The Whole System

Behind the Winners | Finding Leverage

This week the adaptive learning presentation Finding Leverage brought home a Gold Communicator for Excellence, the most prestigious award bestowed by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

In the Finding Leverage project, the team decided early on the best way to bring Chris Soderquist’s message to life would be to include graphics with which Chris could interact.

Arm Chart“The integration of data and visuals into a real space is a powerful learning experience,” as Jacob Heberlie, who served as the shoot’s creative director, explains. Data visualization has been a focus of Jacob’s since he joined the Banyan team three years ago. “We wanted it to be proof that a web series can be both engaging and really informative.”

As director of the shoot, Al Admire began cultivating the vision for the project. “It’s always an interesting challenge to plan, light and film something that is actually not there.  In the case of this video – all the animation and graphics,” he said.

Slinky (Leverage)As an EMMY award-winning filmmaker, Al is no stranger to challenges. “We wanted the viewer to suspend disbelief and accept that the graphics were actually there, so we planned to add CG shadows to all the graphics to give the entire effect a sense of ‘weight.’ That meant we had to light the floor so it looked very even and shadowless,” he explained.

As producer, Dalton Harpe worked to translate the vision into reality. “We used a variety of things to give Chris a sense of space and what would eventually be happening around him,” Dalton recalls. “For instance, we used different wooden boxes at times so he would know “where” the graphics were and colored tape just off camera so he would know what was out of frame.”

LeverageBut the team decided more needed to be done to give the graphics dimension. “We knew sound design was going to be an important part of the piece,” video editor Tori Mauch said. “Giving the graphics the right sound really brought to life the space Chris was in.”

Tori made sure all of the pieces came together in the most beneficial way possible—including sound. “It was hard to find a good balance of music and sound effects to not drown out the importance of the message, but I think we found it.”

Overall, the team is proud of the work they’ve done, but like true Banyanites, they’re already looking toward the future: “I think the project was well-executed and was pleased with the result,” Dalton says, “But I’m looking forward to improving upon the idea as we do more adaptive learning presentations and projects in this style.”

Our team is also delighted that the Gold Communicator for Excellence is one of several we received. You can check out the full list here.