motion brand films

Epiphanie Campaign - Behind the Scenes with Ale Vidal

So here is an inside look into our approach for the Epiphanie Fall 2014 campaign.

Before I ever begin ANY visuals, a significant part of my process is understanding my client's promise, values, and vision. And I don't mean understanding their colors or descriptive words only, I mean what their brand stands for. Sometimes I have clients that have a hard time verbalizing it, but they have a clear vision. I help them with this process too. It's deep y'all. I push hard for this because this is how I humanize a brand and make them stand out. I don't ever compromise on this because that would mean compromising on my client. This is what Maile, owner of Epiphanie, summarized hers as:

"BeautyConnectionAdventure. I am endlessly inspired by people who live unconventional lives, who go beyond the status quo of what is expected to find whatever it is that fulfills them. I'm inspired by passion, and by the general idea that it's possible to design your life, rather than just react to it."

Um, heck yeah.  I completely connect with this on so many levels.

Once I had this, Alex of AVE Styles and I collaborated on a Pinterest board to initiate what the visuals would look and feel like. My focus, as usual, is on mood and story. Alex's focus is on styling and art direction which are the tangibles.

From that, I created a story about a graphic designer/photographer that we would follow and experience parts of her really awesome day. Sort of like the journey that the epiphanie bag gets to go on - without focusing on the bag as a product, and more like an experience. These details also guide what hair, make-up, and location should look like. I also noted in the story that she had a connection with the guy in the film. That while they're "just friends" - they do things like having their own handshake. This gives the film a sub-story and more depth to play with :) Here's a look into my "bedroom scene" storyboard:

Once my team has translated the visuals right before me (models, clothing, hair, make-up) - this allows me to do what I believe I'm made to do: direct and connect. On the day of filming is when my brain goes into a world I can't describe. I guide the people in front of my camera to understand the character and how their movements need to feel authentic and true. I give them visual and emotional cues that occur to me on the spot, or I've thought about in advance, and capture it on camera. Sooo, that happens...

And after all of that - the inner soul searching, the visual planning, the tangibles, directing, and emotional cues - we get the point that I refer to as "bringing it to life." Sounds dramatic but I don't know any other way to describe it. The story goes from idea to tangible. It's in front of you as a character. It has emotion. It is ... alive. And the most thrilling, yet also scariest part, is YOU - the filmmaker must capture this and immerse your viewer into THIS world that you and your team have created. Phew.

I was able to do both the lifestyle photos and the brand film for Epiphanie with my incredible team. This is some of the content that our planning translated to:

And the film:

And that is a just a little glimpse at what I do and a preview into more of what I'll be doing this coming 2015. My heart has been set on campaigns for the longest time and I feel insanely proud of watching this bloom. Huge thanks to my team:

Styling: Alexandra Evjen | Video Assistant: Matt Hail | Assistant + Behind the Scenes: Audree Lopez |  Hair: Jenny Strebe | Makeup: Stephanie Neiheisel

People's stories are buried deep.

As a storyteller - we are the ones responsible for creating the circumstance where the story will rise to the surface. People's stories are buried deep. You can't expect them to magically show up.

And to be honest with you, this is one of the most crucial steps for me in making these brand films. Once a client and I are on the same page about being a good fit, THAT is the next conversation we have. A conversation about purpose, about our promise to our audience, about what makes you different.  I don't expect my client to tell me all of this - I have to guide them by creating an environment that will bring this out.

So, there we were, sitting in Jocelyn's dining room talking about this very thing. And it was like my filmmaking approach was looking into a MIRROR.  The intimacy and depth behind Jocelyn's design process is beautiful and goes beyond designing a room. I mean, you start to think about the way you want to live your life. THAT kind of depth.

I realized this film needed audio. And "needed" in the sense that I couldn't justly make this film without you hearing what Jocelyn had to say. Which is really funny because if you know me, you know that I try very hard to AVOID incorporating (speaking) audio. I used to see it as a way that people would literally "tell" a story rather than experience it. But during our conversation, my gut immediately told me that this particular message had to be spoken - something that I rarely feel. I love it. I know there is such power in the words that someone has to say and I'm excited to keep finding pockets of these moments where sometimes words are the only way to get to the heart of the story.

I would've never imagined that this initial inquiry from an "interior designer" would evolve into a story like this. A story that strongly rings true to my own theory in brand films. Huge thank you to my girls Alex of AVE Styles and Mary Claire for assisting me and the amazing Promise for sending Jocelyn my way.



"That is the blueprint of my work. It's that someone leaves our conversation knowing more about who they want to be, and how they want to live." Absolutely Jocelyn... absolutely.

Content Creation for Brands


I don't know when exactly it happened during my conversation with Alex, but we used the word "original content creation." And it was one of those moments that just made you say "YES!!!" We were able to articulate specifically what our partnership was doing. The impact of our gifts used together.

Alex is a stylist. I am a cinematographer. But together, we create content to be used strategically for brands. Alex isn't just a "stylist." She is able to curate content that not only aligns with the story we want to tell, but resonates with social media (PAUSE: Curate - to collect, style, and piece together with purpose). Then I come in and shoot it with Pinterest / Social Media in mind AND with the story of the brand. That's how your content is strategic. Now, you have a purpose for the way you shoot because you have a message to tell. Alex couldn't have said it better on her blog.

Getting to work with Lone Flag was so inspiring. They are a new, retail shop with a very specific look and well defined mission statement. I get fired up when I work with brands that have a confident understanding of their style but are looking for ways to tell their story through strategic visuals. Because their shop is new, this also allowed Alex to use her Pinterest marketing and curating to draw traffic to them. More pins = more traffic = more probability someone will buy. 

Am I boring you? Cause this stuff makes my heart race :)

More importantly, helping businesses grow makes my heart race. Working with others makes my heart race. I'm so thankful to see how this evolves using the gifts that God said "yep, this one's made for Ale."

In case you missed the brand film last week, you can see it here. Thanks for following along on this journey with me :)

Lone Flag Brand Film

Let me tell you, the debate between releasing the photos AND video at the same time in my head was intense.

But in this case - I need you to see both separately.

This film is a labor of love and more specifically - a motion piece with original content creation. I know some of you have wondered what Alex of AVE Styles and I are creating together. The easiest way to understand is cinematography + art direction with a specific goal to boost brands (via campaign films, stills, and Pinterest content). And you guys. LONE FLAG. Oh-my-laaaaawd. The coolness that drips from the couple behind this retail concept is like butter. Except maybe butter made from coconut oil because they're that cool.

In all seriousness, when we first exchanged e-mails with Kelli and Sam about the story of Lone Flag - the word that was constantly used was "community." They are a brand with a focus on American made goods and they partner with other vendors that share the same mission statement. Visually, I could feel the masculine and raw elements of this brand so I really wanted to portray that and the community in motion. Alex curated a specific look for the overall feel and this is how we brought it to life...



Woooooo!! :)

JJ Number 8 Brand Film

I won't forget the summer of 2013. There were projects and videos that I will always look back on and know those represent the shift in my business.

This is one of those videos:



Before releasing this film, I wanted to make sure my portfolio reflected these changes - take a look!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because I don't know how else to express it :) That's it. Just gratefulness for a little more and more clarity.