5 minutes with.. Storm & Shelter

This is the first time Storm & Shelter have joined the OiConf and we are excited to learn a little more about them with only three months to go.

Gruff Vaughan, Managing Director 
For those who don’t know, who are Storm & Shelter?

Storm & Shelter is a content production company; a close-knit troupe of video production specialists who work together and collaborate with agencies, labels, brands and broadcasters to consult, create and deliver effective video content that’s politely stuffed into people’s eyes and ears.

We emerged together from the fiery embers of a number of stressful-yet-successful™ collaborative projects in 2013, and since starting the company, we haven’t looked back. Whilst our collective sense of humour may indeed be questionable, we like to think our work speaks for itself.

In the 4 years that we’ve been (professionally) arsing around with cameras, we’ve made friends with big brands like BT, H&M and Yamaha whilst helping them to communicate their messages to the world, had the pleasure of delivering TV and online campaigns for a plethora of businesses and charities, and stretched our creative muscles by crafting beautiful music videos with some crazy-talented signed and unsigned artists.

We promise you two things—we create beautiful videos, and we’ll make you laugh. Unless you’re a grump, in which case you’ll have to make do with just the videos.

Explain video content in three words.

Incredibly effective communication!

Openreach. What did they need your help with?

After seeing the video we made for BT Wales, Openreach wanted something similar to launch their rebrand (ditching the BT name from its logo!) to reflect the broadband wholesaler’s separation from its parent company.

We were asked to create a short promotional film that develops understanding, recognition and advocacy for Openreach. The film would launch the new brand by explaining and educating the audience on the impact that Openreach has on its customers and their customers’ lives. It was to explore the scale and complexity of Openreach’s operations through human stories of hard-working engineers, demystifying the brand, portraying the company as a ‘future tech enabler and a people business’ that keeps Britain at the forefront of the digital future.

How important has collaboration been to Storm & Shelter?

Collaboration has been a very strong undercurrent to Storm & Shelter’s success as a business. We’ve always cosied up to talented people around us, sharing our skills and our passion to create some of our best work. I think Cardiff is one of those places where people love to share and collaborate, and with the talent coming out of the local universities, it’s a hotbed of creative potential that we’re incredibly proud of.

We’ve recently set up We Film Stuff, a community for independent video production companies and freelancers in South Wales. Rather than become recluse cliques working separately on the exact same problems and challenges, we wanted to bring everyone together and grow our industry together as collaborators. As well as sharing knowledge, we share production equipment and we send work to each other when the going gets tough and resources are strained!

We’ve built this company on collaborating with others, so we’re going to be doubling down on that strategy.

TV, film and online? What is the mix?

We started the company as the shift to online video had really taken hold, and that shift certainly hasn’t slowed down. The majority of our work ends up online across social media channels and websites, but there’s still a demand for TV/cinema deliveries in addition.

We’re all passionate about film, too. We have an incredibly passionate Director of Film who—as well as directing the majority of our commercial projects—keeps an eye out for interesting scripts and ideas for short films and eventually full-length features. We recently shut-up-shop to produce a short film about a man whose best friend identifies himself as a velociraptor; something silly to get our creative juices flowing and flex our production muscles. It was a lot of fun to make, but we also learnt a lot that could be applied to our day-to-day productions.

Has online video peaked?

Definitely not. Without a doubt, the demand for video content is rising. Globally, by 2020, online video traffic will reach 3x what it was in 2015, and by 2019, video will account for 80% of all internet traffic. All of it! That’s a butt-tonne of video, to put it mildly.

Video is growing to dominate everyone’s online activity: 78% of people watch videos online every week, and 55% watch videos online every day. If you don’t already have a video marketing strategy in place for your website and social media, you’re missing a big ol’ opportunity to reach and engage with your audience.

How do you approach a new project?

We usually take care of projects from concept right through to delivery, but clients can be at varying stages of those early steps when they come to us. Some have an idea that needs fleshing out with our creative twist, and others might just say “Erm, I need a video?”

Regardless, our approach is based on the same question: what is the most effective way to deliver the client’s message? It’s also important to invest time in figuring out why the video should exist in the first place. We’ll pick apart the client’s message and examine their potential audience so that we can tell the right story to the right people in the most effective way.

What can we expect from your session in March?

Absolutely no idea just yet, but I can guarantee a high proportion of inappropriate memes to go along with some tasty advice vaguely related to video content.

OiConf takes place on March 29 2018 in Bristol. Register for free here.