When it’s NOT okay to go to Silicon Valley in a t-shirt

One of my favorite things about running a film company is learning about our clients. A little over a week ago we had the privilege of working with Semiconductor Industry Association, an industry association in the technology space. We worked with their marketing team to create video content for their annual meeting in Silicon Valley.

The semiconductor industry is fascinating. For the event we created a tribute video that celebrated 25 years of award winning innovators. They also asked us to come and film interviews with the leaders of many of the Fortune 500 companies that make up their membership — people like the CEOs of Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Intel.

A favorite moment from the interviews was talking with the three inventors of the microprocessor as they told their story on camera.

Inventors of the Microprocessor

Inventors of the Microprocessor

We had limited time with each of these high profile individuals so we needed to quickly build rapport and get great content. So that there was no distractions, I wore a well-fitted suit that matched the level of dress of my interview subjects. We had only 15 minutes with each person so we didn’t use lav mics. Finally, we had one of our team greet them at the door to answer questions and prep them on the interview format. These were important details that helped the executives feel comfortable from the moment that they walked in the room.

The tribute video that we had produced was played for a room of 250-300 industry leaders. When writing the script I spent weeks learning about the 25 past winners. There were winners like Gordon Moore who is credited as one of the fathers of Silicon Valley, and others who pushed the core science of semiconductors or worked in public policy. Any one of these leaders deserved a full documentary about their contributions.

Our challenge with the tribute video was to tell the broader story of the industry in a way that still mentioned each winner by name. For the video we sourced hundreds of historical images from each person’s life and produced a 4-minute motion design animation that highlighted their key achievements through voice and image. The audience members had lived and worked for their whole careers in this industry. We took the task of getting the details right very seriously.

The video was warmly received and a perfect fit for celebrating the 25th year of the Robert N. Noyce Award. For myself personally, being on site with our client deepened my connection to their space and what they are trying to do.