Monday, 27 July 2015

Why Working for a Small Media Company Is Awesome

I've been working for SWAGGER Media in Houston for a little more than a year now and, in that short time, I have had so many opportunities to try new things. From preproduction to marketing, I have stuck my hand in ALL of the honey pots and have discovered a slew of things I like to do. At SWAGGER Media, we are a relatively small company but that doesn't stop us from doing just about anything you can think of when it comes to marketing or video production. This wide array of services allows the SWAGGER employees to try anything they want to. Here are some of the things I've been able to try in my 422 days of Swagger!

Let's start with what I was hired to do; social media! When I first began, I was in charge of creating original content for our clients' and our own social media accounts. This included writing all Facebook content, creating images, writing tweets, writing blogs, and social media ad development. As I got more comfortable with the copywriting side of things, I had more leeway to try new approaches, like social media marketing videos. (This is where things start to really heat up!)

The social media marketing videos opened up a whole new side of things for me. I was challenged to prep in pre-production, be on set and direct the video production and, once back in the office, begin the video editing. I had studied video editing in college, so that wasn't so much of a challenge as it was a fun project but the pre-production and actual filming of the video was all new territory. I had to go location scouting for the right spot, write up the "scripts" (really questions), and keep things moving and grooving when the camera was rolling. Here's just one of the many final products:

Lucky for me, when the social video project ended, my participation in these different departments only grew. Exhibit A: Our work with Neighbors Emergency Center.

This was one of my favorite projects here at SWAGGER because I got to help with casting. Casting is not something I thought I would've liked but ended up LOVING it! It was great working with these talented actors and sitting in on all of the auditions. After this commercial was cast and the scripts written, we hit the streets to start filming. I was on-set every day that we were filming these commercials and couldn't have had a better time. I think what was most exciting about it is that I had never worked on any project that would end up on broadcast television. We had such a professional and knowledgeable crew on-set that everything went smoothly. Then, once back at headquarters, I got to see every part of the post-production process including the rough cuts, revisions, color correcting, motion graphics, and animations. Here's one of the 2 commercials we did for them:

All the while, the company was growing and growing every day. My coworkers and I began taking on more responsibilities to keep up with the company's growth and the days started to really fly by. (Ya know, time flies when you're having fun!) I started really growing into my role in the social media department and, around September of 2015, a few of us decided we were going to host our own film festival called, SwaggerFest.

We wanted to really get our name out there not just for potential clients, but for potential future employees of SWAGGER Media. This was a way for us to boost our social media, reach out to the amateur filmmakers of Houston, and have a ton of fun in the process. We gained sponsors, worked with local universities and created a website dedicated to all things SwaggerFest. This project was a huge success in our eyes. It was such a blast that we've launched SwaggerFest 2016! (Spread the word!)

Two of our SwaggerFest 2015 winners helping out on set.

Whew! So let's recap. In one year I have co-hosted a film festival, developed more than a year's worth of social media content, participated in web development, help launch ad campaigns, been on set to help produce TV commercials for broadcast, edited a series of videos, worked with both 2D and 3D animators, been a photography assistant, recorded a voiceover, directed video production, written scripts, participated in casting of commercials, and became a digital marketing mastermind. Well, maybe not mastermind but I sure have improved!

What started as a position for social media management has grown into a role that makes every day a new challenge. Now I think that if I were to work on the same things everyday I would go crazy! Even after all of this there are still things to try, like drone photography (that's right, we have a drone), 3D animation, portrait photography, and so much more.

I never thought that I would end up working for such a rapidly growing company with such an amazing group of talented co-workers, especially in Houston. What can I say? I guess I'm just lucky.

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