Common Craft Video Productions

Common Craft (the company, not the blog) is in the midst of a change. It appears that we're becoming, quite fortuitously, a video production company.

This is our story:

As many of you know, Sachi and I traveled around the world in 2006. Along the way, we started making short videos and fell in love with putting our work on the web. Towards the end of the trip, we started to think about how we could use short videos for Common Craft. In October of 2006, an idea was born: we would make video reproductions of our Technology in Plain English blog posts.

After we came home, we created a shabby studio in an extra bedroom and I started video taping myself in front of the whiteboard, working through ideas like RSS in Plain English. It wasn't working - I felt like just another talking head. We needed something different.

Sachi came up with the idea of pointing the camera straight down at the whiteboard and using my hands to tell the story using simple language and tools. Soon after, our minds ran wild with ideas and we started thinking about the first video, focused on RSS.

We made some mistakes, but that video was our first indication that the soon-to-be-named "Paperworks" format works. The RSS in Plain English video has been viewed over 100,000 times and translated into 16 languages in the first two months after production. Our second video Wikis in Plain English was also well received.

For the second video, we added a section to the Common Craft Show page that says:

We Need You. We're looking for sponsors and opportunities to create videos for specific purposes. Interested? Contact Us.

Soon after the wiki video started making its way around the web, we started to get emails and calls. The more people we talked to, the more we realized the business opportunities. As I write this, our schedule is filling up with videos that we will produce on a commissioned basis. Suddenly, we have become a consulting *and* video production company - and we love it. This could be a big part of the future of Common Craft.

To provide a little more information on our process and goals, we created a page for Common Craft Video Productions - the newest addition to the two-person Common Craft empire. Now more than ever, we see that Common Craft is whatever we want it to be.

Oh, and one final note: we will continue to make our own videos for the Common Craft Show, but our "productions" will be separate.