There are a lot of talented people in the world. We surround ourselves with the ones that bring their vision, creativity and humanity with them.
The end product is just part of our measurement of success. We’ve assembled a team of people who care about leaving the people and places we serve better than when we came. The journey is important. We don’t care if you’re the CEO or person who cleans the room. We believe everyone matters. Everyone’s contribution is valued. Everyone deserves love and respect.
I never in my wildest imagination thought that I would get to have the job that I have. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I don’t consider it a “job,” I consider it my life’s work. I’m a producer/director, storyteller. Over the years, I’ve worked with corporate clients like Ingram, DuPont and Nortel, been a principal investigator with the National Science Foundation, traveled the state producing videos for the Governor’s office, and most recently dedicated my talents and passion to improving healthcare. I love problem solving and finding ways to inspire people to share values, to work toward a common goal, to give to a cause.
One of the strengths of the work that we do is showing vulnerability – often it’s raw vulnerability. Listening to a mother talk about her child with cancer, a doctor who is trusted with someone’s life, a prostitute who has found her way. Each story touches a part of the human spirit — love and fear of loss, responsibility, hardship and mistakes. And each in its own way shows tragedy to triumph. These stories connect us to others but maybe more importantly, they connect us to ourselves. And isn’t life better when we’re connected.
I learned the hard way that I didn’t want to grow a large company. Running a company shifted my focus from meeting fascinating people and helping them tell their story to managing people and payroll and all of those things that kept me from real storytelling. Instead I’ve assembled a voluntary team of like-minded, creative, professionals who are committed to our purpose … to produce successful and powerful communications tools and make the production process an enjoyable and meaningful experience. We support each other mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m proud to introduce them to you:
I am fascinated by the notion that every single thing on the planet offers us an example of good or bad design. Nature shows us the most pure and dramatic design examples, but I even find myself lost in my local market studying packaging. Who designed this? What were they tasked with? What story does it tell? How does it make me feel? I think all good design starts with asking questions that push beyond the surface of a project. It is critical to understand the audience, the objectives, and the many constraints that govern every venture.
Of all design principles, I believe balance is the one that most commonly drives me. I push myself to stay with any given visual task until I achieve overall balance of color, composition, and communication.
Much of my career has been spend designing very complex projects that required many diverse elements and mediums come together as a unified whole. Retail products, services organizations, software, web portals and mobile apps also require logos, iconography, font selections, print materials, web assets, advertising, content, even music. This type of complexity requires a commitment to creating and deploying a look and feel that can hold the intended user in place and build engagement. This the kind of thinking required to build memorable brands. Each touch point has to honor a strong set of design principles, while seamlessly conveying the brand principles.
Unlike some designers, I don’t have a ridged style ethos. My approach is to immerse myself in the needs and culture of our clients and find the visual heartbeat needed to tell that story.
Matt loves beautiful pictures and that’s a good thing since that is what he’s supposed to do as Director of Photography. He lights with warmth and style and makes people look good, look themselves and look relaxed and confident. In fact, we know some stars ask for Matt when they’re being interviewed because he makes them look so good. Matt works hard and is a great leader of our production machine. He is an artist but first and foremost he is a sensitive human being. When we encounter situations where “lighting for beauty” isn’t appropriate – like an Intensive Care Unit, Matt’s values are in the right place. He understands that the production is never, ever more important than a sick person trying to be well. Matt is a professional and fun, precise and accepting. We have worked together for almost 20 years and hope we get to work together for another 20 – except I think Matt will retire and go lay in a hammock on the beach.
Ron has a tough job because scoring music is at the end of the production chain. That means he’s always facing pressure from deadlines and he handles this with grace. Ron’s music is one of the things that sets our storytelling apart. Investing in music that leads our audience through the emotional experiences you want to share gives stories the core elements that make them work. Heroic sounds different from facing adversity. Care in a hospital sounds different from shipping books internationally. Ron has a sweet soul that you might hear if you listen to his music carefully. He can also rock – with clients like NFL Game Day and Dancing with the stars.
I used to jokingly say that you know Craig must be a great editor if I continued to work with him after our divorce. And he is (he’s also a great guy). Timing may be everything in life but it certainly is everything in editing. Craig has a gift for understanding the ebbs and flows of creating a story. His attention to detail sets him apart. He can change one frame, which is one-thirtieth of a second, and make things sound better or look better. He has edited for me since I started Culver Productions in 1985.