American Enterprise Institute: Love Your Enemies | LAI Video

“Love Your Enemies”

From cross-country road trips to helicopter expeditions, LAI Video has traveled far and wide to bring our clients’ stories to life. So when we found ourselves filming in a library, we were bound to make it a memorable experience.

Partnering with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), we produced a series of short videos that feature the think tank’s president, Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, discussing insights from his new book, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt. The videos use animation and Dr. Brooks himself to illustrate some of the strongest ideas, connecting with viewers across ideological divides. Which is sort of the whole point of the book!

Meet the Author

Described as a “strange creature by Washington standards….who decided to be an egghead late in life,” Dr. Brooks is recognized both for his extraordinary professional accomplishments and his charisma.

Seeing an opportunity to leverage the author’s captivating personality, Niles and James Loizou proposed a MasterClass-inspired approach that would feature Dr. Brooks previewing some of the book’s takeaways. Like Love Your Enemies, the videos would need to be easy to grasp and appealing to not only Dr. Brooks’ following, but also a broader audience.

Dressing the Address

Headed to AEI, we set out to convey the power of brilliant ideas. As producer, Alexandria ensured the set was camera-ready, fashioning the library akin to a scholar’s living room (and even color-coordinating the books on the shelves!).

Staging had to be perfect. Our Director of Photography, Jordan, positioned the background lamp as “motivated lighting”—a cinematic term for when an object imitates a natural light source. Setting the tone for the series, we positioned Dr. Brooks as if he’s partaking in an intimate and earnest conversation.

A Whole New World

To help with the book’s mission to save America from its “culture of contempt,” James Favata reviewed the script and identified moments that would lend themselves best to animation that is accessible. Angry people jutting out of the screen. Literal steps for embracing warm-heartedness. Flowers that serve as a metaphor for politics, healthcare, defense, and taxes.

Using an eclectic mix of imagery, the animation reveals the emotions, actions and beliefs that define the contempt culture and its remedies. Juxtaposed with the scholarly backdrop of AEI’s library, it ventures outside the halls of academia to impart crucial lessons for the real-world. The series serves to tease and promote the book on the AEI websiteDr. Brooks’ personal site on Amazon.


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