As a creative professional, I am fortunate. I enjoy my work, and I get to do that work with people I like. This isn't always how it works out.
It is, in fact, an embarrassment of riches over here: I get along very well with my colleagues at Swash Labs, and I also count many of our clients as friends. This is no secret, and having a deep relationship with our clients - and I mean a real relationship that extends beyond a core understanding of their business - is important to our collaborative process and allows us to do our best work.
The city of Denton helps that happen. There are so many people with so many ideas in this town, you are hard pressed to find someone in your social circle that doesn't have one or three things going on the side, and that can be anything from a badass art collective to a full-blown startup run by two people who already had cool jobs. We're a community that honors ideas and creative thinking. Perhaps more importantly, we appreciate and encourage the desire to do your own thing, whatever it is.
For example, Denton made it possible for us to send a Little Guy to space.
Bust this: Through our generally technological nature as well as our work with the city, I came to know the lovely folks of Techmill. This a local group that highlights, cultivates, and builds community around Denton's startup culture, and they regularly bring great programming and opportunities (networking and otherwise) to the people. You don't have to be an entrepreneur to love what Techmill does, but I am so I guess I love it even more. I recognize the benefit it represents, and it had personal implications for my business.
Via Techmill, I was able to meet the guys from Kubos. Kubos is a Denton-based startup that creates "open source software for nano-satellites," so basically: welcome to the future, which you can find in my hometown. They do very cool things over there, and they are also exceptional people that I enjoy hanging out with. Hell, my daughter used to go to school with their chief scientist's kids, and I didn't even know he was sending stuff to space all the time because he isn't the kind of guy to lead with that. If it was me, I would wear a t-shirt at all times that said "I SEND STUFF TO SPACE."
(Note to self: check on changing my title to Chief Scientist?)
In their normal course of R&D, Kubos launches high altitude balloons so they can run tests on what they've been building. After seeing footage of a test flight in which they sent a Lego bro up high enough to see the curvature of the Earth, 3d printing a Little Guy and sending him to space seemed like a totally natural progression. And, true to their nature as A Rad Client Who Is Always Ready To Try New Stuff, the Little Guys were way into the whole idea.
Shooting a video in a real production environment is never easy or simple, and if you want to make something happen on a single shoot day, knowing you really only have one take with a sensitive, fragile balloon kind of amps up the tension. But the Kubos crew excelled under pressure, the Little Guys on hand helped with the launch, and our astro-mover slipped the soily bonds of Earth. Throw in a drone assist from our new friends at SFGB Motion and some beautiful photography, post, and editing from our own Andi Harman, and I think you'll agree we ended up with something quite special.
I'm proud to live in a town where something like this is possible and where Kubos can exist. I'm proud to work for clients like Little Guys Movers, who make it so that something like this can happen. I'm happy to work at a place like Swash Labs, and that's all.
See you, Space Cowboy.