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Reps Journal

Kremer/Johnson Taps Into Their Inner Child For Chatbooks

Kremer/Johnson is used to directing talent to do unusual things. Part of their genius is their ability to create convincing narratives in their imagery that allows the viewer to take a step into the scene. Working with children can be a challenge, but for Kremer/Johnson it is something they like to do. Explaining in jest they are just grown children, Neil and Cory said they found directing the young talent to be fun and rewarding on their project for Chatbooks. 

It wasn’t a game of cat and mouse, rather it was creating a relationship with the kids to let them know that Neil and Cory were on their side. Explaining that part of the appeal of working with young talent is that they are truly honest subjects who are rarely guarded, allowing for authentic expressions. Read on to hear the tips and tricks that Kremer/Johnson used to capture animated and relatable scenes for Chatbooks.

How do your vision statements through Ingenuity, Synergy and Discovery play a part in this project?
Ingenuity played a big part in this project as it was a pretty tight budget. we had to think creatively to light the scenes and create the overall look using innovative methods. Using technical solutions pulled out of our back pockets from our years of experience, we were able to achieve the look that the brand was aiming for. We also discovered how much we liked working with children and will seek it out more after this experience.

It’s hard to escape synergy when we work. We can’t say our creative process is seamless, but as a duo, we’ve learned when to step up and when to pull back to let the other person do what they do best. We are at our best when working together.

What did you learn on this shoot? 
We learned the best way to get kids to trust you is to talk to them like they’re adults. It’s so easy to try and dumb things down, but they don’t need you to do that. Kids know a lot more than we give them credit for so I like to talk to them like I talk to one of my friends, though perhaps less colorfully. 

We wanted their expressions to be fun and grandiose. If you’ve worked with children, you know that they don’t have much for a filter so getting them to be loud and wild isn’t hard, but reigning that in can be. We learned that if you show them what kind of acting we wanted them to do, they would immediately copy it. It was a fun opportunity to tap into our inner child and let loose a bit.

What do you hope people take away from you and your work from seeing this project?
That we can have fun with talent while keeping it professional and keeping our clients goal in mind. It could have been easy to let the entire shoot devolve into screaming and playing with paint, but you need to let them enjoy themselves while also getting quality shots. 

We believe that getting to know your talent and letting them have some fun results in more honest work. These kids were having so much fun rather than putting them into a specific position and micro directing them. In the end, this method will draw a lot more eyes to your work.

Follow Kremer/Johnson on Instagram for more story-telling scenes.