You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.


San Francisco, CA

Story by Bokeh Inc. November 22nd, 2014

Call Time: Early

Good morning and welcome to an empty studio. While most were prepping bowls of candy for the onslaught of little ghouls and goblins likely to wind up on their doorsteps, we were hard at work unloading grip trucks and assembling furniture. As thousands prepared to descend into the city of San Francisco to celebrate the 2014 World Series Champion Giants, we built sets and staged lights from a comfortably secluded studio in the Dogpatch. It was October 31, Halloween, and today’s production for the Visa Design Studio was now underway.

dogpatch studio 2.jpg
dogpatch studio 3.jpg
dogpatch studio 4.jpg

When It gets real

It is all fun a games until you are asked to sit in for hair and make-up. Our subjects are not actors. They are designers and storytellers from Visa. They are used to painting on an empty canvas. Being the canvas for our MUA however is a bit outside their comfort zone. Of course, Jonathan’s watchful eye and bubbly personality can help ease even the most untempered anxieties.
dogpatch studio 8.jpg
dogpatch studio 5.jpg
dogpatch studio 9.jpg
dogpatch studio 19.jpg


It is amazing how much time and attention-to-detail goes into every shot. Proper composition is an art form that requires lighting, camera, and set design to all work together in harmony. Our director, Faisal, had a very particular way he thought to use color to add an element of “design” into our design team interviews. Each piece of the set was carefully positioned, then assessed on the monitor to see how it looks in frame. After nudging the chair an inch to the left, and scooching the lamp a bit to the right, we were finally ready to start rolling.

dogpatch studio 24.jpg
dogpatch studio 12.jpg
dogpatch studio 7.jpg
dogpatch studio 13.jpg

Picture up, Roll Sound, Speed, Action!


Visa Design Studio

When you think of “design” do you think of Visa? Most people see Visa as a financial institution; as a piece of plastic in their wallet. The young, enthusiastic team of designers, developers, and storytellers at the Visa Design Studio are trying to change that perception. In the process, they seem poised to help rethink payments and shape new consumer experiences. Their philosophy is guided by four core concepts: craftsmanship, vision, creativity and collaboration.

Inspired by their approach, our team used lighting, set design, and color to help bring the Visa Design Studio’s DNA to the surface. Faisal carefully constructed the questions for each interview. Our goal was to learn where the VDS team finds their inspiration, why design is important to them personally, and ultimately, why we should pay attention. We wanted to coax out their team’s philosophy through the personal experiences of three individuals: Greg, the Lead Visual Designer; Myra, the Lead Communication Designer; and Kevin, the Vice President of Design.

dogpatch studio 16.jpg
dogpatch studio 1.jpg
dogpatch studio 6.jpg
dogpatch studio 20.jpg
dogpatch studio 22.jpg

Happiness is a Zeiss Lens

Josh was in his element. It is not always easy to control the variables when you are out-in-the-field. Inside an empty studio though, everything can be manipulated. Lighting, sound, camera - our team decided not to make compromises. We wanted this production on-set to be benchmark for our future projects. So we thought outside the box, how can we make interviews more dynamic, more visual? Then we went to work.

Of course, as quickly as it goes up, it is time to tear down. After three interviews and a full-day of production it was time to strike the lights, tear down the set, and pack up our gear.

Relief would be the wrong word to describe how we felt. Exhilarated or exuberant might better cover it. Were we tired: most definitely. But we were also inspired.

Our team has had the opportunity to travel around the world doing what we love. That said, nothing replaces the feeling of being inside the studio. No more than a year ago we were running-and-gunning with DLSRs, doing whatever we could to work with bigger clients on bigger projects. Bigger projects mean bigger budgets; bigger budgets mean less constraints to creativity; less constraints means we can now start to telling a story our way. That is an exciting proposition, and our at Bokeh cannot wait to see what’s in store for us next!

Until next shoot…

Footnote: Check out the completed video at
San Francisco, CA