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Meet Phil, Principal Designer

"Being punched in the face made me a better designer"

Project background

As a UX designer I felt that Booking’s design community was underrepresented on the web. I decided to tackle this problem by telling cinematic stories about our designers. The goal was to create a series of short films to increase exposure of our design community and to attract potential colleagues.

My role

The whole project was completely DIY with zero budget. I took care of the planning, directing, shooting, and editing.


I drafted the project document and collected reference videos for insiration. Next, I needed a person who would agree to be the star of the video. I approached Phil Hammel, because I knew we lived on the same street which was great for logistics. Phil agreed and we started the production after a brief exchange of ideas.

Some of the unused shots

It took us 2 days of IT hackathon plus 3 mornings before work to finish the production. I aimed for candid shots and avoided staging as much as possible. For example, to capture office shots, I lurked around Phil’s workplace during hackathon. The boxing shots were made during actual sparring bewteen Phil and his buddy. I joined their training in Sarphatipark at 6:00AM.

Phil problem solving in the office and "in the ring"

Bicycle shots were done with help from the Product Owner I worked with. He commuted to work on a scooter, so I asked him to drive by our neighbourhood one morning. When he arrived, I sat down behind him back to back, holding balance with my legs and trying to film Phil who was cycling on my bicycle. It had to be my bicycle because someone had stolen Phil’s handlebars earlier that night.

The voiceover was exctracted from interview I recorded at Phil’s apartment. We just talked for two hours about all things design. I had to make some tough choices later in post production, because I had to distill entire two hours of great material into 3 minutes. Overall, I spent about a month editing and color grading on weekends before I felt the video was ready to see the light of day.

Phil's dog Chewie was my assistant during production

Technical details

Release date September 2015
Camera Panasonic GH4
Lens SLR Magic CINE 25mm f0.95, SLR Magic CINE 12mm f1.6
Sound Zoom H1, Rode Lavalier Microphone
Music Svay Pak by Tony Anderson
Support Monopod, Shoulder Rig
Edit Adobe Premiere CC

Coming up next

Business Bookers Video

A story about a business trip gone wrong