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About Shaun

Video producer and novice banjo player.

What has Basecamp helped you make?

Shaun wrote this on Discuss

Over 17,000,000 people around the world have used Basecamp to help them make awesome stuff. They’ve written books, renovated kitchens, built science fair projects, manufactured bicycles, planted gardens, edited magazines, designed web sites, created new brands, and walked to the south pole.

We want to see the awesome stuff that Basecamp helped YOU make, and we want to share it with the world by featuring your projects on our new site, launching in 2014.

Just fill out this form and upload a photo, video, or graphic of the thing Basecamp helped you make.

37signals Works Remotely

Shaun wrote this on 32 comments

We talk a lot about working remotely. Over 70% of our employees work remotely. They work out of homes, coffee shops, and co-working spaces. They play music, garden, and spend time with their families. We dig working remotely so much we wrote a book about it.
Meet some of the fantastic people who make working remotely for 37signals such a success.

Spoiler Alert!

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One of our favorite customers has been using Basecamp to keep track of conversations with friends and family as well as running a successful small business. Now he’s decided to make the project public.

Using Gifs for More Than Funny Cats

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File this under the “why didn’t I think of this before” category.
Usually when I’m looking for feedback on motion graphics I upload the video to Basecamp and wait for notes. Then it struck me. With just a few extra clicks I can post .gifs of the animations.
They play automatically, they loop, there’s no more opening large video files in a new window and multiple versions can be seen together.
Process: Rendered in After Effects then brought into Photoshop and saved as a .gif. For these 1080p videos I saved them at 300×169 with 16 colors.

Don’t have the right gear? Make it.

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I’ve been working on some video tests with the iPhone and I needed to mount it on tripod for some steadier shots. Some folks in the office had good things to say about the Glif from Studio Neat, but the only one we had lying around didn’t fit my phone and sat kinda goofy on our tripod plate. So, I did something I wouldn’t have imagined possible a few years ago. I printed a new one.


The Making of a Feature Video

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We’ve been working on putting together some feature introductions and I thought I’d share what goes into making one.

I like to start off without a script and just start recording some screen capture with voiceover. This is edited together into a rough version of what the story will eventually be.

New Feature test – Rough Cut 1 from 37signals on Vimeo.

Feedback: The design on the blackboard can be more clear. It also takes too long to get into why someone would use this.

Here is the third rough cut. I’ve re-shot the blackboard with a cleaner design and swapped the live-action example with the explanation of the feature.

New Feature test – Rough Cut 3 from 37signals on Vimeo.

Feedback: This still feels too rushed. I think we are trying to solve two very different problems in such a short time. This can be a simple introduction to the feature without having to show exactly how it works. We can also cut a lot out of the live action scene. We don’t need to show people how to send an email.

In the fourth rough cut I’ve re-recorded the voiceover into a shorter explanation of the feature, chopped off the end of the live-action bit and added a title card.

New Feature test – Rough Cut 4 from 37signals on Vimeo.

Feedback: The transition between the example and explanation is too abrupt. Some of the mouse clicks are unclear, maybe there is a way to highlight those.

Rough cut number 5 has a second title card in the middle of the piece to help the transition and both cards have been re-worked by one of our designers. I’ve added some simple camera moves to highlight the important bits and make the video more interesting. I also added one of our bumpers at the end to wrap it all up. Again, I recorded a new voiceover track for this version though I think I sound a bit grumpy.

New Feature test – Rough Cut 5 from 37signals on Vimeo.

Feedback: This is getting very close. Can we fix the fish-eye effect on the blackboard scene? Also, I don’t much care for banjo.

Now that we’re in a pretty solid place for this video it was time to really polish it up. I re-did the camera moves in After Effects, re-worded one of the titles, recorded a much friendlier voiceover and re-shot the live-action scene with a better camera and some fancy focus pulling by Jason Fried. I also, of course, took out the banjo music.

Basecamp – Emailing Content to a project from 37signals on Vimeo.

It’s easy to dismiss the value of multiple iterations in a project like this. It took 8 cuts to get this simple screencast to a place we liked. A lot less went into the production of this than some of my other videos, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have as much to accomplish. A great man once said “Size matters not.” Don’t think about projects in terms of size and scope. As long as the the goal is reached it doesn’t much matter how you get there.

Basecamp in Antarctica

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We have customers around the world doing extraordinary things with our software, but Ben Saunders is taking it to a whole new level.

Ben and his team are using Basecamp to organize an expedition to the South Pole and back, unsupported and on foot. This is the same journey Captain Robert Scott died trying to achieve 100 years ago, and no one has attempted it since.

Ben has been a professional polar explorer for more than 10 years and is one of only three people to complete a solo journey to the North Pole. He will be joined by Alastair Humphreys, who has cycled 46,000 miles around the world, and renowned nature photographer Martin Hartley.

You can follow the expedition, which launches this October, at and be sure to follow @polarben on Twitter.

Special thanks to Temujin Doran for letting us use his amazing arctic footage.

Basecamp Behooves Boutique Bike Business

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In February I got a chance to chat with Paul Budnitz, founder of Budnitz Bicycles.

“I design and create beautiful things and then create businesses to sell them,” Paul says. He’s been a professional photographer, shot films, owned a company modifying vintage clothing, turned making handmade microphones out of a garage into a multi-million dollar business — the list goes on.

“I started out in eighth grade selling fireworks to all my friends in school and we actually programmed all our orders on the mainframe computers at the University of California, which at that time they were teletype computers. And we didn’t really know that those computers were controlled by the Department of Defense. So I eventually got arrested and suspended. That was my first business.”

In 2002 Paul founded Kidrobot, which makes limited-edition art toys. “I like to make immaculate products,” Paul says, “and if I run the business myself I get to do it my way.” Kidrobot uses Basecamp to communicate with suppliers and distributers over four continents with hundreds of active projects.

Budnitz Bicycles, Paul’s latest endeavor, uses the new Basecamp to work with manufacturers and suppliers around the globe. The bikes are gorgeous! Paul let me take one for a spin and it was honestly the most comfortable ride I’ve ever had.

You can find out more about Budnitz Bicycles at and be sure to follow @budnitzbicycles on Twitter.

Also, if you missed the profile we did on Happy Cog you can find it over here.