Company News Archives - SkEye Studios
5 Things I Learned at ICON16

5 Things I Learned at ICON16

Now that life has settled a bit, I’ve had some time to process my last few days.  I spent March 2-4 in Phoenix, Arizona, for the ICON conference hosted by Infusionsoft, our automated marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) software.  Going to the conference without any compadres from SkEye was a bit daunting and overwhelming.  Not knowing what to expect, I armed myself with an extra stack of business cards and full batteries in my Macbook and phone for taking copious amounts of notes.  

Soon, I realized that Infusionsoft is more than just a software provider, they’re a tool and small business success agent.  The conference was aimed at helping small businesses take themselves to the next level, whether through improved confidence, leadership training, software-usage improvement, management skills, branding, networking, and so many more!

Five things I learned from ICON 2016.

1. Don’t let crazy in the door.

Dave Ramsey gave a breakout session on hiring and firing.  One of his key points on hiring was “Don’t let crazy in the door.”  He said that it’s harder to get rid of a toxic employee than to not hire him/her in the first place.  His hiring process is incredibly lengthy and thorough.  It inspired us to go deeper in our internship hiring process and ask non-traditional questions that allow us to better get to know the applicants.

2. The “buyer journey” of a client is like a romantic relationship.

Carey Ballard, director of content marketing at Infusionsoft, shared the analogy of how a sales pipeline should be thought of in a more personal way, like a romantic, dating relationship.

  • Awareness (catch a person’s eye)
  • Interest (chat a bit, have a connection)
  • Learn (get their number)
  • Justify (figure out if you like each other)
  • Purchase (put a ring on it)

And as silly as it sounds, let’s just be honest, most of us are much more willing to become a loyal customer if we feel like we’re being “wooed.”  As consumers, we want to feel like a business wants more than just our money, they want a continued relationship that provides value to both parties.  So business owners, I challenge you to examine your process, are you fostering a relationship with customers?

3.  Gary Vaynerchuk.

Social media marketing guru. I hadn’t heard much of him before I sat down for his keynote. But now I’m a convert…and then some. Chris and Maggie have even listened to/read his latest book, #AskGaryVee.  Entrepreneurs:  Look. Him. Up.

4.  Sales Pitch Timing.

Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything gave a keynote reminding the fundamentals of selling.  These days, too many people are spending too much time developing rapport and features, losing attention when it’s the important “ask” happens.  By the time that a sales conversation gets around to needing to overcome objectives, you’ve lost the attention and focus.  

5.  Branding that Sells.

A client-business relationship can be equated to a bank account.  Branding is like making deposits into that relational equity account; selling is making withdrawals.  It’s not a bad thing to sell, but it needs to be done once enough relational equity has been built.  Since we’re creative-minded people, we like to build our relational equity through branding videos and content.  The following are a couple methods to build those “bank accounts.”

Make ‘em laugh.  If you can make them laugh, they’ll remember you, and it will build relational equity.  Question:  Can you laugh at yourself?  If you’re willing to do it, you can be funny.

Make ‘em cry.  This is difficult to do well, but if you can cause someone to have an emotional response, it can be hugely effective.

Make ‘em feel a part of something.  Do your customers know what you believe?  Do your customers know where you stand?

Moon Seed

Moon Seed

At SkEye, we’re incredibly passionate about projects that push us to create awesome things.  In fact, we make a point to ensure that if we have an idea of a new technique or great story, we find ways to get our hands dirty and put it into action.

In mid-February, we took a weekend to film “Moon Seed,” an emotional, narrative short about a space-loving boy whose dreams take shape through his imagination.  This passion-project was written and directed by Margaret.

We partnered with Justin Alpern and MEE, LLC. from California.  Justin and Margaret were classmates in film school at Chapman University.  Justin was our director of photography for the weekend.  He not only brought his talent as a cinematographer, but he also brought an extensive amount of equipment for us to use to get the best quality shots possible.  One of my favorite pieces of equipment he brought was a single light that mimicked the sun.  Worth $10,000, it was used in a variety of ways on set to give us the most clean light possible.  My favorite was when he set it up to mimic the moonlight flooding through the window.  Ironically, higher in the sky, the real moon shone bright and clear as well.

Passion projects require a special group of people.  We are forever grateful and indebted and to our good friends Mark and Julee who opened their home to us.  It couldn’t have been more picturesque–not only was there plenty of space for all our gear and sets, but the white-picket fence and perpetual green of Western Oregon put Margaret’s vision over the top.

Our fearless actor, Rylie, was the best kid for the job!  Being “Tommy” for the production looked natural.  He took direction like a champ!  In the course of the weekend, we learned that he has always loved outer space, and he and his father even made their own space video once!

The first day of shooting included a green screen, a LOT of dirt to create the best version of the moon, “moon” rocks, and the coolest astronaut costume you’ve ever seen.  The second day was our first day on-site at Mark and Julee’s charming home.  Located in the Pacific Northwest, we’re used to early spring rain…however this was the one day we were praying for clear skies.  Luckily, the universe cooperated and we had clear shots for the times that we were shooting outdoors!  Finally, the last day began shooting later to use the waning light of the afternoon and evening.  We brought the neighborhood outside their homes to gawk at the “moon”light we created.

Post-production of the short is projected to be completed mid-April.  Custom graphics–including a rocket ship for the green screen and a custom score are currently being created.  

Goals, Resolutions, and Wishes

Goals, Resolutions, and Wishes

Entering into 2016, the SkEye team has formed goals, resolutions, and wishes that we’d like to achieve this year.  This morning, I was at a Toastmasters meeting, and we discussed steps that people can take to help make their goals become realities.  One of the proposed solutions was to make them public: Shout from rooftops.  Tell your friends.  Write them down!  That being said, the five of us have compiled a list of some of our individual and collective goals for 2016.

  • I want to be known as the premier video production company on the West Side (of the Portland metro area), if not the whole metro area.
  • I wish to have an intern or two to learn from and nurture in their development as professionals.
  • I wish that Beat Feet will find a large audience in a successful film festival run and distribution.
  • I want to create one creative project next year that is not client-based, but only from the minds and talents of SkEye Studios individuals.
  • I wish that our internship program is a huge success, and that our interns are able to complete videos with 3 different non-profits on their own.
  • I hope we at SkEye Studios are able to astound and encourage our community of loyal friends and followers with films and media that are increasingly beautiful, powerful, and genuine.
  • I hope we set goals that aren’t too lofty…  But… Eh who cares, I hope we make the next Schindler’s List.
  • I wish to find a client whose needs give us the opportunity to travel to somewhere exotic.
  • I wish that The Rock responds to my emails, letters, and phone calls with an enthusiastic agreement to be the starring spokesperson in SkEye’s next commercial.
  • I want to make a friend. Like a real one, not one that sits in a pot by the window all day and requires watering.
  • I hope to learn how to leave the office by 5pm.

Have you made goals yet?  New Year resolutions?  What are your tips for keeping and/or achieving them?  As we check things off this list, we’ll be keeping you posted.  I can’t say too much yet, but there are a few projects in the works that you’ll be pretty excited about.  I’m thrilled because I can already see that we’ll be able to reach and surpass some of these goals!

Christmas Comes to SkEye Studios

Christmas Comes to SkEye Studios

MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us at SkEye Studios.  We’ve had a big past year, and we have even bigger plans for the year to come.  

Last week, during our office Christmas party, we ate lots of food, played games (Pictionary is even better on our massive white boards!), and we set up some new equipment and had some fun behind and in front of the camera.  We think we’re hilarious…

What do you think?  

Beat Feet Documentary Premiere – Spokane, Wash.

Beat Feet Documentary Premiere – Spokane, Wash.

As many of you know, our company decided to begin following Scotty Smiley on his journey to becoming an Ironman last March. But what some of you didn’t know is that last week we premiered our first documentary, Beat Feet: Scotty Smiley’s Blind Journey to the Ironman, to a packed house at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, Washington.  We had 550 people join us for the first private screening of the film.  The most popular question of the night was “When can we see it again?” The answer to that depends on where you live. However, our goal is to have it available to people all over the world as soon as possible.

The evening featured appetizers by Black Tie Catering, craft beers by River City Brewing, photos by our own Patrick and Jacob, and impeccable hosting by the Bing Theater staff.

Showing several months of intense work is a bag of mixed feelings.  Proud, nervous, excited, anticipation, crazy, whirlwind, fulfilling, and relief are all words that describe how the SkEye team felt before, during, and after that evening.

This documentary has found a home in our hearts and the hearts of many who have had the opportunity to see it.  You can’t help but feel inspired by Scotty and Andy’s accomplishment and the unwavering support of their friends and family.  Finding the strength to “beat feet” and to go the extra mile is a challenge that has energized us, individually and as a team.  It is evidenced in the long hours spent organizing footage, meticulously melding sound to shots and antagonizing over crafting Scotty’s story into something that resonates with many.  

Beat Feet is a not-for-profit project.  Rather, it was the fulfillment of a dream and the start of what we hope to be a long-standing tradition of telling stories that inspire and speak to the soul.  The evening of the premiere, we raised over $6,000 alone.  We are still accepting donations that will fund the post-production and additional screenings of the documentary.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Beat Feet Foundation, the sponsor of this project.  Online donations are possible through the crowd-funding platform, Generosity.  We also check our mailbox regularly and love finding checks!

SkEye Studios Turns Two Years Old!

SkEye Studios Turns Two Years Old!

SkEye Studios turns two years old!  We were established in 2013 on 11/12/13 (1, 2, 3!).  The day came and went quietly since most of us were traveling back from the premiere of Beat Feet: Scotty Smiley’s Blind Journey to the Ironman in Spokane, Washington.  

It is incredibly humbling to realize how far we have come in just two years. We are so grateful for all of the people and clients we have had the opportunity to work with along the way.

Each new project has brought the opportunity to try new techniques, hone our skills, and think outside-the-box in ways like never before.  In the past several months, we more than doubled our company…  Not that five team members is that many, but it’s a big step up!

Our birthday gift to ourselves has been a re-branding.  Those of you who have been with us since the beginning will notice that we have a bit of a new look.  We’ve had lots of fun being creative and finding our collective personality that represents us as a unit.  In the beginning our specialty was stunning aerial videography.  Now, we don’t just want to fly by… but we aim to soar.

One of the biggest aspects of the re-branding is our new logo, a seed.  We like to think our videos are like well-nurtured seeds.  Anyone can make and edit a video, but we take time to get to know our clients, their needs, their values, and their purpose.  Our purpose is to plant seeds in fertile soil and tend to them over time, ensuring that they grow all the way to the “skeye”–the way they were intended to.

We don’t just create a video; we offer a cutting edge experience that doesn’t disappoint.