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Above a bakery in Portland, Oregon, a unique group of storytellers are quietly changing museum and exhibit experiences all over the world. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, we meet Second Story, creators of award-winning interactive projects for clients that include the Getty Museum, National Geographic, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, just to name but a few.
Founders Julie Beeler and Brad Johnson introduce us to their uniquely talented studio where their signature interactive design is conceived and produced. Second Story creates immersive adventures that educate and entertain through compelling visuals, touch and play, and inspiring participation through curiosity.
We follow the team as they reveal one of their latest triumphs, the Age of Mammals exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, designed to both please the doctorates and the first graders who participate in their finished project.
(Music playing.) Male Speaker 1: The studio, I think, takes a lot of pride in getting the most they can out of every employee. Female Speaker: I've never worked on projects like this where, from start to finish, everyone is involved in every aspect of the project, which is awesome. Male Speaker 2: I think overall people are just always trying to foster the growth of ideas. Male Speaker 3: It's really rewarding seeing your ideas and your creative thoughts being realized in something that you get to share with a lot of other people.
David Waingarten: The people I want to work for are people who care about what they do. When they have passion and they want to be here, I want to be here, and it's not just Brad and Julie. I mean, most of the people here, that I get to interact with day to day, really care about doing a good job. (inaudible speech) Brad Johnson: I started the company in 1994. It was a one-man deal. It was called Brad Johnson presents. There is like this triad that kind of evolved where there was design, project management producing content, and then the third part being the technology side.
That kind of triad, I think, really informed the way that the whole organization grew. Now that we are thirty people, we still have that sort of breakdown where there's three different departments. But yet outside of that, there are a lot of people that are kind of in-between and can do a little of this and little of that. To me, one of the most rewarding things is really the collaboration that happens here. And all the different types of minds that come together to make it possible here to do what we do has been the most rewarding part.
We've got lots of people that have that liberal arts background. We've got people that are brilliant programmers in both front end visualization to back end database systems that make the kinds of ongoing web projects that we do possible, incredible content researchers and storytellers that do wonderful job of figuring out what are the assets that are going to bring a story to life. We've got artists and designers with illustration backgrounds, physical design backgrounds, motion backgrounds, and information design backgrounds.
All these people coming together, every project is a different mix of the different people that are here. That's really wonderful to be part of a family, really, that's keeps evolving in new ways to create new kinds of experiences. Julie Beeler: There's lots of people in the studio where they might have applied for a very specific position. It's like, "Oh! you'd be so much better doing this. Let's carve this position out and start to create that and see where it takes us." Those are the things that we get excited about, and so we always encourage all different types of people, because at the end of the day we are all just a bunch of liberal artists with very diverse experiences and interests.
You know, for me, I am a quilter, and so a big part of it is all the different pieces and components, and how do you put that quote together so that ultimately you are creating this amazing, beautiful experience for people, and that's essentially what you do every day within interactive media is take all the varying components and put them together, so it's a lot of fun.
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