Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Museum (2/23-9/9/2018)

I had the great honor of being selected as an Art Director for two videos in the Bob Greenberg Selects Exhibition at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Museum, which runs from February 23, 2018 – September 9, 2018. One video illustrated his ten principles of design and the other video shows ways the objects in the exhibit are connected by design.

When I was brought onto the project, both videos were already in progress. In fact, the creative team liked the progress so much that they wanted to show even more of the objects in the ten principles video and to include the final and longest grouping of connections for the second video.

The Ten Principles video was a single set of ten objects, one for each principle. We expanded the video to have three sets of ten principles. This allowed us to pair even more of the exhibit objects to the principles they support.

For the connections video, there were several moments that the objects needed to be shown in action to really tell a story about how they connect. We identified 14 or 15 stills that we could re-shoot as live-action or stop-motion to better show the function of each object. I then mapped out how each object needed to be shot, cast the talent and supervised the shoot from pre-production through post-production.

The video monitors are 4k television sets, mounted like portraits. Working closely with the Director of Photography, we dialed in the best possible lighting and framing, with crystal clear focus, knowing that the videos would be shown larger than life in the museum. We had to shoot all of the objects in two days or less, so we ran two sets in tandem and alternated resetting and shooting between the two sets. I also negotiated a temporary lift on the drone ban in the RGA NY office so that we could shoot the drone in live action.

I set up and managed a video testing environment in the prototype studio at RGA so that we could fine tune television calibration to the exact settings we would use in the exhibit. Interfacing with the app developers and museum curators, I prepped the final LISNR media and video files for the museum exhibit. The app they created plays the audio for our video right from your cell phone.

Video Credits:
Guest Curator, Exhibition Host: Bob Greenberg
Museum: Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt
SVP, Head of Global Integration: Jay Zasa
Executive Director of Production: Cindy Pound
Executive Producer: Patrick McCabe
RGA Curator: Laura Wiley-Donohue
Creative Director: Cesar Marchetti, Associate Creative Director: Eli Mavros
Art Directors: Jan Tompkins-Jackson, Andre Vandenberg
Director of Photography: Paulo Netto
Stage Production Coordinator: Elissa Steinhofer
Animation/Compositing: Jan Tompkins-Jackson, Andre Vandenberg, Chris Vranos, Carlos Foxworthy
Editor: Jan Tompkins-Jackson
Colorist: Jan Tompkins-Jackson
Sr. Technology Director: Michael Piccuirro
Sr. Quality Assurance Engineer: Karen Molye
Producer: Irka Seng
Drone Camera Pilot: Aldo Padilla, Bayyina Black
Production assistants: TJ Brogle, Sanjana Sekhar
Models: Sanjana Sekhar, TJ Brogle, Bayyina Black, Jan Tompkins-Jackson
Audio Engineer: Pete Karam

Visit the museum: