news & articles


Let’s get down to The Basics.

I first met Irene Barton, Executive Director of the Cobb Collaborative, at our YMCA Board holiday luncheon. Irene asked about Angelfish and the types of projects I worked on. I remember vividly her saying, “I actually need a video.” She gave me her card and I let her know that I’d follow up at the start of the new year.

Once we re-connected, we set a date to meet up at Dunkin Donuts – I could tell this was going to be the start of a great relationship. Coffee and Diet Coke in hand, we were ready to kickoff.

The Collaborative was looking to launch creative to coincide with a program called “The Basics,” an initiative to teach five basic tools to parents and caregivers to foster a child’s wellbeing. Such a simple concept with a huge return. The content piece would be used on social and as an intro for Basics’ training. The initial ask was for five live action videos featuring families of the community demonstrating or talking through how they use the five principals that make up The Basics.

Thinking about how best to approach the creative, I brought on Pito Monteagudo of Creativision to help with the initial treatment and scripting. Pito has such a great approach with concepting, I was so happy to be working with him on this project. We had a couple of brainstorming sessions and then we pulled together the initial plan for the videos. But I also wanted to present a second option, more than just budget variations. I kept thinking, is there any way we could present animation? Then one morning I was meditating, which is usually when all the best ideas come to me, and boom! What if we combine the five principals to one overall piece? And have about :30 of animation? Keep it ‘basic’ right? I immediately reached out to Qieer Wang, Founder and Creative Director of Qie Media, to give her the scoop on the project and see if she felt it was doable. With her enthusiastic ‘yes,’ I pulled together some examples and wrote up the treatment for animation.

Pito and I set up the pitch meeting with Irene to present our two ideas. The live action was the exact solve for what the Collaborative was looking for, the animation was, in our opinion a solve plus value add. The animated piece would cover the messaging as requested and as a value add it would resonate more on social, which would mean more views and conversation – all good things for the Collaborative, those facilitating the Basics and in turn the community.

We got the call the next day – let’s go with animation! The decision to go with animation was a big step as they had never done a piece of content like this before. And the amount of trust in Angelfish was not lost on me being that I was a first-time creative partner for the Collaborative. As Executive Producer, I knew it was key that I provide milestones throughout the project as to creative signoffs, production timelines, types of deliveries, and general education at each review period. But first things first, we had to get our boards started and script written!

Qieer, Pito and I started brainstorming on ideas for how to consolidate the five principals into one :30 piece. And how to best represent the families so that they were inclusive. Qieer came up with the amazing idea to have the families represented as shapes. The Basic principles, we decided, might be best represented by text and then implied through scripting, thereby saving us time in voiceover. When we knew we had a landed on something special? To have the narrator from the perspective of a child, something so simple yet so powerful. And it’s really what The Basics are all about, they are who they are for, and I think it’s why the spot truly cuts through when you hear it thanks to Rockwell Herron’s adorable voiceover (thank you team Atlas Talent!) and Brent Busby’s sound design.

Little did I know the relationship, the partnership, that would develop from that first meeting with Irene when she indicated that the Collaborative needed a video. Simple acts of sharing information, following up and then truly listening. By keeping it simple, Basic, we were able to deliver an impactful piece of content for the community.

At times, all it takes is that moment of connection with someone – to be present – to make a difference. Think about that the next time you are meeting someone new. I know I will the next time I’m with a new colleague.

Chris Glass Hartley

Storyteller. Executive Producer. Change Maker.

Sign Up For My Newsletter

Stay up to date on everything Angelfish Productions!


Latest Posts


Social Links

Scroll to Top