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The making of Tell Your Story, featuring Stephen Fry

17th September 2014

It’s been almost a week since we premiered our new Tell Your Story campaign video at TechCrunch Disrupt, featuring the illustrious voice of Stephen Fry. Since then, we’ve seen almost 100,000 views on YouTube, it’s been written about in The Verge and Mr Fry himself has even tweeted about it.

So what is all the fuss about? This video is the first in a series that we are crafting about why it’s important to be a creative, expressive person – to leave your mark. We’ve dreamed of doing something like this for a long time, and with the introduction of SwiftKey on iOS imminent, we felt the time was right.

Our mission is to help people create and communicate more easily on mobile, and through our technology we enable people to do a better job at this. That’s why this campaign was started and how it was conceived – to encourage all SwiftKey users to be as expressive as they want to be. Whether it’s in a tweet, a message to a loved one, or the next great novel, we want to help you tell your story.

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The idea stemmed from a talk that Mr Fry, an old friend of SwiftKey, gave at our London HQ in 2012. He said that he believed we were successful because our mission was “something that is passionate and human-shaped.” It’s because we see SwiftKey as so much more than a keyboard; it’s a language tool with great depth that, when accompanied with human passion and ingenuity, can result in incredible creativity.

Adam Gichie on a San Francisco rooftop

A rooftop shot in San Francisco

The concept for the video was inspired by the script, which was written by our creative coordinator Precious Hamilton-Brown from our London HQ. Several hours of conference calls between our San Francisco office and London later, we had come up with a plan to shoot two sets of shots. One set of interior desk-based shots featuring an iPhone with SwiftKey Keyboard on it; the other a series of aspirational external shots of people living their lives to the full, sharing key moments with loved ones through their phones.

We then shot the video over three days in sunny San Francisco earlier this month. It took an incredible amount of work from our in-house team, such as Community Manager Ryan Paredez, alongside our long-time freelance videographer Adam Gichie. We used a RED Epic Dragon to capture the footage in 6K — part of the reason why the shots are so beautiful.

Adam Gichie setting up a shot with the Red Epic Dragon at The Vault in San Francisco

Setting up the shots in our SF offices took hours of work

We were then very fortunate to be able to reunite with Stephen briefly in San Francisco last week to record the narration track, which I believe is what truly elevates the video and gives the viewer goosebumps. We commissioned experienced Bay Area sound recordist Max Hirtenstein to produce the recording, and Stephen absolutely nailed it in a couple of takes despite being fresh off a plane from London.

Stephen Fry (center) with videographer Adam Gichie (left) and CMO Joe Braidwood (right)

Stephen Fry (center) with videographer Adam Gichie (left) and CMO Joe Braidwood (right)

All of this was then tied together by Adam in a makeshift edit suite in our SF offices. This is where the downside to shooting in 6K kicked in – manipulating these enormous shots required a lot of patience, some trial and error, and a lot of late nights in the office. We considered a variety of soundtracks to help elevate Mr Fry’s beautiful narration track and in the end settled on Evolving Dawn by Paul Mottram, which is available in the AudioNetwork library. Then, finally, at 2am on the morning of our TechCrunch Disrupt product announcement, we finally finished.

Here you can watch the talk I gave at TechCrunch Disrupt where we premiered the video. We’re really looking forward to sharing what comes next; stay tuned. And do let us know how you use SwiftKey to tell your story. We’re always listening.

Cheers,

Joe Braidwood
Chief Marketing Officer

34 responses to “The making of Tell Your Story, featuring Stephen Fry”

  1. Bryan Adam says:

    can’t download from the link.
    it say item not available.
    please fix it.
    thank you

  2. cgfusion1 . says:

    got mine, awesome…welcome to iOS!! adding colors and personalization soon I hope?

  3. mastersrage says:

    I have been using SwiftKey for Android for last 2-3 years. The predictions so far are insanely accurate and am sure the dictionary had been building nice over years. Is there a way to use the same prediction for my ios8 profile too?

    • Josh, SwiftKey Community Team says:

      @mastersrage:disqus just opt into SwiftKey Cloud with the same Google account on both the Android and iOS devices and your predictions will appear on both 🙂

  4. Lukáš Slánský says:

    Thanks for the iOS version. I’ve been using SwiftKey on Android for years and is really amazing.
    What is the estimate release date of other languages – Czech in particular. Android version supports many languages and I suppose this should not be the hardest part of development.

  5. horten says:

    Love it, but need Norwegian language please.

  6. Hest says:

    I think it’s odd that you have all those languages on Android, but not on Iphone yet, it should be the same words and all. How long will it take before they are all availible?

    • Josh, SwiftKey Community Team says:

      @Bibihest:disqus thanks for your enthusiasm about the SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone. We are very excited about version one of the app. We hope to provide more exciting updates like more languages in the future updates. Thanks for using SwiftKey!

      • Wojtek says:

        So, 22 days and one update later you still didn’t release all other languages that we already had in android years ago…

        • hendrik says:

          So, 36 days and one update later you still didn’t release all other languages that we already had in android years ago…

          • Daniel Mężyk says:

            same hear gays love SwiftKey on android and now so exited to be able to use on IOS but still very disappointed for all of us multilingual folks that can’t use it on iOS …. Android 1 – iOS 0

    • Josh, SwiftKey Community Team says:

      @Bibihest:disqus thanks for your enthusiasm about the SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone. We are very excited about version one of the app. We hope to provide more exciting updates like more languages in the future updates. Thanks for using SwiftKey!

  7. Johan Maxe says:

    When will it be in Swedish language support? I used to have this when I was an Android user, but have been missing this since i changed to IOS

  8. Kelanved says:

    Awesome keyboard! Please add Swedish language support, I’ll gladly pay for it..

  9. Martin de Witte says:

    Where’s Dutch support like it was on Android? Really love this tool from my Android time but miss my language (like alot of iOS users)

  10. m031n says:

    When We Can USE Persian Language In Swiftkey in iOS?!?

  11. Guest says:

    Love SwiftKey but one small issue I have is when I go into Messages scrolling position is like 3/4 away from the latest so I have to scroll to the bottom to see the latest message, just a little annoying.

  12. bosv says:

    Support for more languages please.

  13. mohammed Saeed mohammed noor says:

    Hey man

  14. Daniel Morowitz says:

    Any update on when Keyboard clicks will be coming it is driving me nuts not to have them

  15. Niv Mizrahi says:

    hi

    please add the hebrew language and more others @ more skins

    tnx 🙂

  16. Muhammad Aslam Abbasi says:

    Thank you for introduction of SwiftKey for iOS loveThis very Nic and Use full Application but that you have all those languages on Android, but not on Iphone yet Pleas Add Urdu languages I thankful you for it

  17. JCM says:

    Please create a theme with a smaller keyboard for the iPhone 6 Plus. The standard keyboard is too stretched out for Flow. It is simply too far to move your finger around such a large keyboard.

  18. WhiteMike0903 says:

    Any idea when we might see more themes? If I’ve already purchased them on Android will I need to buy them again on iOS?

  19. Mogilevkin Alexey says:

    Thanks four the nice keyboard. Still waiting for Russian language!

  20. Mircea says:

    Where are all those symbols that are available on long press on Android?

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