brandon ross

video storyteller

Farewell, Inclusive Security: Stella Sabiiti

This is last video I produced for Inclusive Security. With only a week left, I was determined to leave them something to work with over the next couple of months. This video repurposed a years-old interview in which the video was unusable and the audio was hollow and distracting. I was able to clean up the audio and turn this project around quickly (within a week) to be able to leave it with Inclusive Security to do with as they wished.

It’s certainly not perfect but I was happy to complete it before my departure for Pew.

This piece was created in both After Effects and Illustrator. Most of the images were either stock vectors or traced free-use photos.

New Video: Avoiding All-Male Panels

Animated pieces are always fun. They force you to expand your creativity and skills every time. I always learn at least 10 new tricks every time I do an animation project. This piece was created specifically for a Facebook marketing campaign. We were solely looking for views as the KPI. The video garnered more than 22,000 views within a few weeks, making it one of the most successful videos we’ve ever produced.

This video was adapted from an article (paywall) written by our CEO and was a stylistic departure from most of what we produce. It was a one-man (me) project.

This piece was created in both After Effects and Illustrator. Enjoy!

Follow These Steps And You, Too, Can Be A Video Journalist!

I’ve never been a fan of lists that tell people what they need and a step-by-step process for doing great—or even good—video journalism.

The fact is that today, equipment costs should not be an obstacle. Sure, fancy equipment can afford you a few more tricks. But the equipment doesn’t make the story.

The skill of the storyteller does. The bests could use nothing more than an iPhone, a $20 mic and audio recorder, and a tripod to compose a great piece.

That being said, here’s a list that serves as a great start. Plus, it includes a shout out to Boyd Huppert, one of the greats. Boyd manages to not only tell incredibly powerful stories but to tell them inside a local television newscast. Pretty unbelievable.

9 key elements that can help journalists be better video storytellers

Afloat: A Short Short Story

If he leaned over the stern of the boat, climbing upon the second rail rung and stretching out his hand as far as he could, his hands would brush the paddle wheel. Thumping over his longest three fingers, splashing them with brackish water.

He’d been on the paddlewheel boat for three days. This was a ritual, an act he performed every evening at sunset. In this way he treated the boat as a pet. An animal and he its rider. The longboards jumped under his fingers like muscles in a racehorse.

“C’mon, girl. You can do it,” he’d whisper under the roar of water and engine.

At night he slept on the wooden-planked sole of the saloon on the second floor. Positioned above the steam room, saloon patrons could watch their whiskey dance in vibrations around the glass. The floor planks were warmed from the steam below, making for a sweaty night’s sleep. The vibrations and hum had become his lullaby.

New Video: Still Serving

Here’s a new video I just finished. This was one of my favorite projects to work on because I really got to dig into After Effect’s parallax/3D camera capabilities.
The entire project took about three weeks. Digging through old photos that no one has looked at in 50+ years was fun. Finding ways to animate those photos felt like I was, in a way, giving them a second life.
This piece ended up being part of a promotional push for MOAA’s 86th anniversary in February 2015. Hope you enjoy.