Hayden5 Creates Tools for a Better Tomorrow: Sarah Wolff, Hayden5

by India Fizer , AdForum

New York, United States
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Sarah Wolff
Executive Producer Hayden5

We spoke with Sarah Wolff, Executive Producer at Hayden5, aboout their innovative tools, which help produce creative work sustainably. 

Can you tell us about what green initiatives your agency currently has in place?

Since 2009, our business model has been to utilize local talent to crew our productions, which started us off on the right foot. We always believed the power of local talent coming together with an improving internet structure would lead us to this point.

Today, our primary service, Crew+, brings keys and stakeholders together virtually in a way that has only recently been quality enough to supplement the needs to be on set. We have enhanced the virtual set participation experience in a major way with the use of our Crew Cam™, Witness Cameras, Two-Way Communication, backchannels, and more. 

At the end of 2021, we will be releasing a new service product that brings real-time, 4K streams into a local theater, for example, so a brand client in New York can participate on a set in San Francisco or London. Our early development has provided outstanding results, with zero lag-time, and a real feeling of both camaraderie and intimacy from virtual screening room to set.

Cloud Cuts, our new decentralized post production department, continues our model by working with editors and animators in any city or time zone, and allows our clients to join edit sessions virtually.


How does your approach to each campaign keep sustainability in mind?

We are the perfect choice for a multi-location production, where our services like Crew+ can bring together local units separately, or in real-time, to execute creative work that will look congruent from market-to-market. Our ability to make the content capture seamless in different parts of the world is what has made us a leader in sustainable production. Gone are the days of flying a party of people around the world to shoot a commercial, no matter how fun that is.


In what ways are you helping your clients navigate sustainability communications?

We have begun consulting for select, non-competitive companies in our space. As an example, we are working with a well-known SVOD company to enhance post production infrastructure for an internal department. That project embraces our remote workflow, and we have seen a rise in requests for this type of consulting work from Hayden5. 

The pendulum always swings back and forth between in-house and out-of-house video teams.  What we think will remain, is the ability to build long-term, flexible solutions for things like crew connectivity, media storage, real-time 4K streaming, etc. All of these are things that will contribute to more sustainable production and post production practices. 


Transparency regarding a brand’s eco footprint is important, how can you avoid being perceived as purely greenwashing?

We don’t wear our sustainability on our sleeves; it’s intrinsically associated with who we are because of how we execute our productions. Sustainability is really a byproduct of our model, which can exist due to the evolution of technology and the internet. We’re simply harnessing all of those things and saying, this works just as well. Recent times have helped that message really stick.


How do you see the advertising industry improving communications around sustainability in the future to develop a more streamlined green approach to campaigns?

Hayden5’s ‘top to bottom’ virtual augmentations of traditional services, like bringing a client to set remotely or making a collaborative edit virtual, have helped us streamline the entire content creation process. As our services and others like them continue to be better than standing around a monitor on set, or eating chips on a couch in a client edit room, the industry will follow.