Dan Passante on
May 10, 2023
Dan Passante on
May 10, 2023
April is Armenian History Month, and during this time, the Aces were working on a project that is close to home for all Armenian people.
On December 12th, 2022, Azerbaijani forces blocked the Lachin corridor, creating a humanitarian crisis for 120,000 civilians in Artsakh, the vast majority being Armenian.
“The Artsakh Blockade Exhibit” is a project we’re donating to raise awareness about the ongoing blockade in Artsakh. Akullian Creative is proud of its Armenian heritage. Rich and his family are a part of the diaspora of Armenia, along with an estimated seven million people in over 100 countries.
To raise awareness through our video, animation and design skills, we developed a story that included trying some new things in our professional video studio on Wolf Road, Studio A. Despite this, some things never change: we used our Sony FX3 as the main camera, put our jib to use for smooth movements around the studio, and turned on our Aputure lights to make the room look great.
From this starting point, we added new elements to our production. See how we turned Studio A into “The Artsakh Blockade Exhibit.”
If the “Fake-Wall Store” had a sale, we may have opted for that route, but the white sheet got the job done at the right price.
We used our grip to hang a white sheet from a pole running parallel to the wall in Studio A, giving us an insta-white wall. From there, we used fishing line to “hang” our art on the “wall.” With the right lighting, you don’t know the difference.
As if the degree of production difficulty isn’t high enough, we put magnets on the back of the artwork and within the white sheet to literally make it seem as if its on the wall. To pull the sheet tight and get the wrinkles out, we added a wooden runner along the bottom, getting the look we need and earning us style points.
Every art gallery has a wood floor, and every fake art gallery has a fake-plastic wood floor. We don’t make the rules, we just follow them.
We love the black floor for 180vsME workout videos produced in Studio A, but it doesn’t fit for this project. In the end, we got the look we were going for.
This kind of prop takes time, and this one was done in three acts. After finding a map, we went from there.
Next, we researched exactly where the Armenian Diaspora has led people around the world. Then, we put pins into the map and tied yarn connecting each spot to Armenia, creating the visual representation we wanted for the diaspora.
We used our Cricut machine to make the “Armenian Diaspora” words, a tool we love to use that personalizes the props we make in our studio.
Finally, we made our map “pop” by having the middle slightly stick out, giving it a slight 3D look. Not only do we want to show off our cool map, but this is a key part of our story focused on the Armenian Diaspora, we want it to draw attention.
Believe it or not, but the “Artsakh” sign above the artwork was actually added in editing. Check out this behind-the-scenes photo for proof:
Leaving blank space is a skill we’ve developed after many years of video projects. We customize many of our props, but sometimes, adding elements of our story after gathering footage can make the production time shorter without adding time to post-production.
In this case, the decision to add the sign after production gave us more flexibility, freeing it up for us to put anything there. We were creating a logo anyway, so there was no problem putting it in after the shoot.
Going into production, we knew this shot was essential to tying the story together. The mirror represents the Armenian identity that lives within those who are part of the Armenian diaspora. This shot would not have been possible without our incredible actresses.
Isabel Kubikian and her daughter Jackie are proud of their Armenian heritage. Following the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, the Kubikians collected winter clothing to donate to children affected by the conflict. Thank you to Isabel and Jackie for their contributions to our project and the Armenian cause overall.
To pull off the final call to action, we needed the severity of this crisis to become clear. Jackie did a great job, and we are proud of the outcome.
Now is the time to act. Donate to the Children of Armenia Fund and support those affected by the blockade in Artsakh. We welcome anyone to share our project and help raise awareness.