Note: Due to the impressive corporation we have received from companies, we have decided to run this series weekly each Friday for the next several months and thus table the Innovative Individuals series for the time being. We hope you enjoy the company Q&As!
To begin our weekly company spotlight series, I chose to feature Story4, a small multimedia company based in Felton, CA. A team of four (including previously featured Innovative Individual Richard Koci Hernandez) develops “videos and Web 2.0 content” primarily for foundations and non-profit organizations. With more than 70 years of combined professional experience, it is obvious that this quickly growing company is one to watch.
Q) Please briefly introduce yourself and your role at Story4.
A) I’m Geri Migielicz, Executive Editor at Story4. I negotiate jobs with clients, put together creative teams of contractors for our projects, produce projects and manage the collaboration with our clients. Story4 partner Liza Culick has vast experience in the non profit sector, which really helps Story4 and its clients set goals and work together effectively.
Q) What makes your company unique? (ie whatâ€™s your elevator pitch?)
A) We apply journalism sensibilities and multimedia tools to create short high-impact documentaries for the web. We emphasize high quality visual storytelling, drawing on our roots in photojournalism. Our work so far has primarily been with foundations to bring their issues to light through the power of personal stories.
Q) How do your employees drive innovation and creativity?
A) Story4′s creative team builds on our years of daily journalism experience and trust in each other’s sensibilities to push toward unique and fresh approaches and high standards to each story. Multimedia is a blend of a variety of storytelling traditions, and as a team and as individuals we are always looking to bring a story to life using new combinations of tools, techniques and ideas. We see each project as an opportunity to go to a new level.
Q) What company portfolio piece are you most proud of?
A) If I had to choose, perhaps “Interrupted Lives,” because it marks a leaping off from pieces for which Story4 had created almost all of the original visual content in a documentary style. For this story, the challenge was to illustrate the students’ lives and create context, based on bits of documentary evidence. This meant sourcing and using a large amount of conceptual visuals. And of course, the stories themselves are so compelling. I am proud that Story4 is able to help increase awareness of the human rights situation in Iran through “Interrupted Lives.”
Q) How do you see your company expanding in the next five years?
A) For Story4, expansion means continuing to find select projects and partnerships that suit our skills and interests. We know now that short documentaries are an exciting format, but it is not such a leap to feature length documentary, for the right project. It’s hard to project the future with the economic recovery and uncertainty, but I can only see opportunities for growth as the value of multimedia storytelling becomes more widely understood.
Q) Why would your company be an ideal place to work?
A) Because our team is immensely talented and we are all teachers who love learning and sharing what we’ve learned. We are making meaningful pieces, which is a great motivator. We’re a virtual workplace, so we use iChat to collaborate out of the comfort of our homes. And we have fun.
Q) Will you divulge any funny stories that can give us an insight into the day-to-day operations at your company?
A) Don’t know if this is funny, but I found it amusing … Early one foggy Northern California morning, Richard Koci Hernandez and I dialed up iChat and images popped up of each of us shrouded in our hoodies. It made me laugh – those screen views made us look a bit like monks hunkered down over illuminated manuscripts. Post production sometimes requires monastic devotion… and there might be a direct historical lineage to be drawn from vellum to video.
Q) What recommendation do you have for people either entering the workplace or looking to transition to this type of work?
A) You’ve got to be passionate about the story and its telling or it is just work. That won’t do for us.
Q) On that note, are you currently hiring?
A) Story4 hires a team of collaborative independent contractors for each project.
Q) How can we learn more about your company?
A) We have an RSS feed on our blog on our site which we try to keep updated with current work and news.
Want to recommend a multimedia company to be highlighted in this series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A company will be featured every Friday, so look for the next company spotlight Friday, August 27th!