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Tools of the Craft: Episode 2 – Basecamp

For our second episode of ‘Tools of the Craft’, we take a look at Basecamp with two of our producers, Stephan and Cody. Since the early years of Demo Duck, we’ve been using Basecamp to keep our creative communication for projects in one place and make sure we’re hitting our video production deadlines. It’s been fun to see it evolve over that time and some of our producers were even invited into Basecamp HQ for a live feedback session. Give it a quick watch (or read) and stay tuned for more episodes of ‘Tools of the Craft’ in the coming weeks!

CODY: Welcome … No.

BOTH: Welcome to ‘Tools of the Craft’.

STEPHAN: I’m Stephan.

CODY: And I’m Cody.

STEPHAN: Today we’re gonna talk about a tool-

CODY: While making a craft.

STEPHAN: Today’s tool is Basecamp, something we use to make sure projects are moving along smoothly by helping us communicate with creatives and track to-dos.

STEPHAN: Cody, what’s this box? Would you say it’s a “mystery box”?

STEPHAN: I mean, we’re talking about Basecamp, so do you think it’s something-

CODY: It’s gotta be a campfire.

STEPHAN: Maybe a small mountain diorama?

CODY: Okay.


CODY: Well, let’s see.

STEPHAN: Let’s check it out.

CODY: What’s in there? Oh. We have popsicle sticks-

STEPHAN: And a glue bottle.

CODY: We’re making a popsicle house.

STEPHAN: I think what it is is there are all these zany looking things, and the glue is the producers that really hold the project together.

CODY: I like that. That’s sweet.

STEPHAN: So, I see one square.

CODY: Yeah. And then, we’re gonna make, like three more of these.


What problem does Basecamp solve for you?

CODY: We use Basecamp to speak to our video creatives. Anytime that we receive feedback from our clients, we’ll then share that on Basecamp.

STEPHAN: We have some great templates that we put together to just kind of get those core pieces of the project together in Basecamp, and that lets us focus on the project-specific tasks. So, what makes that project special. Things like that.

What’s your favorite feature of Basecamp?

CODY: I love the fact that Basecamp allows you to separate the project into each of the stages of the video production process so that all the notes for our storyboards are all gonna be in one area. All of our notes for our style frames will also be in a separate area.

CODY: You get it. No, glue that one.

STEPHAN: Well you got to make …

CODY: I think you’ve got to make a separate square, right?

STEPHAN: Can you show it to me? Maybe like a rough mock up?

CODY: Yes. So …

STEPHAN: See, that’s the other great thing about Basecamp – it’s not just text. You can actually upload pictures and other files that help you get ideas across.

When is Basecamp most useful?

STEPHAN: It’s great to be able to do that and assign specific things to specific people. I can assign them to the project and assign a due date just like I would with a creative during storyboards or style frames or animation.

STEPHAN: Would you say we’re kind of specializing our tasks?

CODY: Oh, completely. I’m not actually allowed to construct at all.

STEPHAN: That’s a union issue, but you’re the glue dude.

What is your Basecamp secret weapon?

CODY: The pinning of the project when sorting through which project is yours can take all little bit of time. So, if you pin all your projects to the top, then you can look at the list first.

CODY: So, now, we have to put these walls together.

STEPHAN: Yeah, lets read crafting. Crafting the roof.

CODY: Oh, so we’re doing the roof and not the walls yet.

STEPHAN: These are the walls.

CODY: Right. But we’re not like putting the walls together yet. Please standby.

STEPHAN: I think the glue, basically, needs just like to fill that-

CODY: Pretend it’s-

STEPHAN: It’s yesterday, and this is a taco.

CODY: Okay.

STEPHAN: A glue taco.

STEPHAN: That wall is not glued on.

CODY: That wall?

STEPHAN: Yep, that wall. I need some help here.

CODY: You need some glue.


CODY: Alright. I gotta … I’m at a weird angle. No.

Final review of the tool

STEPHAN: So, if we were to rate Basecamp on a number of popsicle houses.

CODY: So, I would say, I would give it an eight because I think it’s near-perfect, but there are still a few things that we’d like to see changed.

CODY: And now, we’re good.

STEPHAN: It looks great.

CODY: This looks great.

CODY: Basecamp was the tool.

STEPHAN: Popsicle disaster was the craft.

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

STEPHAN: Thanks. We’ll see you next time. I think if we would have used Basecamp, we probably could have made a better house.

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.