Ctrl Shift VFX Nav Logo
Contact us

We'd love to hear from you!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form :(

Find us
writer

Kirk Loftin

How to Treat Partner Companies

It’s hard to fathom a business that won’t at least occasionally work with other businesses. It’s an inevitable, sometimes stressful part of professional life. As mutually beneficial as collaboration can be, we often make it harder for each other than it has to be. I doubt it’s purposeful (most of the time), but thinking ahead will help sidestep a lot of future headaches. Let’s look at a few things to remember when collaborating with other companies (and people in general).


No one likes feeling ignored, so be aware if someone is waiting on you. Respond to any questions/contacts as quickly as reasonably possible. However, if you’re the one waiting for a response, understand if they don’t respond immediately.  Consider the other side’s workload and time constraints. Give them a bit of time to answer before gently reminding that you’re needing a response (never nag). If both parties try to keep communication open and consistent, a lot of delays can be avoided.


When collaborating, one of the biggest budget-demolishing expenses is a late-stage change. For example, if you’re making a video, and on the last review decide to change a section, it’s not a simple update: the script must be rewritten, the voice-over re-recorded, music replaced, and any new characters or designs need to be created. This gets very expensive (not to mention all the added stress). Better to make sure that any major changes are caught and agreed upon early. There will always be tweaks/improvements throughout a project, but the earlier they can implemented (and smaller they are), the less of a headache (and expense) they will be.


After a joint project is completed, how you talk about the other company is important. If you had a positive experience, say so! Thank them publicly on social media. Give them kudos. Sharing this kind of goodwill looks not just for them, but also for you. However, if it was a negative experience, fall back on the old cliché: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. No matter how awful, don’t go bashing them online or complain at industry functions. Even if you’re 100% correct in your assessment, to others you’ll look like a negative whiner who talks bad about people behind their backs. That’s not a good image for you, and especially not for your business. People notice when you carry yourself with dignity and professionalism!


As it usually is, the key here is empathy. Consider the other person, what their needs and wants are. Respect them as hardworking partners, not as underlings to boss around. This shared sense of humanity will help color your interactions to make them as pleasant as possible for all involved, and help the collaborative process be a smooth, enjoyable, and profitable experience.

OTHER blogs

Check Out More Posts

6 Ways To Get the Most Out of Your Newly Crafted Video

Video production is exciting and fun because you have an opportunity to bring your brand to life like never before. Your website, newsletters, and flyers are all important pieces of marketing material, but...

3 Signs It’s Time To Turn To a Professional Video Production Company

We live in a time where just about every business owner has a smartphone in their pocket. Most smartphones have cameras that can capture videos...

The Five Elements You Need to Make a Professional Video

We’ve all seen videos that should have been professional, but something didn’t quite work right. It can be difficult to pin down just what makes a video stand above the rest.

The One Thing Everyone Needs to Know Before Starting Video

There's one thing that everyone should know, but almost no one talks about, when it comes to starting a video project. Long before you buy expensive videography equipment...

Always Be Learning

Are you the greatest [insert your job title here] of all time? Probably not (I’m sure it’s hard to believe, but I’m not the greatest writer of all time). This isn’t a bad thing though, it just means that there’s always something else to learn. By constantly reaching out for new knowledge you can improve, increase your value (for both yourself and your career), and keep your brain active.

From Pre to Post: Producing Live-Action Video

Although similar to the process for creating animated videos, creating live-action videos have their own unique process. The basic skeleton of pre-production, production, and post-production is still there, but the inner pieces may be different. Even among live-action video, there is a difference between narrative and interview style (especially in the pre-production stages).

Ten Easy Tips for Shooting Better Videos with Your Phone

Short-form videos for social media are becoming increasingly important to businesses. One of the best ways to get real, authentic content is to shoot with your phone. But how do you make it look like...well...not garbage? Here are ten easy tips for shooting better videos with your phone, whether it’s a cheap prepaid smartphone or the latest and greatest offering from Apple.

How to Make More Time

Time is a lot of things. It’s a Pink Floyd song, the fourth dimension (except maybe not), and a finite resource (unlike money, which there are ways to make more of). You are allotted 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for as many years as you’re alive (sorry to be depressing). You can’t buy more time, can’t craft more of it at home, can’t borrow it from someone else. The only way to “make” more time is to better manage the time that you have.

What Kind of Video Do You Need?

Often, bosses will come in with an idea: let’s make a video! And...that’s it. That’s the end of their idea, but there’s so much more to it. Knowing precisely what kind of video you need helps tremendously to actually get it done. Not every video is equal. If you want proof of this, just look at the filmography of John Travolta (sorry Mr. Travolta).

How to Start a Project

We’ve all been there: staring at the blank sheet of paper with no idea how to start. There’s a massive project, but where do you even begin? Sure, twirling in your chair eating Goldfish crackers for an hour was a nice distraction, but that doesn’t mean you’re any closer to the project being done. I’m going to use writing as my main example, but the concepts can be applied to almost any kind of project. 

Should You Include Audio in Your Video?

Videos are made up of two main components: the visuals and the audio. But, in a time where auto-play videos are muted on social media, what’s the best way to effectively use audio in your videos so that your message isn’t lost on mute, but is improved when included? How do you know which options are right for you to use for audio in your video content?

Don't Be a Jerk or: Ethics in the Workplace

It can be tricky sometimes to navigate the business world and stay completely ethical. Maybe you found out a piece of information no one else knows that you can use to your advantage. Maybe you don’t correct your boss’s incorrect assumption about a co-worker who’s also up for a promotion you’re trying to get. Maybe you stay on the clock after you’re done with work to answer Facebook messages. Keeping a strong sense of personal ethics is more than just not stealing from the company (which is also a no-no), it’s about being honest and doing what’s right in all aspects of business.

The Universal Appeal of Video

What makes video such a powerful medium? Why is it that even small toddlers natively understand videos? Why are “how-to” videos more popular than “how-to” books? Why are movies and television more popular than radio or novels? They’re easy for any human to comprehend, even children that can barely talk seem to just absorb Elmo videos (over and over and over and over again). Every single day, 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube.

The Why of Marketing

If there’s one universal truth about marketers, it’s this: we’re all trying to sell something. It might be a shiny new product, a service to a business, or a political candidate, but it’s all about sales, right? Not quite, because marketers need to understand it’s not just about selling something. Understanding what your audiences really want is vital to your success. 

Avoiding Some Common Writing Mistakes

Not everyone in the business world studied English in college. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume most didn’t. Unless you’re a writer, editor, or just have a random passion for grammar, it’s likely that once you slogged your way through Macbeth and To Kill a Mockingbird (or at least watched the movie versions or skimmed the Sparknotes), you felt free. Because of this, the professional world is rife with grammatical errors, misspellings, and other things that make English teachers’ brains twitch.

Welcoming New Employees

Adding a new employee to a company can be an awesome, exciting event. It can also be an awkward nightmare. There’s a fine line between a good and bad experience for a new hire, and balance is absolutely vital to welcoming the newcomer while not scaring them away either.

Staying Healthy While at Work

Celebrities love to post pictures of their healthy meals and videos of them working out with their personal trainers in the middle of the day on Instagram. It’s easier to stay healthy when you have the time and resources of a celebrity. But what about the rest of us? How do we stay healthy while typing on our computers for hours and sitting through way too long meetings? How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle in an office?

Dressing for Success at Work

Keeping up with the latest and greatest fashion trends is exhausting (not to mention prohibitively expensive for those of us that don’t have our own line of rocket ships). Luckily, in a workplace setting, we’re not being judged on the same level as if we’re walking a runway in Milan. Still though, you don’t want to be known as the office slob, so here are some super easy, basic tips for dressing professionally and looking good at work.

From Research to Release

Usually, when people hear the word “animation,’ they think of cartoons. When we talk about animations, especially for businesses, we mean so much more than just cartoons. Animation can be 2D, 3D, a blend of both 2D/3D, or things like motion graphics. Animations can be used to announce products or services, explain complicated processes, tell stories, or even just to make a fun, lively showcase for whatever message you’re trying to share with the world.

The Password is...Safe

With the increases in identity theft, cyber crime, and hacking these days, it’s best to keep yourself as protected as possible. Although sentences like these are usually followed by ads for expensive anti-virus or online protection services,