- Players: Paulene Abrey and Luaan Hong
- Company: Deepend Post
- Established: 2007
- Contact: +27 (0)11 100 1806
- Website: deependpost.com
Great business partners almost always have a prior history of working with each other. In 2007, when Paulene Abrey and Luaan Hong left their jobs at a big post-production company to launch Deepend Post, they were two experienced producers in search of an editor and a fresh way of doing business in a long-established industry.
They agreed on the vision for their new venture, including their understanding of the company’s value proposition, and how they wanted it to be seen by their clients — primarily production companies and advertising agencies.
The two share similar skills, but have brought their different personalities and experiences to bear on the business, which now employs ten people and a range of freelancers.
A union of craftsmanship
You might think that a crowded post-production market would not have room for new ideas, but they have proved that marrying good old-fashioned craft with technology can give rise to profitable creativity.
“The talent of our editors is the foundation of the business,” says Abrey. “We carefully and strategically handpick people who are unselfish and passionate about what they do. Each editor has to fit in with the brand, but also bring their own unique approach and skill set to their work. The best way to give people freedom to explore their creativity and fulfil their potential is to create an environment that is nurturing, with solid foundations, and that also gives them space to fly. We have a mix of skilled editors who understand the value of their craft, and technology-savvy newcomers who are young and creative. Together, they are able to offer our customers a unique blend of creativity that comes from combining different skills.”
It’s that distinctive blend that continues to drive sales for the business and keeps customers coming back. With the right people and the right talent, Abrey adds, success follows. In the creative field this requires a mix of instinct and emotion. “When you find unique talent, you have to allow it to develop. Dealing with creative people is all about giving and understanding.”
Looking beyond the surface of things
The key, Abrey and Hong stress, is believing in what you are doing and being responsive to customers’ needs — after all, they are the ones that keep pushing the Deepend team. They say it’s an old-fashioned approach as they have a personal relationship with the people they work with — they care, and their clients can feel it.
“We provide a nurturing environment for our clients too,” says Hong. “They have everything they need to provide great advertising for their clients because we take care of every detail, no matter how big or small.”
It’s about identifying needs, fulfilling promises, and finishing what you start, according to Hong. “Our unique brands require that you understand them and the DNA — including picture, story and concept.”
What differentiates the way Deepend Post does things is interesting in a flat economy. With people and businesses so wrapped up in time and money, many neglect to deliver in line with client needs. The true understanding of a brand is often breezed over and little time is given to the true worth of the client.
“We look at the uniqueness each brand has to offer and then help our clients to elevate that,” says Hong. “Working for success generates success. In our case a lot of what we do is storytelling; we help to grow our clients by helping them to constantly evolve their stories.”
The ability to drive creative talent
In many industries, creativity makes the difference between a good company, and a great one. A culture of creativity allows greater innovation, more effective problem solving, and a matchless competitive edge.
“In our business, technology has made certain skills a commodity, but the talents of individual creative people have distinguished the business. Luaan and I share a deep-rooted conviction that people really matter — that leaders are responsible for developing the capabilities of employees, and nurturing their careers.
“We have a young editor who is studying in Hollywood, and she tells us she cannot wait to return. We have helped her grow; in exchange, she will bring her newly acquired, carefully honed skills back into Deepend. Giving and taking is essential.”