ReviewStudio: A Collaborative Platform for Creative Review

ReviewStudio, based in Montreal, Canada, develops services and software tools for marketing, education and creative teams who need a faster and easier way to collect and organize feedback on their digital media projects. The core value of ReviewStudio is to provide a visual, collaborative approach to collecting and consolidating feedback and approvals throughout the iterative project design and development process.

Today, even some of the largest creative agencies and production studios use a mixed bag of solutions to manage collaborative workflows and organize feedback and approvals. As a result, much of the project-related communication ends up disjointed, resulting in project delays, errors and inefficient workflows. As creative projects are constrained by increasingly tight deadlines and budgets, creative teams require the capabilities to better manage the iterative review and approval cycles inherent in design and production workflows.

ReviewStudio’s collaborative platform offers a real-time, mobile-friendly application that allows creative project groups to share, markup and approve multiple forms of digital content such as video, images, and PDF files. Unlike most generic project management applications, ReviewStudio offers a “media-centric” approach that presents all project communications and task management directly in the context of the media being produced. ReviewStudio gives students clear visual feedback on media assignments and host live interactive reviews with individuals or entire classes.

Architect behind ReviewStudio

Stuart Feldman is the Founder of ReviewStudio. He was trained as both an architect and computer graphics specialist. He was also a founder of Lightscape Technologies, a pioneering 3D visualization software that provided architects and industrial designers the ability to visualize, analyze and present their virtual 3D projects under accurate lighting conditions. After the acquisition of Lightscape, Stuart became a senior project manager for a design visualization software at Autodesk and later managed a project to extend the availability of 3D tools (“virtual photography”) to marketing professionals. His close engagement throughout his career with creative design and production teams led to the development of ReviewStudio as a platform to support the unique iterative workflows inherent in the development of digital media projects.

Delightful Journey of ReviewStudio

ReviewStudio was fortunate enough initially to “bootstrap” the development of its service with the support of a number of media enterprise customers who required it. This collaboration not only provided some financial support but, more importantly, it provides the real-world context and use-cases for team ReviewStudio to solve. Since, that time they have continued that approach by engaging and collaborating closely with the clients as they have expanded to address a much broader range of creative workflows in advertising, film and video production, education and publishing.

Benefits for Clients

ReviewStudio offers significant benefits to help creative teams deliver their projects on time and on budget:

  • An easy-to-use non-technical markup tool lets collaborators and clients immediately review, markup and approve a wide range of digital media files from any online computer or tablet. They have no need to purchase, install or learn specialized tools to provide clear and effective feedback.
  • Design and production cycles are faster because all content display and markups are centralized. Collaborative threaded discussions help avoid multiple iterations by centralizing feedback from all project collaborators. Integrated versioning makes it easy to track and compare the progress of a project from early design through finished deliverable.
  • Project team members can hold live online review presentations where all collaborators can view, discuss and markup content together. This functionality helps to resolve issues faster and avoid communication errors.
  • The platform maintains a complete, searchable record of all content-related communications and activities that take place over the course of project development. This helps team members stay organized and avoid conflicts by providing a verifiable audit trail of all review activities.

Distinctive Offerings from ReviewStudio

One of the primary differentiators of ReviewStudio is its ability to support both the independent and real-time collaborative review of digital media. For example, there are times during the creative development cycle when feedback or approvals may be required from clients or collaborators in different locations or time zones and in such people can use ReviewStudio to view the content and provide feedback independently at their convenience.

Then there are other times when a team may want to work together, live from remote locations to brainstorm or discuss various aspects of a project together. With ReviewStudio’s “Presenter Mode” a team member can synchronize the playback of a slide-show or video with any number of online participants and stop on any frame to discuss and markup the content together in real-time.

This combination of independent review and real-time conferencing makes ReviewStudio particularly well suited to support the iterative and collaborative nature of creative project workflows.

Achievements and Future Plans

ReviewStudio was originally started by a group of production designers and digital media developers seeking to address the problems they themselves were facing in coordinating the feedback and approvals on a major film production involving production teams spread over many continents. “Today, our customers come from a wide variety of creative disciplines – marketing, digital production artists, videographers and photographers, designers and educators – and we continue our mission of providing creative teams with the best tools possible to help them collaborate more effectively and realize the full potential of their creative efforts,” says Stuart.

In the coming year, ReviewStudio will be focussing on three primary goals:

  • Extending their project management workflows to facilitate the adoption of ReviewStudio by agencies working with large numbers of clients and projects as well as educational institutions.
  • Expanding their APIs and integrations with popular project and asset management platforms.
  • Support for new media formats including 360 image and videos.