When we work on projects that require footage from multiple locations, usually we do all the travel and filming ourselves.
Sometimes budget, logistics, or deadlines make it more practical to hire someone locally to produce a piece of the project. On occasion we have managed the process for a client of hiring and remotely supervising local videographers and then managing all the media assets and editing the final piece. And, on occasion, we offer stand-alone production services to filmmakers from outside New York City who need to shoot something here.
In September, we worked with the USC Price School of Public Policy and c.2K Communications to film an interview with Ford Foundation president Darren Walker for a video tribute to Irene Hirano Inouye as she received the Global Ambassador Award.
We collaborated with c.2K to assemble a crew and equipment package that matched their technical specifications for camera, lighting, and sound so the footage of Mr. Walker would integrate seamlessly with what they were filming in LA.
We’re pleased to have contributed a small part to creating such a lovely tribute — here is the final video:
With the holiday season beginning and 2013 coming to an end, we are humbled and grateful to have had another year worthy of being called our best yet.
We wish you and yours love, light, and much to be thankful for throughout all the holidays you celebrate this time of year.
To start your holiday season, here’s a little something festive we made to celebrate the rare coincidence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah:
We shot this video with a vintage 1980s Lite-Brite and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera using its built-in timelapse feature. It was an interesting test of its dynamic range and we were pleased with the detail it preserved in the shadows and highlights. Each Lite-Brite peg is clearly defined (and, if you look closely, in the upper left, you can see our cat).
Last week author, educator, and feminist theorist bell hooks was in residence at Eugene Lang College, the undergraduate liberal arts division of The New School, leading classes, workshops, and discussions.
bell hooks is one of my social justice and education heroes — her theories were a cornerstone of my graduate studies — so it was an honor to work with Lang College to document two of her public events. Last Tuesday, she was joined on stage in Tishman Auditorium by playwright Eve Ensler in a conversation about gender and the body.
On Friday afternoon, bell hooks held a dialogue with MSNBC host and Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry. If you were not one of the 2500 people who watched the livestream (or the over 175,000 who have watched the archive since then), don’t miss this opportunity to experience a powerful, thought-provoking, and frank discussion about race, gender, media representation, and politics.
Sometimes, when we’re in the technical trenches of producing live streams, we lose sight of how big an impact the end result can have. To see such a full house in both the auditorium and online turn out for a dialogue like this (in the middle of a weekday afternoon, no less) reminds us how necessary it is to create spaces where progressive ideas can be openly explored and discussed, something The New School has an outstanding tradition of doing.
Bringing hundreds of thousands of people into a conversation like this in real time is one of the most immediate ways we can realize our mission: helping clients put good in the world.
This year’s World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science was the biggest and best yet! It was our third year documenting this extravaganza of science, technology and art, which gave us a great opportunity to try out some fun new things.
For one, we did a lot more interviews this year, which was a fascinating chance to hear how many makers came up with their projects. We also asked just about everyone how they would describe Maker Faire to the uninitiated — we got some great answers that might just turn into a highlight reel of their own.
We got some fun new angles on a few of Maker Faire’s most popular attractions, including slow motion video of Eepybird’s Coke Zero/Mentos show and the Life Size Mousetrap.
After two awesome days of filming and getting to chat with lots of attendees and makers, here’s our overall recap of the weekend:
Disney was a new lead sponsor of Maker Faire, so we also produced this video to welcome them to the “greatest show (and tell) on earth.”
Step right up, get your tickets, calling makers of all ages and kinds! Every September we get to have a blast running all over the grounds of the New York Hall of Science for an entire weekend documenting the sights, sounds, and excitement of World Maker Faire. To help everyone get fired up for Maker Faire 2013, we edited this promo for NYSCI full of highlights from the past couple years. We hope you enjoy it and get your tickets soon – we’ll see you there on September 21 and 22!
On Monday, June 4th, we filmed a talk by former Congressman Barney Frank as part of the Public Voices lecture series.
It has been our pleasure to work with the Center for Public Scholarship over the past few years to document their Social Research conference series, and now Public Voices, so that the dialogue and exchange of ideas can be extended to a wider audience of scholars and students in the weeks, months, and even years after the events themselves.
Watch the video of Congressman Frank sharing his ideas for reducing the federal deficit and cutting military spending:
We are pleased to be working with Culture Push and Benton-C Bainbridge to present this series of video chats with pioneering video artist and inventor Bill Etra. The first conversation will take place on Sunday, June 9th at 8 pm.
We will be providing video and live stream production from Bill Etra’s home, enabling him to connect with an audience of visual artists and performers gathered at Share, a weekly jam in Brooklyn. Bill, who is unable to travel for health reasons, will perform live and engage in discussion with the audience.
For more information and to RSVP, check out the Share event page.
“The book is better than the movie” is not a saying you often hear in reference to a documentary.
Having just finished reading Lisa Abend’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I was excited by the prospect of “El Bulli: Cooking in Progress” as a visual complement. Although not otherwise connected to one another, the book and the documentary each tell a year-long, coincidental story behind the scenes of the world famous Spanish restaurant elBulli. The book is a compelling read that combines lovely food writing with character profiles, vividly bringing the kitchen to life through the stories of the stagiaires and staff and their painstaking execution of avant-garde cuisine. The film, as put best by The New York Times, is “devoid of emotion, context or narrative” and “oppressively dull.” An hour in, realizing that there would be no interviews or narration, Dan sympathetically suggested that perhaps “Cooking in Progress” is meant to be an art film, not a documentary.
It’s a damning thing to say, but I cannot imagine how strange and confusing this film would have been to watch had I not just read such a good book on the same subject. Dan got through it but, in his words, he’s “weird and likes weird stuff.”
As evidenced by the stack of New Yorkers on my coffee table, it can be hard to make time for reading good non-fiction when we’re already overwhelmed by non-fiction watching, all the other kinds of reading and watching we do, and not to mention our own writing, producing, and editing. But you can’t write well if you don’t read a lot, and as we set out to learn from this Documentary of the Week exercise, you can’t attempt to make good documentaries if you don’t watch a lot (even the bad ones). It turns out you should read a lot, too: it’s all storytelling.
Another episode of Frontline, another essential public service that everyone needs to see. The Retirement Gamble made us realize that, despite having a couple dollars socked away in the market for the golden years, we have every reason to be suspicious of the system. The gems of this episode are the excellent interviews with financial experts, economists, and journalists who expose the maze of fees that are growing bank profits and eroding the savings of millions of Americans. (To be fair, there is also the guy from JP Morgan who says things aren’t so bad.) But as Martin Smith, the Frontline correspondent who wrote and hosted the episode, wrote of financial advisers, “they don’t have to give you the best advice, just advice that isn’t too egregiously terrible.”
As always, you can watch the whole thing online for free.
We worked with Tangible to create a highlight reel that showcases their marketing campaign for the release of Resident Evil 6. To show the strong audience engagement and overall buzz around this announcement, we combined assets from the game itself, viral marketing content, and imagery of fan participation through both social media and live events. This video also needed to convey a lot of information, including many metrics, to effectively tell the story of the campaign’s success. To keep it lively and in line with the Resident Evil 6 brand, we used graphic effects and incorporated sound design from the game. It was a fun challenge to take this beyond a presentation video and edit a reel with the look and feel of a trailer.
Here’s the special version of the video we cut just for the awards ceremony, held in April at the Game Marketing Summit: