Honoring the Man Who’s Won Everything

August 18, 2016 by  
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Jack Nicklaus just got done playing in the Turning Point Invitational here in Detroit — a tournament that ended up raising over $3.2 million dollars for education in the city.

The kids at Cornerstone Schools wanted a way to honor him.

So we produced the modern equivalent of a school play based on the great man’s life.

We had fun with it.


The kids researched his life and the arc of movie trailers. We helped them set up a green screen in the school and spent the afternoon playing with wigs and hitting invisible golf balls.

Then we recruited a stellar video arts student from CCS who was looking to get more experience in green screen animation.

It was a major win for everyone.

…and, I’ve gotta say- before this, I had no idea Jack Nicklaus did so much for charity. And in Detroit, no less. A city he is neither from nor frequently visits. Pretty incredible.

Take note, Hollywood. This man’s earned a big budget release. Let’s talk.


Play the video here:

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Lovely, handcrafted and fat free: Our 2016 reel is here!

July 7, 2016 by  
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We are pretty pumped with how this latest reel of ours came out. We sure had fun making it. Sure had fun shooting all this material over the last year or so, too. From forests to parking lots to hockey rinks to cubicle-laden offices to street festivals… might say we got around a little bit. So sit back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds. Hugs and kisses,

– DL!

Music: Disclosure – Magnets ft. Lorde (Jon Hopkins Remix)

2016 Showreel from Detroit Lives! on Vimeo.

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Our latest job postings. Apply!

April 8, 2016 by  
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After a year that brought exciting work with two new fortune 50 clients and a big move into the newly remodeled offices of the former Detroit Stock Exchange, we are looking to hire for the following positions:

– A business development and sales professional
– A video editor
– 2-3 people for a new summer internship program

We like to think of DL! as a band- each person has room to solo with their unique capabilities and expertise, and when it comes time to lay down that baseline groove, we operate as a unit. This requires humility, open-mindedness and the utmost respect for everyone in the studio.  This is something we take very seriously, and at the forefront of our hiring is bringing someone in that works well in that kind of environment.

Our Team (The Band):  Each new project brings its own mix of freelancers and collaborators, but a few key people are responsible for the day-to-day operations of Detroit Lives!

  • Philip Lauri – executive producer, partner: chiefly responsible for steering the messaging and developing the vision of client projects, all sales and business development, business operations, producing client projects with Steven Oliver.
  • Steven Oliver – director, partner: leads project vision with Philip, directs all commercial shoots and serves as lead story-editor in post-production.
  • Logan Siegel – production manager: breaks-down shooting scripts, coordinates crews and equipment, and serves as an assistant editor.
  • Lunar North – Our sibling studio. An independently operated animation and motion graphics studio, sharing space and resources in the Detroit Stock Exchange.

Details on each individual job we are hiring for are below.

The Business Development/Sales Pro

Allow us to get a little jargon-y as we tell you about the job.

Chief responsibilities:

  • Generate new relationships for Detroit Lives! resulting in $250,000 to $500,000 of work in year one.   The idea is that year 1 would require a significant building process, as a result, year two expectations would be higher.
  • Manage the new client relationships, to some degree (specifics to be worked out with Executive Producer, Philip Lauri)
  • Communicate with DL! team regarding business development priorities and progress.

The ideal candidate has:

  • Relationships with ad agencies and national brands.
  • A proven track record of generating and growing new relationships for advertising work.
  • An ability to understand client needs and participate in the idea generation phase (as needed).
  • An awesome attitude – and a hunger to grow the DL! Business.

Responsibilities, qualifications, jargon… those are all important. But we also recognize that everyone’s an individual. We have our needs as a company. Period. And as long as those needs are met, we’re happy to discuss the rest.

The Business Development Manager would report to Philip, and work collaboratively with the other team members.

Compensation: Negotiable. We offer a base monthly salary as well as an agreed-upon share of the adjusted gross income (AGI) on each new piece of business brought in. Alternatively, we offer a higher share of the AGI and no base salary.

Interested?  Please send a resume and cover letter telling us a story about yourself to: talk@detroitlives.com

The Editor

DL! is a small and nimble studio that’s growing fast. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s rewarding. For those editors looking for the chance to break out of the mold, reimagine their medium and make their mark in the industry– this is that chance.

Chief responsibilities:

  • Bring a visual narrative to life – from start to finish – based on established editorial direction
  • Edit with Premiere Pro (and the Creative Cloud suite)
  • Incorporate basic text and motion animations via AfterEffects
  • Work with the DL! team (primarily Steven Oliver and Philip Lauri) to establish the editorial direction of the project
  • Communicate effectively with the larger DL! team on progress and hurdles
  • Be able to communicate effectively with agency clients representing DL!

The ideal candidate has:

  • Absolute wizardry with Premiere Pro
  • 2-5 years of video editing experience in a professional capacity, ideally doing commercial work in advertising
  • An ability to understand client needs and participate in the idea generation phase (as needed)
  • Independence and self-drive to imagine radical and eye-popping solutions in the edit
  • Flexibility and openness to feedback and client notes
  • An ability to juggle multiple projects on a fast-paced timeline
  • A basic understanding of AfterEffects

Skill sets aside, we want to work with innovative, enthusiastic editors who love to push the envelope when it comes to storytelling and the overall artform of editing.

The Editor would report to Steven, and work collaboratively with the other team members.

Compensation: Negotiable based upon experience. Full time, following a successful 3-month trial period (part-time arrangements could also be made).

Interested?  Please send a resume and cover letter telling us a story about yourself to: talk@detroitlives.com

The Intern(s)

This ain’t no coffee-fetchin’ internship.  DL! is growing fast. Every day is different, as we take on challenges big and small. This is a unique opportunity for a few lucky students to establish a professional and meaningful relationship in the world of video production.

We want students who are passionate, creative, enthusiastic… Students who are into   communication, video production, advertising… Students who love to experiment, love to learn, and most of all, love to share their unique perspective.

You’ll be hands-on with everything production, A to Z. You’ll assist with concept brainstorming.  You’ll help with execution of video concepts. You’ll organize, you’ll research, you’ll do that thing that you do best… And you’ll get better.

Skills we like to share/Skills you like to explore:

  • Brand storytelling
  • Innovative visuals/ camera techniques (RED, Canon C100s, and Sony fs700 in-house)
  • Engaging and thoughtful narrative flow (Premiere Pro)
  • Understanding on-set etiquette and production knowledge
  • Effective project management

We’re thinking it might be fun to come up with a personal project for you to manage while you’re here too… Something you can work on over the summer and present to the DL! team at conclusion… But obviously, that’ll be based on the individual.

The ideal candidate should:

  • Have a proven track record (academic, extracurricular, or portfolio-based) that   demonstrates quality and attention to detail
  • Have an upbeat enthusiasm
  • Have the guts to jump in the deep end

The ideal candidate must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a degree seeking program
  • Be able to receive college credit for internship hours

Intern(s) would report to Philip and Steven, depending on their area of focus, and work   collaboratively with the other team members.

Compensation: This is an unpaid internship.

Interested?  Please send a resume and cover letter telling us a story about yourself to: talk@detroitlives.com


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Progress Photos: From Stock Exchange to our New Office!

November 3, 2015 by  
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Whew. Been a while as you can see. We’re forehead deep in construction on the new office and keeping busy shooting and editing projects as well. We’re so excited to be working with Patrick Thompson Design on the space, and wanted to just share some photos of the progress quickly. Stay tuned for more.

Stock Exchange Area

A wide shot of the area where the trading floor was. We are still working on the ceilings, restoring the catwalk, pouring new cement for the floor and running electrical.

Kitchenette detail

Annnnnd the tile is in for the kitchenette. The sink pictured at left has been in the space for decades. We couldn’t bear to throw it away, so we incorporated it in to the design.

Flooring progress

In the offices surrounding the perimeter of the old trading floor, we’ve been working to get the flooring right.

Check out our Instagram and Twitter accounts for additional updates.

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A former Stock Exchange? Our new office? Yes.

July 6, 2015 by  
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Stock Exchange

Well, the cat’s officially out of the bag: construction is underway on our new office and studio inside what was once the Detroit Stock Exchange. Who knew Detroit even had it’s own stock exchange? We certainly didn’t. Turns out it was open from 1928-76 at the top of tower 2 ub the Penobscot Building.

It all started one afternoon when we were touring the Penobscot Building looking for a new office after the fiasco that came to unravel after a pipe burst in our former space at the David Stott Building (reported on here by the Wall Street Journal). The leasing agent representing the Penobscot Building toured us around the building, viewing mostly sleepy, drop-ceiling laden, cubicle farm’esque spaces that weren’t so inspiring let alone inviting. We casually inquired about seeing something a bit more raw, an older space, if only just to feed our history-loving habits and to get a glimpse in to the older days of the building, and we landed at the top of Tower 2. As we stepped off the elevator, what sat in plain view was an absolutely stunning room: the former Detroit Stock Exchange. The catwalk was still intact that a young man would manually update prices on the stock ticker. The 30 foot ceilings were ornately sculpted and offered a window in to the city’s storied past. It was almost hard to believe.

A few passionate pow-wows between our team and sibling studio Space Camp Design and our desire to land a deal for the space was solidified. Five months of negotiations working out the lease, and the rest is history. We’re proud of where we’ve landed, and feel that the space will be a part of our next phase of growth as we focus on working with national brands while staying true to the adventures and city that has gotten us here.

For more information on the history of the space and to take a 3D tour, click here.

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Ad Roundup: Less is More!

June 11, 2015 by  
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We’ve been hard at work lately on some edits for Chrysler as part of their “Portraits of Proud” video series. The campaign is a digital extension of the broadcast spots that Wieden + Kennedy did not so long ago (Peter Dinklage narrates!). It’s been a pleasant project working with the Detroit office of Mediabrands Publishing. So far, you can see two of the three videos, with the third being released in a couple weeks.

That said, we still like to see keep our teeth sharp with what’s going on in the world around us. Our latest round of video inspirons centers on the idea of simplicity. Less is more! Voila.

First, a swell ad from Scrabble. Indeed there can be “magic in words” it seems.

Second, the intro animation and music for Sundance 2015. This little bumper played before every screening at the festival and every time we heard it we wanted to volume up and dance.

Sundance 2015 Bumper from Andrew Lush on Vimeo.

Third, a simple challenge to a conventional norm that makes you think.

Until next time!

Love, DL!

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