Narrative Short films for Cyber Security

The last few months, we’ve been grateful for the opportunity to combine corporate, commercial and narrative filmmaking into a few very exciting projects for one of our top clients. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter and client relationships, we’re unable to post the final videos or too many details about the project, but we essentially set out to produce some short narrative films about diabolical cyber hackers being fended off by elite government agencies in order to paint a picture of a cyber attacks, a looming and very relevant threat in today’s business and political landscape.

To rise to the task, Maestro scaled up to a full crew, with director Charles Morabito at the helm and Bill Burke as Dir. of Photography. We filmed every where from in studio, to 30th Street Station, to Center City corporate offices, to our neighbors offices at 215 Marketing, and the USS United States in South Philly which doubled as our “abandoned hacker lair.” Hoping to be able to share some version of the project in the future, but in the mean time, enjoy some behind the scenes photos below which were posted to our Instagram account.

Scouting all day at some epic locations.

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Cyber hackers in full swing. On set aboard the SS United States. #maestrofilmworks

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Behind the scenes from a recent film. SWAT team preps to storm an abandoned cruise ship. #maestrofilmworks : @ssharrington

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Nearing the finish line for “Americano”

For those of you that have been following the production of our short political thriller we’ve produced with Consurgo Films, we’re excited to announce that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Our goal has always been to submit to the festival circuit and we’re a few steps closer to wrapping on post production and begin submitting.

Ed Cipolla, our lead editor on the film, spent countless hours in the edit suite with director Tim Viola to lock picture over the last few weeks so that Tim and producer, Kris Mendoza could head to LA to jump into finishing. Color and VFX were done over at FX Studios and are near completion.

Late night edit sesh for @americanofilm. #maestrofilmworks #consurgofilms

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Upon completion of color and VFX, the film is coming back to Philly for scoring and a final sound mix. Christian Mariano, a Bucks County native now living in Queens, NY is slated to compose original music for the film and the final Shake Audio over at Milk Boy.

It’s been exciting to see the film really begin to come alive with all of the final elements coming together. We look forward to circling back and updating our cast, crew, and Kickstarter backers on the road ahead with the festival circuit.

Late night color session on the left coast for @americanofilm.

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DNA Simple: “Speeding up science with you”

We are happy to announce our recent collaboration with a local Philly based startup in the Healthcare & Science field. DNAsimple is one of the most buzzed-about companies in the fascinating area of genetic research, and it has been fantastic for us to collaborate with such an exciting client.

DNAsimple is “the match-maker of the genetic research world”, matching-up interested users with relevant DNA research studies that are seeking donors. Their streamlined platform is free and easy to use, 100% anonymous, and automatically informs you any time you qualify for a study. For nothing more than the completion of a home saliva kit, all donors are fairly compensated any time they decide to contribute to a study.

The mission of DNAsimple is to enable donors to double the pace of genetic research, bringing cures and treatments to millions of people much earlier than they could otherwise be provided. The combination of cutting-edge scientific research with an intuitive, easy-to- use platform is what has helped DNAsimple gain such great buzz in a competitive, burgeoning field. Co-founder and CEO, Olivier Noel, was featured on the 2017 Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 list for Science, in addition to prominent write-ups the company has received in BuzzFeed, The Boston Globe, and Philadelphia Magazine, among others.

The Maestro team produced a video for DNAsimple which will be used by the startup on their website, social media, and eventually even in a broadcast spot. We couldn’t be happier with the final product, and with the fact that we helped to contribute to DNAsimple’s goal of furthering the field of genetic research, and ultimately improving the lives of millions of Americans.

DNAsimple has been featured in stories by multiple media outlets, often touted as a leader in the emerging biorights movement. Visit dnasimple.org to learn more about the cutting-edge research going on at DNAsimple, or to sign up today.

Check back at the Maestro blog soon as we’ll be highlighting some of our most exciting projects yet!

Meet our Summer Interns!


(Photos: Anjelika Rivera, Maestro Filmworks)

Meet our Summer 2017 Interns! Or as they’ve currently named themselves “Working Title Pictures” for the summer. Eurica (Temple University), Joey (Temple University), and Morgan (Emerson College) have been coming in a few days a week to work on their summer project, which is to produce a short documentary for a non-profit we sponsor, Stay True. (You can read all about our involvement with Stay True over the last 6 years in a recent post.)

From their first day of icebreakers and activities in the office, the three have been hard at work learning as much as they can about production while PA’ing on some film sets and also assisting in the day to day of the office. In order for them to embark on capturing the footage for their summer project, they were tasked to create a short project so they could get familiar with the camera and gear package they would have access to during their time here. They were given one full day to brainstorm a concept and film a short project, and the only stipulations were 1) they had to film in our studio and 2) they had to use as much of the gear as possible. The below is what ensued. We’re proud to present, on behalf of our summer intern, a short film, entitled Void.


 

VOID

by Eurica Yu, Morgan Sage, and Joey Tighue

We’ll make sure to loop back here and update you with their final summer project which will be screening on August 31st at a Gallery Show for Stay True here in our studio.

Gaining market recognition. Award season is upon us.

Written by Maddie Allard. Photos by Max Grudzinski.

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The 2017 awards season is upon us, and Maestro Filmworks is seeing great success. Below are the awards we’ve won (so far):

Elevate by Psych Congress

ADCP Louix Award – Art Director’s Club of Philadelphia

2017 Best Corporate Video

Watch Here: https://vimeo.com/188305125

 

Making an Impact That Matters – Deloitte

AVA Digital Awards

2017 Platinum Winner – Viral Video for Company

Watch Here: https://vimeo.com/122474228 

 

Head of the Charles Regatta – BNY Mellon

AVA Digital Awards

2017 Gold Winner – Documentary

Watch Here: https://vimeo.com/142299836

 

Financial Technology – Deloitte

AVA Digital Awards

2017 Honorable Mention – Marketing

Watch Here: https://vimeo.com/198229503

 

Elevate by Psych Congress

Hermes Creative Awards

2017 Platinum Winner – Medical Category

Watch here: https://vimeo.com/188305125

 

Project Cavite – Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)

Hermes Creative Awards

2017 Honorable Mention – Non-Profit Category

Watch here: https://vimeo.com/186507056

 

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Office & studio renovations complete!

Written by Andrew Vigna. Photos by Max Grudzinski.

Our office renovations are finally finished! After beginning in January, we have expanded our studio to have an additional 900 square foot standalone space (finally, space to do cartwheels and our jobs!)

Our new state-of-the-art studio features a freshly renovated interior with smart office features and way more natural light. We’ve also included super important things such as a communal snack bar and two bathrooms. At Maestro, we believe in the importance of having the right creative spaces available for our staff in order to cultivate the most lively creative collaboration. We also added a new conference room and client meeting area which features vintage film and Philly décor.

These new digs allow for open collaboration and a more easygoing workflow for our growing team. With the new upgrades to our space, we have enhanced our technical capabilities and efficiency, while giving our team more room to do their thing.

 

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Designing creative spaces

Maestro Filmworks is happy to announce some new upgrades and renovations to our workspace! As a creatively driven team, we believe in always pushing our limits and spurring creativity in new directions. As our company continues to evolve, so must our work environment. That is why we will be expanding our current studio (Philly Photo Studio) to a new 900 square ft standalone space next door.

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Our new state-of-the-art studio will feature a freshly renovated interior, which we have been hard at work designing. Our team will also benefit from new smart office features and way more natural light. At Maestro, we believe in the importance of having the right creative spaces available for our staff in order to cultivate the most lively creative collaboration.

We’re also adding a new conference room and client meeting area, which is being designed with a vintage film and historic Philadelphia theme that we are very excited about!

After the renovations, we’ll be hooked up with some powerful smart office features, including Amazon Echo, smart lighting and thermostats via Philips Hue and Nest, and wireless HDMI meeting spaces for easy, wire-free collaboration. Our edit suite and office will also be getting a makeover, allowing for more workstations and an improved work-flow. With new gear comes new creative horizons to explore!

We are committed to providing our growing team with a work environment that will inspire creativity and new ideas. With the new upgrades to our space, we are enhancing our technical capabilities and efficiency, while giving our team more room to develop projects and collaborate.

We can’t wait to share our upcoming work with you, developed in our new and improved space. Check back for more updates and images of our new digs!

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FIMRC: Project Cavite

We are super excited to share a short film that we just wrapped on, entitled Project Cavite. Our Executive Producer & Founder, Kris Mendoza, documented his experience while on a medical relief mission in the Philippines this past August and produced a mini documentary on his time there. For more on the project, read the short message from Kris and check out the video below!

Every so often, there comes a project that changes you — whether it’s the subject matter, the circumstances the shoot may have endured, a learning moment, or the impact you were able to make along the way. In the case of Project Cavite, it was all of the above.

In August of 2016, my wife, Melodee, my future sister-in-law, Norilene, and I all had the opportunity to go on a medical mission with the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children or FIMRC, a Philadelphia based organization that has a vast global reach with sites in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uganda as well. It was a destination close to home for all three of us, as we got to go to the Philippines for 10 days to help medical and social workers on the ground in the rural provinces outside of Manila.

Our family vacations to the Philippines usually include shopping at malls, visiting touristy attractions, and lounging on the beach with a tropical cocktail, so to come to the Philippines with an entirely different mindset and purpose was refreshing. It was equally inspiring to see the resilience and resourcefulness of the Filipino people and what they are capable of with very limited resources. To visit the impoverished areas and be able to make an impact in our short time there was nothing short of fulfilling and to see another side of the Philippines that we aren’t used to seeing, and still finding the beauty of the country is an unforgettable experience altogether.

I was lucky enough to tag along as a non-medical volunteer and document the daily happenings and be able to tell the story in the best way I know how. The short film below is a culmination of our 10 days onsite, operating as volunteers with FIMRC. I highly recommend the experience to any one looking for global volunteer opportunities, as they really did a great job in organization and local logistics during our time there.

Special thanks to FIMRC for the opportunity, Maureen, our field operations manager on site, and to our Senior Editor, Edward Cipolla for really helping to craft the narrative in the edit room.

-Kris Mendoza, Executive Producer, Maestro Filmworks

To support the great humanitarian work FIMRC is doing, please visit the following link:
http://www.fimrc.org/give

Project Cavite from Maestro Filmworks on Vimeo.

Director/DP: Kris Mendoza
Editor: Ed Cipolla
Graphics: Andrew Czudak
Music: Premium Beat

#BEATLUNGCANCER

This Saturday, Team Maestro joined the fight against lung cancer and succeeded in exceeding our fundraising goal of $1,000 by raising a total $2,530 for the Bonnie J. Addario “Your Next Step is the Cure” 5k.

It was so inspiring to see everyone out there hitting the pavement and being active TOGETHER.

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A little bigger than last year, Team Maestro cleaned up in the 30-39 Men’s division with Asa, Kris, Geoff, Paul, and Yev sweeping the top 5 and again in the Women’s division where Eleonore and Ashley also took first place in their age groups. Shoutout to Joanna, Artina, Clay, and Tom who all placed top 5 in their age groups. Congrats to Yev for taking 5th overall and 1st in his age group and the biggest hat tip to Bill Burke for taking 1st in his age group as well and leaving us youngin’s in the dust!

Also, kudos to Andrew Czudak for winning a brand new FitBit Flex after taking the top fundraising spot with $660 raised!

A big thanks to our spectators, family, and friends who truly motivated the team throughout the run and a huge thank you to our official team photographer, Steven. We’re all so glad we were able to have fun while making a difference for a great cause in the process, this year’s 5k festivities were definitely some for the books. We’re already looking forward to next year’s!

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Participant shirts were provided in partnership by Team F*Cancer (#teamfcancer), an endurance sport team charity that was established in 2007 by a friend of Maestro Filmworks.