Knocki is the clapper of the 21st century.

Invented by my new friends Ohad and Jake, Knocki is a smart device that gives you control of your favorite functions through the surfaces around you. It attaches to any hard surface and responds to different knock patterns anywhere on the surface to which it is attached. You can use it to turn on/off your TV, start the coffee maker in the morning, find your phone, notify the police of an emergency, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The Knocki works with other smart devices like your Nest thermostat and your security system, so you you can easily integrate it into your increasingly smart home.

Jake and Ohad contacted me in late June, asking if I was available to help film a promo video for the Knocki. We started the script with the traditional b-roll and talking heads, and it wasn’t long before I realized that this would blend right in with every other startup video out there. So my partner Clayton Stringer and I decided to do something a little more fun. We asked ourselves, “how can we make this video something that will really stand out from the rest? How can we make the story the focus, and have the story lead the viewer to the product?”

10 minutes later, we had a rough storyboard of a cute kid building the a blanket fort, and integrating the Knocki into the fort.

The challenge? I was getting married in 2 weeks, and we needed to finish the video before my wedding. So we called friends and collaborated with co-workers to figure out how we could pull this off. My friends (and my wedding photographers), Chad & Tressie Zellner agreed to let us borrow their adorable kid, Dexter, for a day. A few days later, we packed the car full of gear and headed to Abilene.

Working with a 4-year old actor is not exactly a walk in the park. But after the first few scenes, we were able to convince Dexter that the Knocki prototype we were using was actually magical, which kept his attention for long enough to get the shots we needed.

A couple days of editing and visual effects and a rock solid color grade by Clayton left us with what you see here.

Feel free to comment below!

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