The COVID Chronicles: Working Through a Pandemic (with SolidLine)

Exclusive interview with Greg Vass, SolidLine Media

Published on in Exclusive Interviews

As we've all been living (and navigating) these difficult past few months thanks to COVID-19, we wanted to reach out to our incredible featured profiles to find out what they've been up to, their thoughts on the industry and how they've actively shifted their business during this time. 

PH: Can you tell us a little about the work SolidLine does? 

Greg Vass: SolidLine is a full service video production company. We focus on the development and production of high end corporate video production content. Our production work includes everything from documentary style story videos to educational programs to animated explainer videos. If it needs to be a great video, SolidLine can make it happen. 
PH: Are you continuing to work on any projects? What are they? 
Greg Vass: We innovated quickly back in February and March and launched a new section to our website called Videos at Home. We also created a new remote video production platform we call SolidLive. This remote production platform enables us to bring in up to seven live sources of broadcast quality video and combine them together with motion graphics to create high quality content for interviews, expert panels, round table discussions, presentations and more.  Between this platform and our animated work we have luckily stayed very busy and kept all 7 of our full time employees on the payroll. Over the past month we have even had a few location production days, and several more planned in the coming months, so that will also help to keep everyone busy. 
PH: How has your day to day changed? 
Greg Vass: Working remotely we are certainly missing our in person creative sessions. We have replaced these crew meetings with Zoom (like so many) and it has worked pretty well. We also started doing a daily crew briefing at 9am and that has helped to keep everyone in touch. Each day we email an agenda for the call beforehand to stay on task. During the call we discuss projects, sales and marketing, company updates, and set personal goals for the day. Overall we have actually seen a productivity boost since the pandemic started. Our crew is not commuting to work and we are not spending a lot of extra time and money on the office operation. We are focusing 100% on our clients, our video work, and growing SolidLine Media. 
PH: How does live streaming take on new meaning during this time? 
Greg Vass: We have innovated with live streaming a lot in our business over the past several years, but especially over the past several months. We see live streaming as a big part of how we produce in the future. Our SolidLive remote video production platform is how we have been creating content (both live and also recorded to be edited into videos) and I see this being a strong product offering well into the future

PH: What new trends have you seen emerging? 
Greg Vass: It has been great to see how companies have evolved through this pandemic. I would say the biggest trend is the realization that we can work remote and have less overhead. At SolidLine, we ditched our new office lease (which was to start May 1) to go fully remote for the rest of 2020. We are staying busy with great work, communicating well, and saving a lot of the bottom line which will benefit our clients and profitability in the future. 
PH: How have you been actively supporting the community and industry during this time? 
Greg Vass: It was important to us from the start to make sure we could keep our employees on the payroll and with health insurance. So that was our number one goal and proud to say we are still maintaining our crew with no pay cuts. We are also working on pro bono projects in the medical field to help raise awareness for patient safety, which is a very important message for us here at SolidLine Media. 
PH: In your opinion, what will the future of the industry look like? How will it evolve? 
Greg Vass: We started in 2001 so we have seen quite a transformation in the production industry. YouTube did not even exist back then! But the transformation that has taken place over the past few months has been mind blowing, and video content is positioned at the front and center as one of the biggest needs for companies moving forward. Even moreso than at the beginning of 2020. Companies will use video to sell and educate differently, to do events differently, and to communicate with each other differently. It's already started in a big way. Our Fortune 500 clients have seen the increased productivity and cost savings of less travel and I have heard of T&E budgets being cut 50% or more. Video will be a great solution to bridge the in person gap as we move through the next year or two. I expect to see plenty of virtual production solutions, both good ones and bad ones. It will be up to the production companies to make sure we still push for a high level of creative and quality as video content continues to explode in need.
PH: Where can we find you on social?
You can check us out @solidlinemedia on all social platforms.
PH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?  
Greg Vass: Innovation is key during these times. The ones that innovate will find themselves in a good position to grow their businesses. This goes for all business, but especially in the production industry. 
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