ALIBABA // US & CANADA DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION

Alibaba entrusted me to direct and oversee the production of the majority of their north american facing content in 2017. 

What began as a few small corporate profiles...turned into a vast amount of content produced all over the United States and Canada.

I oversaw all creative and production approaches with a staff of 10-20 freelancers, interpreted Alibaba's and individual brand's messaging, delegated to other directors, handled client and brand communication, oversaw a 24/7 cycle of edits and reviews, and made high-level budget decisions with producer Olivia Bosek...while directing on the road. I was on-call from mid-western farming fields, airports, planes, Canadian customs, and small-town bars when there weren't any coffee shops. And since our client was based in China, much of my communication with them was handled from 12-3am every night. 

Our slate of content included:

  • 13 company documentaries, 7 of which I directed. Brands included Gerber, Aldo, OtterBox, ArcTeryx, Clearwater Seafoods, Hsus's Ginseng, to name a few.
  • A mini-documentary created from 30 years of footage, which communicated Jack Ma and Alibaba's humble rise from individual with a dream, to one of the largest companies in the world. This documentary which I directed played mainstage in front of a total of 10,000 people at Alibaba's Gateway Detroit and Toronto events. 
  • Live Event Coverage at Alibaba's Gateway events—covering Jack Ma, Justin Trudeau, and other very high profile individuals—in order to provide same-day edits that could play at the events and be released online simultaneously.

Although the end deliverables were corporate, functional videos that helped small business owners see what Alibaba's services could offer them, I took the approach that every piece should be approached like a documentary film on the individuals behind each business. It was this leadership and creative approach that magnified the humanity of their goals, and made each story resonate with its audience on a personal level.

Head of Production, Director
Nathan Breton

Producer
Olivia Bosek

Coordinators / Additional Directors
Aubrey Smyth
Jaclyn Gramigna
Rebecca Litt

Accounts Director
Jaclyn Schillinger

Editors
Jonah Einstein
John Hanle
Roger Matthews
José Cota
Evan Kultangwatana
Andrew Thomas
Léa Khayata

Cinematographers
Kyle Kelley
Andi Obarski
Don Downie
Tony Ditata
Tony Reale

Chad Stum
Sarah Pierpont
Ryan Nethery
Stephen Panaggio
Bryant Fisher
Jonathan Barenboim
Jon Thomas

Agency
RAIN