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Tools of the Craft: Episode 1 – Airtable

For our first ever episode of ‘Tools of the Craft’, we reviewed Airtable! Airtable is one of our favorite collaboration applications that helps make our lives easier during the video production process. See how we utilize the tool in the above video or check out the transcript below. Stay tuned for more episodes of ‘Tools of the Craft’ in the coming weeks!

BOTH: Welcome to ‘Tools of the Craft’.

SAM: I’m Sam.

NICKY: I’m Nicky.

SAM: And today, we’re going to be talking about a tool.

NICKY: While making a craft.

SAM: Our tool today is Airtable. It’s a tool that we use for some creative databases and some project tracking. Little bit of this, little bit of that.

NICKY: We have a mystery box that we are about to open and find out what our craft is. Should we, like do a little…

SAM: Oh.

NICKY: Some origami.

SAM: Origam-ayee. [laughs] it looks like we’re gonna be making a paper airplane. When you were a kid, did you ever make a really solid plane?

NICKY: I actually didn’t.

SAM: Yeah, me neither. Interested to see how this goes. Can I have blue paper, since it’s my favorite color?

NICKY: Yeah.

What do you use Airtable for?

SAM: So introduced Airtable into our animated video production process towards the end of last year as an alternative creative database.

NICKY: We put all of our creatives’ information in there and what their specialties are.

SAM: Yeah.

NICKY: Specialties like 2-D animation or 3-D animation. This is actually really difficult…

SAM: Does this mean I have to make a cut into the paper? I’m on step two right now, and I’m already… I don’t know if I can do it.

NICKY: I use Airtable to do a lot of things, actually. I use it as a social media calendar, as well as marking the social posts after they go out.

SAM: It’s cool to see how we both use the same tool in very different ways.

What problem does Airtable solve for you?

NICKY: I can’t even imagine when I wasn’t using Airtable and someone asked me to edit a spreadsheet or put something in a spreadsheet, and I would just cringe. But now I’m just like “sign me up!” Wait, you’re there. I’m getting like really sweaty doing this.

SAM: Yeah, me too.

What’s your favorite feature of Airtable?

NICKY: My favorite feature is all of the filters that you can use. You can put all this data into one table and easily use a filter to see what you need. If you want to see who is a 3-D animator or who is a 2-D animator. Instead of jacking up all your data, it just easily puts it into a nice filtered out… System? I don’t know how to describe it.

SAM: Yeah.

NICKY: Wait what happens in between this step?

SAM: So I’m like right here.

NICKY: Wait, that’s close. I think it’s this cause it’s on the outside I think.

SAM: Yours looks way different. I’ve maybe folded the wrong way.

How does Airtable fit into your workflow?

SAM: When a project comes down a pipeline, and a producer needs to find a creative to work on it, they’ll go to Airtable, and they’ll look through our creative database.

NICKY: And if we need a reference to some of their work, instead of having to click on all their websites, we put in some reference GIFs, or images, just to see some of their animation pieces or their go-to style. I’m pretty close. I’m not there yet, but it’s… oh.

SAM: Hey, this actually looks pretty good.

Final review of the tool

NICKY: I’d probably rate the tool…

SAM: I think it’s really awesome. Let’s give it 8 out of 10 paper air gliders.

NICKY: Airtable was a tool.

SAM: Paper airplanes were the craft.

NICKY: And this was ‘Tools of the Craft’.

SAM: We’ll see ya next time.

Written by Colin Hogan
Colin is the Managing Director at Demo Duck, a Chicago-based video production company, who has a deep obsession with making videos as often as possible. Follow Demo Duck on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.