CBR Productions is blazing a videographic trail on digital media with videos that are attracting the attention of big brand names locally and globally. Headed by Chace Geyer, Executive Producer, and Devin Risely, Creative Director, CBR Productions is growing fast, and is focused on producing top quality videos for its clients while developing promising young talent in the industry.
CBR Productions, an affiliate of specialist digital agency, CBR Marketing Solutions, launched in June 2017 with just Geyer and Risely on the team. At the start, they were producing four or five videos per month, but demand grew rapidly and today they are turning out 40 to 50 videos per month.
The growth meant a need to increase the team. With the specific intention of giving young talent an opportunity to grow and thrive in the saturated video production sector, Geyer and Risely sought out young university graduates to join them on their steep growth path.
Their director of photography is just 22, the head of post production is 25, the rest of the team (including Geyer and Risely) are under 30, and together they produce world-class work. Brands they have worked with include well-known brands such as Rimmel, Converse, Sunglass Hut, Edgars, The Foschini Group, Urban Art, Bidvest McCarthy, and more.
Says Risely, “In this sector, our youth is an asset, as the video industry is young and vibrant itself, fast-paced, evolving, and highly innovative. It has an energy that we thrive on.” Craig Munitz, entrepreneurial leader and MD of parent parent company CBR Marketing Solutions, comments, “Any concerns by clients about the team’s average age is quickly overcome through the professional and polished work they produce. This talented young team is growing together, always keen to learn, and excited about trying new ways to tell clients’ stories.”
The rapid growth did not come without challenges, and Geyer and Risely found they needed to adapt their management approach and their operational structures to accommodate the need for a dramatic increase in productivity. Geyer says, “There was no room for short-cuts or slapdash work. We knew that no matter how many videos we produce, we need to be proud of every single one. We relied on Craig (Munitz) as a mentor and we set up communication and work structures to ensure smooth work flow. We’re a tight-knit team and we discovered that absolute honesty across the board is the best policy. If work is not up to scratch, we will talk about it and find ways to fix it. When we offer criticism, we make sure it is always constructive and never personal. The idea is to build each other up – and consequently produce excellent work.”
The team also learned how to ensure that their work remained highly creative despite the increase in output, through managing systems. Adds Risely, “We double check ourselves all the time, asking, ‘is every shot exciting?’ And when editing, we need to be sure that we feel a rush when the work comes together. We need to be sure that the first five seconds we are working on is exciting, and that the next five seconds is equally exciting.”
The CBR Productions approach to video editing is fresh and different – and far from the standard linear approach. Geyer says, “We don’t start with act 1 followed by acts 2, 3, 4, etc. We mix it up, we edit to keep the video entertaining and gripping, mixing still photographs with videos, using dynamic shots and a changing pace to keep the viewer visually stimulated and engaged with the video. We still get the story out and we make sure it stays true to the client’s brand.”
“Our aim is to create a strong video presence online for our clients,” says Risely. “Instead of creating one commercial that goes on air for one week, costs millions and is forgotten in no time, we take the same budget and produce multiple great quality videos that give brands a consistent video presence online over a much longer period, keeping their target market captivated. The bottom line is ensuring the best strategy to showcase our clients’ brands in the best and brightest light.”