About

Smart Cuts is an up-and-coming player on the video production scene in the Lake Geneva region. Created in 2008 to meet demand for affordable video and animation production, our business model is designed to keep costs as low as possible without affecting quality. This means we limit overhead and function as a network of skilled professionals. Our core team is constantly trawling for young, dynamic talent that’s up on the latest audiovisual trends and technologies. By combining their fresh, creative energy with the experienced management of our core team, we make sure you get the very best at a price you’ll find hard to beat.

Lucas Chambers

Lucas Chambers

Founder and Director

Oceanographer, teacher and then journalist for CBC and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Lucas took the long way to video production. But his journey has brought the sort of experience with people and project management that makes for successful productions. He’s the one who makes sure everyone always knows what’s going on.

Pete Forster

Pete Forster

Chief Producer

Economist, travel agent, editor-in-chief at the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Pete no longer has a thing to prove in management…except to you. His credo is that life, like video direction, is all in the choices we make. And with a keen eye for the golden thread in your story, he’ll systematically nail your brief, in time and on budget.

Martine Brocard

Martine Brocard

Chief Editor

Martine is our wordsmith in French and logistician. A linguist from the University of Lausanne, since turned journalist, she is a ruthless editor and organizer. She’s the one who feeds the perfectionist in all of our closets.

Jean Chessex

Jean Chessex

Technical Director

Jean is prized in the company for his artistic soul and his keen eye for composition. Trained at Lausanne’s acclaimed École Cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL), he’s the man who makes sure that your image and sound quality is second to none.

Daniel Wait

Daniel Wait

Animation Director

An award-winning stop motion animator and motion graphics designer, Daniel has worked for top-name brands around the world. We admire his knack for the right style, his eye for design and his undying passion for the latest trends and software in the industry.

Marc Jordan

Marc Jordan

Interactive Media Designer

Yes, yes, they do exist. IMDs are a rare and precious breed, but we did finally catch one prowling the halls of the École Romande d'Art et Communication (ERACOM) in Lausanne. What they do is a bit of a mystery, but then so is what makes good art, and that’s what Marc is all about.

Liam Chambers

Liam Chambers

Camera operator

Liam is all about the cameras and wielding them in the studio, in the field and anywhere our video missions take him. It’s hard to pin him down to the post-production editing, but once nailed to his seat, his flair for the right cut, the right track at the right time makes for the right stuff.

Elma Okic

Elma Okic

Videographer

Elma's can-do spirit and perpetual grin are surpassed only by her skills behind the camera. Whether shooting video or photos, her years of experience show, as do her communications and project management skills. If it's far, hard, sensitive and complex, it's hers.

Services

At Smart Cuts quality and flexibility are the guiding principles for all productions. We know you want the best, but we also know you’ve got time and budget constraints. Our commitment to you is to walk the fine line between getting the job done well and sticking to your limits.

Below you’ll find a list of the services we provide.


Video is the core of our business. Smart Cuts provides experienced producers and camera crews for the following services:

  • Concept design – assistance finding effective, original ideas
  • Storytelling – journalistic script writing experience in both English and French
  • Showcase videos – highlighting organizations and companies
  • Advertising – showcasing projects or products
  • Training videos – improving internal communications
  • Explainer videos – explaining programs, concepts and campaigns
  • Interviews – shot in-house or at our studio
Watch more samples.

Why 4k?
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Show off your campus or your event, indoors or outdoors. Show it from on high. Drone shots are almost always a great addition to a video production. We also provide drone image capture for industrial purposes and monitoring.

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Communication through animation is fresh and highly effective at passing along complex information. 3D, traditional 2D, motion graphics, whiteboard, mix of video and animation, at Smart Cuts we offer styles to fit just about any budget or deadline.

Watch more samples.
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Sometimes the nature of the project, a tight budget or an equally tight deadline mean that mixing video and animation will be the best way to go. This can yield a powerful communication tool. The sample you can watch here is a film mandated by the ILO of the UN to commemorate the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh in 2013. We used animation to enhance the ILO's take-home message: employment injury insurance needs to be applied in every country around the world.

Watch more samples.
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Turn watching online video from a passive into an active experience. Add links to your videos that allow viewers to skip to another part of the video or to other content that interests them. This tool is becoming increasingly popular for online video communication. Watch this demo to see how it works (use full screen mode for best results).

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Good lighting, multiple cameras, smooth audio – we guarantee top quality interview shoots, in-house or at our studio. We can add cut away shots from video we shoot, from video or stills you provide or from our own archives. Green screening available.

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Infographics are captivating. Marketing research shows they boost comprehension and brand advocacy. Animation and mood music can be used to great effect to increase engagement. Interactive elements can also be added to lead people to more content.

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The Smart Cuts team has experience working abroad with field kits and foreign languages, animals and underwater gear. We have shot numerous documentaries in challenging conditions. If you need an experienced crew that can keep the budget tight without cutting corners on quality, we’re your pick.

Watch more samples.
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We cover congresses, conferences, concerts, sports and other events. We work with a network of partners locally and abroad to the following services:

  • Multi-camera / steadycam shooting
  • Live mix and projection on big screens
  • Live web-streaming
  • Satellite uplink or internet server transmission
  • Post-production facility setup
  • Video press releases, highlights and webcasts

Watch more samples.
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Broadcast speeches, press conferences, and all manner of events live online. You can do this on your YouTube Channel or any of the other web streaming platform and even embed the player on your website. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive either, but to get decent quality and reliability, it's not as easy as hooking up a webcam. We offer two options to help you with your streaming:

Option A: you stream
This is the DIY option, with a bit of help from your friends at Smart Cuts. We look at the equipment you already have, recommend the most cost-effective additions if needed and configure everything for you. Once tested, you're on your way and we remain at your disposal via a hotline for extra help.

Option B: we stream
We take care of everything for you from A to Z. Depending on your budget and desires, we can do a simple one-camera shoot and stream or we can capture your event with multiple cameras, mix live and broadcast directly online.

Other Services

Tops and tails, jingles, and so on. You can count on us for advice and a crisp, professional look:

Watch more samples.
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Donors, clients and the public want to see what difference your organization or company is making on the ground. The best way to tell your story is to see and hear from those people whose lives are being improved by your work, service or product. But how do you find those stories? You can send a cameraman and or a journalist to the field but it’s expensive and, in the end, you only get a snapshot.

Why not train your field operators to tell the stories themselves. They know the impact. They see the progress. They know the people. They just need a bit of advice on basic equipment, storytelling and the video editing process. We offer in-the-field training or Geneva-based seminars on the following:

  • How to find and tell compelling stories;
  • How to use basic camera equipment and iPhones to shoot footage;
  • Cost-effective solutions to stabilize, cast light and generally improve image and audio quality;
  • How to edit and submit these video for online feedback and approval by headquarters;
  • How to archive the final product and transfer it by internet.


  • Cliquer ici pour plus d’informations: Smartcuts training

Other Services

Scriptwriting

    - you need video but don’t have time to hammer out a script? Send us the information and we’ll write it for you. It’s easier to take it from there than from a blank page.

Voice overs

    - we have the artists with just the right age, tone or accent.

Training

    - if your communications team can do a lot in house but needs a few pointers, we can come in and help make sure those interviews are well lit, well shot and well cut.

Storage and archiving

    - are your company hard drives cluttered with bits and pieces of video you can’t track down, saved in the wrong formats? We’ll sort things out for you and make sure it’s there when you need it.

Other Services

Process

You've made the big decision, you have the budget, you're going to get that video done. But where to begin? In brief, with a brief:


We count among our clients:

ILO
WHO
UNAIDS
IOM-OIM
IUCN
WWF
ICI
APT
Ramsar
Solarimpulse
GCSP
Nestle
Nespresso
Nagra
Holcim
Swisscom
WSB
EPFL
LaCoteIntSchool
Ecoleint
Clara Haskil Int Piano Comp
Nipconf



Customer recommendations & reviews:

"I have personally had the chance of hiring the services and directly working with Smart Cuts on different occasions and have been more than satisfied each time. The level of technical and political complexity of the assignments was relatively high. We were impressed with the quality and style of both the graphic elements and the storytelling that the Smart Cuts team came up with under a very tight deadline. I highly recommend this agency. Their approach is friendly and their work is professional. They also clearly have solid experience working within the UN system."

Anne Drouin, Chief of Public Finance, Actuarial and Statistics Services Branch, Social Protection Department

“They have added variety and a dynamic feel to the interviews they have shot; they have competently managed productions in which retakes were not an option; their editing skills are impressive and we are also very pleased with the quality of the animated elements they have been asked to add to some of our videos. All around Smart Cuts is a company we have confidence in and we are currently considering turning to them for other video production mandates.”

Jacquelyn Campo,Corporate Communications Manager, Nestlé-Nespresso

"Their online storyboarding system made communication effective in the pre-production phase and their video draft feedback tool made giving feedback at the end clear and easy. The attitude at Smart Cuts was friendly, professional and adaptable, so it is without any hesitation that I would recommend this company."

Boualem Belbachir,Deputy Head of Digital Communication Unit, ICRC

“I have worked with Smart Cuts for years now, and have been systematically satisfied with their service. I find the communications with Smart Cuts during a production particularly appreciable. They are easy to reach, easy to talk to, fast to react to feedback and flexible. Given the imponderables inherent in any production, this is immeasurably valuable.”

Borjana Pervan,Head of Communications, International Cocoa Initiative

"It's not easy to find professional, affordable video help in Suisse Romande. Add a tight budget, urgent deadline and a vague brief, and the task seems impossible. Luckily, the team at Smart Cuts thrived on the challenge, asking the right questions, devising a plan and script in time, and handling the interviewees with a knack that only comes with a lifetime of broadcast experience. All that at a superb price. Smart!"

Michael Kewley, Director of Marketing , International School of Geneva

“Responsive, creative, and professional. Great to work with.”

Mark Gnadt, Communications officer, IUCN Global Forest and Climate Change Program

“We were worried about the coverage of our live draw event in London, but thanks to Smart Cuts it all went smoothly, including the web streaming. We were very happy with their service and would not hesitate to call on them again.”

Magdalena Lucsak, Project Manager, World Series of Boxing

“We just watched the movie and we think it's great.”

Production rates in CHF

Click to open and close any of these interactive panels for our standard rates. Bear in mind that each production is different and that your specific needs may result in higher or lower costs.

Don't hesitate to send us a brief and get in touch for a more accurate quote.


Regressive rate The longer we work for you the less you pay. Day 1 = 800.- Day 2= 700.- Day 3 = 650 and so on, down to 3200.- per week + 600.- per day thereafter. Half day rate is 400.- NGO discount = 10%
Concept design & Storyboarding Regressive rate applies.
Video shooting Regressive rate applies. Includes broadcast quality equipment (Sony FS7 or PXW-X70 cameras, lights, audio). Extra fees apply for special equipment such as motorized jibs, drones, studio cameras etc.
Video shooting abroad Regressive rate applies. Transport, accommodation, visas, vaccinations and other travel costs not included. All equipment included. Travel days are charged at the half day rate.
Video editing Regressive rate applies.
Animation added to video Add approx. 400.- per 2D motion graphics animated element (e.g. animated diagram). Add approx. 800.- per 3D animated element.
*Name bumpers, top and tail logos and credits are included free of charge.
Voice over (VO) 500.- per language for 1-10 min of script. Add 100.- per 2 minutes thereafter.
Subtitling 50.- per language / min. of voice over (script translation not included).
Script writing 300.- per minute of script.
Music 300.- per copyright free track. Original compositions available as of 500.-
Budget The equipment available nowadays allows us to offer high quality live production for nearly half the price of the professional setup. Please get in touch for more details about the difference. We use Sony PXW-X70 cameras, a Blackmagic ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, a Teradek VidiU encoder for webstreaming and Hyperdeck Studio recorders. Our regressive rate applies to all live video production configurations up to 20% off per week.
1 camera and post production editing (inserting logos, top and tail and name bumpers) 1,250.- for 1 day event.
2 cameras, live mix, post production editing 3,000.- Add 800.- per extra operated camera. Add 250.- per extra stand-alone camera.
Webcasting Add 800.- + possible fees linked to rental of dedicated bandwidth, hosting server and distribution.
E.g.: If we stream to your YouTube account, no fees apply provided you have sufficient bandwidth.
Pro If a professional setup is what you need, we can provide: Sony HXC-100 cameras, Fujinon lenses (18X 7.6, 36X 10.5) + CCU triax optic fiber + RCP-1500 image control, Sony MCS-8M mixer and 16x16HD video router, Live Elemental LS023 encoder.
1 camera and post production editing (inserting logos, top and tail and name bumpers) 2,000.-
2 cameras, live mix, post production editing 3,800.- Add 1,200.- per extra operated camera. Add 600.- per extra stand-alone camera.
Webcasting Add 1,000.- + possible fees linked to rental of dedicated bandwidth, hosting server and distribution.

The player on the right shows samples of each type of animation mentioned below for your reference.

NOTE: The following are included in the rates: Project management, script writing assistance, storyboarding, animation, voice over, music, sound effects, changes to drafts and delivery in the formats of your choice.
Whiteboard basic 2,500.- for the first minute + 500.- per extra minute.
Whiteboard advanced 2,750.- for the first minute + 750.- per extra minute.
Basic motion graphics 3,500.- for the first minute + 1,500.- per extra minute. *See below for discount conditions.
Advanced motion graphics 4,000.- for the first minute + 2,000.- per extra minute. *See below for discount conditions.
Hand-drawn 4,500.- for the first minute + 2,500.- per extra minute. *See below for discount conditions.
3D animation 5,000.- for the first minute + 3,000 per extra minute. *See below for discount conditions.
*2% discount per minute above 5 minutes.
See video production rates above for cost of subtitling and extra languages.


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We run basic and advanced courses for both full video production and just video editing. Don't hesitate to contact us for training tailored to your specific needs. Courses can be run at our offices or yours.

Video production training basic 1,800.- total for up to 4 participants. Runs 3 days. Download the course program
Video production training advanced 2,500.- total for up to 4 participants. Runs 5 days. Download the course program
Video editing course basic 800.- total for up to 4 participants. Runs 1 day. Download the course program
Video editing course advanced 2,000.- total for up to 4 participants. Runs 4 days. Download the course program
Other Services

Contact

Need a quote fast? Here’s what we need to know to get you a cost estimate quickly:

What? When? Where? How long? Deadline? Special requests?

That will get us rolling. We’ll get back to you within 24hrs with a quote or with a query for extra info if needed. Thank you for coming to us.


Address

  • Smart Cuts Ltd, Place Chauderon 24, CH - 1003 Lausanne
  • info@smartcuts.ch
  • 021 311 9845
  • 078 672 6645
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Video Production

Here are more samples of our work in video production. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to see more or different styles.

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Animation

Here are more samples of our work in animation. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to see more or different styles.

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Mix of video and animation

Here are more samples of our work mixing video and animation. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to see more or different styles.

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Documentaries

Here are more samples of our work in documentary film-making. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to know more.

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Events coverage

Here are more samples of our work covering events like live performances on stage. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to see more.

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Bumpers

Here are more samples of our work creating jingles and bumpers. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to see more.

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What you're paying for

Here are two interviews shot in a run-and-gun situation. One is done well; the other shows that the devil is in the details, and that it takes a professional videographer to dodge damnation:


  • The camera is too close.
  • The angle is too low.
  • The light is too bright.
  • The audio is off.
  • The framing is too centered.

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  • The camera is at the right distance.
  • The angle is correct.
  • The light is just right.
  • The audio is smooth.
  • The framing is two-thirds.

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Sample brief

This is an example of a good brief. Yours need not be so detailed. Perhaps you’re not yet sure what you want each scene to look like, but the bottom line is, the more information you can give us the better. At the very least we need to know what you’d like the film to show, what needs to be in it for sure, approximately how long you want it to be and when you want it delivered.



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Smartcuts Training

Outsourcing video production can get expensive, and it may well be more cost-effective for you to train one or several staff to occasionally take on a small production like an interview for your website, a demo or some field reporting. We provide in-house training modules on the three main stages of production:

  • Storytelling – overview of audiovisual communication.
  • Script writing – how to write for voice overs.
  • Storyboarding – planning your shots.

Other Services

  • Video/photo – the basics on camera stability, framing, angles, pans, zooms and shooting sequences.
  • Audio/voice over – how to make sure it’s close, clean and crisp.
  • Lighting – light angles for interviews, using reflector boards and simple lights
  • Interviews – technical tips and tricks for a pro feel.
  • Equipment – cost-effective solutions for small-scale production.

Other Services

Script writing

  • Video editing – the basics to do the job well on Final Cut (Mac) or Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows).
  • File formats – web resolution versus high resolution, why, how and when.
  • Sending – sharing large video files. Your best bet, how and when.
  • Archiving – how to store projects and footage for future editing or reference.

Other Services
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If you need animation done, we will either present you with this general animation sampler video, from which you can pick a style, or we will select samples in a style that you've already identified and compile them so that you can pick the one closest to what you're looking for exactly (as in panel below).

This approach helps us communicate and pin down the best way to tell your story visually.


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Imagine you want an explainer video that has a presenter in it. Perhaps talking about your project together we've identified this as an appropriate style. We would now present you with a compilation of styles within that style for you to fine-tune your choice of look and feel. Here's a sample of what this might look like.

For any type of video project you have in mind, such compilations can help us brainstorm and find the best approach. We can add any number of panels for any number of suggestions and compilations.

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Sample storyboard

This is part of a storyboard we created for a recent animation project. It will give you an idea of how yours might look like once we get started. Of course your project might be video rather than animation, but the process stays similar.

We use Google docs for storyboarding because it provides a number of clear advantages. Among them: it's online and always automatically saved and updated, it allows you to comment in the margin and you can see any changes we make in real time, it keeps a record of all edits and comments made with date and time. Above all this method makes sure we're always dealing with the latest version of the storyboard, as opposed to storyboards sent by email, which get confusing at best and lost at worst.
Of course if you already have a preferred workflow for storyboaring, we'll be glad to adopt it.

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Wipster - your video feedback tool

Giving feedback on video can get awfully confusing, espcially if more than two people are involved. That's why we use the online video feedback tool called Wipster. This tool will allow you to write feedback notes directly on the video screen. No messing about with mutliple versions of Word documents, screen shots, emails with lists of edit notes. Wipster is clear, easy and it will make giving us your feedback a cakewalk. Here's a quick glimpse of how it works:

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Video SEO - make the most of what you've got

Video SEO is all about moving your videos to the top of the pile. This requires optimizing all sorts of parameters to boost visibility, every step of the way. Here's a rough breakdown of how it works:

SEO explainer diagram

UPLOADING

There are many more platforms on which we can upload your videos than YouTube. These include Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch and so on. Having your videos up in more places will help increase their visibility and also search results using the key words we'll put in for you. But if there is one thing that will help boost search engine results for your videos it's hosting them on your own domain, so make sure you also put your videos up on your website, not just on video platforms.

REFERENCING

Using the right key words, categories and tags will help make your videos pop up more often and higher up the list when people are searching for topics related to yours. When uploading your videos to various platforms, we will also use tricks like custom thumbnails and transcriptions for indexing, which not only generates additional content from your videos, but also yields proven results on search engines. We will also use rich metadata and smart content organization to get the most from your video resources. We also recommend targeted use of interactive video elements to connect with viewers.

PROMOTING

Once your videos are up on all the appropriate platforms and properly configured to maximize traffic, we push them toward rush hour by making the most of social media channels. Our team is crack at promoting videos via Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon, Reddit and Delicious. Pinterest, Flickr and even LinkedIn or Twitter can be bent to boosting video visibility, not to mention blogs relevant to the subject your video is about.

TRACKING

How do you know all this is actually working? We provide you with regular updates on the performance of your videos online. You'll get weekly reports on the number of links created to your video and, of course, on the number of views.

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