I’ve been on a trail of thinking recently, really desiring taking my work to a deeper level. Going from producing videos, to producing meaningful stories. My initial journaling and thoughts the past three to four months has been to spend more time investing in the story of the company, the people, the culture, what they believe, why they come to work every day. Less about the product, more about the tribe. Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk philosophy of the golden circle, I asked myself, could I make every project I create, work from the inside out. I began pitching it to current clients, getting them excited about trying a completely new approach on future projects. Then I shot Fin Art. Still feeling premature in the development of this new thought process, I just went for it. And when cutting the interview, I tried to pull out only the pieces that really moved forward the anatomy of who they are at the core and why they live how they live, rather than facts about their creations.

But then Salomon’s vimeo likes feed dropped a whole new element into view. VW Polo by Casper Balslev and Lincoln the Spark by Christopher Hewitt made my mind take one more step. For those companies who have already told their culture story, how can we reach out, with the same inside out rule in mind, and tell the product story. I am fascinated by the way Casper was able to make the story of VW about the viewer and not the product, even when the spot was advertising just that.

“You’re in the drivers seat. Not just about cars, but of our company too. It’s you who fuels us. Your A to B. Every man, every woman, every family, everywhere, needs to get somewhere. The Polo isn’t just built on a production line, it’s built on principal. That the power of innovation and quality, is for all. We call it, the Polo Principal.”

He worked from the inside out. We care about you, your needs. Whether your a male, female, married or not. This is about a principal that you should have the best, regardless of who you are. We are not just a company of machines putting screws in place and welding medal, but a company that wants you on board the decision room of a central piece of your life. Oh, and by the way, we sell cars.

The thought process and idea is still fluid and growing, but this is the direction I want to start working from, the inside out.

By all means, these concepts are far from new. These are old practices that I am just learning, but I hope that I can continue to gather theories and ideas that will help give my films a meaningful purpose. For so long, I’ve focused on the act of filming as the key element, rather than how that act plays such a minor role in the greater purpose of telling the story. A shift I am really stoked to move forward with.

The photographs are outtakes from our most recent Happyolks post. Kels’ just updated her site/branding and did a brilliant job. Her ability to run a blog as successful as Happyolks, with a full time job is insane. So proud of and am constantly inspired by her.


  • Christian Mazza - Nice post. I’m also in the midst of developing this sort of thought process. The technical stuff is the easy part.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Bastarache Bogan - Shaun! Great thoughts here, both as an artist and a filmmaker. When I work on my video productions as well, I start with “why”. Why do you do what you do? Why is it important you do it? Why does “it” need to be done? It’s a powerful little question, “why.”

    My old boss used to call the process of storytelling a cycle, and he would talk at great length on how storytelling is all about getting your audience to do something: remember the “why”. The nugget, the core message, the central theme, whatever you want to call it, the whole point of telling a story is to convey that one idea in a memorable way. Every piece, from interview clip, to camera shot, to sound effect is laid in and built up to provide the framework to unveil and remember that idea.

    One of my side projects at the moment is writing a “theory on interviewing” for some of my storyteller colleagues in SIM. I’m frequently asked “how do you get such good material from your interviews?” My answer is, “I find out the ‘why’ behind my project, and ask every question to answer that ‘why’.” I’d love to share the piece with you when I’m finished, if you’d like a read!ReplyCancel

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