The founders of an innovative video production start-up have built their company based on an idea that might upset some people in adland.
They believe that when it comes to making marketing videos, the best person to do it is you.
Enter Shootsta, the video production company that gives ownership back to the marketer.
Speaking to B&T, Shootsta CEO and co-founder Mike Pritchett said: “The reality is that most agencies want to win a Cannes Lions award, and that’s the focus.
“Is that your focus as a brand manager? You couldn’t give two hoots about a Cannes Lions, you want to get your brand out there in right way, not just in a Cannes Lions award winning way.”
“We have a saying at Shootsta, which is ‘no one knows your brand better than you do’,” continues Pritchett.
Rather than sending out droves of production personnel or cinematographers, Shootsta trains its clients on how to shoot their own video, while also providing them with the right equipment.
The team at Shootsta takes care of the post-production, with the aim to simply “put the polish on it”.
The result is authentic video content built around the message marketers are trying to send.
“The clients shoot the content themselves,” he says.
“They know what they want, they shoot what they want, they brief what they want and they get what they want.”
The Australian Dream
The story of Shootsta is about as feel-good as they come in the Australian start-up space.
Two best mates from high school hatching an idea, getting it off the ground and sending it global.
The company now has offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and San Diego, with a few extra helpers in Portland, Seattle and Georgia just for good measure.
Formerly running his own video production company, Pritchett came to Tim Moylan (Shootsta co-founder) one day in 2012 with an idea.
He could see video was “going through the roof” and wanted to be able to produce a high volume of content for his clients and he wanted to do it fast.
Clients were asking him for the best deal, and although he did not want to enter a “race to the bottom”, he could see a demand for a video offering service that is competitively priced.
Today, Shootsta offers its clients a variety of different subscription packages.
It’s something Pritchett says forces the client to put their money where their mouth is.
“When we brought this model out, I was so sick of sitting in meeting with marketing managers where they would tell me – we have one goal this year and that’s to build a media library,” he says.
“But you do one or two videos, the budget slows or there’s a distraction, and the whole thing falls apart.
“With Shootsta you connect, you sign up and you’re motivated.”
Moylan shares a story of a client asking him, “how do you make a viral video?”
The answer: you don’t make a video, you make a series of videos.
“These days it’s not the quality out there online or the big TV commercials that are winning the race, it’s the amount of video content you have out there,” Tim
“SEO is new, fresh, updated content – the more videos you have on your YouTube channel the more likely you are to be seen.”
I want it now
Alongside the subscription model, Shootsta’s promise of 24-hour turnaround times has become part of the brand.
And with offices spread across time zones, it is now even more achievable than ever for the team.
“People want things now,” says Pritchett. “And sometimes 24 hours is still a long time.”
The 24-hour promise came in handy in a unique way for Qantas back in 2016, when the short-lived ‘Running Man Challenge’ was the rage of the internet.
Air New Zealand had posted its attempt of the video on social media and challenged its trans-Tasman counterparts.
“Any production company at that point would have been like, ‘okay, well send us the prospectus, we’ll have a look and you get three quotes and then two weeks later you’ll have a video,” recalls Pritchett.
Qantas shot the video at 9am, had it back edited by 2pm and online at 3pm.
“It was great, authentic content that when I’ve asked production companies [how much it would cost], they’ve quoted anywhere between $20,000 to $30,000 and four weeks to turn around.
“We’re talking for Qantas the whole thing was probably around $1,000.”