Nestled deep within the Cold War architecture of the massive Department of State building is a collection of 42 breathtaking rooms, designed to host treaty signings, summit negotiations and swearing-in ceremonies. The rooms stands as a testament to American art and architecture from the country’s founding years, holding 5,000(!) objects from the 18th century. As the rooms themselves reached 50-years old, they were in need of a hefty and historic renovation, and this became the perfect opportunity to tell the story of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms from a new angle.
Preserving Our Nation’s History
As video-makers, we understand the importance of immortalizing a powerful story. So when the U.S. Department of State asked us to celebrate the artisans responsible for preserving some of our nation’s most prestigious diplomatic reception rooms, we jumped at the opportunity to be a part of history. In an Emmy Award-winning four-part series, we told the story of these famous rooms from the perspectives of the unsung heroes—the interior designers, gilders, chandelier-hangers—to raise awareness for these publicly-accessible treasures and inspire a new generation of brilliant craftspeople.
The Rooms Where It Happens
If These Walls Could Talk, Oh Wait They Can
If we could interview the walls that have undoubtedly witnessed countless American milestones, we would. But until we learn to speak wall, we’ll happily settle for the people who designed the walls. Who built the walls. Who relentlessly preserve the historical integrity of the walls. Serving as our own video diplomat, Niles led the initial creative conversations for us to identify the best moments for us to witness history being kept. Throughout the ambitious renovation project, our team of interviewers, cinematographers and time-lapsers, captures an equally dedicated team of artists tell their story.
The Diplomacy Is In The Details
In the behind-the-scenes feauturette, Tiffany invited participants to geek out over their passions, leaving them mic’ed as they walked viewers through the technical intricacies of wiring the electrical, photographing the artifacts or providing tours to visitors. Anthony carefully shot the conversations with lingering follow shots that hug the artist’s POV and steady slider shots that slowly reveal a work of art re-emerging.
As we built each installment’s narrative, Alexandria and the editors hosted the client through meticulous edit sessions, reviewing every shot as carefully as the featured items. The flagship film stretched to longer lengths, as we discovered an immersive tale that was defined by the collective efforts of all of the projects’s contributors. The History Channel-worthy program premiered at the reopening reception, hosted by the Secretary of State. The shorter spotlight episodes serve as tantalizing content to inspire the public to visit the State Department’s best kept secret, while inspiring the next generation of history-keepers to consider a career in preserving the country’s most sacred spaces.
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As our Creative Director, team leader, and motionography expert, Tiffany embodies LAI Video’s innovative identity. Throughout her 12 years of extensive creative, strategic, and production experience, Tiffany has earned two Emmy® Awards and widespread industry recognition.
Anthony is LAI Video's Director of Technical Services and an integral part of our Emmy® Award-winning team. Depending where and when he is needed, you can find Anthony editing, animating, color-correcting, filming, directing, designing, or generally making our team better.
De'von has a diverse background; from filming in night clubs to fashion models and music videos.
Jun Young Yang
Jun is the Director of Photography for LAI Video. His sharp eye and even sharper focus have earned him a reputation as an industry-leading cinematographer. He started his career freelancing before becoming a staple on the LAI Video team.