Picture this: you’re 34 years old and you have a cushy job at a global management consulting firm. You’ve worked on major projects for American Express, Fortune Magazine, and JP Morgan, and your big paychecks afford you a sweet apartment in the heart of the West Village.
What do you do next? Throw it all away and launch a startup to disrupt an industry you have no experience in, of course. No? Well that’s what Ravid Razak did when he quit his job to start DreamItReel.
It started with a simple idea. Ravid finished a stressful run of projects and took some time off to travel, venturing to Argentina, Nepal, and Australia. While on this journey, he started taking video on his phone and GoPro to document the adventure of a lifetime. Upon returning home he wanted to edit the footage into something he could show his friends and family, but quickly found that this wouldn’t be an easy task.
Attempt 1: editing himself. He tried, he really did. But without expensive software and tons of training, the result was lackluster to say the least. Next: hiring an NYC pro. Ravid searched around the city for someone to edit for him, but the production companies wanted upwards of a thousand dollars to make his simple travel video.
The last resort: turning to the free markets of the internet. Ravid was assaulted by hundreds, if not thousands of editors that wanted his business. The problem was, how could he separate out the true talent? Even if he identified the truly skilled editors, would any of them really care about telling his story?
So instead of returning to his well paying consulting gig, Ravid got a desk in a newly-opened WeWork building and got to work on his company that would become DreamItReel.
The goal was to build a destination where people could come to find professional, reliable, and highly-skilled video creators with a platform that would make the process easier and more affordable than ever.
While Ravid worked on the website and business plan, he would need help building his empire of editors. He started searching for creative types and found William Thacker, a young and hungry video artist with a unique style and willingness to learn. William would become the first editor in the network and helped identify thousands more. Today, he continues to work as the company’s top creative manager and has become an expert editor, animator, and all-purpose video pro.
The next major addition would be Tommy Tranfaglia, who initially came on as an intern to launch the social media and marketing efforts. Tommy arrived uniquely qualified for the job, as he has been creating videos since he was 12 years old. With a degree in media and marketing and some time in the LA entertainment industry under his belt, Tommy dove headfirst into the startup world. He soon became Ravid’s junior partner, managing the marketing, customer experience, and much of the creative work that comes out of DreamItReel.
In early 2015, the DreamItReel platform launched in its most basic form. Users came to the site, uploaded their footage, filled out a brief and the team would assign the project to one of their many qualified editors (by this point, they had hundreds on file).
The orders started coming in, and DreamItReel’s creative community churned out dozens of short, interesting videos for GoPro users, travel enthusiasts, newlyweds, families, and more.
While the traction started to pick up on the consumer side, the team kept an eye on the B2B side of online video. What they saw was an industry growing at a breakneck pace. Businesses were pouring money into video content and platforms like Facebook and Twitter were building out their video capabilities as quickly as possible.
With that came a demand for lower-cost and less painful means of creating video. It was the exact same dilemma Ravid faced with his travel footage, except these were projects that companies needed to produce in order to stay relevant and grow.
So, in between ski adventures and wedding recaps, DreamItReel’s community of pros started working on social media videos, animated explainers, and all kinds of other branded content.
By mid-2015, it was clear that their concept had massive potential. But, their methods needed some refinement and additional resources. This brought them to the Coolhouse Labs accelerator program, spending the summer in northern Michigan in a small lakeside town.
The program let them take a step back, redesign their brand, and prepare for a strong pivot towards a business-facing solution.
Ravid and Tommy returned to New York in the fall of 2015 ready to grab the video industry by the horns. DreamItReel’s success over the last year has been due to 2 major difference-makers when compared to the alternatives:
1. Their vetted community of video professionals only accepting top 10% of applicants. This ensures that only qualified editors and animators are working on your project, but the fact that its ever-growing means that scaling up is never an issue.
It also allows them to have experts for every style or medium. Motion graphics, 360, and soon VR are all possible with DreamItReel’s network.
2. Their in-house creative managers. Other platforms have large communities and do their best to identify the top talent, but DreamItReel goes the extra mile by adding a personal touch to every single project.
Your hands-on creative manager will help scope out your video needs, make style suggestions, get you the best possible price, and even help you with things like storyboarding, scripting, and branding.
Perhaps best of all, you aren’t the one sifting through hundreds of reels to pick an editor that might just flake halfway through your project. Instead, the creative manager picks the perfect one for your needs (DreamItReel has a firm grasp of the style, capabilities, and strengths of each pro they bring on board). The crafted video you receive is quality assured by DreamItReel so you’re not chasing down a freelancer or stuck with a subpar product.
This approach has enabled the creation of countless videos for startups, SMBs, publishers, agencies, YouTubers, production companies, crowdfunders, major corporations…you get the picture. People need videos, and DreamItReel makes it happen.
Their most prestigious clients include Time Inc. and Getty Images, the latter being a thrill for the team since Getty is the keeper of the world’s best imagery – you can imagine what a bunch of video nuts can do with open access to that library.
Today, other members of the team include Scott Greenberg, a life-long video guru who got his start as an early employee for Avid, managing their sales when non-linear video editing was still new, and Patrick Diamitani, a young go-getter with startup fever and passion for driving growth.
What’s next for DreamItReel on their path to video takeover? A capital raise that will enable the development of a fresh and revolutionary platform that aims to combine their creative manager model with exciting technology. Picture a SaaS infused with human experts resulting in high-quality production that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s a dream made reel.
The future of video creation is a bright one filled with possibilities and new breakthroughs coming from every direction. Look for DreamItReel to be among the influencers shaking the video industry from the ground up.
DreamItReel Sizzle Reel: