Cross Counter TV
Role // Creative Director
I had the opportunity to work with some very talented people while working as Creative Director in LA at Cross Counter TV, a studio that concentrated on producing content surrounding the fighting video game community.
I was responsible for directing shoots, managing projects with my partners, establishing new content and brands, and ultimately helping to produce and drive the look and direction of the overall company.
One of my favorite things about working at CC was the passionate people who were willing to try far out things and push boundaries in completely new territories.
We created fresh IPs for multiple online networks, including Machinima and Twitch, running consistent weekly YouTube shows that grew a subscription base of 60,000+, and over 17,000,000 video views during my tenure as Creative Director at Cross Counter. We were at the forefront of livestreaming as well — for both gaming and live event production streaming. We ran our own events, created training and support materials for gamers, and at one point had a live show that aired weekly through thestream.tv. We were accustomed to switching gears, while wearing multiple hats and juggling chainsaws on fire (okay maybe that analogy got out of hand, but it got crazy sometimes).
Below is just a sampling of work that I produced while at CC. The reel below depicts our style, tone, breadth and depth of work that our small studio put out in just a short period of time.
CROSS COUNTER LIVE
One of our most successful and most challenging projects was a weekly live show that we created in collaboration with Brian Gramo at thestream.tv.
Every Tuesday, we produced an hour long show multi-segment, late night, variety show geared towards the fighting game community.
Although getting everything together for Tuesday night on top of all the other projects we were juggling was certainly a challange, it was also one of the most rewarding and fun projects to work on.
I was responsible for branding and overall direction, so from the get-go, I wanted to come up with something high energy and punchy that would capture the excitement of the fighting game scene for our intro. Miles Mosley produced the fantastic music that really drives it home.
During the show, I worked with thestream.tv studio head, Brian Gramo, in the booth to help direct and coordinate media and segments to make sure everything ran smoothly.
Aside from our weekly YouTube shows, we produced "premium content," which included tutorials with expert gamers, and event videos from major tournaments and exhibition matches.
Each piece of content would need its own separate branding package created. The most key of these being the trailer. Below are some selected trailers that I created while at Cross Counter.
PREMIUM CONTENT BRANDING & TRAILERS
FIGHT FOR YOUTH
I was asked by a friend of mine, Daniel Maniago, a school teacher and pro-fighting game player, to assist on a personal project of his. He wanted to create a charity tournament to help fund after school programs in his district, as he recognized the need for greater support there.
I thought that was a fantastic idea and was pumped to be a part of that, especially due to the extraordinary generosity of the fighting game community. I talked to him about a few different things and ultimately, we settled on a documentary mini-series to help raise awarness of the cause and promote the tournament.
With that, I scheduled some shoots and shadowed Dan while he got things going. This needed a quick turnaround time, so I was producing these epsiodes with only a week or so to get the first out with enough time to promote them and raise awareness of the tournament.
Once the trailer and first two episodes were out in the wild it caught on the web, being mentioned on sites like Kotaku, which ultimately helped with out exposure. When the day came, I documented the incredible success of the actual event itself; we raised over 24,000 dollars for the ASES Prep program! I then released a final video wrapping the series up, positioning the tournament series for more events in the future.
FIGHT FOR YOUTH TRAILER & EPISODES
During my time at Cross Counter, one of our hosts, Ryan had to step out of the limelight for a bit and take the backseat while we had guest hosts cycle through in his absence.
When it was time for his triumphant return, we wanted to build a fun narrative around his comeback as rumors were already spreading among the fanbase as to why he had departed.
So to build off that, I came up with a concept for a short film that saw Ryan kidnapped by a reoccuring character on our live show.
I shot and edited it in less than a week to get it ready in time for our next upcoming live show.
Ultimately, the ending sequence of the film transitioned seamlessly into the beginning of the current epsiode of the live show that was airing, making for a weirdly meta and fun experience for the fans.
Before moving to San Francisco, I pitched a pilot of a new docu-series that would explore the behind the scenes world of the fighting game community. The series was dubbed "Metagame" for the ideas or strategies in play beyond the base rule sets of the game.
Rather than a linear story arc, as I had done with previous documentary work, I was interested in self-contained, informative pieces, that tell complete and unique stories.
The first episode revolved around how crucially important rivalries are within the fighting game scene and what part they play in the competitve landscape.
Along with the conception of the series, I directed a small team, shot, and edited the pilot episode, which I also created a show branding for.