Learning Labs convening in Choctaw, Mississippi
(The WK Kellogg Foundation)


Learning Labs is a national movement to radically improve early learning (birth to age 5) for all children in the United States.

Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the movement consists of a partnership of four innovative, diverse organizations across the country. In May of 2012, they came together in Choctaw to teach, share and dream for a better future for all American children. They also took time to remember those who worked to pave this road in a past, not so long ago, when such efforts were anything but welcome.

Dog and Pony produced, directed and documented this event.

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Sweet 16 (Quixtar)

A frying pan, lipstick, laundry detergent, shampoo, health magnets, an herbal supplement, a water filter, anti-aging cream…….
How do you connect 16 of a company’s best-selling products? Write a snappy tune, throw some actors in a studio with a bunch of props, add cake and call it “Sweet 16.”

This video opened a marketing CD-ROM for Quixtar (aka Amway Corp.) which focused sales efforts on 16 top selling products. Dog and Pony produced the CD-ROM as well as the film.


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Pathways (Steelcase Inc.)

This is a piece I am still most proud of today for the mere fact that I survived its creation. For those who’ve experienced childbirth, this film was the equivalent of delivering elephant triplets drug free in the middle of the plains during a stampede of screaming zebras.

If you enjoy shaggy dog tales, here’s one for you.

Once upon a turn of the century, an office furniture company planned to introduce its most revolutionary new product at Neocon. Exactly one month before, I was asked to create and produce a product concept film with a couple tiny minor glitches…there was no concept and there were no current product installations. In addition to the glitches there were a couple simple requests. The piece was to be shot on film (you remember…the stuff made of celluloid) and it had to have an original score. In all respect to the client, they left the door to the conference room open throughout the meeting. I was free to run at any time.

What can we shoot? “Buildings,” I said. “And people, lot’s of people.” And so we set out to shoot buildings and people between here and Chicago except that it turned out to be the rainiest spring in recent history and our first trip to the windy er rainy city was a disaster and we had to go back and reshoot. While REshooting in Chicago, I was informed that we had one and only one opportunity to shoot product being installed in GR and that opportunity would be first thing the following morning. So while shooting on the streets of Chicago, I arranged for the entire crew and all gear to move to Grand Rapids that night so we could seize that opportunity the next morning.

But it didn’t end there…

We returned to Grand Rapids for our product shoot which was in a new (aka under construction) building with mud for landscaping in the middle of another torrential rain. We had two generators for lights and the cables had to be fed through that mud up through the windows on the second floor of the pretty new office building…new carpet, new chairs new fabric panels, new, new, new. Good thing we had all those lights since this was a glass building and the sun had been completely snuffed out by the big scary severe thunderstorm clouds that rolled through all day long. The other little issue was the fact that the furniture was being installed as we were shooting because real people were moving in the next day. Thank god for Steelcase installers. They are always a gem to work with and together we came up with a plan of attack that kept the installers on schedule and allowed us to get plenty of great footage. For the record, not a drop of mud or blood was spilled that day.

And so the shoot wrapped, the film was transferred, the edit went off without too many hitches or client revisions, and the music? Well that’s another story for another day.



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Ibocs (Quixtar)

Ibocs was a radically new concept just a few short years ago…unified communications on your phone or computer. Something we take for granted now.

For those of us who grew up waiting by the phone or computer, this was a peek into the near future.

Produced for Quixtar (aka Amway Corp.), this piece opened a product launch CD-ROM which also included a brief product tutorial. Dog and Pony produced both the film and CD-ROM.


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Atmosphere (Quixtar)

Quixtar (aka Amway Corp.) planned to announce the launch of its latest air purification system, “Atmosphere,” during a convention of its largest IBOs (Independent Business Owners) at a high-end convention center. The auditorium where this piece was to be shown had a top notch audio visual set-up so we decided to produce this piece in high definition…real high definition from shooting through editorial and projection…a medium similar to 35mm film.

We incorporated special effects and an intriguing visual style to make the most of the technology. The result? A two-minute sales piece good enough for the big screen.


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If (Haworth Inc.)

What if…
you were called by a new client?
What if…
they were launching a new product line?
What if…
you were given a great budget?
What if…
you were given plenty of time and a lot of creative freedom?

What if…
pigs flew?
Well sometime they do;)


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WorkLab Preview (Steelcase Inc.)

Office furniture leader, Steelcase Inc., converts an older manufacturing facility on its Grand Rapids campus into a “work lab” for its dealers and customers. What is a “work lab” you ask? You know, same as any lab except with chairs and worksurfaces instead of test tubes and beakers and stuff. A place to experiment, watch, ask and learn.

A short aside…the final shoot day coincided with the final product installation and finishing phase of construction. We were preparing for the big premiere to the dealers scheduled for the next morning. Needless to say we were ALL under a bit of pressure. Solid team work and choreography were crucial to complete both the video and the space. Take a good look at the large beauty shots. Hard to believe there were dozens of workers installing, wiring, painting etc. just behind the camera.


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Double X (Quixtar)

Double X has been the flagship product of the Nutrilite company and Amway since 1948. The formula and marketing tools for this ever popular supplement are refreshed on a regular basis. In this case, we focused on the benefits of today’s Double X for the challenges of today’s “Real Life.”

This piece was the sales element of a comprehensive DVD that also included a video on the history of the product and a video on the science behind the product.

Some Beatles-like folklore: There are actually 2 versions of this video. The first version was much edgier and grittier…more like, well, real life. This is the tamed-down version that made it through layers of corporate approval. You won’t find our first attempt on this web site but with a wink and a nudge and the code word “Conquistador”…maybe just maybe…

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MI Climb (State of Michigan)

The Michigan Department of Education went beyond books, pens and paper to help its teachers navigate the tangle of state and nationwide benchmarks they are accountable for every day. This video introduced an extensive CD-ROM training tool designed to help teachers incorporate these outside requirements into their curriculums in a way that led to success from the student level through the administrative level.


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