Acclaim: Insight talks to CEO, Aksel Gungor

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Insight connected with Acclaim via an email exchange. The result was an interview with Aksel Gungor, CEO of the online video website.

We are delighted to benefit from Aksel’s expertise in the field, but this article neither endorses his company over other similar enterprises, nor does it suggest that every filmmaker wants or needs online feedback about their work from other people. Insight’s view is that is useful and educational to find out more this online resource from Aksel’s perspective.


Insight: Describe what Acclaim is and how it works? How long has the website been established?

Aksel: We think that Acclaim is the easiest way to communicate and collaborate on video projects. It’s 100% web-based and mobile friendly, so the collaboration can continue on mobile devices and on the go. We opened sign-ups to the platform in May 2013. Put simply, our customers create projects on the platform, upload videos within those projects, invite collaborators (either clients or colleagues) through the platform, and then everyone can discuss the content and leave time-stamped feedback on each video.

Our team is working really hard to make this as easy as possible and to streamline the communication so that the feedback can be constructive and to the point. In short, we want to help video projects get done efficiently, faster and hopefully with fewer headaches.

Insight: Your competitors are Vimeo, Dropbox and YouTube – all established and successful communities. What is Acclaim’s Unique Selling Point?

Aksel: Absolutely! We are fans of Vimeo, et al: they have all built great platforms and user bases. Interestingly, though, when you think about those platforms, they were built to publish great content, not to facilitate collaboration during the creation of that content. It’s just that there was no alternative out there and so content creators ‘morphed’ those platforms to fit the need. This is why the process is still inefficient: uploading a video, setting a password, sharing the link, and then going back and forth a million times over email about edits and changes.

We think this is where we differ. From the get go, we set out to build Acclaim to facilitate the collaboration and communication during the creation phase. We don’t even flirt with publishing, so that allows us to stay ad-free and to put resources and time behind making the collaboration and communication as streamlined as possible.

Insight: What are the features and benefits for filmmakers who submit films to festivals?

Aksel: There are several features, but I’d narrow it down to the three most important ones that we have gauged from customer feedback:

➤  The ability to organise projects and videos;

➤  The facility to invite others rapidly to engage with the videos, whether collaborators or clients to those projects;

➤  The functionality to leave time-stamped feedback next to videos that links to the specific parts of the videos in question.

Since all of this is on the web, access is facilitated of course, but having the comments side by side with the video content is also extremely helpful. The benefits are really about saving time and having an organised workflow. As a team, especially if some members of the team are in different geographical locations, it’s really important to have effective collaboration processes in place so that projects can get done.

For client-related work, our customers tell us that client satisfaction goes up, as Acclaim is an organised system for them to express their desired changes and edits. We believe this helps everyone because the client doesn’t need to type out a huge list of changes in an email and, on the creator side, no one likes to receive a long email with a laundry list of changes.

Insight: How do you get noticed in a crowded marketplace?

Aksel: We believe in two things:

➤ Taking care of our customers and making sure they’re having a great experience with us;

➤ Building a reliable, easy-to-use product.

By focusing on those two things, we’ve been able to grow organically. Having said that, we love to work with publications, blogs and relevant groups and events. We’ll definitely continue to do that as well.

Insight: Do you operate globally or regionally? Where in the world are you finding most people using your service?

Aksel: We’re located in the centre of Philadelphia, PA, in the USA. Naturally, we have ties to the city here as well as New York City, thanks to our proximity to the Big Apple. But we have customers from all over the globe, including England, Australia, Canada and Spain. Those countries are at the front of our minds, but the majority of our current users are based in the US.

Insight: Is Distrify also your competitor? How does Acclaim match up to them?

Aksel: Distrify is a potential partner for us, as they  focus on the publishing and exposure sides of content creation. We come along a little earlier on that timeline. So, if you have the stages of pre-production, production, post-production, and then distribution, Acclaim is really a tool for everything before distribution. That’s where we see ourselves fitting in and that’s where we’ve been successful helping out with our current customers.

Insight’s guest interview policy

The Insight Film Festival publishes interviews on our blog from guests of interest on an ad hoc basis. The Festival is delighted to publish a range of interview pieces on the themes of film and faith, and other subjects, but the personal views expressed in such articles do not reflect the views and opinions of the Insight Film Festival itself, which is an organisation that comprises individuals of many different faiths and none, all of whom have their own personal views and opinions on films, faith and other subjects.