News

September 1, 2020

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Mirror's New Campaign

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Mirror's New Campaign.

In these uncertain times, what we can be most certain about is that our health, both physically and mentally comes first. Even though we might all be physically divided, Mirror satiates our need for physical activity and human connection by offering a quantum leap into both personal fitness and human connection.

Mirror is quite literally its’ namesake. This sleek, subtly decorative mirror acts as a portal to personal fitness training. Offering hundreds of classes, Mirror scans the body as you work out and provides instant feedback by their virtual trainers. Users have access to complete, interactive immersive and holistic workouts all in the security of their own home. Mirror has been the future of fitness since its’ debut, and, in that vain, has updated their Mirror to now enable people to connect with friends, family and a broader community. The new Mirror allows us to connect through movement.

Mirror team partnered with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create a new promotional film for Mirror. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot.

Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives.

Pina blended common actions between the shots, compositional similarities, and rhythm to create a unique connective tissue throughout the entire promotional film. Pina was able to re-imagine the traditional interpretation of the match cut to create a continual, upbeat momentum that encapsulated Mirror’s new central message – connection through movement.

Miniac Films took extreme precaution while filming to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Check out their recommended guidelines here.


Check out photos from behind the scenes below

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August 1, 2020

Benjamin Kutsko directs adidas' film promoting their new line of sustainable sportswear, PRIMEBLUE.

Benjamin Kutsko directs new adidas film promoting their new line of sustainable sportswear, PRIMEBLUE.

You’re standing in front of the ocean shore. The salty mist lightly touches your skin and the ocean breeze sweeps through your hair. Sand nestles between your toes and the sun beats down on your back warming your whole body. Sounds nice, right? But, did I also mention the plastic waste that surrounds you as it washes up to shore?


Unfortunately, most of our plastic waste ends up in our oceans. Plastic waste is growing exponentially throughout our world and scientists predict that if current pattern don’t change by 2050 there will be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish.


Adidas has made it their mission to clean up our oceans. The German sportswear company has a long history of environmental outreach. They sell numerous ecological products, like their FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker, and they have partnered with various brands, like Stella McCarthy, to create completely sustainable limited edition sportswear apparel.


Adidas' most noted partnership is with Parley, a New York based non-profit that raises awareness and leads campaigns to clean up our oceans. Their collaborations range from community outreach to producing awareness films like the Miniac Films and Matthias Hoene film, Dive, featuring professional cliff diver, Anna Bader.


In their most recent partnership, Adidas and Parley have come together to create a special line of sportswear and performance sneakers called PRIMEBLUE. PRIMEBLUE is adidas’ most recent campaign to clean up the oceans and combat plastic waste. The PRIMEBLUE apparel and sneakers are all made from recycled plastic found on our shores. Adidas uses a high-tech process that washes, melts and grinds plastic waste into usable fibers that can be weaved into thread to create their PRIMEBLUE products.


Adidas teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create their promotional film. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director, Benjamin Kutsko, directed the promotional film.

Kutsko has worked with Miniac on various projects, and is known in the commercial world for creating visual and exciting narratives by integrating astounding visual effects with cinematic frames. Kutsko previously worked with the German sportswear company on their 2019 film, ALPHAEDGE 4D.


Kutsko and the Miniac team shot the film in Sao Paulo, Brazil with the help of the local production company, Domo Productions.


Adidas wanted to portray the severity of our plastic waste problem, while also keeping a hopeful narrative that captivated an audience. Sao Paulo’s proximity to the beach and its’ cosmopolitan atmosphere acted as the perfect backdrop for Kutsko’s vision. Kutsko included both shots of the beach, alongside various shots of Sao Paulo to create a sense of universal inclusivity. This problem is everywhere and the ramifications affect us all, wherever you live.


Capturing the problem was simple. Unfortunately, plastic litters the shores of most beaches now a day. But, Kutsko wanted to create an interesting narrative of the actual process in which adidas transforms plastic waste into the thread that creates their apparel and shoes.


Kutsko used original visual concepts to represent the production process. Each visual representation highlighted Kutsko’s ability to use visual effects. His choices integrated creative ideas and quick fluid cuts to ultimately animate the production process. These energetic cuts of the visual representations cut alongside the cinematic shots of the city and athletes, created that classic adidas tone of urban yet fresh.


Miniac and Kutsko’s film is a classic example of adidas’ ability to captivate an audience with dramatic yet fresh narratives. Their stylized marketing allows them to have global reach and calls us all into action. Adidas has made huge strides in their pursuit to end plastic waste. PRIMEBLUE is just one of many campaigns adidas have launched to promote sustainability. Their campaign united us under one singular cause: save our oceans, save our planet, save ourselves. Check out the full film here.


To read more about the project, check out the links below:

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Take a look at the behind the scene photos below:

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June 1, 2020

Remote Capabilities From The Miniac Films Team

Remote Capabilities From The Miniac Films Team.

Everyone at Miniac Films is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of our staff, crew, vendors and clients. For now, traditional production is on pause, and we encourage everyone to follow the Center of Disease Control guidelines and to social distance. Still, there are a few ways to continue producing content that promises to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Miniac Films supports agencies and brands with ideation and production. We assemble bespoke teams from broadcast to web, documentary and original content. Our directors are ready to solve problems and devise creative solutions for each project.

At Miniac, we believe in this time it is critical that a director navigates projects from start to finish. Miniac’s directors are creative consultants and are most effective when supporting a project from production through post. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, is helping a client think through the best way to approach finishing a film that has a combination of recently shot footage, stock and VFX.


Miniac Films director, Peter Jordan, has incredible experience with “out of the box” directing. He assembles a small and simple camera, lens and lighting rig which is sent to the talent. He helps the talent set up remote access and he captures extremely human, honest moments. He’s currently working with IBM in this capacity.


Miniac’s Susan was tailor made for remote projects. As a creative director and director duo that write and create all of their own content, Susan is able to ideate, direct and produce all under one roof. This nimble team is efficient and effective, and saves their clients a lot of time and money.


Miniac consistently uses top of the line film equipment. Our remote technology allows four cameras to record simultaneously and stream up to sixteen monitors online. Currently, crews in South Korea are available to work and most vendors are open. Miniac Films has worked in South Korea on various projects and, with the help of our remote technology, is capable of building production teams in South Korea right now.

The health and safety of our staff, crew, vendors and clients is of the utmost importance to everyone here at Miniac Film. Our team has come up with our own set of production guidelines that coincide with the Center of Disease Control’s recommendations. We encourage everyone to read them to ensure all productions are safe for the whole crew. Check them out here. (I plan on linking the blog post I sent earlier with the guidelines) 


Miniac Films is open for business and we hope that we can help you safely and confidently execute your next project.


From everyone at team Miniac, we wish you good health and happiness. Stay safe! 

The Miniac Team on location in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 2019.

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June 1, 2020

Covid-19 On Set Safety Guidelines

Covid-19 On Set Safety Guidelines

As we look forward to resuming live action production, Miniac Films is working to establish policies and practices to ensure a safe working environment for all crew,personnel, and talent. As we stated in a previous blog post, the policies and practices below will continue to evolve as new guidance is published by Local, State, and Federal government and the Center of Disease Control, but the basic premise of working safely and respectfully will be a constant.


Everyone will need to collaborate and contribute as we return to production so we can ensure safety and confidence on set. We encourage everyone to carry a sense of personal responsibility in the workplace and to speak up if they have concerns or ideas. Ideas and feedback are welcome - please send to info@miniacfilms.com.


From everyone at Miniac Films, thank you and let's stay safe!


The Miniac Team on location in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 201


Covid-19 Safety Guidelines

Social Distance, Sanitation, Safety Precautions:

Social Distance- Maintain 6 feet apart unless completely unavoidable and absolutely necessary - Keep as much space as possible between crew and talent. The only crew that should be near talent are Hair, Make Up, Wardrobe, or Sound.- Only essential crew, personnel and talent are permitted on set.

Sanitation- All crew, personnel, and talent should wash their hands with soap and waterthroughout the day.- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) to be available and visible.- A designated person or team will be assigned to wipe down commonly touched surfaces throughout the day with disposable disinfecting wipes.- Sets, props, wardrobe, and equipment should also be disinfected frequently by a member of each respective department.

Safety Precautions- PPE (i.e. masks and gloves) to be provided to all crew, personnel, and talent and must be worn at all times.- Infrared temperature checks will be conducted by an authorized representative (i.e. Medic) before all crew, personnel, and talent enter set, as currently permissible under the EEOC COVID-19 Guidance.

- All crew, personnel, and talent will also be required to complete a digital health screening questionnaire before arrival to set.

  • Must notify unions and all employees ahead of their arrival to set when an infrared temperature check / digital health screening will be conducted.
  • Anyone exhibiting signs of respiratory illness, including fever or cough will be sent home.
  • Anyone feeling sick must stay home or inform a supervisor if already on set


GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES (During Prep, Production, and/or Wrap):- All crew, personnel, and talent need to be familiar with the CDC Guidelines.- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covidspreads. html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019- ncov%2Fabout%2Findex.html- Production will assess what prep work can be done remotely. People should only leave their homes or go into the office if absolutely necessary. Conference or Video Calls will replace in person meetings whenever possible (i.e. PPM).- Production should share the safety guidelines with all department heads at the\ beginning of the job.- There will be a person designated to making sure that production is stocked with PPE (i.e. masks, gloves), hand sanitizer, wipes, etc so that it is available at all times (separately from what the set medic will supply on set)- Production will have masks available for crew, personnel and talent.- Replace PPE as necessary.- Dispose, clean, or store PPE properly.- Have a separate disposal receptacle for PPE.- Whether in an office or on set, everyone must maintain a 6 ft distance from one another, unless completely unavoidable.- Wash hands with soap and water frequently throughout the day.- Post signage in bathroom, kitchen, or throughout set reminding people to wash their hands and observe other official CDC guidelines.- Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose.- Identify and use an area for Quarantine Storage where purchases / deliveries can be cleaned before being brought into the production office / on set.- Kitchens, restrooms and other high-touch locations will be disinfected multiple times throughout the day.- Consider a cleaning crew to come every morning and/or night to clean the office.- Refrain from using other people’s desk spaces and electronics.- Maintain good ventilation. Keep windows and/or doors open when possible.- Any snacks should be individually packaged. NO communal bowls for sharing.

Casting:- Consider remote casting sessions and callbacks.- Distribute scripts digitally and sign actors in/out digitally if possible (or assign one person to handle)- Minimize the number of people working with actors and provide PPE if auditions to be done in person.- Simulate props by using actors personal belongings.- Consider backups for each role when making final casting selections. SAFETY GUIDELINES ON SET (Per Department):- At the start of each shoot day, the 1st AD and Set Medic shall conduct a Safety Meeting and will address the COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols as set forth by the Production Company and CDC Guidelines.

Medic:- To consult with Production Company ahead of arriving to set with regard to Company’s COVID-19 guidelines and protocols and inform Production Company of the COVID-19 supplies they will be bringing to set.- Must wear PPE while engaging in person-to-person contact.

Catering/Craft Services:- Wear PPE at all times when preparing or handling food.- Stagger meals times when possible.- Serve food from the truck window or from individual boxes.- Provide plenty of tables and seating (outdoors when possible) to allow for social distance.- Provide a washing station in close proximity to the meal area.- Provide only single-serve packaged condiments.- Provide individual, prepackaged portioned snacks and other food items.- In lieu of reusable water bottles, please use single use containers during the pandemic. Boxed water will be procured if available.- Wash hands before entering the catering or craft service area.- Craft service may not cook or prepare food.

Camera Department:- Coordinate with camera house to schedule a pick-up and minimize handlers.- Camera equipment should only be handled and sanitized by camera department Grip and Electric Departments.- Coordinate needs of Art & Camera departments in advance.- G&E equipment should only be handled and sanitized by members of those departments.

Art Department:- Try to obtain approvals as early as possible and allow enough time to handle pickups and drop-offs so that the proper sanitary measures can be taken.- Switch out and sanitize props as necessary and coordinate with wardrobe dept.

Wardrobe Department:- Always wear PPE while prepping wardrobe (i.e. shopping, in rental houses, or on set) and while in close contact with talent and/or other crew.- Book talent / get sizes as early as possible and stagger appointments for fittings.- Consider having actors use their own wardrobe when possible.

- Sanitize jewelry, glasses, and accessories with non-damaging cleaner.- Assign one person to take photos.- Costumes should be bagged individually, by performer and consider requesting Client permission to allow talent to keep any purchased wardrobe.

Hair and Make-Up:- Must wear PPE while engaged in person-to-person contact.- Shall create space between make-up stations (provide a partition if possible)- Use single-use brushes and applicators.- Disinfect station in between styling talent and clean hairbrushes and combs.- Only remove talent’s PPE when necessary and consider a face shield for them once made up.

Sound Department:- Must wear PPE while engaged in person-to-person contact.- Label Comteks with name of user and disinfect Comteks and mics/transmitters before and after each use.

Script Supervisor:- Provide a sanitized earpiece when required

Talent:- Provide PPE for all talent and guardians / teachers of minors.- Keep talent (OCPs and Extras) socially distanced while in holding.- Consider providing a barrier between talent in between shots.- When possible, prep and execute talent paperwork digitally.- Allow plenty of time for permitting minors and only guardians of minors can accompany them on set.

Video Village:- Encourage remote video village or situate video village in an isolated area, away from crew and talent. Chairs should be set up 6 feet apart.- Consider non-cloth chairs so that they can be sanitized throughout the day.- Any Client or Agency on set should be minimal.

Transportation:- Assign drivers to specific vehicles and limit the number of passengers per vehicle. - Consider a higher capacity bus for shuttling, so there is room to social distance.- People to park and move their vehicle personal themselves

Walkie Talkies:- Equipment will be delivered sanitized to production company with individually packaged walkies.

- Walkies to be labeled and kept by individuals overnight. Batteries to be charged shall be sanitized prior to redistribution to crew & personnel

COVID-19 INFORMATIONAL VIDEOS:• Video 1: What To Know About Handwashing https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo• Video 2: Proper Donning and Doffing of Face Mask https://youtu.be/z-5RYKLYvaw• Video 3: Proper Donning and Doffing of Gloves https://youtu.be/12ZD2lG7yLg

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May 2, 2020

Guidance for Productions Relating to Covid-19

GUIDANCE FOR PRODUCTION RELATING TO COVID-19

In these uncertain times, there is nothing more important to the Miniacteam than the safety and health of our staff, crew, vendors andclients. In accordance with the Center for Disease Control and throughthroughout discussion with several people representing our variousdepartments, the following ideas have been compiled to help us allprepare and plan. These ideas are only advisory and informational. Theyare not legally or contractually obligatory. These ideas are notperfect for every production scenario, but we are all doing our best tohelp contain this virus. Everyone will need to collaborate andcontribute in order for us all to return to production safely andconfidently, and we encourage everyone to carry a sense of personalresponsibility in the workplace and to speak up if they have concernsor ideas. The entire Miniac team is closely monitoring the situation, and as newdevelopments and findings arise our guidance and recommendations willbe updated to match Center for Disease Control standards, and our ownevolving company standards. Please review the entire document. Many of these practices are alreadycommonplace, but were included to emphasize their importance. This should be viewed as a link, as this is a work in progress:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h5y3-ePzOoIHu7HBlZTN3UXKyF3U5NszYmVZOcRkHZU/edit?usp=sharing Ideas and feedback are welcome. Please send to info@miniacfilms.com.Thank you and let’s stay safe!

GENERAL COMMON SENSE PRACTICES·   Limit specific areas of worksite to essential personnel·   Require frequent and thorough hand washing by all personnel, without exception·   If soap and water are not available, use / provide alcohol-based hand cleanser containing at least 60%alcohol·   Require anyone who is sick to stay home·   Self-monitor for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and report to your department head if you are sick orexperiencing symptoms·   Department head should then report this information to production department·   One department at a time may “step in, step out” of a set up, before the next department·   Observe respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes·   Use disposable tissues and discard after each use·   Maintain social distancing of no less than 6 feet whenever possible·   Masks should be worn while on set, but are required when social distancing is not possible·   Encourage people to bring their own mask - some people would prefer what they choose specifically(however, they will of course be made available)·   Utilize appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including but not limited to gloves, goggles, faceshields, masks that cover the nose and mouth, finger cots (good for finger-only touch-points such as copier,microwave). Use of finger cots reduces plastic, compared to gloves·   Make sure that PPE is consistently and properly worn, regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced asnecessary·   Require PPE to be properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination of self,others, and the work environment·   Use your elbow or knuckle as opposed to fingers when possible·   Limit the number of people who handle certain items·   Do not use other people’s phones or personal work tools·   Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces,equipment, and other elements of the work environment·   Assign one individual to be responsible for constant wipedowns of surfaces (never mix chemicals)·   Make 6 foot distance markings on the floor in environments where people need to line up·   Take time to communicate and plan every part of a project in order to reduce unexpected situations andincrease efficiency·   Consider who may effectively be able to work from home. Consider prep, shoot, wrap·   Pens should be provided and individuals should be told to keep them·   Contactless payment should be utilized (as opposed to petty cash) when possible·   Put down an item that someone then needs to pick up, rather than ‘handing off’ when possible

PRODUCTION OFFICE / MOTORHOME·  Maintain good ventilation. Keep windows and doors open when possible, but open at least periodically tocycle the air·   Limit people entering the office to essential personnel·   Deliveries should be transacted outside the entrance whenever possible·   Pathways should be one-way when possible (clockwise) in order to avoid people having to pass each othergoing opposite directions in a narrow hallway·   Plan how to serve food, coffee, etc. responsibly·   Use disposable, ecologically-friendly flatware, plates, and cups·   Assign one person to turn lights on and off, manage thermostats·   Make tissues and disinfectant wipes ubiquitous·   Reduce decorative items that people may touch·   Utilize individual printers and scanners whenever possible·   Move your own car rather than have someone else move it·   Get a secure shredding bin (users put items in, but cannot take out)·   Use your cell phone as opposed to a landline·   Use sensor-activated toilets, faucets, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and hand sanitizer dispensers whenpossible·   Disinfect remote controls

PAPERWORK·   Timecards may transition to electronic execution, but in the short term, have as much pre-filled as possible·   Petty cash, petty cash envelopes, mail, contracts, POs, agreements, pick-up and return paperwork willrequire careful handling

CASTING·   Consider remote casting sessions and callbacks with live broadcast capabilities·   Remote casting sessions will mean not being able to see a group interact with each other·   Schedule auditions and callbacks further apart to accommodate social distancing·   Digitally distribute scripts as opposed to handing out sheets of paper·   Have actors execute confidentiality agreements when necessary·   Actors must arrive to casting at the assigned time, not earlier (models and dancers are used to “open calls”but they must arrive at the assigned time)·   Encourage actors to wait in their cars, not in the waiting area of the casting facility·   Have an actor check in from outside using their cell phone·   Consider utilizing app technology that checks an actor in, and sends the actor a text when it’s their time (likesome restaurants)·   One dedicated Casting Assistant should sign all performers in and out·   During in-person group auditions, actors can wear clear face shields and gloves, or have a partition placed inbetween them·   Handling of props may have to be simulated using an actor’s cell phone or other personal item·   Identify wardrobe specs in the breakdowns to increase the likelihood the actor brings something that canbe worn on the shoot

HANDLING OF EQUIPMENT·   Use gloves and change regularly·   Members of each department should disinfect gear during breaks in activity·   Minimize the number of people having to touch the same items. This may require additional gear·   Strive for consistency regarding which pieces of equipment are handled by whom

SHOOTING SCHEDULE / STAFFING·   Anticipate things taking longer to accomplish than we’re used to·   Carefully consider number of shoot days required·   Consider staggered call times, department by department·   Build in time for one department to “step in, step out” at a time·   Consider how much the path of the sun dictates when and how much time we have to shoot a specific areaor room at a location·   Consider whether a prep or pre-light day will be required·   Some locations may only allow limited truck parking resulting in the need to cross-load and drop off gear·   ‘Making the day’ will require efficiency and enough personnel. This will be challenging with caps on thenumber of people at a gathering·   Strive to keep the same individuals on an entire job (as opposed to individuals swapping in and out),thereby minimizing the number of individuals overall

DIRECTOR SCOUTING·   Consider virtual director scouting via a streaming app·   Self-drive·   Consider utilizing walkie-talkies·   Share each other’s location via smart phones·   Remove shoes before entering a location when practical·   Give consideration to size and space when deciding among location options·   Carefully consider the number of locations that get director scouted in-person

TECH SCOUT·   Schedule the tech scout as early as possible·   Digitally distribute tech scout packets·   Self-drive when possible·   If in a peoplemover, everyone should be in masks, gloves, etc. Consider renting multiple vehicles to allowdistance between seats·   While at location, have as much conversation outside as possible·   Try to maximize space and air flow when designating spaces for a shoot (video village, lunch, equipmentstaging, placement of monitors, etc.). Consider whether you will have to relocate any of these areas at somepoint during the day, in order to accommodate different camera positions

PREPRO MEETING·   Schedule the prepro meeting as early as possible·   Finalize as many creative decisions as possible no later than the prepro meeting so there will be fewer lastminute changes on shoot days

LOCATION DEPARTMENT·   Some locations may require pre and post cleaning·   Choose disinfectants carefully in order to avoid damage·   Permit applications should go in as early as possible·   Consider permitting backup locations in the event that a location pulls out or otherwise becomesunavailable·   Neighbors or neighborhoods may have a diminished appetite for a film crew·   Acquiring signatures will be difficult logistically·   Fewer people will be eager to provide signature for filming activity on their street·   Location contracts should be executed as early as possible·   Rely more on locations repped by agents (less cold scouting)·   Anticipate providing alternative lodging to house occupants for the duration of the shoot (may be best forthem to not enter at wrap in between the days that crew is in the home)·   Anticipate possibility of having to board animals·   Provide plenty of space for lunch·   Bring sensor-activated soap dispensers, hand dryers, etc. to locations when available·   Provide washing station when there is no access to running water·   Consider the logistical challenges of a location before sharing with a Director or Agency / Client·   Have one individual put up and take down all location signs·   Locations should in general be ‘closed sets’. No non-essential visitors.

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT·   Limit number of people in a passenger van at one time·   Consider a higher-capacity bus for shuttling, to allow for social distance inside·   Allow time for people who prefer to walk from crew parking to set rather than be shuttled·   Add signage to van exterior identifying maximum capacity and reminding people to wear masks·   Keep windows down to promote ventilation·   Additional shuttle trips will be necessary·   Try to commit to one driver per vehicle·   Stakebeds may be required to transport cross-loaded gear from crew parking to the location

ART DEPARTMENT·   Minimize touching items native to a location·   Consider asking owner of location to reduce personal items before we take occupancy·   Fewer pickups will be possible per day, per truck·   Make decisions on the tech scout, get approvals from Agency / Client as early as possible·   Consider potential value of prep and strike days. This may be combined with location cleaning requirements

ELECTRIC, GRIP DEPARTMENTS·   More gear may be required·   Grip gear should only be handled by the grip department (apple boxes and stands often support otherdepartments)·   Art departments should communicate support needs in advance

HAIR AND MAKE-UP·   PPE must be worn for duration of person-to-person contact·   Space make-up stations apart from each other, or provide a partition between workstations·   Use only one brush, applicator, etc. per actor. No double-dipping·   Mix foundation, powders, lipstick, etc. on a disposable palette for each individual·   Clean hairbrushes and combs and reusable make-up brushes with appropriate disinfecting solutions·   Kits will need to include multiples for most make-up·   Actor may be able to wear a mask while having their eyes or hair done·   Face shield may be worn by Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist·   Only remove the actor’s mask when essential·   Once made up, actor may consider face shield (as opposed to mask) in order to not disturb completedmake-up·   Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist may place and remove face shield for the actor (if the actor prefers)·   Consider having the actor show up having done their own make-up

CAMERA DEPARTMENT·   Camera pick-up from camera house may have to be scheduled·   PA doing pick-up must handle cases with gloves·   Only camera personnel should handle camera gear including carts, cases, tape, etc.

SOUND DEPARTMENT·   Disinfect Comteks before and after each use·   Label Comteks with the name of the user·   Disinfect Lav mics and transmitters before and after each use·   Replace Lav mounting components that can not be thoroughly cleaned·   PPE must be worn for duration of person-to-person contact·   Consider utilizing boom-only audio (as opposed to rigging Lav mics)·   Some multitalent scripts under the boom-only scenario may require a second Boom Operator

CATERING·   Consider staggering lunch to decrease number of people getting food and seating simultaneously·   Food will be served to people (as opposed to self-serve)·   Flatware should be handed out one by one·   Some scenarios will benefit from individually boxed meals·   Provide plenty of tables and seating to spread out safely·   Hand washing station should be present·   Some may prefer to bring their own food·   Some may prefer to eat in their car

CRAFT SERVICES·   Only buy individual, prepackaged portions·   Everyone must wash their hands before entering the craft services area·   Table should be set up so that people can take individual portions and only touch what they are taking - youtouch it, you own it·   Craft services should have capability to refill an individual’s reusable water bottle brought to set withoutcontact between refill source and bottle·   Reduce and streamline variety of beverages·   No bowls or canisters of snacks to reach into

MEDIC·   Medic should patrol the set and proactively consult with personnel·   Medic can help identify surfaces that need to be wiped down

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR·   Provide a separate monitor

WALKIE TALKIES·   Walkies should be signed out the day before for quick distribution on the shoot day·   Walkies should be individually bagged and handed to the user in its bag·   Do not share walkie talkies·   Replacement batteries must be disinfected in between uses, bagged, and handed to     crew as needed

VIDEO VILLAGE·   Clients may prefer plastic chairs over director chairs or sofas (easier to wipe down)·   Clients will understand things done for purposes of caution and safety

HOSTING CLIENTS·   Only buy individual orders and portions·   Clients will understand use of disposable items·   People move their own cars

WARDROBE DEPARTMENT·   In-depth planning of wardrobe should be done ahead of shopping and pulling from rental houses·   Only the wardrobe department should touch clothing, etc. until it's decided what the actor will actually tryon·   Fitting photos should be taken by one person, not multiple people touching the same phone, tablet, etc.·   Use gloves when looking through garments in rental houses and retail stores·   Anticipate delays at rental houses and retail stores·   Review current retail return and exchange policies·   Book talent as early as possible, and get sizes as early as possible·   Costumes and outfits should be bagged up individually, by performer·   Seek permission from Clients to allow actors to keep purchased wardrobe·   Consider having actors arrive in their own wardrobe·   Disinfect jewelry and glasses with disinfectant that will not cause damage

ACTORS·   Consider a temporary clear barrier between actors while establishing marks and positions, and remove atthe last moment·   Consider alternate shot set-ups, camera angles, lenses, etc.·   Actors may benefit from extra tender loving care. Remember, they have to give an on-screen performancein the midst of all this

EXTRAS·   Carefully consider number of Extras required·   Be sure to have enough space and tables and chairs for Extras holding area to be spread out·   Provide one pen for each Extra to execute paperwork and make sure they know to keep it and not share

MINORS·   Think about how to organize schooling if required·   Remember that many states require work permits·   Children will require extra attention to ensure they follow safety protocols·   Be sure to have PPE that fits the minors·   No make-up unless absolutely necessary

UNIONS AND GUILDS·   A union or guild representative may reach out to discuss something about one of your projects. Much ofthis is new, and no one can think of every issue that may come up·   Unions have a responsibility to look out for the safety of their members


Stay safe and please send feedback or ideas to info@miniacfilms.com Thank you!

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January 15, 2020

Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko and team travel to Sao Paulo to shoot new adidas film

Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko and team travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to shoot new adidas film.

Adidas has made it their mission to clean up our oceans. The German sportswear company has a long history of environmental outreach. They sell numerous sustainable products, like their FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker, and they have partnered with various brands, like Stella McCarthy, to create completely sustainable limited edition lines of sportswear apparel.


Adidas also partners with Parley, a New York based non-profit that raises awareness and leads campaigns to clean up our oceans. The German sportswear company and the New York non-profit have partnered multiple times before. Their collaborations range from community outreach to producing awareness films like the Miniac Films and Matthias Hoene film, Dive, featuring professional cliff diver, Anna Bader.


To produce their promotional film, adidas partnered with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director, Benjamin Kutsko, directed the promotional film.


Kutsko is known in the commercial world for creating visual and exciting narratives by integrating astounding visual effects within his cinematic frames. Kutsko previously worked with the German sportswear company on their 2019 film, ALPHAEDGE 4D.


Kutsko and the Miniac team shot the film in Sao Paulo, Brazil with the help of the local production company, Domo Productions.


PRIMEBLUE will launch in summer 2020. PRIMEBLUE is just one of many campaigns adidas has launched to promote sustainability throughout our world. Stay tuned for the final film, but check out some behind the scenes photos from the Sao Paulo shoot below.

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January 4, 2020

adidas FUTURECRAFT.LOOP named TIME Magazine Best Invention of 2019.

adidas FUTURECRAFT.LOOP named TIME Magazine Best Inventions 2019! Check out the film here directed by Miniac Films' John Christopher Pina.

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November 1, 2019

adidas releases new film for ALPHAEDGE 4D, directed by Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko

Check out Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko's latest campaign for adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D HERE and HERE.

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October 1, 2019

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs New Film For Mirror: The Future of Fitness

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs New Film For Mirror: The Future of Fitness

Mirror is an at home fitness machine that is exactly what it is named. Mirror is a mirror. But, it feels as though we are in a future, innovative, and exciting Jetson-like era, when describing the machine.


Mirror is an interactive screen that is programmed with virtual fitness instructors that guide its’ users through various workout routines. Mirror offers a range of classes from barre and yoga to upbeat, high cardio dance, kickboxing and boot-camp classes.  Something for the whole family. As the user goes through the workout, they are given corrections on posture and form from the virtual fitness instructor. Mirror breaks the barrier between the home and the gym by bringing trainers to the user. It is a high-end workout designed for the comforts of home.


The Mirror team partnered with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create a new promotional film for Mirror. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives.


Pina wanted to highlight Mirror’s versatility while also showing its inclusivity. Pina used a mixed media approach to create the dynamic story of technology and revolution. He wanted to create a comprehensive but concise narrative that detailed Mirror’s connectivity and its’ innovative platform. He did this by cutting together “slice of life” portrayals of the everyday people who use Mirror juxtaposed heighten product footage where the user interacts with the innovative and highly personalized technology. Pina played into Mirror’s larger cultural phenomenon by integrating user-generated content like the Alicia Keys video that went viral. Check it out here.


Pina wanted to make sure the film seamlessly summarized the total experience Mirror offers it's users. He created quick separate sequences that were made of 2-3 shots. He kept the transition from sequence to sequence fast and kinetic to keep the flow going. He used snap zooms to bring the viewer in and out of the story and whip pans to move the viewer from one sequence to another. He also used pre-laps in the sounds design to move the story along. Pina took an unaffected approach to show human moments while treating the design and technology with a stylized, calculated point of view.


Mirror is an amazing example of how technology can connect and better us. It is a revolutionary product that can be used by all people, all ages and the whole family. Mirror is the future of fitness.


Check out the full film here and the director’s cut here.


Check out some behind the scene photos below.

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August 12, 2019

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directing the Mirror's newest commercial campaign.

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina is in Vancouver shooting the Mirror's new video. Stay tuned for the film!

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August 2, 2019

Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko to direct new adidas campaign for ALPHAEDGE 4D.

Miniac Films Director Benjamin Kutsko takes off his hiking boots to slip into something with more comfortable. Benjamin's latest spot for adidas Alphaedge 4D is coming soon, and you won't want to miss it.

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July 1, 2019

Director Benjamin Kutsko uses light drones in Australian band’s, Pnau, music video.

Director Benjamin Kutsko uses light drones in Australian band’s, Pnau, music video.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s hundreds of light drones flying across the desert sky.

When the Australian band, Pnau, approached Miniac Film’s director, Benjamin Kutsko, to direct their music video for their new release, All Of Us, Kutsko had a wild idea – let’s bring the supernatural. Or let’s at least make it look like we did.


Kutsko worked with Pnau previously in 2018 when he directed the music video for their hit song Changa. Known in the commercial world for his use of visual effects, the Changavideo highlighted Kutsko’s ability to integrate narrative into his work while also using VFX, vibrant colors and costuming to create a psychedelic experience – the Kutty specialty as some in the commercial world put it. Another example of Kutsko’s talent is seen in Greta Van Fleet’s music video When The Curtain Falls that he directed in August of 2018.


Kutsko idea for All Of US stemmed from his love of two great 80’s movies - Matthew Robbin’s Batteries Not Included and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters. He used these movies as the backdrop for the video, harnessing their essence to craft an eccentric narrative. If you take the Kutty out of it, All Of Us is simply the story of a man who is battling something greater than himself.  But, Kutsko needed to make sure he kept to the band’s originality. So he brought the supernatural to simulate a greater, extraterrestrial force as it chased the main character, Pnau’s Ollie Gabriel, through the desert.

But how do you personify this idea? Kutsko is repped by the LA based creative shop and production company hybrid, Miniac Films. When Kutsko brought this to executive producer, Stephen Roesler, they decided the best way to shoot this would be by using a drone lights show.


Drone light shows may not be a new technology, but their presence in entertainment has been a slow introduction. Drone light shows began at Intel, but their popularity boomed when BMW financed a light show meant to look like a swarm of birds at Art Basel in 2017. The light show was a hit, but with it being a costly technology, light shows were slow to take off.


Miniac Films teamed up with Verge Aero, a Philadelphia based drone tech company, to create the supernatural force Kutsko imagined. Verge Aero is a pioneered their own technology, but even with their advanced software there are still limitations. The software is pre-programmed with limited ability to change on site. The Verge Aero design team worked diligently with Kutsko and the Miniac team to make a stunning show. Click here to see their journey behind the scenes.


The use of drone light shows in everyday media is about to take off. With companies like Verge Aero creating their own technologies, their accessibility is growing. Kutsko’s original idea grew into something much greater than he ever anticipated. With the help of Dark Arts VFX, Miniac and Verge Aero, Kutso were able to create an amazing video that is sure to amaze. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DQ4covPEyE

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June 2, 2019

[FUTURECRAFT.LOOP] featuring Willow Smith

Honored to be a part of [FUTURECRAFT.LOOP] featuring Willow Smith, the first shoe that is made to be remade, and never thrown away. adidas’ first statement of intent to end waste and break the cycle. Directed by John Christopher Pina. Check out what people are saying at VOGUEFASTCOMPANY and FORBESWatch it here.

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May 1, 2019

Adidas rolls out their first 100% recyclable shoe in an epic interactive global launch.

Adidas rolls out their first 100% recyclable shoe in an epic interactive global launch.

In a push to create sustainable sportswear, adidas recently release the first ever completely recyclable shoe: FUTURECRAFT LOOP.


The German sportswear company has a long history of environmental outreach. They sell numerous ecological products and they have partnered with various brands, like Stella McCarthy,to create completely sustainable limited edition sportswear apparel.

FUTURECRAFT LOOP is a completely recyclable running shoe that can be returned to adidas, broken down and used to create a new shoe. The German sportswear company has a long history of environmental outreach and the FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker perfectly embodies the company’s push towards sustainable sportswear.


Adidas teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create the promotional film. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac has partnered with adidas on numerous productions. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot for FUTURECRAFT LOOP.


Adidas launch the FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker in April of 2019 as part of a global beta program with other leading Creators from across the world. The German sportswear company collaborated with MATTE to create an innovative and impactful design for the  launch, while Miniac Films produced all of the content and arranged the sound design.


Just like the Miniac Films produced film, the global launch embodied a futuristic tone that highlighted the high-tech nature of the shoe while also translating a fresh, urban vibe throughout the show to encapsulate the adidas brand. In the film, director John Christopher Pina used quick fluid cuts mixed with a variety of moving stills to create a dynamic story of the shoe’s lifecycle. Pina and the Miniac team shot the FUTURECRAFT LOOP film in three different locations, Mexico City, Mexico, with help from the local production company Wabi Productions, Los Angeles, CA and Nuremberg, Germany, creating a juxtaposition of location which added to the futuristic yet affecting tone.


The global launch was a two-part audio and visual experience projected on a tunnel made up of six screens, designed to create a 360 immersive experience. The global launch detailed the problem of plastic waste, not only in our society, but also specifically in the sportswear industry. The screens portrayed the circular manufacturing model, which was in turn anthropomorphized by the encapsulating nature of the screens. There were also four hands-on informational kiosks that explored the design, process and impact of the shoe.


The global launch also featured three keynote speakers: Willow Smith, adidas executive board member, Eric Liedtke and global creative director, Paul Gaudio. Smith was adidas’ celebrity sponsor for the Miniac Films produced and John Christopher Pina directed film. Smith and her brother, Jaden Smith, are known for their work in sustainability. Jaden has donated a great deal to city of Flint, Michigan to help clean the water. Willow was very vocal on social media about joining the Climate Strike in New York City in September of 2019.


Adidas ended the revolutionary launch by gifting the FURTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker to the event’s patrons. From an outer ring, the FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker was lowered from the ceiling so the patrons can try the shoe, return it and provide feedback. The FUTURECRAFT LOOP shoe is the first step in adidas’ campaign to create a more sustainable world and a healthier planet.


Read more about the event here.  

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April 2, 2019

Adidas marketing at work: John Christopher Pina directs Adidas FUTURECRAFT LOOP feat. Willow Smith

Adidas marketing at work: John Christopher Pina directs Adidas' FUTURECRAFT LOOP film featuring Willow Smith.

Forbes recently reported that adidas has surpassed Nike in both earnings and revenue on Wall Street this quarter. Their reasoning? Adidas’ marketing.


Adidas’ is pioneering a unique and tactical marketing strategy. Their approach? Adidas focuses on their intended audience straightforwardly and exclusively. Forbes states that by “targeting younger consumers” Adidas “create[s] instant sales cascades for new products.”


Adidas knows their customers. They know who wears their products. They know what is important to them. And most importantly they know how to communicate to them. According to adidas, their business plan is based on three strategic choices – how they deliver, where they deliver and how they create. Adidas markets mostly digitally and the German sportswear company is known for their celebrity and brand partnerships.


Adidas is most widely known for their collaborations with top celebrities like Kanye West, Run DMC and Pharell, but they also collaborate with various corporations that promote a singular cause: sustainability. Adidas has partnered with Stella McCarthy to create a completely sustainable line of sportswear and they partner with Parley, a New York based non-profit that raises awareness and leads campaigns to clean up our oceans.

Now how does adidas apply these concepts? A perfect example of their strategy is their 2019 film for their shoe FUTURECRAFT LOOP.


FUTURECRAFT LOOP is a completely recyclable running shoe that can be returned to adidas, broken down and used to create a new shoe. The German sportswear company has a long history of environmental outreach and the FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker perfectly embodies the company’s push towards sustainable sportswear.


Adidas teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create the promotional film. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac has partnered with adidas on numerous productions. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot for FUTURECRAFT LOOP.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend, Common and Kanye West, but he quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company. His work greatly matches the similar urban yet fresh feel of the adidas brand. Pina’s work with adidas has won a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal.


So how did they pull off FUTURECRAFT LOOP? Pina used quick fluid cuts mixed with a variety of moving stills to create a dynamic story of the shoe’s lifecycle. This approach was used to create an engaging pace. The film’s movement kept the viewer engaged while allowing them time to grasp the concept that is FUTURECRAFT LOOP; something extremely important for online and social marketing. Pina and the Miniac team shot the FUTURECRAFT LOOP film in three different locations, Mexico City, Mexico, with help from the local production company Wabi Productions, Los Angeles, CA and Nuremberg, Germany. The juxtaposition of location added to the futuristic yet affecting tone.


Adidas scored Willow Smith, as their celebrity sponsor. Smith and her brother, Jaden Smith, are known for their work in sustainability. Jaden has donated a great deal to city of Flint, Michigan to help clean the water. Willow was vocal on social media about joining the Climate Strike in New York City in September of 2019. Her collaboration with adidas not only connected a younger audience to the project – it also connected an influencer to a cause in which they truly support.


Adidas is leading the march towards sustainable sportswear. Adidas' marketing strategy is transforming the way that brands market their goods to their audience. They are gaining in the global markets and in their popularity. FUTURECRAFT LOOP is a perfect example of how the brand brings together the various elements of their marketing strategy to create their signature feel. Check out the film here.

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March 2, 2019

Miniac Films director Peter Jordan directs Facebook's new film for Facebook Portal.

Facebook Portal's tagline is, "If you can't be there feel there", and we're feeling all the feels watching the latest spots from Miniac Films director Peter Jordan. Feel it for yourself here and here.

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February 2, 2019

Miniac's new mix, Manifold

Miniac's new mix, Manifold, just dropped. Listen HERE.

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February 2, 2019

John Christopher Pina directs Longchamp's 2019 film with Kendall Jenner

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs Longchamp's Spring/Summer 2019 film in Los Angeles

Longchamp recently celebrated their 70th year of business. In celebration of their platinum Jubilee, they launched a new film directed by Miniac Films director, John Christopher Pina, called, The Encounter. Their goal was to illustrate their growth cinematically. They wanted to capture their modern essence while also honoring their history. They wanted to portray their fearless run.


Longchamp revisited this theme seen in their 70th anniversary film to produce their new promotional film for their Spring and Summer 2019 line. They worked with the French company, Air Paris, and the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films, to produce their films. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. Pina’s work greatly matches the similar urban yet poignant feel that is Longchamp’s identity.


Pina’s objective was to capture the romanticism of the past while highlighting the empowerment of the future. The original film, The Encounter, was shot in Paris with Longchamp ambassador, Kendall Jenner. Read more about the film here.


In this Los Angeles shot spot, Pina used the natural, elegant textures in the California canyons juxtaposed the neon on the boulevards to personify Longchamp’s journey over the past seventy years and show how they have matured into their new line. Longchamp’s ambassador, Kendall Jenner, starred in this film as well.


Much like The Encounter film, the film begins with Jenner racing through the Los Angeles winding canyons and running on Malibu’s natural beach. As the film continues, cinematic shots of a horse running, alone, through the dark and gritty yet extremely sleek streets of Los Angeles are cut in between Jenner’s various movements. The two inherently different environments contrasted each other, creating anticipation for what’s to come in the final scene. The film ends with Jenner and the horse meeting on the California shoreline in a beautiful shot that fuses the two worlds. It ends on the Pacific Ocean, the final western frontier, and the only direction we can look is to the infinite horizon towards the future we create.


Pina used a stabilized camera to get fast close-ups on the horse and Kendall as they moved along the shoreline. He used drone footage to capture the glorious overhead wide shots and tracking shots of the duo on their journey to one another. In homage to films of the seventies, Pina incorporated tasteful snap-zooms to add a stylized dynamism to the piece. The film included rich textures and colors that visually embodied the spirit of the city. Pina and the Miniac team worked with LA company, A52, to graded everything to heighten natural palate of the California backdrop, while accentuated the florescent orange hue of the streetlights to parallel the unapologetic and unmistakably effortless aesthetic both Jenner and the horse share.


Pina's use of sound added to the dynamic drive in the overall narrative. Powerful real-world sounds moved to a bold, fast-paced track with moments of cutting in and out, creating the film's momentum and anticipation. These various elements fused together into one singular collage of sounds that highlighted the tension within the journey.


Pina and the Miniac team were able to capture the seventy years of freedom that Longchamp so proudly radiates. Pina created cinematic tension in both of his films that embodied Longchamp’s brand identity. An identity of both a past whimsy and of an innovative authority; coming together to create their bold future.


Check out the full film here. Read more about the film here.


Check out behind the scene photos below.

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February 2, 2019

Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko directs video for San Fermin's new single, The Hunger.

Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko directs video for San Fermin's new single, The Hunger.

The Brooklyn based, indie rock bank, San Fermin, released a new single that took a strong stance on serial dating. The Hunger is the result of a late night conversation the band’s leader, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, had with a female friend about the struggles of dating in New York City. The song follows a woman that is overwhelmed with angst, confusion and emotion over her hunger for a substantial and meaningful relationship. The group teamed up with Miniac Films director, Benjamin Kutsko to create the music video.


Kutsko has worked with the band previously in 2013, directing their video for their single Sonsick. Known in the commercial world for his use of visual effects, Kutsko’s has a distinct ability to integrate narrative into his work while also creating a vibrant world filled with colors and costuming, anchored by it’s landscaping. His videos are almost psychedelic experiences – the Kutty specialty as some in the commercial world put it. Examples of Kutsko’s talent are seen in various music videos he directs, like Greta Van Fleet’s music video When The Curtain Falls he directed in August of 2018, and Australian band, Pnau’s video All Of Us he directed in 2019.


For The Hunger video, Kutsko knew the song’s messaging would create a different tone from his normal lively VFX work. Kutsko wanted to create a somber yet engaging narrative that embodied the painful emotions within our main character. He saw the song as a fable about the danger of trotting too deep into the forest of the “one button” romance, and he wanted to honor the sentiment and truth that weaved throughout the song.


The video opens on a woman sitting at the head of a long table in a large, dark empty void of a room. The room is black and the only bit of color is what is seen on the table - white linen that starkly clashes with the black background. As the song continues, the woman begins to dance throughout the room. Her movement is an explosion of emotion juxtaposed the prison of monotony she is trapped in. The table fills with bright white plates that pile up to the beat of the drum, rotting food and leftover glasses of wine that pulse to the music.


More and more glasses and carafes of red wine appear on the table, and a small white rat journeys through the maze they've create. This pure white creature pops on screen as it runs through the labyrinth that has slowly built up around it.  Red wine bleeds across the white tablecloth and glass shatters in slow motion as the woman dances, and the song reaches its' climax. Kutsko created an extremely visceral narrative for the viewer to experience.


There is a strong emotional arch throughout the song. Ludwig-Leone stated the song highlighted the euphoria that happens when one finally lets go of the expectations of dating in our modern world. Kutsko highlighted this with the accumulated of wine glasses, past failures, that are destroyed as our main character let’s go and dances. At the beginning she wears a fake smile and everything attempts to look pleasant, the wine starts to grow up from the bottom of her white dress and rage builds up in her. But as she dances she is freed from her struggles and is able to let go of her frustrations.


With his use of color and lighting, Kutsko kept a raw and gritty feel flowing throughout the video that enabled an authentic interpretation of what our character feels and what Ludwig-Leone intended.


The song is an honest expression of something that everyone is dealing with and trying to understand right now. Kutsko was able to narrate such an intimate and emotional response that captured the essence of the song.


Check out the full video here.


Check out some behind the scene photos below.

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January 2, 2019

Congrats to Greta Van Fleet on their Best Rock Album Grammy

Congrats to Greta Van Fleet on their Best Rock Album Grammy!!! Check out Benjamin Kutsko's video for When the Curtain Falls.

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December 2, 2018

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs new campaign for Chevrolet's 2018 Equinox

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs new campaign for Chevrolet's 2018 Equinox.

Our car does so much more than transport us from here to there. Our car is our second home. It keeps our family safe and secure, and is the source of many of our cherished memories. We live and experience life in our cars.

This sentiment is the theme of Chevrolet’s new promotional campaign for the launch of their 2018 Equinox. The General Motors team is known for creating safe and reliable cars that are made for the whole family. Still, General Motors has embraced the technological age and their cars feature incredibly intelligence technology that improves the driver’s experience. Chevrolet’s 2018 Equinox is the perfect blend of family friendly comfort and cutting edge technology.  

Chevrolet wanted to highlight the car’s resourcefulness while also introducing the model’s new modern and inventive features. Chevrolet and General Motors teamed up with Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films, to produce the campaign. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the campaign.

Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, Adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. Pina’s work greatly carries an urban yet fresh feel that integrated all of Chevrolet’s wants for their launch.  

Each film in the campaign told the story of a family, highlighting a special moment between a father and his son or daughter. Pina anchored each film in this narrative, but he also used it to feature the car’s innovative technology. Magic obsessed kids were impressed by their dad’s ability to park the car “hands free” thanks to the Equinox’s automatic parking assistance. A young girl with a broken arm clung to her dad, as he open the truck using the hands-free gesture lift gate to surprise her with a “get well” present. Each story was heartfelt but straightforwardly advertised the vehicles new technology.

Pina brightly lit each film and scored it to folksy tunes to create a wholesome and gentle tone throughout the campaign. His shots of the car were crisp and smooth, as it drove down neighborhood streets. Pina wanted the viewer to know that just because the car is for the whole family, doesn’t mean it can’t look and feel sleek.

With the 2018 Equinox, Chevrolet has enhanced the family experience in the car. They have created a safer car that allows for easier travel with the family by catering to the whole family’s needs. Chevrolet’s 2018 Equinox allows for family to find new roads together.

Watch the campaign here.

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October 2, 2018

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Film For Vivo Anthem X23

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Film For Vivo Anthem X23

Our cell phones have become extensions of our hand, eyes, ears and mouth. Through our phone we can experience life and we want our phone to function just as seamlessly as we function in life. We want it to be as though we are communicating with the person right in front of us, or looking directly at whatever we’ve photographed, or listening to an artist live. So, Vivo created the X23 to help us connect with ease.

The Vivo X23 features Android’s signature processing system equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. With both a rear and front camera, the X23 provides crisp and clear photo capturing. The X23 uses one touch security, which means all the comforts of the phone are accessibility with the touch of a finger.

To produce their promotional campaign, Vivo teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the campaign.

Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, Adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. His work offers a fresh yet urban feel that Vivo wanted to integrate into the film.

Pina wanted to create a lively film that spoke to a millennial user base. Pina used camera movement and fluid cuts to seamlessly flow one shot into another and define the film’s fast pace. He scored the film to robust electronic beats that added an animated energy while also weaving the film’s tone throughout the various shots. Pina used point of view shots to highlight the phone’s one touch security feature. He then widened his lens to show the phone being used in real time, highlighting the wonderful camera quality and other user-friendly features. Pina finished the film with crisp and clean high fashion like shots of the device. Pina was able to create a vivacious viewing experience that embodied all the excitement that comes with the Vivo X23.

Vivo’s X23 Anthem is the perfect device for capturing treasured moments and streaming your favorite tunes.

Check out the full film here.


Check out behind the scene photos below!

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October 2, 2018

Longchamp The Ride with Kendall Jenner

Giddy up and WATCH the second installment for Longchamp, directed by John Christopher Pina and featuring the multi-talented Kendall Jenner riding bareback in her Malibu backyard.

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April 2, 2018

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Adidas Film for Futurecraft 4D

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina directs adidas film for Futurecraft 4D

Adidas has partnered with Carbon to create a completely customized shoe for its’ wearer. With athletic research and 3D printing, adidas has made Futurecraft 4D.


Adidas teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create the promotional film for Futurecraft 4D. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac has partnered with adidas on numerous productions. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. His work greatly matches the similar urban yet fresh feel of the adidas brand. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, which has won a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal.


Pina wanted raw unadulterated footage of the shoe’s making to intercut the cinematic shots and highlight the innovation that is Furturecraft 4D. The films through line anchored around a runner, which added a natural element and soften the artificial nature of the shoe’s production. Using long natural one shots cut with gritty real footage of the assembly of the shoe created an urban futuristic feel. Pina used cutting edge editing and visual effects to fuse together the various footage and create a unified film that emphasized the rise of innovation.


The Dutch film composer, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, producer and engineer, Junkie XL, scored the film. Originally known for his trance, electronica and big beat productions, Junkie XL has since moved on to be one of the most prolific film scorers in Hollywood, scoring films like Spider Man, Mad Mac, Black Mass, and Deadpool. Pina has worked with Junkie XL in the past directing his music video for Leave Behind Your Ego featuring Timothy Leary. Both Pina and Junkie XL wanted the film to create a natural ambiance where the VO, sound design and music dynamically supported the narrative. Sound pans throughout the film and leads into the following frames, creating momentum and anticipation. In the end, all these elements fused into one singular collage of sound.


Adidas has always been at the cutting edge in sportswear technology. They’re use of technology in their manufacturing of product creates better sportswear that in turn enhances an athletes performance. Adidas inspires and amazes us with their products, and Futurecraft 4D does exactly that.


Pina won a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D.


Read more about the production here.

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February 2, 2018

Miniac Films and adidas Partner Up

adidas Brand Design partnered with Miniac Films to create a film that harnesses the spirit of unyielding innovation and discovery in a quest to produce a hyper-personalized running shoe. Find more out more at adidas, shoot or dexigner

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February 2, 2018

Miniac Films' director John Christopher Pina on the Cannes Lions Shortlist

Congrats to adidas, the Futurecraft 4D team and Miniac Films' director John Christopher Pina on the Cannes Lions Shortlist. Watch the film here.

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February 2, 2018

Matthias Hoene directed a short film for Parley for the Oceans

Matthias Hoene directed a short film featuring Ana Bader for Parley for the Oceans and adidas. Check out what people are saying at Little Black Book.

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February 2, 2018

Benjamin Kutsko Directs for Greta Van Fleet

Benjamin Kutsko is at it again, this time channeling his inner Timothy Leary, for Greta Van Fleet. See it. Read it. Read it. Read it.

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February 2, 2018

Miniac Films Director Peter Jordan directs Facebook Portal film, Feel There

Miniac Films Director Peter Jordan directs Facebook Portal film, Feel There.

Living in the digital world has its’ perks. From being able to bank online to searching any obscure question you’re too embarrassed to ask your friends, our digital work has made life accessible and easier. But, debatably the biggest perk of our tech-heavy lives, is the connection it allows. This perk, our ability to connect, birthed the latest invention from Facebook - Portal.

However you feel about the implications of living online, it is undeniable that the online social media site, Facebook, has changed the way we communicate and interact as a society. Facebook’s latest invention, Facebook’s Portal, is the next step in the evolution of human communication.

Portal is exactly its namesake. Portal is a portal that connects families, friends and loved ones through video chatting services. Portal allows us to bond with our most cherished people despite being miles away. And, yes, this has been a concept for many years with various video chatting services available online, but, the sleek tablet like device, Portal, does so much more.

Portal is designed with a high-tech camera featuring a 114-degree field of view and rotating screen that is designed to follow you wherever and however you move throughout your space. It is equipped with state of the art speakers and Bluetooth services that minimize background noise to keep conversations moving. Portal even connects to Amazon Alexa features. Portal HD display provides crisp imaging while matching your room’s lighting and color to provide optimal imaging and seamless streaming. Portal can be used as a virtual picture frame, looping through photos, or a speaker system. And the best part of Portal? It is also an AR experience.

Portal’s AI smart camera and smart sound allow for fun filters and interactive experiences. Portal offers a photo booth where you can add AR masks and effects for an animated experience. With Story Time, Portal allows for an immersive experience where music, animation and effects literally bring a story to life. No longer will you ever have to miss bedtime because of a  work trips - Story Time brings to the whole family together.

Portal is a perfect example of how technology can be used for good. Facebook released Portal in 2018 with their Feel There campaign. Miniac Films director, Peter Jordan, directed the Feel There film. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Jordan is known in the commercial world for his emotive and scenic narrative work.

Jordan weaved a touching thread throughout the film, capturing real moments of connection made possible with Portal. Because if you cannot be there, feel there.

Check out the video here.  

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February 2, 2018

Miniac Films Director Benjamin Kutsko's modern take on San Fermin

Check out Miniac Films Director Benjamin Kutsko's modern take on San Fermin feat. dancer/choreographer Denna Thomsen.

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January 12, 2018

Benjamin Kutsko's new video for Pnau

Feast your eyes on Benjamin Kutsko's new video for Pnau. It's a full-on trip.

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January 2, 2018

Miniac's new mixes: Smithereens and Questo Amore

Once again for your listening pleasure, Miniac's new mixes: Smithereens and Questo Amore

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January 2, 2018

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs Longchamp's 70th anniversary campaign in Paris

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs Longchamp's 70th anniversary campaign in Paris.

We open on the streets of Paris. It is dawn. This romanticized city filled with history and elegance, is cut with the modernity of a sleek and cosmopolitan metropolis. The contrast of the cities’ duality in culture lays the backdrop to our scene.


Longchamp recently launched their 70th anniversary campaign. Their goal was to capture their brand's essence. To personify the ambiance Longchamp has spent years mastering. To show illustrate their growth cinematically. They wanted a film that embodied Longchamp. They wanted to portray their fearless run.


Longchamp recently released 70th anniversary campaign. They worked with French company, Air Paris, and the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films, to produce their films. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. Pina’s work greatly matches the similar urban yet poignant feel that is Longchamp’s identity.


Pina's objective was to capture the romanticism of the past while highlighting the empowerment of the future. The first film in the campaign begins with Longchamp ambassador, Kendall Jenner, running through the new 18th arrondissement. The new 18th is Paris’ creative hub. It is sleek with graphic horizontal lines. Intercut in this modern backdrop are shots of a horse, Longchamp’s emblem, running through the city’s historic parts of town. Each building the horse passes acting as a vestige of a past era. The film ends with Jenner’s and the horse’s dramatic encounter at the Mantmaretre, the cities highest point. With a wide shot of Paris in the background, Jenner and the horse come together.


Pina cut in close macro-shots of the horse’s intense eyes, its sweat and matted hair, the movement of its mane and hooves to accentuate the soul living inside. In graceful contrast to the horse, he mixed powerful and striking, and sometimes abstract shots of Kendall running effortlessly, without breaking a sweat. This added a sense of suspense and movement to the film. By using product rack zooms, Pina seamlessly transitioned from the horse to Kendall, creating a singular smooth narrative. Pina shot in a way that augmented the feeling of performance and increased the feeling of speed. Pina's use of sound, accentuating beating hearts and hooves pummeling on the pavement, added to the depth he build into the film.


Pina created a refined tension between the modern Paris and the romantic Paris that identified Longchamp’s long journey of self-discovery. Longchamp's journey, over seventy years, has brought the brand to where they are now: seventy years of freedom. Longchamp.


Watch the Paris film here, and the director's cut here. Read more about the film here and here.


Check out photos from behind the scene of the production below.

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December 2, 2017

Miniac's new mixes: Deep Tissue and Winter Always Finds Me

For your listening pleasure, Miniac's new mixes: Deep Tissue and Winter Always Finds Me

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December 2, 2017

Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Miniac Team Up

We are extremely proud to be a part of such a worthy cause during Art Basel. Partnering up with Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Newlink and Wynwood, we created an AR based installation for the visually impaired -- showing all this month and next. Please check out unseenmiami.com for more information. 

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November 2, 2017

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Film For Microsoft Office 365 Ink

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Film For Microsoft Office 365 Ink.

Nothing really compares to the classic pen and paper. The simplicity of ink on parchment makes everyday life and work easy and concise. We use a pen and paper almost everyday to jot down a note, make a list or even sketch a design. Nothing really compares to the classic pen and paper, that is, until Microsoft Office 365 Ink.

Microsoft Office 365 wanted to create a way for their users to have access to the simplicity of pen and paper digitally. Ink was Microsoft’s solution. Microsoft Office 365 Ink’s software allows users to draw and write with their finger, a digital pen, or a mouse on a touch device. Ink has transformed a touch device into a virtual notebook to make work and life simpler.

To produce their promotional campaign, Microsoft Office 365 teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the campaign.

Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, Adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. His work offers a fresh yet urban feel that greatly compliments Microsoft’s brand.

Pina wanted to show real people who can benefit from Microsoft’s Ink software. Pina’s story centered around three people, an artist, a businessman and an architect going throughout their daily work routine with the help of Microsoft Office 365 Ink. Pina wanted to keep a lighthearted tone while highlighting how each person integrated the software into their work. Pina brightly colored the film and layered an instrumental mix over the voiceover that detailed the various features of Ink. In every shot we were able to see Microsoft Ink at work. Pina made sure to highlight how the Ink software is incredibly user friendly and how Ink allows for our creativity to flourish.

Check out the full film here.  

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October 2, 2017

Adidas Not Made for Normal gets written up

Check out the new adidas Climaheat - Not Made for Normal film directed by John Christopher Pina and featured here: SHOOT, CREATIVE POOL and SHOTS.

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September 2, 2017

Miniac Film's new mix: Continental Grip

Make summer last with Miniac Film's new mix: Continental Grip

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September 2, 2017

Miniac Films Director, John Christopher Pina, Directs New Film For Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs new film for Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

There is no worse feeling than the gut wrenching pain of dropping your phone into water. The rush for a dry towel and rice rivals Olympic speeds. But, what if you didn’t have to be so careful with your device around water? What if you could use it in water? What if you could embrace the vast universe that lives within earth’s largest surface, what lives in our waters? Samsung’s answer? The Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung is constantly developing the latest and greatest in electronics and “smart technology,” and their newest creation, The Galaxy Note 7, is the perfect example of their inventiveness. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 not only has Samsung’s signature processing system and a longer battery life, but it is also waterproof.

To produce their promotional campaign, Samsung teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films, to produce the campaign. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the campaign.

Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, Adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. His work offers a fresh yet urban feel that greatly compliments Samsung’s high tech yet user-friendly devices.

Pina wanted the film to feel imaginative and inventive, while also highlighting the amazing features of a waterproof device. Pina’s greatest inspiration was from ocean photographers, like Elena Kalis, who narrated the film. Kalis spoke of how she wanted the beauty of underwater photography to be accessible to all. Pina used this as the emotional thread throughout the film, but he wanted to take an artistic approach. Pina showed clips of people going about their daily lives, but doing it underwater. In doing so, he captured an alternative view that enhanced mundane activities, adding an unconventional whimsy. Pina colored the film in dark hues of blue to capture the sensation of being under water, but also illustrated the beauty that can only be captured underwater. The beauty that can now be captured with The Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung’s is one of the first companies to make a water-friendly device, which has shocked the tech world and amped up the competition for their competitors. Their Galaxy Note 7 is so much more than a phone; it is a portal into the underwater world. The Note 7 this is not a phone, it is a Galaxy.

Check out the full film here.  

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August 2, 2017

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Adidas Film Climaheat: Not Made For Normal

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina Directs Adidas Film Climaheat: Not Made For Normal.

Adidas has always pushed the power of performance. In their newest creation, Adidas designed a line of sportswear that is designed for peak performances in the extreme cold and snow. Adidas knows that in the cold people seek out comfort and protection. They know that athletes need garments that protect them from the elements while also allowing for full exertion. That is why they created Climaheat.


Adidas teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create the promotional film for Climaheat. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac has partnered with adidas on numerous productions. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot for Climaheat: Not Made For Normal.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. His work greatly matches the similar urban yet fresh feel of the adidas brand. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for the 2018 film for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal.


Pina wanted to show the versatility of Climaheat. He shot the film in three different locations: city streets, a rural small town and the rugged mountains. Pina highlighted the layers of sleet and snow on asphalt; the gray wide skies above snow covered prairie flatlands; and dramatic mountain vistas to heighten the sense of cold and show how the runners could withstand the brutal cold and find their peak performance with Climaheat.


In each varied location, Pina's use of angles and use of visceral close-ups emphasized the Climaheat garments in action. Each shot stressed the athletes’ form as a human contrast to the harsh nature around them. Shots of wide-angle city and rural landscapes defined their individual character and the close ups locked in on their bodies in motion highlighting each runners’ power, their total confidence in extreme environments. Pina also used sound design to evoke the warm collected confidence in the runners.


The Miniac team shot the film in Santiago, Chile. Santiago is a striking metropolis but is also less than an hour from the Andes peak, making it the perfect spot to shoot. Due to the high altitude and the extreme cold, it took almost four hours to get a singular shot of runner, Jason Richardson, as he looped the mountain range.


The films inspired a range of women and men to purse athletic excellence in spite of the formidable cold. Wherever they are and whatever the obstacles, Climaheat is a tool that athletes can use to achieve peak performance. It is built for the extraordinary, it is not made for normal.


Check out the full film here.


Check out some behind the scene footage below.

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July 7, 2017

Miniac's new mix: I Was Born This Way

Coming in hot, Miniac's new mix: I Was Born This Way

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April 2, 2017

Matthias Hoene directs adidas’ film with environmental non-profit Parley For The Oceans

Matthias Hoene directs adidas’ environmental film with the environmental non-profit Parley For The Oceans, featuring professional cliff diver, Anna Bader.

When jumping off the cliff’s edge, professional cliff diver Anna Bader is not concerned about her own health; she is concerned about the health of our oceans.

Plastic waste is growing exponentially throughout our world. Unfortunately, most of our plastic waste ends up in our oceans. Scientists predict that if current pattern don’t change by 2050 there will be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish.


Adidas has made it their mission to clean up our oceans. The German sports company has a long history of environmental outreach and their partnership with the New York based non-profit, Parley, is one of many campaigns they have created to fight ocean pollution. Adidas and Parley came together to create a special limited edition line of shoes and sportswear that is made from recycled plastic waste.


Adidas and Parley introduced their partnership back in 2018. Their mission was straightforward but they wanted a powerful announcement. – so adidas hired director, Matthias Hoene, to direct their release video.


Hoene is a UK based director whom frequently works with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films. Miniac is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac has worked with Hoene on several other branded content productions, but their work on the adidas and Parley for the oceans campaign captured a unique story.


Enter Anna Bader. Anna Bader is a professional cliff diver. Bader currently lives in Germany with her husband and two children. In addition to being a top competitor in her sport, Bader is passionate about the health of our oceans. The oceans are the beating heart to cliff diving, and Bader knows that the health of the oceans directly relate to the longevity of her sport. Bader’s love for the ocean goes deep, and she wants to make sure her children are able to enjoy their magnificence as well.


The adidas x Parley For The Oceans campaign told the story of Bader as she prepared for a dive in Hawaii, the birthplace of cliff diving. Miniac and Hoene shot the piece as a documentary, emphasizing the training and discipline that go into Bader’s practice. Miniac and Hoene painted Bader as more than just a cliff diver; she is also a mother, a teacher, a normal girl from a small town in Germany who is exceptionally talented in her sport. The film then widened its lens to highlight the central theme of their piece: ocean pollution.


It was not a difficult location scout for the Miniac team, simply because of the pervasiveness of the problem. Plastic waste can be seen littered along the shores of numerous beaches in Hawaii, where Hoene and the Miniac FIlms team shot the piece. The accessibility to plastic waste was, and still is, quite jarring. Yet, Hoene’s ability to capture the gravity of the situation while integrating Bader’s story weaved a hopeful thread throughout the piece. This is not a hopeless cause. Together, through personal cognizance and with the help from global brands like adidas and Parley, we can end plastic waste in our oceans.


Adidas and Parley’s partnership is just the beginning in the fight against ocean pollution. Their campaign raised awareness, and their product directly reduced plastic ocean waste. All in all, adidas x Parley For The Oceans is a huge success.


Read more about the project here. The film was also featured on LBB and AdAge.


Check out the final spot to the Miniac Films and Matthias Hoene spot, Dive: featuring Anna Bader, here.

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March 2, 2016

adidas, Not Made for Normal spot by John Christopher Pina

Watch the adidas, Not Made for Normal spot by John Christopher Pina here. The spot was covered by AdLandBest Ads on TV, Great Ads and AdeeVee.

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February 5, 2016

Miniac Films new mix: Luxury Rock

Spring is here, just in time for Miniac's new mix: Luxury Rock

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February 2, 2016

Miniac's new mix: El Cañón Perdido

Check out Miniac's new mix: El Cañón Perdido.

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February 2, 2016

John Christopher Pina directs adidas Climachill: Not Made For Normal

Miniac Films Director John Christopher Pina directs adidas Climachill: Not Made for Normal film.

The sun is beating down on a vast arid desert. There is a foggy haze across the cracking dusty ground. Suddenly we see a bust of life in this dry lifeless climate. It is a runner. Running in this intense heat with precision and ease. They’re not even breaking a sweat.


Adidas has created a new line of sportswear that ­is designed to keep athletes cool in extreme heat. Adidas uses a patented breathable fabric that sweeps away sweat and heat creating a cooling effect. This high-tech line of sportswear is one of many ways in which the German sportswear company is pioneering a new way of sportswear design; one that is not only comfortable and fashionable, but also integrates modern technology to create a better product.


Adidas teamed up with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films to create the promotional film, Climachill: Not Made For Normal. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac has partnered with adidas on numerous productions. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, directed the spot for Climachill: Not Made For Normal.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like Pharell and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company. His work greatly matches the similar urban yet fresh feel of the adidas brand.


Pina wanted all of the shots in his film to point to a single emotion: confidence in your ability in extreme environments. The film alternated between aerial landscape shots, medium shots of the athletes’ form in slow-motion exertion, and close-ups highlighting the Climachill garments and the runner’ cool, dry skin beneath it. Pina used various cuts and shooting angles in the film to create abstract close-ups of the garments in action to added intrigue. His use of landscape also added an evocative texture to the intense heat. The music for the film centered on a single, minimal note that provided a foundation for varied, very physical sound design, and intern creating a tension and atmosphere that built to the closing crescendo.


The film starred Sharika Nelvis and Brie Felnagle. Nelvis is an American hurdler and Felnagle is a middle-distance runner. Pina wanted to shoot in three types of locations, a city, rural town and out in nature, to evoke the sense of limitless potential that Climachill offers its’ wearers. Arizona provided the perfect mix of city and nature, and the needed arid climate, for the film’s backdrop. While in Arizona, the Miniac Team had to shut down an entire town, Apache Junction, to get a few of their close-up running shots.


The film inspired athletes to pursue excellence in spite of challenging heat. Wherever they are and whatever the obstacles, adidas’ Climachill is a tool that athletes can use to be at their best. It’s not made for normal; it’s build for the extraordinary.


Pina’s work on adidas Climachill: Not Made For Normal earned him a Clio Award.


Check out the full film here.


Check out some behind the scene photos below.

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February 2, 2016

Miniac Films Xbox, Play Anywhere

CNET and Creativity covers Miniac's Xbox, Play Anywhere spot.

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November 16, 2015

Adidas Uncontrol Yourself directed by John Christopher Pina

Adidas Uncontrol Yourself directed by John Christopher Pina won Silver at The London International Awards (LIA). Special thanks to Vaudeville for their incredible work.

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November 1, 2015

John C. Pina and Benjamin Kutsko for SurfAir

John C. Pina and Benjamin Kutsko take to the skies for the latest campaign for Surf Air. You can see it featured in Creativity, Little Black Book, AdFourm and SHOOT herehere, here and here.

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May 2, 2015

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina direct Vans Off The Wall | Landmarks

Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs Vans Off The Wall | Landmarks.

Our shoes carry us through our lives. They are silent contributors to our memories and our experiences. Shoes protect us from the elements, provide comfort and we use them to define ourselves, to express who we are.


Vans Off The Wall embraces this sentiment and carries it as the through line in their brand’s identity. In their latest promotional film, Vans pumps the emotion and creates a narrative that highlights their edgy and alternative vibe. Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directed the film.


Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, Adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. Pina’s work greatly carries an urban yet fresh feel that emanates within Van’s brand image.


The film follows a young couple as they navigate the valleys of their relationship. We first see the young couple passionately expressing their love in bed together. These tender moments are interrupted with raw portrayals of them slowly following out of love. Pina weaved an artistic thread that carried the film’s central narrative. By intercutting movement throughout the film with the use of unrelated cinematic shots; feet walking through the dessert, a horse running, a car driving, palm trees swaying in the air, Pina created an artistic interpretation of their journey back to love and how their Vans carried them back to one another.


Pina’s use of color highlighted a raw emotional rhythm throughout the film. In scenes of passion, it was bright and simplistic – naked bodies against white sheets. In moments of gripe, Pina used shadowing to create a more somber tone. As we track the journey, Pina varies the color to add interest and reference the struggle throughout. His use of sound also highlights the emotional arch throughout the film. Pina layers an instrumental orchestral that creates tension and frames the emotional atmosphere that builds to the closing crescendo. Layered over the music is a spoken word poem that tells the story Pina so beautifully depicts on screen, adding context to each scene. Pina's use of angles and use of visceral close-ups emphasizes intimacy, while his wide shots stresses the curves and bends within their journey. Pina’s final shot starts tight and ends wide to capture both the intensity and the drama of their reunion.


Pina’s work is a beautiful, lyrical cinematic depiction of love, loss, and of a passionate reunion that was made possible through Vans. The film emphasizes Vans tone and image more than it’s product, but still the viewer knows exactly what they are purchasing. They are not only purchasing their shoe, their purchasing the vessel that leads us to the essential moments in our lives.


Check out the full video here.


Check out behind the scene below.

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February 2, 2015

SurfAir x Miniac Films Campaign

Directors John Christopher Pina & Benjamin Kutsko direct SurfAir campaign

The campaign features a :60 anthem spot called, "You've Arrived." In total, there are 6 x 30 second spots that highlight separate vignettes that are featured in the anthem spot.

We see an architect flying from San Francisco to Santa Barbara on a whim to compare blueprints in person to a Los Angeles executive escaping the city bustle for a tranquil evening of wine tasting in Napa after a day in the office.


They will air during the Rose Bowl this season.


Little Black Book covered the full story as well.


Produced by Miniac Films

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November 26, 2014

Miniac Films Director Casper Kelly Directs Adult Swim Video, Too Many Cooks.

Miniac Films Director Casper Kelly Directs Adult Swim Video, Too Many Cooks.

Our favorite shows are defined by their theme songs. Don’t believe me? Let’s do a little test. Below are the opening lines to three cult classic shows from the 1990’s. Can you guess what show they’re from?

1. Whatever happened to predictability?

2. It’s a rare condition this day in age to read any good news on the newspaper page.

3. So no one told you life was gonna be this way.

Have you gotten them yet? Yes? Of course you did! The three opening lines above are from Full House, Family Matters and Friends. These theme songs are absolute classics. And we do apologize that they will be stuck in your head all day.

A theme song is our first portal into the show’s world, and in the 1990’s the theme song opened each show with an accompanied opening montage. This was a highly produced part of the show and it took up a few minutes of screen time.


Typically, the opening montage would go that the camera would “catch” the character in the middle of some activity that summed up their personality. The character would then smile at the camera delighted or slightly embarrassed while the actor’s name would appear in bright lettering below. Here is the opening to Family Matters for a better understanding.

Even though we no longer produce such elaborate openings to our favorite shows, the love of 90’s theme songs is not lost on our viewers today. In homage to these classics, Miniac Films director Casper Kelly teamed up with Adult Swim to produce an amazing video, Too Many Cooks.

Kelly is a writer and director known for is known for his comedy ad work on Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Tetly Tea. Kelly has been a staffed writer on numerous comedy shows like Archer, Squidbillies, Stoker & Hoop and Harvey Birdman. He was nominated for an Emmy. Kelly is the author of the book of short stories, “More Stories about Spaceships and Cancer.”

Kelly’s film parodied 90s opening montages by having an ongoing theme song that credited a surplus of characters, each perfectly embodying various troupes commonly seen in these kinds of openings. Kelly wanted the film to feel extremely authentic. He colored the film to have the same gritty texture that was seen when using 1990’s cameras and he scored the film to an upbeat tune that really drove home the 90s feel. But, he also added a hysterical twist.

Kelly’s montage morphed into the tale of a serial killer on the loose killing the various people in the montage. This turn of events catches the viewer by surprise, yet Kelly was able to integrate it seamlessly to the narrative to optimize the comedy. The large yellow credit follows the characters as they run from the murderer, even being the cause of one poor girl’s death.


As the murderer continues to wreak havoc on the cast, the 90s montage begins to change as well, turning into a parody of an animated series commonly seen during this time. The film finally ends with the murder getting a credit in large yellow lettering, and a final cast photo creating a happy ending to this shocking tale.

Check out the full film here.

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