m talking about here start from pretty much nothing. A client has an urgent need for a video, usually to support a presentation or product launch with an immovable deadline. They have written material, they might have brand guidelines, they might even have the bare bones of an idea. But most importantly they have an need. To clearly communicate their product or service. Soon!

Last year a new client approached us after finding us on Google. In their own words, their requirement was;

“…turning an animation video around which I needed urgently in just under two weeks when no other animation agency wanted to take the job.”

This client from a large, respectable organisation (that most companies would jump at the chance to have in their repertoire) had phoned several agencies. With their challenge in one hand and money in the other, they had simply been told, “no”.

Well we didn’t. We jumped on board, and in less than two weeks they had their finished video, used it in their presentation and they secured extra funding for their proposition.

Now I’ll be honest. When we saw their feedback after the project was completed, we were thrilled as always that the client was happy, but did we really want to be thought of as the last minute choice? Does this look like we’re so desperate that we’d say yes to anything? Hopefully not.

When I heard this request, all I heard was the same thing I hear with any new business discussion.

1. You have a challenge

2. We can help

3. You will be pleased

4. We can win future business

Sure enough. 8 months later, the client returned with another project, a bigger budget and a longer lead time (just!).

It just takes an understanding from both sides that with a tight deadline, comes compromise. But compromise doesn’t mean lack of quality. Some of the projects we are most proud of have been completed in a few weeks.

See our collection of videos and animations

For a tight turnaround project to be successful, clients need to;

1. Put a lot of trust into the content producers

2. Collaborate daily to get what you want

3. Ensure feedback and approvals from stakeholders are swift

4. Have clear expectations

Content producers need to;

1. Set clear expectations and timelines

2. Collaborate daily to ensure clients get what they want

3. Set an achievable creative approach

4. Be flexible

5. Never go back on your word

Flexibility is key to fast animation

Our in-house team look after the creative direction, ensure the smooth running of the project and maintain consistent client communication. Our network of freelancers allow us to flex when the project demands it, and bring in the right people for the job. Physical space is important too. When time is tight we need our teams in the same room, so we have a ‘hot desk’ breakfast bar with power socked. It’s not ideal for full time work, but on the busiest of days, we can perch on it for parts of the day!

Without a doubt, we’d prefer all projects to have a longer lead time, but because we are now in a culture when consumers expect everything faster, doesn’t it make sense to prepare your services to be high speed too?


About Lewis Darby

I've been with Napoleon Creative since 2009, starting as an animator, and moving my way up to Head of Production. I'm responsible for making sure we've fully understood your brief, that your deadlines are met, that the best team is working on your project, and that the final product delivers results.

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