Leonardo da Vinci and Doggie Videos

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As I continue down the path of developing my and Hand Crank’s creative, I’ve started reading a book on Leonardo da Vinci. Who better than the original Florentine to teach us how art, craft, and commerce can all come together in harmony? I think of Leonardo when I see the work that Hand Crank Director Julien Scherliss and Chris Koser recently did on our social media campaign for Rover.com and Nature’s Path dog food. Okay, I realize that may sound a bit presumptuous, but hear me out.

One of the ways that Leonardo’s work can be distinguished even today is by the care he took with each brush stroke, the number of strokes, and the angle of the strokes – all of which were quite unique and can be easily recognized. Similarly, he was known to take great care with his vanishing points in the far off background to get just the right perspective, or to spend days working on a child’s hair to see that it rolled and flowed like a river. In a time when people were cranking paintings of the Madonna out like reality show episodes, Leonardo’s attention to detail and care were unusual and led to his painting’s ageless quality.

Julien and Chris, even given only a day with each dog to shoot and a small crew, took similar care in their videos. Note how the camera never just “follows someone around”. Each shot is carefully, artfully chosen to represent the dog properly. The angle of the camera is at the dog’s height – even when getting a reverse-facing jogging shot – which ain’t easy. This stuff has to be carefully storyboarded to work. The sound design is subtle and yet constantly present and sweetly enveloping. Even photos, when used to give more backstory, are carefully presented to fit the light, deft feel of the edit.

The little plugs for Nature’s Path dog food feel seamless, and not overt – I mean a dog has gotta eat, and Rover’s gotta pay the bills…

We’ll be sharing each one of these stories through this week we’re calling Doggie Week. We hope that like Leonardo’s paintings, they bring you the satisfaction of something done carefully, lovingly, and artfully.

Do you have some favorite videos that are done in the style above? We love to see ’em!

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We’re going for the emotions. Joy, sorrow, laughter, love - we want it all. And we want to work with people that understand that language. Partners who will challenge us to be better and push us to grow, so when we share it with the world, we've made something that matters.