Documentary Film in Progress: Lessons from a Hurricane’s Aftermath

Dec 4, 2018

Creating compelling documentary film content is one of my first loves. Working with some of San Francisco Bay Area’s greatest clients, like Simpson Strong-Tie, gives us the opportunity to do just that. We just completed principal photography on a new documentary project highlighting catastrophic high-wind events and how engineers, contractors, and homeowners can build above the required building codes to ensure their home survives.

The heavily devastated Mexico Beach area provided a stark, yet beautiful backdrop to our project. We decided to embrace the harsh environment and post-storm destruction, shooting 90% of the project outdoors. The aesthetic called for a variety of camera tools, including Drone, Gimbal, Dana Dolly and traditional locked-off tripod work. We wanted to create visual tension by juxtaposing moving landscape photography with highly composed static shots All of the interviews were shot outside, framing them wider than usual, placing our characters amidst the destruction.

This project provides a great example of creating original content that places current events and human interest at the center of the story. Simpson Strong-Tie’s internal team kept the high-level story in focus, resisting the urge to place product above emotive storytelling. We couldn’t agree more – we can’t wait to share this one with the world. – Carl D. Brown