Meet the team
Charles began animating from the early age of 14 and he spent the his career working in multiple facets of design and animation industry. These projects have ranged from :30 branding spots for Verizon FiOS fiber optic system, to long format advertisements for Delallo Foods and Duquesne Beer.
As Gisteo's animation head, his diverse skills have been on display on hundreds of projects for clients around the world.
In addition to his animation work, he has written, produced and recorded music for the past 10 years, garnering attention from A-list producers and gaining national radio play.
Charles studied Digital Media Production at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2013, he fled the cold and snow of his native Pittsburgh and relocated to Charleston, SC, where he's thoroughly enjoying the weather and Southern hospitality.
After many years in the ad agency world, working on some of the best brands in the US, Latin America and Europe, Stephen weaned himself off the cozy corporate teat in 2009 to venture out on his own. The most common question he asks himself now is: "Why didn't I do this earlier?"
In 2010, he founded The Slogan Shop (www.thesloganshop.com), a virtual branding boutique offering diverse, affordable marketing services to small and medium sized businesses. In 2011, he founded Gisteo (www.gisteo.com) which, like iClassics.tv, is a wholly-owned division of The Slogan Shop LLC.
Gisteo crafts concise, attention-grabbing animated marketing videos that will mark a "before and after" for your business or brand. Due to its rapid growth and considerable volume of work, Stephen devotes most of his time to running Gisteo these days. The company has created over 400 of its unique style of videos for clients big and small all over the world. And it has been a lot of fun too.
He holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado and an MBA from The Thunderbird School of Global Management. He’s fully fluent in Spanish, both spoken and written.
He is continually intrigued by the sheer number of people who are tripped up by this spelling of his first name and refer to him as "Steffen." The good news: no one has a hard time with "Steve."
Founder & Creative Director
Animation & Production Director
The story behind iClassics.tv
The vision for iClassics was born in a somewhat unlikely place: the boardrooms of major corporations in the US and Europe. Founder Stephen Conley, a longtime advertising executive, made a simple observation during important presentations and pitches: when the agency really wanted to sell their ideas to a client, they would read the TV commercial scripts out loud and show visuals of the action simultaneously, either on a monitor or large, printed storyboard. Even the most hardened CEO or Marketing Director would perk up, pay more attention and understand the team’s ideas on a whole different level when the agency presented in this way. It infinitely increased not only the entertainment factor of the meeting but also the possibility of successfully selling the client on the idea.
While the idea of combining visuals and narration admittedly may not have been earth-shattering, Conley saw an opportunity to tap into several trends to create a unique new way to experience short stories of all types, especially the classics. These trends included the growing audio book market, the rising popularity of illustrated genres like graphic novels that were even becoming the basis for Hollywood movies (Sin City, The Road To Perdition, 300, V for Vendetta and many more), the increasing importance of visual learning in the classroom, and, finally, the explosive growth of the online video space. Conley felt there was a tremendous opportunity to create a rich, multi-media viewing experience that would enhance stories by harnessing the strengths of audio, vivid illustrations, text captions and cinematic music- all together in one downloadable video format.
Fortunately, he found a couple of family members who also believed in the idea and together they Taletube: Where Stories Come To Life™ in late 2007. Conley oversaw the production of a number of titles in 2008-2009, including the company’s best-seller, the Edgar Allan Poe Compilation- which has become a favorite of teachers, students and hard-core Poe fans alike.
Conley went on to found several other online ventures, including the marketing video production company, Gisteo (www.gisteo.com). Since launching, Gisteo has become a leader in the animated marketing video (aka “explainer video) space, creating over 400 videos for clients around the world, including leading corporations such Intel, Oracle, Sears, NetApp, Hess, OpenTable, KPMG and others as well as some of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups.
With iClassics.tv, Conley is now tapping into his expanded production resources, deeper animation expertise and new licensing agreements to fund the creation a number of fresh titles coming in late 2013 and 2014.