The challenge

TRIBE7 is a trailblazer in cine lens technology company, born from the shared passion of two industry experts and visionaries: Bradford Young, artist and Oscar-nominated cinematographer, and Neil Fanthom, motion picture camera and lens technologist. The two founded the company based on their shared vision to empower today's filmmakers with more authorship over their visual storytelling. They set out to create unique tools based on the foundational aspects of imaging: colour, light and optics. Their mission? To reimagine how these foundations can serve today's filmmakers in novel ways. 

Their flagship lens range, BLACKWING7, is a testament to this goal. Unlike the modern Cine Lenses, which deliver sharp, clean, crisp visuals, the BLACKWING7 lens range treads a different path. It combines the cutting-edge mechanics of contemporary lens design with the nuanced, textural appeal of vintage cinema lenses. Through BLACKWING7, TRIBE7 has introduced a lens range that brings the much-loved aesthetic qualities of classic filmmaking into the hands of contemporary artists.

TRIBE7 had a beautifully designed static website that matched the aesthetics of its flagship lens range. Their business has been growing quickly due to their lens range being used in many award-winning projects. As a result, TRIBE7 was facing two challenges when they approached Pixie Labs for help. 

Control over content management

TRIBE7 is constantly evolving and growing. Innovating and moving forward at pace is at the heart of their business, whether adding to their product ranges or changing their operational or marketing strategy. Therefore, they need control over their site's content to keep it up to date with their evolving business. From a functional perspective, they needed a non-technical person to be able to update content as and when required.

Showcasing the incredible works

They also needed a user-centric way to showcase the incredible, award-winning works produced using the BLACKWING7 lens range. When they approached Pixie Labs, their existing workflow for updating and publishing this work was manual, using PDFs. This created unnecessary friction in the marketing and sales process as the TRIBE7 team manually updated and re-sent the credits PDF to each customer and distributor when there was a new piece of work.

The TRIBE7 team is small and therefore requires an efficient solution that simplifies and reduces the overhead of this workflow. They approached Pixie Labs as a technology partner for our  expertise in using headless technologies to help them create and implement a strategic solution that balances their functional and aesthetic requirements.

The solution

We started the project by auditing their current site to understand how current visitors used it and how they prefer to find the information they want. Next, we worked with the TRIBE7 team to understand their current workflow for showcasing the work produced using their lenses and the information potential customers want from the credits PDFs they create. 

We also documented any business requirements. This included the level of authorship the team needed over the site and the importance of aesthetics to the business's brand.

Using this information, we designed a new credits page for the website around how TRIBE7 users want to search and view information. The credits page has an intuitive filter that allows users to view specific lens tuning used in the environment relevant to them, whether in film, tv, commercial adverts or a music video. 

We then implemented a lightning-fast headless CMS.

Choosing the right headless solution - Balancing design and functionality.

We evaluated a range of headless CMSs to find the one that would give us the right balance between functionality and performance. Unlike a traditional monolithic CMS, where the front end and content are all in one place, a headless CMS decouples your content presentation from the tool that manages your content. With a traditional CMS, your presentation is limited by the features and functionality of that CMS. A headless CMS gives you full flexibility to build and iterate a rich, visually compelling frontend that works across multiple devices and channels. 

We selected and implemented a modern, open-source headless CMS called Directus to give TRIBE7 the desired control over their content without compromising design. Why Directus? Directus is a powerful tool offering lots of flexibility without the huge price tag. It is open-source and customisable, making it simple for our developers to set up and integrate. And its intuitive interface makes it easy for the TRIBE7 team to manage  and update content themselves. 

The Outcome & Result

Implementing Directus has been transformative for TRIBE7's operations. Now, the team can respond quickly to changes, make updates, and have more autonomy without needing developer intervention. The result is  a significant reduction of admin and has made day-to-day operations more efficient.

Additionally, the shift to an on-site display of credits means TRIBE7 can now offer potential customers and distributors an immersive, easy-to-navigate platform to view, filter, and sort through their work. This has made the sales process more intuitive and engaging. The sales team can point out specific works shot using particular tunings in relevant environments to demonstrate the range of tunings and how they can aid in creating their desired visuals.

In a nutshell, switching to a headless CMS has made life easier for both TRIBE7 and its clients. It has streamlined content management, improved the user experience, and reinforced the company's commitment to providing top-quality service to its community.

"The Pixies really try to understand what the thing you are trying to fix is, rather than just taking the brief and building the first thing you ask for, which in hindsight might not even solve your problem. They listened and helped us choose a solution that considered our design and sales requirements.” Veronica, Creative Strategist @ TRIBE7

Pixie Labs is a leading London-based digital product studio with deep software development expertise in Ruby on Rails, React and React Native. We design and build high-impact apps, platforms and digital tools. Let us help you make your digital product a success.

Pixie Labs is a leading London-based digital product studio with deep software development expertise in Ruby on Rails, React and React Native. We design and build high-impact apps, platforms and digital tools. Let us help you make your digital product a success.

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