No we’re not talking about the sister of Kate Middleton. And no, we’re not talking about soup in Spanish.

By now you’ve probably been familiarized – or at least seen tweets/posts/articles – about these pieces of legislation going through congress at the moment. Today you’ve probably ran into some “blacked out” websites around the internet in protest.

Here at SEI Studios we work in web, video, and social media every day and this is a serious issue for us. I’m not going to take this whole blog post to go in-depth about what these bills are all about, but I do want to share this brief video with you that does a much better job than I could.

Please call, write, e-mail, tweet, or carrier pigeon to your representatives and stop this from happening!

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[Fashion Has Heart] & The Corporal Hoffman Series

Over the past few weeks (and continuing through this winter) we have partnered with the local non-profit organization [Fashion Has Heart]. Michael Hyacinthe (founder) and the team collaborating at [FHH] have started a new project with Cpl. Josh Hoffman – a wounded marine who was injured and paralyzed in Iraq in 2007 from a sniper’s bullet.

Hold on, let’s take a step back.

[Fashion Has Heart] was founded earlier this year and their goal is to work with wounded veterans and their families to create various works of art, design, and fashion. Their motto is “without their sacrifice, there is no freedom of fashion or art.” To enjoy the freedoms we have to create wonderful works of art, music, and film – it takes the sacrifice of mind and body from those serving in our armed forces. [FHH] wants to give back to veterans through these creative mediums and provide the opportunity to them to do something great.

Fast forward to today. Josh Hoffman is a 29-year-old marine who is paralyzed from the neck down and is unable to even speak, he has to communicate through a special number/alphabet chart. [FHH] and Josh have recently joined forces to create unique designs that are inspired by Josh’s life and experiences. He truly is the lead designer in this project, crafting the vision, colors, and imagery in the designs – [Fashion Has Heart] is just bringing these concepts to life.

They have partnered with MusicSkins, MMA Warehouse, Ranger Up, and Regal Financial Group to make this opportunity a reality – through the production and distribution of Josh’s designs to the public – thus creating the Corporal Hoffman Series.

Where does SEI Studios come in?

We have been brought on board to document the daily happenings of Josh’s life – whether it be in his home, at physical therapy, or working with the [FHH] team on this project. It has been a very humbling and remarkable experience to work alongside Cpl. Hoffman; to see his will to continue to use his mind and heart coming through the artwork – all while being almost completely disabled. Through our video work, we hope to communicate Josh’s powerful story to the rest of the world, letting his work speak not just for himself but for all of our wounded veterans.

Check out this brief teaser we’ve put together highlighting the project and a look into a larger documentary that will be released at a later date.

We also would like to invite you to attend the launch party that is being hosted at the Regal Financial headquarters. The event will be an opportunity to meet Josh, the [Fashion Has Heart] team, and to view the unveiling of the finished designs – (plus a special behind-the-scenes film screening).

When: December 9th – 6 to 9pm
Where: Regal Financial – 2687 44th St, Kentwood, MI

Posted in Behind The Scenes, News, Video | 1 Comment

ArtPrize x Vimeo: The Art of Inspiration

During ArtPrize this year, Vimeo put together a documentary about the artists, venues, and experience of ArtPrize 2011.

What made this collaborative project unique – was that the majority of the footage shot and used was the product of local Grand Rapids filmmakers. Vimeo put the call out to anyone with a video camera in Grand Rapids, to go out and shoot different aspects of ArtPrize. What arose was an amazing community experience that brought everyone’s perspectives together to complete a 16 minute short-film documenting the entire event.

We are proud to have our work featured in the project. I went out and shot lots of b-roll around the city – and most notably an interview with Mary Geeting who is the art teacher and ArtPrize curator for Coit Creative Arts Academy. The school is a K-5 elementary school in GRPS that is unique in that they implement arts education in the curriculum in all of their classrooms.

To cap off the entire experience, Vimeo hosted an “off-line” event downtown to screen and premier the film. The event brought all of those who took part in crafting the film together to enjoy the experience of seeing their work on the big screen. We thank Vimeo and ArtPrize both for including us in the project and for being so awesome!

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Steve Jobs

If there are two iconic companies in the world that we are most passionate about here at SEI Studios – they are Apple and Pixar.

Every day we work in Steve’s world. Whether it be showing a client a mockup from our iPad, tweeting from our iPhone, or editing the next big video project in Final Cut Pro from our Mac’s – Steve Jobs has played a significant role in our lives. We are fans of great design and nobody has done it better than Apple.

You might have noticed we like Pixar, a lot. How can you not, they produce fantastic films with great stories and amazing animation. Without the vision and backing from Steve Jobs in the early years, we might not have ever had Toy Story or the wonderful movies that followed in its footsteps. Steve helped change the world of computer graphics and animation as we know it today.

Steve was an innovator, a visionary, a husband, and a father. He is an inspiration to us here at SEI Studios and will forever impact our lives.

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

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Project Stories Pt. 4 – Chext

Yikes, seems like I’ve been typing these posts forever now. Last one, I promise!

To wrap up the highlights from our recently completed projects, we present Chext.

Chext is a new tech start-up company that was part of the Momentum program in Grand Rapids. We were first recommended to collaborate with Chext through a mutual friend and mentor, Grant Carmichael of thinkXD (thanks Grant) and the relationship we formed with the Chext team was great from the very beginning. Ryan Montgomery and Jeff Bell – the two masterminds behind Chext were great to work with and really helped us craft the vision for the project.

In short, we created 3 videos for them and designed their business cards. The videos included two testimonials/stories from avid users of their application, as well as a third video that is more of a standard introduction and promo piece for the product. All three are posted below and should give you a pretty good idea of what Chext is. If you can text, you can Chext!

Seriously though, these guys rock and Chext has a very bright future ahead of it. A great technology product with a great vision – backed by people who care about serving their customers. I started using Chext while working on this project and I haven’t stopped, it just works.

That concludes my string of blog post and stories behind our featured clients and projects! Thanks for reading along and keep an eye for all of these awesome organizations in the future!

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