Chris Leslie Productions

Photography and film commission by Lessons for Life – an education charity working across Africa. The four-day shoot on location in Rwanda resulted in a comprehensive photography portfolio and several case study short films highlighting the lives of young people helped into education.

The films were edited as two-minute and thirty-second edits for social media promotion, and the photography was used for the charity’s Annual Review and website.

Cristina Valdivieso and Jon Connor

“At Masters in Motion 2016, we were fortunate to be joined by the talented directing duo Daniels who had just won Sundance for their stellar work helming the film Swiss Army Man. If you just watched the trailer you may have thought it was a joke, a juvenile fart joke masquerading as a feature film. If you take the time to watch the film though I think you will see something else entirely. During their talk the Daniels dug in deep with a tour de force presentation that was wildly entertaining but also forced everyone in the room to really think about not only why they were making films but how those films would affect the people watching them.

We didn’t want to squander the opportunity to sit down and pick the brains of two of the freshest voices in cinema. So . . . we rented an EyeDirect. It is very similar to the Interretron invented by Errol Morris. We wanted a classic and timeless look for the interviews and by utilizing the EyeDirect we felt rather than have our subjects looking off camera, we would be able to create a deeper connection with the audience. We were hoping to capture a bit of the magic and intimacy of the conversation by having them looking directly into the lens as if they were talking directly to the viewer.”  ~Cristina Valdivieso and Jon Connor

Before by Terence Brown

“I use the technique often, and while I sometimes use a more built-out Interrotron, the EyeDirect is really nice for more mobile situations.  I’m beginning a new doc that will take me to many different locations where I’ll be interviewing people in this style: A short film about a short time in life.”

–Directed and Edited by Terence Brown

ESPN, Pony Excess

“EyeDirect is a filmmaking marvel. We set out to make Pony Excess look like nothing the viewer had seen before – I mean we’ve all seen thousands and thousands of “talking heads” interviews in our lifetime, right? To reach that goal we utilized everything from achieving close to the shallowest depth of field possible to using kino bulbs naked from their casings directly in frame… but it all began (and ended, frankly) with the EyeDirect. Everything else we did was to augment the immediacy that the EyeDirect delivers right out of the box. Speaking for myself and the entire Pony Excess team, we couldn’t have been happier with the results.

“… the audience took notice too! I can’t tell you how often I am told of just how much a part of the story an audience member felt as a result of the direct address achieved by the EyeDirect.

“The EyeDirect is a filmmaking marvel. I’ve always been a proponent of the idea that a truly great invention or advancement is one that has a beauty in its simplicity that is so plain to see, and a result so extraordinary, that one can’t help noting, “why didn’t I think of that?” It’s not often you get the chance to utilize such a tool in its infancy, and to do so with the EyeDirect was an honor… and it seemed like everywhere we had people cooing about the EyeDirect and lamenting that they hadn’t thought of it first.

“The ability to just slap this puppy on and have a one-on-one conversation with anyone, with sincere eye contact – leveling that truth that can only come with direct eye contact – will make anyone a better documentary filmmaker. The interviews I shot before I began using theEyeDirect don’t even compare. And with the speed and ease of use, now the question really becomes, why would you NOT use the EyeDirect?”  – Thaddeus Matula, Director, Pony Excess, a 30 for 30 ESPN film


Obit Feature Documentary

VANESSA GOULD has studied a mix of science, art, film, music, and design over the past two decades. Her first film, Between the Folds, premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens in December 2009, and was re-broadcast the following season. It received a Peabody Award in 2010. Between the Folds has been translated into more than ten languages and has aired in dozens of countries, on networks including NHK, CBC, ABC, EBS, NRK, SF, SVT, Al Jazeera, and Al Hurra. It screened at more than 45 international film festivals and was recognized with numerous audience and jury awards.