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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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'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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
We cover congresses, conferences, concerts, sports and other events. We work with a network of partners locally and abroad to the following services:
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.
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:
Storage and archiving
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:
This is a document you send us stating the following:
With an accurate brief in hand, we can send you an accurate quote. As most productions can be tailored to fit a certain budget, it’s often best to tell us how much you can spend. We can then suggest the more cost-effective approach or style. For example we might say, “Ah, for that budget we could do this animation in 3D,” or “Oh, for that budget we should stick to motion graphics.”
If you prefer a quote, no problem. We send, and that’s when you scream “What?! That much? Let’s get Communications to do it.” Before you take that route, though, take a look at this quality comparison.
That said, in-house video production can be a great solution in some cases, but a bit of training is often required for best results. If you’re interested in the in-house route, we’re happy to help: Smartcuts training.
Even though production costs vary a lot, here’s a rough idea of prices.
Finally, if it’s an animation you’re looking for, then at this point we may need to figure out what style you have in mind in order to provide you with an accurate quote. In that case we’ll send you an animation sampler so that we can all get a better idea of what you’d like your film to look like.
Ok, so we’ve agreed on a price. It’s now time to lay down the foundations of your project: script, visual description, notes and graphics. We put it all down on a storyboard that we both have access to online. This means we’re always dealing with the very latest version and we get your comments directly on the storyboard in real time. See a sample storyboard. During this phase of the process we need your input.
Once you’ve approved the storyboard, we shoot the video or animate the graphics. During this phase, you’re probably getting on with other things while we work on your project.
We now put it all together and present you with a first draft via our online video feedback tool Wipster. It allows you to freeze the video any time and write your comments directly on it, exactly where you want. See how Wipster works . We keep working on new drafts until you're satisfied and then we send you a version of your project for web use (mp4) and for higher resolution screening (Pro Res or Avid DNxHD). Specific format requests? No problem; no fees.
You now have your wonderful new video in hand. Great, so who’s going to watch it? You put it on your website, on YouTube, on…hmm. Can we help you take 100 views up to something more like 10,000? Yes. It’s called video SEO (search engine optimization). It involves all kinds of attention to detail, tips, tricks and assiduous work plugging links and references to your video into relevant blogs and websites so as to draw traffic to it. Find out more about video SEO.
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."
“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.”
"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."
“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.”
"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!"
“Responsive, creative, and professional. Great to work with.”
“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.”
“We just watched the movie and we think it's great.”
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.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.