The Magic Behind Custom Content Production at Blink
Impactful visuals have the ability to stay with the viewer, leaping over both space and time. Melanie Landsman, producer at Blink, has employed her skills as a formidable editor to shape the spectrum of aesthetics that have become the foundation of Blink’s Content Studio. Here she speaks to the challenges of creating this type of production, how she copes with demanding situations, and which productions have kept her pushing the limits.
“I think the most challenging part of the job happens when a shoot is actually taking place,” Melanie explains. “Many of our productions are scattered across the globe and we are unable to physically attend them. While we are used to, and very good at, this type of work, it can still present a myriad of complications.”
Melanie Landsman has been with Blink for two years, with her hands touching custom content productions that range from stunning, highly stylized visuals of food, to softer, more contoured tones focused on uplifting spaces.
“We typically have many conversations with an artist before a shoot — walking through the client brief, sharing relevant work examples, answering any questions and discussing how to troubleshoot possible scenarios. While our pre-production is very thorough, it’s still challenging as a producer to hear how a shoot went only after it’s been completed.”
Melanie’s capability as a producer shines in a collaboration Blink did with JP Morgan and Politico. “This was one of the first branded content pieces we did with Politico. It focused on three women in the United States who had an idea that spurred into innovation; they turned these into start-ups that then became successful, sustainable businesses. For JP Morgan and Politico, these subjects were instrumental in opening the pipeline for opportunities. It was very admirable to work with these entrepreneurs and tell their story through the universal language of photography.”
“I had, just recently, a very exciting campaign wrap up! It was exciting because this combines two of my passions; cuisine and photography.” OpenTable, a reservation app that Blink regularly collaborates with, wanted to highlight some incredible dining experiences in Munich, Germany. “We worked with the brand and marketing team to source the right talent for this production, and I have to say, the results were breathtaking. The client was thrilled, and that is rewarding in itself.”
As with most production studios, there never really is a “typical day.” It all comes down to the stage of production that is currently underway. “Some days, I’m helping to construct decks. Others, I’m in and out of meetings with clients and photographers. I can even spend an entire day working directly with the retouching team. Every day is different which keeps work interesting.”
One thing that producers can count on is last-minute requests. “Our team is very good at being reactive and working fast, but it’s definitely strenuous to find an available talent in a location, and getting all components of the production sorted in just a few short hours.”
“The Blink network is incredibly useful in sourcing talent at the 11th hour. I’m very familiar with the New York photo community as well as a number of creatives around the United States. However, oftentimes we get requests for photoshoots across all continents, where we’re less familiar with the local talent. Blink provides an inside look into the talent pool in many cities, both large and small, throughout the world.”
Once the talent is locked in, the onboarding process begins.“It is quite easy through our internal system. We simply sign the freelancer up on the back end and they receive an email with instructions on how to set up their account. This space is where everything happens during production. We send our contracts, call sheets and invoice requests through the portal. Freelancers also upload their assets from a shoot directly to the portal. It’s great for producers to have everything in one place — it keeps us very organized.”
Thought of the day: Don’t be be afraid to push the limits of a shoot and add your own flair!