Riki: First, can you tell us about your work as a filmmaker and how long you’ve been making films?
Keller: I've been making my own movies since I was about 5 years old, all the way through high school. So I guess I've been a filmmaker of sorts for 25 years! Then I went to college and became more serious about the craft, so I minored in film theory studies. I also presided over the cinema club and filmmaking organization. During that time I made dozens of short films and then upon moving to Austin in 2011, I co-founded a video production company with some of my best friends. Since then, I've done a ton of projects, such as short films, music videos, commercial work, and I had some involvement on feature films and other projects. Outside of my work with Createscape, I'm often directing, producing, editing or writing material.
R: Just to be clear, your filmmaking work is completely independent from your day-to-day Createscape work, right?
K: Filmmaking is a separate job for me, yes. When I'm not at the office, I'm usually on set of a production. I also do my editing work at Createscape however.
R: You just completed a video about Createscape. Can you describe it for readers? And can we name it so I can stop calling it “The Createscape Video?”
K: It's pretty epic, so I'm leaning towards the title Createscape: The Movie just so I can follow it up with a sequel, Createscape 2: Electric Boogaloo. [Ed note: To those who were not alive in the 1980s, Keller is possibly referencing blockbuster breakdance film, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.] But on a serious note, the title will be along the lines of Createscape Coworking Video Tour. We shot it in mid-June on a hot Saturday morning, and it’s taken several months to complete all the pickup shots, editing, voice-over recording, and fine-tuning process.
R: I saw a preview of the video and it’s more than six minutes long. Can you describe how you’re going to feature the video? From what I understand, it will be carved it up into smaller, more digestible segments. Will you also post the full video online in case anyone has a spare six minutes?
K: We do have it whittled down to six minutes now (it was previously closer to seven). It literally covers everything we cover in a tour that typically lasts about 10 minutes. The full video is a comprehensive overview of everything we offer at Createscape, including our location and how members and visitors can get around inside the building, our various work spaces, meeting rooms, the amenities we offer and membership options. It's a lot of content to cover, and we tried to maintain pacing that sustains the viewer’s interest.
The ideal audience for the full, six-minute video are those who can’t tour Createscape in-person. Also, my goal is for it to create better web exposure for us and provide a way for prospective members to get a sense of what our space is all about even before they step through the doors. We will be cutting alternate edits, however, including a "Quick Tour" video lasting just a couple of minutes and other variations down the line.
R: I only recognize a few people in the video. Who are all those other people I don’t recognize?
K: The video features a handful of current and former members, but also a cast of local Austin actors and professional extras who have appeared in shows shot in town, like Fear the Walking Dead. Though don't expect to see any zombies in this video. [Ed note: Now that you mention it, that would have been kinda’ cool.] I think everyone did a great job acting, especially during scenes that called for the actors to work and have improvised conversations with scene partners.
R: I was at the shoot for about an hour. Can you tell me if what I saw was similar to what I’d see if I were on the set of a real movie? Or at least a real documentary?
K: Besides there being a decent level of hectic activity with all the human actors, dog actors and crew, I don't think it was overly similar to the set of a real movie mainly because our crew size was so small -- basically just me, and then Brian assisting in producing duties. Most films, including documentaries, have larger crews. I served as mix of director and on-set cinematographer, and I shot everything myself while also lighting areas that needed it. After the main production day, David Lackey came to the office to film drone aerial footage.
R: Why was Brian following you around with a clipboard?
K: Brian was helping check extras in and keep the production on schedule during the shoot. Before the day of filming, he worked on pre-production tasks like figuring out loose storylines for all the extras so that we could use everyone in fairly equal amounts for on-screen time across scenes in different parts of the office.
R: Createscape turned 5 years old a few months ago. Why did you decide to make a video now and not two-and-a-half years ago?
K: We've been talking about doing a Createscape video for years, but it's often difficult to carve out the time. So finally producing this video was definitely a long overdue (and self-care) task. We’re just glad we can finally show-off the space in all its glory. With that being said, we’ve also been expanding the business in the last five years, adding new coworking rooms, conference rooms, our big kitchen, and more events and amenities. Things definitely feel more complete now. So in a way, we felt now was the right time to make the video a priority and capture the visuals that tell the story of Createscape.
R: Why weren’t Mike and Ellie in your video? Since you left them out, I’m going to post a photo of them in this newsletter.
K: Mike and Ellie wouldn't come out of their trailers when it was time to roll film. Something about not understanding their characters' motivations as office puppies.
R: Fair enough. Was Tilda bummed that she was not cast in the video?
K: Tilda is indeed a photogenic chihuahua, but I know from my past experience of having her on set that she either insists on me holding her or barks until I hold her. I felt it was best to let her nap at home.
R: If you could cast any celebrity to play you in the Createscape video, who would it be? Anyone alive or dead!
K: I wouldn’t mind Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Armie Hammer, or even Tilda Swinton playing me in the video!
R: If you could cast anyone to be in a scene with you in your Createscape video, who would you cast?
K: I would love to do a scene with Angela Bassett, Julianne Moore or Amy Poehler.
R: Amy Poehler could play me and she could lead you -- played by Tilda Swinton -- around the office pointing out all the things that are too high -- like the kitchen cabinets and our doorbells. Are you working on any other film projects right now?
K: I have been doing some commercial projects for Capital Metro, the University of Texas Golf Club, and Indeed. I'm writing a feature film and a web series, and hopefully soon working on a trailer for my friend’s new memoir.
R: If members want to see some of your finished film work, where can they find it?