SEPT 5th 2012 (Recap): Images Speak

A picture is worth a thousand words…but try saying that with a picture. – Brazilian proverb

While the power behind the ability to communicate through images has long been revered, the different ways images are used in communication are constantly being invented, combined, redefined, and rediscovered. Last Wednesday at SVII, we got a taste of the different ways that people are refining their craft of connecting with an audience through picture-based communication.

After a riveting opening performance by San Francisco-based artist, Scot Sier:

…and delectable food and drinks from the warm hosts at the Angelica’s:

..we embarked on our adventure to explore the leverage of visual media.

It started with Emilio Banuelos, a photographer whose passion is found in the stark truths that can be gleaned from everyday life:

He uses a rather small classic camera because he knows that it is unintrusive and puts his subjects at ease. In order to get authentic images of the way people live, he enters their environments and lives and travels with them (having spent time in Mexico and traveled across the country in a Greyhound bus). When photographing someone, it is important for Emilio that the subject also feels that they are treated with respect and knows that he values their time.  This, in the end, also leads to better pictures:

Our next presenter was Christos Chrestatos, a filmmaker and creative director from New York City:

He took us deep into the process behind the making of one of his music videos, “The Hard Way,” by Gotham Green and Quickie Mart:

Christos reminded us that we naturally move towards things that we love and that make us feel loved, and that unconditional love for your client’s project is also necessary in order to discover and draw out the potential behind a brand’s identity (which is ultimately also a reflection of the owner).  He also drove home the importance of uniqueness supported by rationality (doing things differently, but always in a way that makes sense) when generating creative concepts for a new client.  In this video, he uses broad symbolic imagery in a way that is not typical in the hip-hop music scene. His inspiration comes partially from myths and epic movies that he has been fascinated by in the past; Such experiences give him a deep well to draw ideas from for the projects that he works on now.

Our final speaker was Max Sims, author and expert in Maya, graphic artist, professor, designer and entrepreneur:

He does many things, but the driving force is always innovating and creating. He gave us insight into how you analyze images (and objects) based on the emotions that they elicit–and how to actively design for different emotions. (For example, sports cars tend to evoke strong emotions due to their tendency to value flair over balance in their designs; This manner of taking shapes to their extremes serves the alternative purpose of sports cars which is to double as fashion pieces.) To learn some more from Max, check out:

Of course, we then concluded the evening with a dynamic panel discussion led by our own dashing chairman and founder, Howard Lieberman:

In a way, the evening we had at the Angelica’s was like a history (and projection into the future) of image making–starting off with classic replica making (photography), moving on to directing and integrating (film), and finishing with an elaborate form of creating images from the ground up and inside out (graphic design and modeling). The bottom line? There is still much more to learn and discover about the possibilities behind image making and its unbounded potential to establish meaningful and generative human connections.

To join in on our next adventure together, Greased Lightning!, sign up here: 

And as always…Keep innovating!

– SVII Team

SEPT 5th 2012: Images Speak – The Leverage of Media

(Making a Connection with Those Who Count Through Emotional Relevance)

Date: Sept 5, 2012, 7PM 

Location: The Angelica’s, 863 Main St., Redwood City, CA 94063

Tickets: $15 (Early Bird – Ends 8/28), $20 (Pre-Registration), $25 (At the Door)

– Get an inside glimpse at the speakers’ broad range of personal experiences that has shaped their use of imagery to evoke emotion through different mediums.   

– Be inspired by each speaker’s unique thought and creative processes.

– Learn how to use the power of personal emotion to accomplish YOUR goals, to make your messages more significant and poignant, and to convey the hidden meaning that crosses cultural and language barriers.

At the conclusion of the speakers’ presentations, our founder and chairman, Howard Lieberman, will moderate a panel discussion – where YOU can pick the brains of Emilio, Christos, and Max for what promises to be some of the most inspiring and thought provoking conversations centered around this theme. Prepare to be inspired as we share great ideas, great food, and great networking with a group of like-minded innovators like yourself!

6:30 – Registration (Networking)
7:00 – Dinner and Entertainment (Scot Sier)
8:00 – Main Program
9:00 – Speakers Panel Q&A
9:30 – Wrap-Up (Networking till close at 10:30)
Emilio Bañuelos
Photography Instructor (Academy of Art University)

Emilio Bañuelos has worked as an editorial photographer and consultant for newspapers in Mexico, Panama and the US. His documentary work earned him fellowships from the Poynter Institute, the Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography and an award from EnFoco Inc. In the San Francisco bay area, Emilio teaches documentary photography for the Academy of Art University, and has conducted workshops for the University of California Santa Cruz-Extension and the University of Coahuila and Black Boots Ink.

Christos Chrestatos
Director / Creative Director (Thoughtpusher)
Christos Chrestatos is an experienced filmmaker and director, and also the creative director for Thoughtpusher, a New York City based creative shop specializing in commercials, music videos, fashion films, and “hybrid advertising”.  His work has been featured in the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, XLR8R (leading voice in independent electronic music for the US and many top international markets), RES Magazine (bi-monthly publication chronicling the best in cutting edge film, music, art, design and culture), as well as TV channels in countries like Japan, Canada, and Germany.  Christos draws his inspiration from a curiosity towards the human condition, his love for mythology, and an appetite to create meaning;  He believes strongly in the universal language of imagery (and its ability to resonate with individuals), as well as the power of the narrative in bridging the gaps of global culture.

Max Sims
Principal (Technolution)
Max Sims started his career as a car designer at Opel and Renault then transitioning to the Visual FX industry. In 1989 he started working for Alias Research . Max has consulted to many of the leading manufacturers, design consultancies and VFX/animation houses such as Alessi, ILM, Pixar, Motorola, Sun, and Apple IDG. He is the lead author of Inside Maya 5 and has been teaching Maya and Alias Studio at the Academy of Art since 1994 and Cogswell Polytechnical College since 2000. He is an advisory board member to Multiverse networks, Caustic Graphics and the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute.


8/1/12 Announcement:
We are ecstatic about our lineup of speakers this September 5th.  We will be opening our season with one of the hottest topics in the Valley, especially for THIS moment in history – How imagery can help bring your ideas to life, and ultimately “seal the deal” as your message rides the silver bullet of emotional relevancy for your audience.

Joining us will be Emilio Banuelos, experienced journalistic photographer and professor in the poignant art of documentary photography; Max Sims,  3D Modeler and Designer extraordinaire (from toys to Ferraris!); and special guest from New York City – Christos Chrestatos, Director/Creative Director of Thoughtpusher, rising star in cutting-edge advertising and messaging through film and media.

Look out for more info on our incredible lineup of speakers coming up, and reserve your tickets today!