12 commercial films, 90 crazy days, a pandemic, an Addy award — and awesome results: Lenovo is officially leading the laptops market in 2020 with 26% market share.

Even better news in Q1FY21: for the period ending 31 March 2021, the Chinese tech giant also saw net income skyrocket by 77% from $665 million in FY20 to $1.18 billion.

Lenovo has celebrated what it has dubbed as achieving ‘historic highs’ for FY21.

We were set to shoot last March when the pandemic changed everything. We faced major unknowns. Can we shoot during a lockdown? How? And most importantly – how to protect the crew?

After a few remote shoot experiments that failed, LA authorities issued new guidance: crews limited to 10; mandatory tests, masks and 6ft distance; leading to the elimination of on-set makeup; etc.

Our scripted 40-people crew approach went out the window. Instead of actors, we found real small business owners who shared their real stories — unscripted, raw, recorded in their work environments. (For one it was a swimming pool — fun!)

video production process for Lenovo

video production process for Lenovo

Ten phenomenal entrepreneurs talked about how they used tech in their business every day. The stories were gripping, we were excited. And everything that could go wrong — did so:

– Day one, neighbor complaints stopped the shoot

– Day two, one of the business owners reported they’d contracted Covid. It turned out to be a false-positive, but in the meantime, we had to shut everything down, get everyone retested, have dozens of heated conversations  – “I’m sorry but I have to inform you that the crew that visited the locations, was exposed and I strongly advise you take a Covid test…”

When we finally got ALL negative results and were ready to resume filming… LA got slammed with protests. Our art director was attacked at a bar protecting his friend’s property from looters. Carrying around $500K equipment in a van was not an attractive option. We decided to wait again.

It was worth it. Our Lenovo video series tells amazing, human stories. Lenovo was happy, the videos saw 5M+ views and we won an SF Addy award.

Most importantly — everyone had a blast.

Video #1 features Brett Stanley – an underwater photographer and podcast host, who loves creating dream-like sequences in the depths of his swimming pool.

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