Fast Company has published an article about Hometeam as part of their Most Innovative Companies of 2023 campaign. The full article is re-posted below, it is also available online here or at your nearest magazine stand!
Location Is Everything
Hometeam has built a network of filmmakers to tackle a changing media landscape
By FastCo Works
In 2022, producers of the NBC reality-competition show American Song Contest were faced with the huge (and costly) task of filming contestant stories in all 50 states, along with five U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. A project like this would typically involve flying a production team around the country, while wrestling with sprawling budgets, long lead times, and weeks on the road for the crew.
Instead, NBC turned to Hometeam, a content-production company founded by Brandon Bloch, Harrison Winter, and Lagan Sebert in 2020. While other production companies pressed pause during the pandemic, the Hometeam founders—who met in Brooklyn but now lead a globally distributed remote team—had the idea of putting to use their relationships with filmmakers around the globe. “We had this aha moment,” Bloch says. “If we could tap our network and remove travel from the equation, we could still move productions forward.” Its ever-expanding roster of local filmmakers allows the company to offer their services in every U.S. state and 150 foreign countries.
For American Song Contest, Hometeam deployed a small army to shoot the contestant segments. These local crews brought their knowledge of locations and cultures—and further enriched each hope-filled story. And with so many crews shooting concurrently, the company wrapped all of their shoots in just eight weeks.
“Our ultimate mission is to improve production. If we spot a pain point, we don’t accept it; we try to reinvent it,” Bloch says. This ambitious drive to transform content production has earned Hometeam a spot on Fast Company’s 2023 list of the world’s Most Innovative Companies.
EVER-CHANGING CONTENT NEEDS
Brands are now feeling the need to put content on multiple channels, including online, streaming, social media, and legacy formats like television. “You can’t always have these big-tent-pole, commercial-type productions where you have 40 people in a crew and a multimillion-dollar budget,” Bloch says. “Content needs to be made more often, which means more efficiently.”
The Hometeam model allows productions to shrink budgets by saving on travel costs and shortening timelines by deploying teams locally. This also has the added benefits of supporting local economies and diverse film crews operating outside of media centers such as New York and Los Angeles, while curbing carbon emissions through reduced travel.
To support this decentralized model, Hometeam operates fully remotely. Footage can be delivered (and live-streamed to clients) from anywhere in the world—stored in the cloud and accessed by editors, VFX artists, and audio mixers—before the final product is delivered to clients.
A FOCUS ON FILMMAKING
Even small production companies are tasked with a mountain of mundane details far removed from the excitement of a shoot. “Filmmakers get into this line of work because they are excited about filmmaking, but there’s so much else involved,” Bloch says. The distractions of “so much else” include bookkeeping, negotiating contracts, and the incessant chore of finding new work.
“Our goal is to take that off their plates, so they can focus more on where their passion lies,” Bloch says. “The production efficiencies and practicalities of our model are driving change. But at the end of the day, what’s most exciting is that this model opens up a whole new world of storytelling possibilities for brands and filmmakers.”