The Magazine: A Personal Interview with Eran Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Video Guru. A 3D Animation Studio.
By Sophie Sharon
Hi Eran. Please briefly introduce yourself and your 3D animation studio—how you got into the field, what you do today, etc.
For 25 years, I served as the VP of marketing for a few global high-tech companies. In my most recent position, I served as VP of marketing for Gilat Satcom, a global telecom player providing broadband services through satellite to multiple countries around the world. As part of my duties over the years, I worked extensively on building international brands, outlining marketing strategies, increasing sales revenues, and establishing distribution networks around the world.
In 2014, I decided to make a drastic change in my life and stopped running around the world every other week. I wanted to invest more in my family, so I founded Video Guru , a boutique 3D animation studio. It was the perfect mix of art and marketing.
More than anything, Video Guru specializes in understanding its customers’ needs and providing them with the proper solutions to their marketing and business challenges. We aim to create accurate, cohesive, and compelling explainer videos.
My years on the road and business and marketing experience created a significant differentiator for Video Guru and a real competitive advantage over other companies in the market.
At the beginning of my journey, I met my partner, Raul Panwar, our studio manager, and my chief illustrator, Vladik Sandler, and together, we started the business. Today, we are an international 3D animation studio operating from Israel, India, and the United States. We create 2D and 3D explainer videos for leading companies around the world.
Our team consists of 25 energetic and dedicated employees, who create a large number of explainer videos every month at the highest quality and a very competitive price. We believe that we offer the best cost to quality ratio in the 3D animation video market.
We are fully transparent with our clients. We’ve published a fixed price for our video packages, which offer a variety of styles, and our process for creating a structured and accurate video allows us to collaborate with customers throughout all stages of production, ultimately delivering explainer videos to the client’s complete satisfaction.
Who are your customers, and how did you reach them?
Like any business at the outset, we initially created one video for a customer who was a previous acquaintance. We then gave a significant discount to some more customers who dared to believe in us, and the rest is history.
Through our American office, we have created dozens of videos for the United States government and the United Nations, and we’ve had rapid progress in other countries and gained the opportunity to work with large customers, as well as dozens of startups. Among our prominent clients are Teva, Amdocs, Motorola, Jansen, Abbvie, and numerous government offices, municipalities, councils, and non-profit organizations.
Today most of the new customers come from word of mouth, and recommendations of existing customers.
How would you describe your specialization or differentiation in relation to your competitors in the market today?
Cracking the brief, understanding the customer’s needs, understanding the customer’s marketing environment, fluent and accurate marketing writing, and creating videos that meet the customer’s marketing challenge is what sets us apart.
We also offer several styles at different animation finish levels. First and foremost, we specialize in creating 3D Animated videos, and we offer clients a real difference in both video content and visibility. We go down to the smallest details and offer very high-quality and competitive costs. We also offer a number of styles of 2D Animation videos, including character animations, motion graphics animations, and whiteboard animations.
Another particularly popular style is our infographic video style. We offer a real revolution in the production of explainer videos. There is no need for grandiose productions that require many teams and complex logistics to producing explainer videos. We offer digital explainer videos created from quality stock footage in a huge variety of fields, and we add a layer of quality and dynamic infographics to personalize the video.
We offer fixed pricing for our video packages, which include everything. Customers who want to create a video with us know exactly what to expect and how much it will cost. We have no surprises here, and there are no unnecessary charges. What is agreed upon is what will be done.
Why animation? What are the benefits of this compared to live-action video?
Animation allows us and our clients to work without boundaries. Every idea, every initiative, and every marketing or business challenge has a solution through animation and digital tools without the limitations of logistics, distance, financial costs, and production time.
In most cases, we offer a two- to three-week turnaround, and we can fulfill every dream and every request with the tools at our disposal.
Our team consists of creative people located in Israel: marketing experts, scriptwriters, and art-directors. In India, we have 15 employees; half of them are 3D designers, and the other half are highly experienced and talented animators.
We create 100% customized explainer videos for our clients. Each character we create is a brand-new character, and each design is an entirely original design tailored to the client’s needs.
Have there been any interesting trends or developments in this area in recent years?
Today, most of the videos are animated explainer videos created with digital tools and advanced technologies that leverage the skills and abilities of the team. For $2,000 or less, you can get an extremely high-quality explainer video without any production limitations and at record speed.
Today more than ever, customers are making a series of videos with us, offering their target audiences a video for each product, every significant landing page, and of course, every social network. The constant need for interesting and engaging content for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram has increased our market by the dozens.
Can you give some tips for those who want to make an explainer video for the first time?
Invest in the script, and don’t compromise. The script is the heart of the explainer video and will determine the future of the video. The video design is extremely important but must be based on the right script, which must be in the right language for the target audience, be the right length, have the right focus.
Anything else to finish?
Thanks for your time.