Outlook 2015: Motion504's Andy Reynolds - Client confidence, technology & communication
Andy Reynolds
Issue: December 1, 2014

Outlook 2015: Motion504's Andy Reynolds - Client confidence, technology & communication

Andy Reynolds
Founder / Creative Director
Minneapolis, MN

The biggest changes for us over the last year or two have been less about equipment, tools or techniques, and more about communication. Most of that is due to some ever-increasing familiarities that our industry faces. Some of it is the natural progression of design, animation and effects work being a common part of the vast majority of post work; and some has been the influx of a generation of artists and technicians who grew up with instruction and access to what were previously considered only professional tools.

Yet there has also been a much more rapid shift in understanding due to the accessibility of tools with the proliferation of smartphones and the technology that comes with them. Photography, videography, color grading, compositing, effects, editorial, music, sound, and more are all readily accessible to all of us — at varying degrees of complexity — on devices we carry in our pockets. The tools and language associated with all of these are no longer arcane. They are commonplace.

All of this equates to a growing confidence in clients. They have more specific requirements (desires) for each aspect of the post process. Finding creative, editorial, design, animation and audio may still be done under one roof, or it may be done under many. They have a much easier time finding and assembling a team of specialists with whom they work well, and tailored just for them or their project. This just continues to get easier as clients have a greater understanding of each aspect and ease in communicating their goals.

So we have found that studios tend to be valued for more than just those hard skills. They tend to really consider, to teach, to offer insight into the industry, be aware of creative tides, and value a wealth of broader knowledge — not just during a project. They tend to keep those relationships going through social channels as well as personal relationships and helpful frequent interactions. Tutorials, sharing links, experimenting, samples and complimenting all tend to be part of more than just a numbers game in the social space, but a meaningful relationship; one just as valuable between client/vendor as personal ones.

At the core, we still continue to have a business founded on relationships and built around communication. Trust is in not limited to our professional skill and expertise, but in listening and striving to do what our industry has always done: be the creative problem-solvers for the client's greater goals. The projects for which we do the best job of that continue to be our most favorite and most successful.