A Scene Stealing Presentation
How one architect used Ingage Presentations to impress Hollywood.
Client: Lindsay Brown
“The first time we used Ingage Presentations and really saw how powerful it could be was about two years ago,” says Lindsay Brown, the founder, along with wife Rory, of their architecture, design, and construction firm, called Brown Studio, based in San Diego. “We had been approached by a movie producer and an actor in LA who had had some real success with a new sustainable lifestyle brand—SHFT—and they were contemplating their first hotel development in Austin. They’d had a firm work up a design and I looked at it for them and told them, ‘Man, that is just not who you guys are. It’s just not consistent with your branding.’”
“So I reworked the design and laid it out in Ingage Presentations. This allowed us to display it almost cinematically, with music and motion. Then we loaded it on an iPad and sent it to LA. We got a call from the guys while they were still in the design review meeting and they were all screaming obscenities, and saying, ‘We just opened it and we’re all standing up, clapping!’ I wasn’t even there to present it, but Ingage Presentations is so intuitive, they just got it. And those guys are not easy to impress. That’s when I knew there was a place for this software in my business.”
The Brown Studio prides itself on innovative and “one-of-a-kind” design solutions, whether for a single family home or a 100-acre tract of land at the center of the city: “When we get a project, we cultivate a vision and sell whoever it is—whether a single client or town committee—by not only meeting the formal criteria of the project, but also by coming at it with a completely different design approach,” said Brown.
Back in the day, communicating that vision meant building elaborate collateral in the form of films or websites. “We would do movie reels,” Brown recalls. “We’d set our designs digitally into a presentation reel that had some video, some motion graphics. Or we would get a domain, build a multi-function website, and pack all of the components of our presentation into WordPress, including animations, movies, renderings, visual references.”
Those methods worked, Brown says, but they were also expensive and time consuming.
But the real difference is how Ingage Presentations helps him communicate not just the look but also the feel of his firm’s ideas. “Our larger clients had never seen their projects come alive so early in the process. What Ingage Presentations does is put the camera angle at a human scale and let us really illustrate the experience. And because it also gives the client the ability to control the experience, he or she really feels connected to it. The only way we could ever achieve that effect in the past is if we created a 3D model and put it in a box and mailed it to them. But even then, you’re looking at the project in a completely unrealistic perspective.”
In any creative industry, especially one that involves pitching for new business on your own dime, first impressions are critical. Brown says Ingage Presentations has helped him win five pitches in the past year or so. “The Ingage team has keyed in on the importance of human scale and experience in making business collateral,” he says. “We recently used it to pitch a plan for a 100-acre redevelopment site and were able to ‘fly’ around the land and show how our designs could scale, change heights, and so on. Ingage Presentations is great for architecture, but could be just as effective for an email blast after an event or some multi-functional presentation.”
Brown says Ingage Presentations even helps him minimize upfront costs for winning new business. “On Ingage Presentations, you can actually make up elements of the design that aren’t totally worked out yet. If my proposal still has a lot of kinks to be resolved, this lets you frame the potential creatively, which can be enough to close the deal. You can work out the details later, once you’ve got the job and it’s funded.”
Brown says he considers Ingage Presentations to be “absolutely a tool to close deals.” In fact, he says, there is only one down side:
“If used properly, Ingage Presentations can work against you. It is so seamless and makes your ideas look so amazing that you can actually oversell the sizzle, setting expectations that are hard to live up to.” But, as he is quick to add, “that’s really a compliment to the software.”