Sunday April 28th, 2013
Friday March 29th, 2013
Hardest working stock photo.
Twitter, doing it right.
Bill Gates offers $100,000 for better condom.
Looks only Ryan Gosling can pull off.
AT&T turns talkative tykes into ad gold.
Before and after portraits.
Fake ads can cause real problems.
Movies you won’t believe have merchandise tie-ins.
Mohawk, mo money.
The cutest Easter photo?
- Maria Luci
Wednesday March 20th, 2013
By Maria Luci
Photographer Trey Hill is well versed in motion work, with years of experience creating documentary-style films. He’s produced almost a dozen films for non-profit organizations, as well as videos for The Dallas Stars and Shutterfly. According to Trey, these films were all “rooted in real-life situations,” and his comfort zone with video definitely ended with documentaries. However, his motion portfolio recently evolved, pushing Trey out of his comfort zone, when a unique opportunity arose from UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“Lather Up” official release:
Trey first met with UT Southwestern to chat briefly about their “overflow” media needs. Halfway through this initial get-to-know-you meeting, the UT crew exchanged looks and asked, “Should we tell him about the hand washing thing?”
The “hand washing thing” turned out to be a project that some at the hospital was very eager to pursue. However, they couldn’t agree on a creative execution, and the project kept getting tabled. Then, Samsung’s commercial, “Unleash Your Fingers“, featuring a finger tutting dancer, inspired them to pick up the idea again. The video blew Trey away, and when they asked if he could create something similar that promoted hand washing, he said yes. Later, Trey told me,
I don’t do polished, high-style stuff. I tell stories. In listening to them and trying to figure out how to do something story-centric, I came up with a basic storyline and pitched it—and they said yes. I was way out on a limb. In fact, after I pitched it, I walked out going, “how the heck am I going to do this?
Trey and his team jumped right into pre-production, to figure out just how exactly they were going to do this. Getting the creative approved by the hospital was one of the bigger hurdles to jump, since this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill medical video. But once everything was approved, Trey and two producers story-boarded each of the shots and wrangled everything needed to make each day go smoothly. The shoot was scheduled for five days in the actual hospital. For talent, they used real UT hospital staffers and doctors. “That was a fun challenge,” says Trey, adding, “Dallas choreographer Gino Johnson not only helped choreograph, but trained all the staff.” One of the only exceptions to the “real people” talent was professional dancer/tutter JayFunk, the star of the Samsung spot that inspired this film. Trey enjoyed working with JayFunk, saying, “He was dancing with a woman who spends her days as a cardiologist. I think that was one of the coolest things to witness, how he instilled her with confidence.”
Working directly with the hospital’s communication department meant that the entire shoot was a collaboration between Trey and UT—”which I love,” he says. Trey also adds, “From that standpoint, we were all pulling on the rope in the same direction and I think we all felt like we had freedom. As soon as we had to go up the chain for approvals, their were some raised eyebrows about the creative. For the most part, doctors aren’t the most creatively ambitious group. But they trusted us.”
Once the shoot days were complete, the real challenge for Trey began: post-production. He explains,
We had an approved script and worked from that, but the client was asking for changes in post that were really difficult to figure out. I brought my long-time friend and collaborator, Kevin Shivers, in to do motion GFX. He has the unique ability to translate what I see in my head into pixels on a screen. I think that initial sequence with the orb of light is massively entertaining but until we had the GFX in there, the client was worried about how things were going to turn out. That was a big source of consternation, for sure.
The other source of anxiety was music. Initially, I had wanted a post-score and they said they didn’t have budget for it. Ultimately, they saw that the track we’d settled on didn’t work and so we were able to work with Brad Dale at Dallas Audio Post on the score.When he came on-board, everyone got really excited again. I think the graphics and music were so critical to the idea, but until you see the film with those things in place, it’s hard for a client to use their imagination and expect the best.
Once the final hand washing film was complete, Trey shared with the client who was “over the moon.” Their first screening was to a room of about 25 UT staffers, packed into a conference room. Once it finished, the room was abuzz—”everyone seemed genuinely excited that the hospital had taken a pretty big creative risk.” Trey was happy to have taken on something new. “I learned a zillion new things. That’s the case with anything that gets you outside you comfort zone. I pitched the idea without thinking about what would happen. If I’d had half a brain, I would have realized how foolish that was… but, then, I wouldn’t have landed the job.”
“Lather Up” director’s cut:
“Lather Up” is now being used by UT Southwestern for a campus wide hand washing campaign.
View more of Trey’s work at squarerootofnine.com.
Tuesday January 24th, 2012
This is Trey Hill‘s fourth season shooting for the Dallas Stars. Although his work for the professional hockey team is regular, it’s far from typical. Unlike much of the on ice, sweaty and sometimes bloody shots characteristic of hockey photography, Trey—with the approval of the Stars’ innovative marketing team—takes a more unique approach to his sports photos.
According to Trey, the Dallas Stars and their marketing department recognize how important it is to offer fans a way to connect with their team beyond the game. Therefore, in 2008, they hired Trey to follow along and document a Stars’ road trip—one that included the last days of celebrated player Mike Modano as a Dallas Star,
That two game assignment—part one in Dallas, finishing in Minnesota—was full of poetry, on and off the ice. It was an incredible experience to shoot a story like that about one of the U.S.’s greatest athletes.
Trey wasn’t the only one who saw poetry in the photos. The team loved the shots, and their fans loved getting a sneak peek behind the scenes. So, the Stars have continued to bring Trey back to tell more of the story,
My relationship with the Stars is fairly unique. After seeing some of my work, they hired me to shoot a book they were producing for season seat holders. Unlike most sports photography, I didn’t focus on game action because so much of what is compelling about the sport happens away from the puck and off the ice. In that way, what I shoot for the Stars is more like the work I do internationally for non-profits than anything else.
Recently, Trey went out with the team again on another road trip. This time, he spent a week living (and shooting) the life of the pro hockey team,
On the surface, it’s amazing to travel with the Stars. They charter a beautiful plane, stay in incredible hotels, and eat really, really well. But in exchange, it’s pretty brutal work. One the most recent trip in December, I was gone for a week and averaged about four hours of sleep a night.
I look at how exhausted I am after a week of going that hard and can’t help but think about the players, coaches, PR and broadcast staff—this is their life from October to April. They do 41 away games a year and Dallas has the most grueling travel in the NHL. I feel like a wimp for saying what I did was hard, because what they do would probably kill me.
Despite the long days, Trey loves shooting for the Stars, especially with so much creative freedom. It’s a fun challenge for him to try and find fresh ways to, “see inside a pretty regimented routine…and find something new, revealing or poignant.”
Trey believes his work photographing for non-profits improves his eye and style for his sports work, and vice versa. He concludes, “It’s a great reminder that people are people.”
View more of Trey’s work on his website, squarerootofnine.com.
- Maria Luci