Branding Your Company

The Bargain

I’m a bartering horse-trading kind of a guy so when I sense an opportunity to “transact a little business” I jump on it. It’s always no if you don’t try, the odds only go up from there, right? This was the case in 2014. As the official photographer I was wandering around our neighborhood documenting our biennial historic homes tour when I happened upon one of the vendors we invite to share their wares and expertise with our guests and homeowners: boutique teas, coffee, pastries, home repair businesses and the like. Scott Campbell the owner of Window Repair and Restoration is accommodating, affable and most important for me was interested in my proposal from the jump. His company works a lot in Pasadena due to its large number of historical homes. My 113 year-old home had 17 double-hung windows, painted shut with sash cords cut. Many of them were shut crooked and painted in place. Our drafty home had higher than-we-should-have energy bills.

Scott listened intently to my offer; I’d make a branding film in exchange for tuning-up my windows. In subsequent phone calls and emails, we struck an agreement.

The Process

As in all film production sites visits are necessary for developing shot lists. Understanding what goes on in the shop, meeting the on-camera employees and assessing the technical requirements for lighting and sound were crucial to this end. At my home it was measuring for the windows that needed rebuilding and looking for rot. Newer contemporary windows installed years earlier were to be replaced with custom built era-appropriate windows. In order to maximize the beauty of my garden for outside foreground shots we scheduled the work for spring. Ironically none of that footage made it into the film but here’s a  blooming shot:  

That’s part of film production however, not every shot makes the cut. It’s all about serving the story.

Just for fun though, here’s one motion control sequence that I couldn’t fit in:


The challenge was what to include that makes the case for Scott’s company as an efficient, friendly and professional service. As is my custom when I am unfamiliar with a process be it window tune-ups, assembly of a 60K closed die forging press (password is WM60KS) or light through stained glass, I’ve been fortunate to document I got plenty of coverage. Normally a job like the one Window Restoration and Repair did for me is a 2 days but they obliged my need to film certain tasks in specific ways in order to tell their story properly and this added a third day. What can I say I’m an artist!

Enjoy the film and thanks for reading.


Michael Stern

My work depicts, appreciates and honors the people who build. Their specialized equipment and stunning challenges are marvels I behold and get paid to interpret. Hope you enjoy this site.
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