Remember the Star Destroyer blazing across the screen in the opening of Star Wars? Or Indiana Jones running from a giant rolling boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark?
The opening moments of a film are crucial for capturing your viewers’ attention and getting them invested in your story from the start—especially on the Internet, where that “next thing” is just a click away. When planning our documentaries, we often put more time and resources into that opening scene than anything else.
As a director for the lynda.com Creative Spark documentary series, I’m lucky to profile designers, photographers, and other artists who have cool creative spaces or exciting creative processes and tools.
But Mike Winkelmann—better known online as Beeple—had none of those.
The documentary team is pleased to share some production stills from the just released Creative Inspirations installment about Hello Design. We shot at Hello’s Culver City, California studio that they (of course) designed themselves. It’s a great collaborative space with lots of daylight. It’s also next door to Tea Forest, the popular coffee/tea shop built by CEO David Lai and his wife. Started as more of an experiment, Tea Forest is now a bustling part of their neighborhood. We also shot at a number of locations including the amazing Walt Disney Concert Hall. Because of Hello’s working relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, we were able to get permission to shoot in this architectural marvel as part of our story about the Bravo Gustavo, the iPhone app they developed to promote new conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Enjoy!
Creative Inspirations director Scott Erickson works with cinematographer Jacob K. Cunningham as they set up their next shot at Hello Design's studio.
Cinematographer Ben Nilsson is checking camera and audio settings before rolling at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Scott and cinematographer Mia Shimabuku with Hello Design Account Director Scott Arenstein in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Scott and Mia shoot Hello's Scott Arenstein demonstrating their iPhone app (Bravo Gustavo!) while on stage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
At the request of the festival, director Scott Erickson and I made ourselves available for questions and answers from the audience. For our premiere evening, we were we joined by editor Tracy Clarke, editor/cinematographer Mia Shimabuku, and co-founder Lynda Weinman. Here’s a rare opportunity to see our team in front of the camera… and to see me wearing a sport jacket.
The Ansel Adams Gallery in the Yosemite Valley is where multimedia journalist Richard ‘Koci’ Hernandez was first inspired to take pictures at age 12. He hadn’t been back since and this was my first trip to Yosemite, so it was pretty exciting for both of us. We were joined by Creative Inspirations Director Scott Erickson and Cinematographer/Editor Mia Shimabuku.
After an amazing shoot in Yosemite, we shot at Koci’s home in the East Bay of San Francisco, as well as downtown in the Mission District and on campus at UC Berkeley where he teaches at the graduate school of Journalism. There’s almost always a camera in his hands and we were frequently pointing cameras at each other.
Our days on location were filled with awe and inspiration. From the waterfalls in Yosemite to the amazing work Koci is doing in depressed areas of the city to interviews in historic Northgate Hall, one of UC Berkeley’s historic landmarks. The images and narrative that comprise this installment of lynda.com’s flagship documentary series are moving and thought provoking. Our team is pleased and proud to present our latest Creative Inspirations documentary, Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist.
Series director Scott Erickson (right) prepares Koci for an early morning shoot on the road to Yosemite. In the background, cinematographer/editor Mia Shimabuku sets up her first shot.
Mia takes her first shots outside of the famous tunnel that leads to the Yosemite Valley.
Mia and Scott shooting in Yosemite Valley.
Koci is trying to re-create one of his first photographs taken at age 12. The actual slide is in his left hand. Scott and Mia capture the moment.
Scott and Mia shooting Koci in San Francisco's Mission District.
Mia and Koci square off in the Mission District.
Scott and Mia getting background shots in front of UC Berkeley's Campanile.
Our Creative Inspirations team focuses on bringing behind-the-scenes, inspirational stories to the Online Training Library®. Here’s a peek at our Creative Inspirations team on location putting together one of our latest documentaries, Second Story, Interactive Design Studio.
Staff director/cinematographer Jacob Cunningham lines up a shot for one of our on camera interviews. We were fortunate that Second Story had great natural light that we supplemented with daylight balanced lights. lynda.com primarily uses energy efficient Kino-flo lights which use special low-power fluorescent tubes. Note in the background the Canon 7D which we also use for video production in addition to our Panasonic P2 HD cameras that shoot on ultra-high quality flash memory cards.
Jacob helps one of Second Story's producers prepare for her interview by placing her wireless microphone.
Staff director/cinematographer Scott Erickson checks focus settings on two of the three cameras we'll roll during our interview. We typically shoot a wide and closeup shot from one angle (pictured here) and a third shot from a different angle. One camera will record the audio for the interview and back at the studio, digital production lead Ben Nilsson will sync all of the material in Final Cut Pro.
Ben lines up two of our Panasonic P2 cameras for our next interview. We shoot on 32 and 64 gigabyte P2 cards and then offload to FireWire drives for transport to our edit servers in Ventura, California.
Scott does a final check on the video and audio gear before we roll on our next shot. Scott has directed all of the Creative Inspirations series and works closely with staff editor Tracy Clarke to put the finishing touches on each installment.
Here I am in the foreground, preparing to interview one of Second Story's designers talking about an exhibit he's working on in Google SketchUp.
A view from the camera at one of Second Story's technical wizards before his interview. For Creative Inspirations, the interviewer is never seen nor heard on camera—only our subject.
Dueling MacBook Pros. I'm preparing for the next interview (and checking e-mail) while Scott offloads the P2 media (our camera footage) on to portable FireWire drives.