ELENA SARASOM | Uncategorized
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Coming Full Circle with lululemon

Hi guys, Elena here. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I’m the type of person that is passionate about a lot of things, and sometimes it makes me realize why I am a filmmaker – so I could participate in different worlds and experience them from the inside. My curiosity about people, ideas, activities, and places is insatiable. I LOVE my job and every morning I wake up in absolute gratitude because I get to do this – I get to talk to people and create and ask questions for a living, I get to experience unique environments in a way I never would otherwise. So, I felt inspired to share a story about pursuing the things in life that truly fire you up.

Once upon a time, I was an eager first-year University student with a serious passion for fashion. I majored in Fashion Marketing and was asked to write an research paper on a local fashion company. I began to explore the then new-to-me Vancouver fashion scene and on a random stroll down 4th Ave in Kitsilano, came across a beautifully laid out clothing store that had a laid-back vibe and was filled with stretchy attire. I remember being slightly intrigued by the name, “lululemon”. At the time I was far from a yogi, opting instead for a power sweat at the gym and lifting weights (this would eventually change). On a mission to fill my report with content, I acted like a regular customer and went on to do my “field research” by trying on as many clothes as I could. I distinctly remember the moment I slipped into their leggings and wished from that point on that I could forever study, exercise, work, eat, and sleep in them. I fell in love with the company and what they stood for so I filled my paper with industry analysis, target customer breakdown and even made a few “professional” suggestions for their marketing strategy. After I got my paper back from my professor, I filed it away in a cardboard box and forgot all about it.

Fast forward to 2011. I go to my first hot yoga class at 7 a.m. on a rainy Sunday morning in Vancouver and fall in love at first stretch. Fast forward to 4 years later, I’m certified as an instructor in both Kundalini and Hatha/Vinyasa yoga. During these few years I worked day in and out to hone my skills as a filmmaker, something I knew deep in my core I was meant to do, and made a lot of sacrifices to achieve that goal. I also worked my butt off to be a the best damn yogi I could which meant keeping up with a rigorous meditation practice and doing my sets day after day.

When I came on board as a producer at Georgia Street Media, you could only imagine my excitement when I was told that I’d be getting to work with lululemon. It felt like the career fairy Godmother waved her wand and gave me the chance to bring two of my big passions together. This past summer, our team here at GSM has gotten to work on some really amazing projects together with lululemon which took us everywhere from their head office to the Grouse grind, the beach, Stanley Park, and all around it the city. On a personal level, it was also a summer of a lot of transitions on my life. I moved to a new apartment and during that process, decided to go through some of my old things, hoping to sell off or throw away a bunch of old junk. I pulled out an old dusty box from my storage room, slid out one of the binders inside, started flipping through the pages and nearly fell out of my seat when a neatly stapled paper report titled “lululemon – a marketing analysis” slipped out. The fact that I had written this paper completely slipped from my memory until I found it…12 years later! It’s a true testament to the fact that when you make your passions known to the world (and work hard at them), as seemingly different or remote as they may appear to be from one another, somehow the universe conspires to bring it all together.

Here are a few pictures and screenshots I’d like to share with you from one of our recent projects with lululemon.

P.S. Have you found a cool way to bring together your different passions? Are you planting any seeds that you hope will grow into future opportunities? Share with me at elena@georgiastreetmedia.com!



My interview with Georgia Street Media

As the newest member of Georgia Street Media, I was asked to do an interview with Clayton Goodfellow who has been running the company since 2008. Here it is! (Taken from the Georgia Street Media blog).

After reading through literally more than 100 applications, we are pleased to announce a new fresh face that will be working with us here at Georgia Street Media!  Meet ElenaSarasom. Elena actually worked with us on a corporate project about a year ago, and we are so glad she’s available to be working again and more closely with us this spring. Elena is super-creative and highly organized.  She takes time to listen and understand nuances on brand and and has a very strong understanding of the mechanics of short format storytelling.   We are so pleased to have her join our team!   I thought I’d kick things off by welcoming Elena and asking her a few questions about her work and her influences….so without further adieu:

Clayton Goodfellow: In the wide world of marketing and content creation, what inspired you to pursue video?  

Elena Sarasom: For me, marketing, video and other forms of creative content are actually very similar in that their success is largely affected by the ability to tell a really solid story. In the early stages of a video, I plan ahead for how and where it will be consumed, so in a way I bring a marketing mindset into the process. I chose to hone in on video because it’s humanizing, and it has the potential to communicate a lot of things – information and emotions, in a very short time. In a society that is slowly drifting away from face-to-face communication, video draws us back together.

CG:Where do you draw inspiration from? 

ES: I love documentaries and I think that shows up pretty frequently in my work. I really enjoy the process of researching and capturing an authentic story on camera, not a made up scenario (although that can be fun too). Particularly when working with companies, there’s a certain tangible next-door-neighbour quality that is revealed when a story is told well. You get more information on the intimate details that you otherwise wouldn’t have known, whether it’s the childhood upbringing of the owner of a company, or the sense of purpose that is behind a brand’s social initiative. Producing a story in this way is almost like going treasure-hunting, you never know what gems you’ll find. I’m also inspired by journalism. My entry point into media was in through broadcasting and I have a particular process in how I dig up and lay out stories thanks to the experience I got there.  Lastly, I’m a really big aficionado of art and can get inspired by anything from music videos to industrial design and architecture.  I love clean lines, natural light,dramatic moods, and emotionally-driving music.

CG: What’s your favorite part of the video production process?

ES: There are truly too many to name. I like the high you get from shooting on location. There’s nothing like that kind of adrenalin rush! There’s another kind of emotional high from making a genuine connection in an interview where someone opens about their story. It’s the kind of human element that you can’t replace with a script. If I had to pick one last thing, I would say that choosing the background music for the videos is definitely one of my favorites! I co-host a weekend electronic music show at a local radio station, so my passion for sound is huge. Often times when I’m choosing the right track during the editing, I close my eyes and feel into the piece. It can be quite meditative actually.

CG: What unique perspective do you bring to your style of producing?

ES: I think one of the most unique things I bring to the table is a global perspective. I was raised in the former USSR and in Israel during politically turbulent times and have always been immersed in a wide variety of cultures. This sometimes puts a bit of a humanitarian tone to my work. My own cultural and religious background is mixed and I think from the get-go I’ve learned to always consider every angle of a story and be compassionate. Also, because my upbringing showed me what it’s like not to have all the freedom in the world, I can get really passionate about the opportunities that are available for us create compelling messages, stories, and art.

CG: What are some video trends that you foresee in the future? 

ES: Based on the dramatic rise of video consumption on mobile devices, I foresee companies and content creators producing micro-videos that are as short as 30-second snippets of info, entertainment, or both. I predict that more brands and companies will implement long-term strategies to provide their clients and viewers with ongoing content, similar to in-house TV shows, focused on bringing value to their customers with free information. I see YouTube only getting bigger and more video platforms sprouting, some of which will perhaps will offer advertising-free video hosting as a selling feature. There will be a rise in video editing apps as we are becoming accustomed to snapping content on the go, and apps like Vine and the recent integration of video on Instagram are already hinting at video being the future of social sharing. Filters, effects, clip trimming, transitions and soundtrack music integration will comprise the default feature bundle in these mobile video editing apps. There will also likely be a push for customer engagement where companies incentivize their clients to create and share videos about their products and services to increase visibility and brand engagement. There is much more on the horizon in this world of moving images and sound, but the overall theme, I think, is that video in its many shapes and forms, is and will continue to be the pulse of digital media and communication.

CG: What else should people know about Elena?  What do you do outside of work for fun?

ES: Outside of work, I’m a huge fan of all forms of art, especially digital art, so I usually have my hands in various creative projects. At the moment, I co-host an ambient electronic music radio show on local station CJSF 90.1 FM called SpiritANML. I take every chance I get to check out and review live shows, as well as DJing at live events and parties. I’m intrigued by dark, moody and minimalistic fashion and photography and have recently started started collaborating with photographers and modeling for my own conceptual creative shoots. Outside of this realm, I instruct yoga and ecstatic dance, often with an artistic spin, and I’m currently teaching yoga to blind individuals.

Clearly there are great things ahead! Welcome Elena….we are looking forward to working with you!