Consultation

Smart Docs’s aim is to create resources, time, and money for you to do what you are passionate about doing. We help you to realise film as a strategic resource.

We can achieve a lot through creating individual films and training programmes; these interventions are our response to common requirements and problems that we have noticed and worked on over the last seven years.  The best results, unsurprisingly, come from a relationship that lets us integrate film into the business plan of your institution, as part of every process, every funding bid, and every project output. And it is this capacity we develop in consultation.

It is a partnership relationship; one of care, integrity, and trust.  Solutions we devise and implement will be unique to you, have clear aims, objectives, and metrics responding to your particular position.

We will combine your expertise and experience with ours to make film a medium that meets (and exceeds) your objectives. Our conversations will start with the five top priorities (producing better work, enhancing profiles, saving time, and developing relationships that attract funding).  We won’t limit our discussions to these areas — you will have more specific goals — but this is a good start for our conversation.

DOCS Framework


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DOCS is a four-step framework designed to help make your organisation effectively use film.  We use it to guide our consultation, underpin our training and help us to design interventions for your organisation.

DOCS stands for

  • Documentation
  • Optimisation
  • Communication
  • Sustainability

Addressing each of these areas will help you to weave film into the context of your institution in order to become a well-known, highly-regarded, and well-funded organisation.

When it comes to consultation, we use it to structure our conversations so we can design an intervention together.  This works on the operational level (Documentation and Optimisation), and strategic level (Communication and Sustainability).

Documentation

Documentation refers to your capacity to create film in context with other media.  It includes developing skills to make or commission films, identifying the right kinds of context for films, and helping you emphasise and bring out things that are worthy of documenting.  We also create an effective archive of these video documents to use as a resource.  What you document and how you document it should be guided by an understanding of what ‘optimal’ means for you and your organisation…

Documentation
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Optimisation

Optimisation is about equipping your organisation with the right skills and ideas or tools and materials.  It is about optimising the value you get from the medium.  Work in this area might include developing the capacity to translate ideas into the right media, building credibility and authority, and attracting audiences.  We arrive at an understanding of what ‘optimal’ means mainly by thinking about how and with whom you communicate…

Communication

Think beyond film as a way of telling a story, and use it as a way to engage more broadly and deeply with your stakeholders. Seldom do organisations we work with sell products directly.  Most often they seek to engage with people and ideas, reach out to communities, and create impact. In short, are the core of what they do is communication. Here we seek ways to use film to serve your stakeholders, to involve them in co-productions, make them more visible, give them a voice, and deepen your relationships with them.  This is a major part of using film to help your organisation’s sustainability…

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Sustainability

Change the way you look at film; it shouldn’t be a necessary expense.  It should, in fact, actively attract money while fulfilling your other objectives. By establishing where you are (or could be) making a difference to your stakeholders, we seek to get the most from your current funding streams and identify new ones. Here we are concerned with getting an understanding of how film can help maximise your funding opportunities by better demonstrating aspects of what you do, and by using it as a way to demonstrate your organisation’s effectiveness.

Documentation

Documentation refers to your capacity to create film in context with other media.  It includes developing skills to make or commission films, identifying the right kinds of context for films, and helping you emphasise and bring out things that are worthy of documenting.  We also create an effective archive of these video documents to use as a resource.  What you document and how you document it should be guided by an understanding of what ‘optimal’ means for you and your organisation…

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Optimisation

Optimisation is about equipping your organisation with the right skills and ideas or tools and materials.  It is about optimising the value you get from the medium.  Work in this area might include developing the capacity to translate ideas into the right media, building credibility and authority, and attracting audiences.  We arrive at an understanding of what ‘optimal’ means mainly by thinking about how and with whom you communicate…
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Communication

Think beyond film as a way of telling a story, and use it as a way to engage more broadly and deeply with your stakeholders. Seldom do organisations we work with sell products directly.  Most often they seek to engage with people and ideas, reach out to communities, and create impact. In short, are the core of what they do is communication. Here we seek ways to use film to serve your stakeholders, to involve them in co-productions, make them more visible, give them a voice, and deepen your relationships with them.  This is a major part of using film to help your organisation’s sustainability…

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Sustainability

Change the way you look at film; it shouldn’t be a necessary expense.  It should, in fact, actively attract money while fulfilling your other objectives. By establishing where you are (or could be) making a difference to your stakeholders, we seek to get the most from your current funding streams and identify new ones. Here we are concerned with getting an understanding of how film can help maximise your funding opportunities by better demonstrating aspects of what you do, and by using it as a way to demonstrate your organisation’s effectiveness.

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At a free, initial consultation, we will:

  • Have four, structured conversations following the DOCS framework.
  • Identify the initial landscape; what aspects of the organisation are causing you trouble, and how do you currently use film.
  • We’ll assess the pathway from where we are now to where we’d like to be.
  • We’ll take two or three decisions on how we’d like the relationship to look and develop.
  • We’ll discuss the latitude to develop ideas and our abilities to implement them.
  • We’ll establish the level on which we can operate.
  • We’ll direct you to resources you can use straight away and make longer-term plans.
  • If we are both happy and confident that we can make a substantial difference, we will write up a proposal reflecting our discussion.

A toolkit of bespoke interventions:

We expect to directly address your specific situation.  What this intervention looks like depends largely on how our relationship develops.  It may include, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Creating films
  • Integrating film into your business plan (leverage)
  • Devising ways for films to be used to meet your core objectives
  • Equipment and infrastructure
  • Assessing departmental, faculty, and organisational culture and help with cultural shift (training programmes, coaching, interviews)
  • Management of special film applications and implementation of technology
  • Management of connections with allied disciplines and collaborators
  • Developing strategy and policy

Both you and we need to feel confident that we can bring significant benefits through working together. The initial conversation helps us to get that understanding and consider the kind of return you need. If at the end of our conversation we are both satisfied we can make a difference, we will draw up some proposals for you to choose from and get to work.

If you would like to discuss working with us, please…