May 20, 2020
Q&A with the License Lab and Catch&Release

The Coronavirus pandemic has undeniably impacted the advertising production industry, primarily by pausing live-action production and cutting budgets like never before. However, this has given producers the opportunity to rethink the way they work, and tap the internet for stock music and sourced content to continue creating amazing content. To show an example of how music and visuals from the internet can be molded to fit creative visions, we're revisiting the Workprint series we did with The License Lab, where we combined their production music with our Found footage to create a beautiful series of videos. With a little creativity and curated intention, some inspiring and compelling pieces of art emerged from the process — see the full series here.

Hear from Daniel Holter, Director of Music & Ideas at License Lab, and Analisa Goodin, CEO & Founder of Catch&Release, as they look back on their collaboration, and look ahead to where they see the future of advertising production.

1. What was the inspiration for the Workprint series? How and why were these visuals and music chosen to fit together?

Analisa: We really wanted to push the boundaries of what is traditionally thought of as “stock library” content. The visual content in the series is incredibly evocative and filmic, which made the visual narrative the centerpiece. We worked with a talented director, Greg Sylvester, who sort of reverse-engineered his typical process. I remember we talked a lot about how the music informed what visuals he would choose so they fit together like a puzzle - beyond just an overlay - in order to create a full narrative.

Daniel: We were looking for ways to highlight the power of stock assets. When used by a skilled editor or supervisor, with intention and purpose, instead of a last gasp of desperation when you’re out of time and money, the spark inherent in top quality licensed content can truly elevate a client’s story. The concept was “what if we created visual shorts worth releasing using nothing but our own existing content?” and “how can we effectively tell a story within those parameters?”

2. What are some of the most interesting ways you have seen creatives leverage Found footage or stock music?

Daniel: We’ve seen the best results when our clients take advantage of our available stems. In the hands of a creative director with vision, one can really craft the musical narrative to fit perfectly… like a bespoke gown or tuxedo. One of the best examples of this was an IBM piece, not surprisingly also put together by our friend Greg Sylvester who also edited the Workprint series.

Analisa: Working with existing content from the internet is a bit more like working with clay, as opposed to custom shooting, which is perhaps more analogous to a blank canvas. The internet is this living, breathing, replenishing creative source, so there really is an art to searching for content that fits your brief. More and more, we’re seeing creative teams adopt a ‘search before you shoot’ mindset, which essentially means the content they find drives the development of the script, and the edit evolves from there.

3. Have you seen a shift in the way your customers are utilizing Found content or stock music, given the current pandemic?

Analisa: Since filming on location or in-studio aren’t currently viable, advertisers are tapping into more scalable creative mediums, like user-generated content (UGC), animation, or repurposing or relicensing older footage to get to market quickly. On top of speed, found content lends itself well to communicating authentic, hyper-relevant visual stories.

Daniel: Until everyone can get together again, finding inspired bits from when we could all get together is an obvious option. But more than that, it’s energized the industry to do more with less, so in that sense it’s ushered in a sort of Golden Age for our type of asset…. especially for those of us who never abandoned creating stock content with intent and inspiration.

4. What about changes in the production process? What are your predictions for the industry after the pandemic?

Daniel: More creators, more independents, more creativity… all fighting against the multinational corporate tide threatening to homogenize everything. Challenges like this tend to bring out the best and worst in people and industries. I have faith in creativity, I believe in artists and creators.

Analisa: I think we’ll see more advertisers tapping into the internet as a resource for concepting and creative testing, especially as advertisers look to tell stories about this moment in history that is still developing, and our soon-to-be “new normal” that hasn’t fully been defined yet. These lived experiences are being captured by camera and uploaded to the web every second… using the internet as a creative medium and learning to use new tools that enable remote creative collaboration have become necessary during this time, but really is a core ingredient to creative adaptability and resilience.

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