© NEIGHBORHOOD SANDBOX
A still from the Neighborhood Sandbox production "First Response."
Neighborhood Sandbox is a full service production company founded by Illinois-based photographer Jason Lindsey. With services from shoot to post-production, Jason Lindsey and his team have created a single Brand Voice by offering Hybrid shoots, which include both motion and still for a multi-faceted campaign that can be adapted to print, TV and social media Web sites.
Neighborhood Sandbox was born from Lindsey’s exploration of motion through personal projects. “I love storytelling,” he says. “That is at the core of my image creation, and I wanted to extend that.” With extensive experience in photojournalism, advertising and editorial photography, it wasn’t a difficult transition. Lindsey has always focused on the narrative and the backdrop of the images he shoots; now he provides simple direction to allow the story to unfold on its own and evolve from a still scene to a full motion piece.
The ideals of Neighborhood Sandbox remain true to Lindsey’s photographic work. His visual style is authentic and genuine and his team takes on challenges with the same Midwestern hard work ethic. Producer Talia Watkins, DP and Editor Tim Meyers and rep Melissa Hennessy of Hennessy reps are the familiar faces from his team. But Lindsey has also expanded to work with local freelancers wherever their ideas take them, creating a revolving door of fresh talent on every new project. While producing a video for agency Jump Company, only the recording was actually done in LA, while the music was produced in New York City and the shoot took place in the Midwest. The decentralization doesn’t bother him though, as he sees it as an advantage. “I think that is more common than not these days,” he says. “I love that. I have never really been fond of boundaries and these days, many of them do not exist.”
Besides experience, Jason Lindsey also brings to the table a practical business sense and a full understanding of his craft. As a former art director, he sees both sides and is able to tell a story using both his vision and the client’s vision concurrently. His practice is a mix of meticulousness and experimentation. He plans his pre-production extensively with treatments, storyboards, mood boards, brand stories and other prep work depending on the project at hand. Once he is behind the camera though, he finds improvisation is key in bringing out the story to its fullest potential, and always allows extra time on the shoot for the unplanned moments. “I like to be able to focus on the creative once we are on the shoot and have the flexibility to adjust to the reality I find once I start shooting,” he explains.
In April 2011, Neighborhood Sandbox was commissioned by Gelia agency to shoot a piece for Caterpillar on First Response. First Response is a team of workers dedicated to rapid debris removal and cleanup directly after natural disasters strike, before traditional relief agencies are dispatched to help. The team spoke with a woman, Cyndi whose house in Sanford, North Carolina was torn apart by a tornado while she hid inside in her bathtub. The video opens with the debris stretched across the plot of land, and the solitary bathtub standing upright, still attached to pieces of the bathroom wall. Cyndi tells her story while leaning against the only recognizable thing left from the destruction of the tornado.
Lindsey’s ability to let the narrative unfold is apparent in the conversational nature of the interview. The style of the video is true to his brand, yet his direction allows her voice and her story to be heard. He also achieved Gelia’s needs as well. “I have always been blown away by Jason’s photography style and his work ethic,” comments Creative Director Nick Jibben. “His shoots are always well organized and always go off without a hitch no matter what curve balls get thrown at you thanks to his incredible producer Talia. Now he has brought that vision and talent to motion so you can really have a seamless campaign in both print and video.”
Neighborhood Sandbox’s other clients include CITGO, BVK, Michigan Tourism, Dominican Republic Tourism, Bonadies Creative and Spinlight. Most recently, the team wrapped up a Hybrid shoot for an individualized health plan called iPlan for the consumers of the blood pressure medication Edarbi. To learn more about Neighborhood Sandbox, visit their Web site.