Kremer/Johnson Creates Nuanced Scenes for The AI Foundation

How do you cast human talent to represent an artificial intelligence (AI) technology? With their narrative-driven conceptual talent, photography duo Kremer/Johnson were up for the challenge. The AI Foundation needed images for their site and marketing materials that displayed its technical capabilities of its intangible product. Neil and Cory jumped right in and got their hands dirty; building sets, laying on the ground under plexiglass, and driving all over Los Angeles to find the perfect props.

Kremer/Johnson is drawn to idiosyncratic talent. They craft their characters from people they grew up with to individuals they’ve met along the way, so it was meant to be that the creatives at the AI foundation wanted talent that could represent the wide range of characters that can be created with its technology. We sat down with Neil and Cory to learn more about how they accomplished this, but you should know up front that in included a banjo, cowboy hat and 10 pound weights. Read on to learn how those three objects fit in with artificial intelligence.

What was your most memorable moment on this project?

We did the vast majority of styling on this shoot. We drove all over Los Angeles to get the props and we also built a few of the sets ourselves in the studio. It’s always gratifying to see those tasks all the way through from conception to final image. Finishing the blue elevator was especially memorable to see completed. We also had to steam the yellow curtains for over 7 hours, so it’s ways excited to see those elements turning out well in the end.

What did you learn on this project?

This project taught us a lot on how to integrate ourselves and our still work seamlessly into a video component. For this project, we were working along side an independent broadcast team. That team was using very contextual, cinematic lighting, which we hadn’t seen first hand before. It was a great opportunity to learn the best ways to make sure that the still image lighting reflected the dramatic motion work. We were able to hone in our skill of achieving lighting continuity in an efficient manner.

What do you hope people learn about you and your work after viewing this?

That we can prop on a budget and created nuanced scenes with our propping. When we were shooting the “skywalkers”, we felt that they needed a little but more, so we both ran home and grabbed the first few things we could find; a banjo, cowboy hat and 10 pound weights. Now that they’re in the shot, we can’t imagine it not having those elements so we hope people take away that we are able to bring creative vision to life, even if that means spur of the moment changes.

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