Many thanks for the call
Thank you for the opportunity to sit down and brainstorm around this project.
At Timber & Frame we craft stories because we believe they are the most effective tool to support businesses in achieving their most critical objectives. There are many opportunities for this Stitch Labs video project to create something that not only achieves your marketing goals, but also pushes the boundaries for how a business in your industry can connect with B2B customers on a deeper level (and that gets us pretty excited!).
In this proposal, we have consolidated our ideas for how we believe our team can best tell your brand’s story in a way that stands the test of time. You will find three budget options outlined below, all with varying degrees of production value and concept.
But before we get ahead of ourselves... meet the T&F Team.
The T&F Team
Timber & Frame is an EMMY award winning production company that makes films around the world. We have offices located in Portland, ME and New York City and we specialize in filming real people to create intimate poignant films that blend the lines between documentary and commercial production. In our experience we have found that this is the type of filmmaking that deepens connections between brands and their consumers.
Over the past 6 years, we have had the privilege of making films for Motorola, Swarovski, National Geographic, United Nations, and Country Crock among many others. We spend our extra time creating feature length documentaries about issues we are passionate about. Our current film, about the creation of America's controversial new national park in Maine will be entered into competition at Sundance this fall. Needless to say, we like to stay busy.
You can see more of our work on our website
In our first conversation you noted the importance of testimonials - how in many ways the brands you support are your largest ambassadors. Because if anyone knows the value of Stitch Labs, it is the people and the brands who benefit from it.
But how do we tell that story? How do we visualize the ways Stitch Labs not only makes inventory management sexy, but also saves mid-market companies and their employees time and money, so that they can focus on the larger picture issues?
We have some ideas:
Story. We will create original imagery that will in every frame tell the brand truth of Stitch Labs. We will showcase how Stitch Labs is a software that manages inventory, but also a software that changes the course of the fastest growing online businesses. By showing real owners, employees and warehouse workers experiencing Stitch Labs software and benefiting from it in their daily workflows. All of our projects are heavily storyboarded, concepted and planned weeks (sometimes months) in advance to guarantee that the visuals we create tell the story of our clients in every frame.
Moment. Our style as a production team is to create moments in front of the camera using real people, not actors. We choose the best times of day, people and locations to film, and create an atmosphere where people are able to be themselves in front of the camera. Through thoughtful and strategic direction (not treating people like actors or cattle) we are able to create real moments of laughter, introspection and wonder on screen: genuine moments of business owners while they reflect on their business, determination and focus of the warehouse workers, etc… We’ve been told by many a film subject and interviewee that being filmed by our team feels like a therapy session. In many ways, we appreciate that observation, because it’s a testament to the authenticity and personal realization we’re aiming to capture on screen.
Brand. The Stitch Labs brand needs to be subtly incorporated into the human moments we will be creating. No one wants to feel like they are being sold to, especially our generation. We are hired by brands like Motorola and Unilever for our ability to incorporate logo and brand within a scene without sacrificing the authenticity of the moment.
Diversity. We take great pride in usurping stereotypes when it comes to gender, class, sex and race. As filmmakers it is our responsibility to stay woke to the role we play in perpetuating stereotypes through the media we create. By being conscious of casting and storyboarding we will not let ourselves say anything we don’t mean to say through our visuals.
Look & Feel
We are a professional production team and we will bring a documentary style to this project but that doesn’t mean “run and gun” without regard for story structure, composition, and lighting.
Famous film director Alfred Hitchcock once said that a film is finished before the first day of filming.
At Timber & Frame we take that to heart. Our team puts just as much time and effort into the pre-production of our films as we put into the production of them. By scouting locations, pre-interviewing subjects, and storyboarding scenes we ensure that the time we do spend filming is as productive as possible so we can support your organization in fulfilling its mission. This won’t take any additional time on your part, but we will need as much information about the people, places, and organizations we will be filming at the start so we can prepare.
Building on the fundamentals of the documentary form we will increase production value through cinematic sensibility. Low depth of field and primarily backlit imagery will create a sense of the ethereal. By focusing our shooting around the “magic hours” of natural light that happen in the hours just before and after sunrise/sunset we will achieve the golden quality that many films try to fake with big lights. There is a realism and a power to using natural light that is hard to fake. See imagery examples throughout this proposal for examples of this.
Interviews will be filmed but our emphasis will be to not show talking heads. Rather, we will show our interviewees doing things, interacting with people and illustrating the points they are making in their voice overs. We will utilize z-axis camera moves using a gimbal camera stabilization system instead of pan or tilts in order to achieve a more engaging and cinematic sense that will bring our audience into the world of the Stitch Labs experience.
Below you will find a breakdown of three different concepts and their respective budgets. Option 2 and Option 3 offer an opportunity for our team to cinematically document your customers and their employees to show the ways Stitch Labs is making a difference on the ground. Showing the scale of what companies like Y&R, Thinx, and Topo Designs are able to do with Stitch Labs’ support will be pivotal in telling this story (but as you will notice in the concepts outlined below, the budget will affect the capacity to which we are able to cinematically tell this story). Option 1 does not utilize the tried and true documentary style our team is known for, or cinematic imagery to visualize the ways Stitch Labs is making a difference on the ground, but will incorporate screenshot videos of Stitch Labs’ interface and text to bring the message home that your new release is changing the game when it comes to mid-level inventory management systems.
Budget Option 1 - A more trimmed down version of our production process to still achieve a professional yet simplistic table top type video that explains to your customers who and what your product is, without utilizing documentary style customer stories and warehouse moments. Here is a inspiration reference for budget option 1:
Budget Option 2 - This is where we feel your brand could utilize us best. Giving our team the latitude to do what we do best which is telling compelling stories through the lens of your spotlight customers and their real authentic hard working employees. Here is an inspiration reference for budget option 2 & 3:
Budget Option 3 - This ensures even more variety in our shoot locations and allows us to go even deeper in capturing cinematic documentary style imagery. It takes Budget Option 2 and heightens it on another production value level that is sure to leave your competitors in the dust.
Once we have agreed on a direction for the type of videos you would like to begin creating, we will then begin finalizing the project scope with your team so that we can begin with Pre-Production phase as soon as possible.
Pre-Production is where we will spend even more time ideating, storyboarding, and planning the production itself with your team and ours.
Budget Option 1
Original cost: $15,630
- Full concept development from initial brainstorm to final delivery
- Full pre-production including scouting locations and storyboarding
- Single day of shooting table top screens and time-lapse style imagery
- 2 LED panel lights, grip set and basic lighting/rigging set
- Full post-production services done in house including logging, transcribing, editing, coloring, sound mixing and final export
- Two full rounds of client revisions during the editing process
- Final deliverable length depends on client desires but most often falls in the 1-4 minute range
Budget Option 2
Original cost: $52,900
Everything listed in Budget Option 1 plus:
- 4 shooting days with single days at each company across 3 states with half day interview half day b-roll
- 3-4 person crew including top tier commercial director, producer and cinematographer
- Shooting with the Sony FS5 which is capable of filming at RAW 4K resolution and high speed slow motion at 240 frames per second at 2k
- Shooting with the beautiful, almost ethereal Zeiss Super Speed lenses, the same lenses used in shows like Handmaid's Tale
- Professional Steadicam operator for beautiful sweeping camera movement with the equipment that has been industry standard in Hollywood for decades and has yet to be beaten by any new gimbal technology in reliability and quality
- Original musical composition created by our in house award winning multi-instrumentalist composer, Micah Tewers
Budget Option 3
Original Cost: $117,890
Everything listed in Budget Option 2 plus:
- 8 shooting days across 3 states with 2 days at each location. Half day for interview and a full day and half for b-roll. This allows us to cover more scenes and create more visual variety and dynamic setups. Overall creating the final product closest to the original vision.
- 6 person top tier commercial crew including director, cinematographer, producer, gaffer (lighting) and dedicated sound mixer. The addition of the gaffer allows us to actually light the scenes and bring a more cinematic high end production result. This gets the final product closer to the visual references provided most notably this one.
- Post production services including color and sound mix done by top post-production houses in NYC where name brand commercials and Hollywood films are colored and mixed.