Toven Stith didn’t have to look very far to find inspiration for his entry in the 2016 MacSales.com video contest — it was just quick phone call away.
With professional experience and talent up his sleeve, all the LA-based cinematographer needed was a great subject. As luck would have it, one of Toven’s long-time creative partners, audio engineer Tyler Parkinson, is a long-time customer of MacSales.com.
“Tyler called and told me all about how much OWC saved his bacon, time and time again, when computers are having issues or they just need a boost in performance,” Stith said. “He raved about the customer service as well. It was a no-brainer to simply tell that story.”
In fact, it was Tyler who informed Toven about the second annual MacSales.com video contest in the first place. And considering the first edition of the contest in 2015 had nearly 70 entries, Stith knew he needed a good story.
“He was on [MacSales.com] ordering components for work when he came across the contest. He called me and told me about it and that he purchases equipment from [MacSales.com] all the time. I said, ‘Tell me more about that…’ and I knew we had a story to tell.”
Upgrading His World
The subject of the video, Tyler, had actually upgraded his Silver Tower Mac Pro several times with gear from MacSales.com. He’s upgraded with OWC memory, SSDs and more to keep his Mac Pro up to speed with the performance demands of a professional audio engineering workflow.
Tyler’s experiences with OWC and MacSales.com — along with the fact that he has actually made the upgrades he describes on-screen — made the video “biographical” as Stith puts it. And the director of the video himself had also upgraded his own Mac with OWC solutions.
“ ‘Upgrade The World’ as a tagline seemed like a perfect theme for the story we were telling. The story kind of just told itself. I pretty much just hit record and let him tell me a bit about his day-to-day,” Stith said. “… We [both] absolutely try to keep our hardware and machines as up-to-date as possible. I just replaced the hard drive in my laptop a few months ago with one of your 1TB 6G SSDs. It’s so much faster now!”
With the ideal subject lined up and the theme arriving organically, Stith got to work. After scouting and deciding on a location that visually fit the narrative, Stith began the shoot.
First, he interviewed Tyler about all facets of his workflow and the hardware that plays a role in his day-to-day life. Then he began to actually show what he did on-screen. Stith shadowed Tyler on a typical workday as an audio engineer for a film composer and captured footage of him in action.
The result was a “simple” story about an audio engineer whose needs to maximize current technology in order to meet evolving needs without breaking the budget.
“I find that when telling a story, the simpler you can tell it, the better it will communicate to more people. We had a really fun day shooting and crafting this story,” Stith said.
Beyond a straightforward approach to storytelling, the contest judges were equally impressed by film’s technical achievement. One judge in particular, Lewis Smithingham- president and partner at 30 Ninjas, highlighted the professional feel of the video.
“It’s a beautiful piece and I wouldn’t think twice if I saw this on TV,” he said. “Excellent post production, with detailed attention to sound and visual quality. A very strong piece!”
After the public voted and narrowed the entry pool to its 10 favorites, Smithingham and the other judges ultimately awarded Stith the grand prize package worth more than $10,000.
Helping Tell The Story
As Stith mentions, it wasn’t just the inspiration and subject of his prize-winning video who has benefited from upgrading his Mac and keeping his current gear running with help of MacSales.com and OWC.
“I found out about OWC about a year or so ago, when I was frustrated with how slow my MacBook Pro was running … and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
He added that he has big plans for the future that will only be possible with the help of great technology.
“We’ve been fortunate with the caliber of work we’ve been handed to produce. I’m looking to the future, and I see us telling even more great stories — big and small.”
The Winning Video