Make it Matter

Eight months have passed since we moved into our new office space in Oak Park. Over this time, we have been adding our personal touch to the space. New paint, new furniture, and new wall art to cozy up the place. Our latest wall art, a decal: “Make it Matter” was our latest addition, and it had us thinking: how do WE make it matter?

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Working, Together
Before moving into our office space, we worked separately - all from our homes and occasionally in the Ravenswood office. We lacked the sense of teamwork by not working ‘together’, and to be honest, it’s tough to be 100% disciplined at home. Our work was still strong, but we felt fragmented. Since moving into the space, we’ve set our daily routines to overlap with one another. We’ve become more tight knit, more of a family, and our work has greatly benefited. We could have stayed the course, but this new dynamic of direct collaboration with one another has made all the difference. Our weekly “pow-wow” meetings of going over the week’s shoots, talking everything over attentively, has also made a big difference to make sure we’re all on the same page. Culture matters.
 

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Creativity = Our Passion
It’s easy to say that someones passion is being creative. For us, we have to live it and breathe it - everyday. It’s our line of work. However, it’s very easy for creatives to hit walls. It’s important to us that when we’re struggling, to take a break and talk with one another. In order to make beautiful and engaging videos, this is important, and also important to keep that passion growing and healthy. Feedback matters.

Learning New Things
For us, learning and finding new inspiration is a big part of our weekly routine. How can we expand our skills and offerings? We all try to make it a point to keep each other accountable on learning something new and expanding our skillset. This is important for any small company to grow, in our opinion. Growth — both as a team and individually — matter.

Keeping Ourselves "In It"
So what do we do to keep us motivated and in-tune? We all have our own ways. Whether its watching a new documentary, exploring new photography trends,  or even trying new foods, we try to bring it home and let it inspire our work somehow. 

Here's our current list of what we've been listening to/watching/doing the last couple weeks to get those creative juices flowing!

Philipe // This podcast by Patrick Lencioni—"The Ideal Team Player". Great insight into team dynamics and how to be an inspirational leader.

Josel // Listening to Bon Iver's 29 #Strafford APTS is a great way to start the work day and gets me in the "creative" mindset.

Alexis // A new docu-series on Netflix called ABSTRACT. It's an inspiration because it dives into a creatives' mind and what inspires their incredible design work. 

Victoria // Listening to music as I work really helps me to focus and get "in the zone". Lately, my go-to is Bonobo's new album, "Migration".

So how do YOU make it matter? What do you guys do to stay in the motivated, focused, and creative mindset?

Time-lapses: How are they done?

Contrary to popular belief, time-lapses are not just 'pressing record'. They are actually a series of high-resolution pictures. It’s a technique that records a scene or objects that has a slow state-of-change and turns it into a video that plays back in high speed.  In other words, it allows you to take a long period of time and play it back very quickly!

Here are 3 simple tips on how to create a time-lapse.

1) A tripod is your best friend.
Since your DSLR camera will be stationary (on something that changes slowly, like clouds,sunset,etc.), this is a must. It will help you maintain stability and keep things consistent. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised. :) 

2) Plan accordingly. 
To do this, keep in mind that the ratio is 24 pictures : 1 second of video. 24p refers to a video format that operates at 24 frames per second. So if you’re aiming for a 30 second time-lapse, you’ll need approximately720 pictures, or 720 frames. The amount of time needed depends on how many frames per second you take. You can take 1 frame per second, or 1 frame every 5 minutes - it all depends on how you’d like the time-lapse to look. TIP: if you’re capturing a scene at night and this requires your shutter to be open much more than normal… each picture may take much longer than a second to be taken, so do not think you can snap 24 pictures in 24 seconds. It could be a picture a minute, 10 minutes, etc. Overall - you’ll definitely need PATIENCE!

3) You’ll need an intervalometer.
This is basically a remote that will make your time-lapsing a whole lot easier. It’s is a device that plugs into a camera and controls how often, how long and how many shots are taken. This leaves you free to go do something else, like a quick session of parkour ;).

In this video, Josel will demonstrate his approach to shooting sweet time-lapses.

Meet Mirar - Alexis Tolentino

Alexis began with Mirar in March 2014.
He is our assistant cinematographer & assistant editor.
He loves to try new things, visit different places and meet new people. 
That is what excites him to go to work every day.
He loves his mom’s Mexican mole.
He loves photography, too…but find its funny when people think he is taking photos during his cocktail hour coverage. “I’m the video guy.” 
Here’s a little glimpse into what he does for Mirar.

Meet Mirar - Philipe Carvalho

Philipe began Mirar Productions in summer of 2010, in his hometown of San Francisco, CA. 
That same year, he moved his family and business to awesome Chicago. 
He loves editing. 
He likes to watch soccer, play basketball, and go for a swim. 
Brazilian home cooking is the way to his heart.
He is a dad and loves #raisinggirls (Mimi, Gigi, and Charlie-the pup)
He was once held up at gun point as a bank teller. He now lives to tell the story.
When he was 18, he visited over 10 countries - spending time on 4 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, South America). 
He jumped out of a plane with his wife on their 10 year wedding anniversary.
Here’s a little glimpse into what he does for the team.