A Day on Set with Brit + Co

A Day on Set with Brit + Co

This is the second in a two-part process series on my new HTML & CSS class with Brit + Co. The previous post was about designing the class. This one is about filming it!

Last week, I released this introductory HTML & CSS class in partnership with Brit + Co

We spent about three weeks developing a lesson plan and designing a beginner-friendly project, then filmed it in San Francisco, CA.

Since my last update, we’ve seen so many creative people complete the class successfully. It’s really rewarding to see reviews like this roll in.

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed taking Allison’s class. She was easy to follow along with, she explained things very clearly, and the pace was great for a newbie like myself. I absolutely love her teaching approach, and her charming personality makes her a joy to watch!

I’ve watched an hour or two of HTML classes on Skillshare and to be honest, they were a bit overwhelming, and I just wasn’t interested anymore! So it’s been awhile since I last tried to learn HTML. After taking her class, I’m eager to learn more from her.

Sounds like a curious and persistent gal, right? Just who I was hoping to reach! I have so much admiration for people who pursue their own education this way.

I flew from ATX to SFO to film the class with Brit + Co. I know I’m almost home when I see those blue mountains from the plane!
I flew from ATX to SFO to film the class with Brit + Co. I know I’m almost home when I see those blue mountains from the plane!

Let’s get into some more process. Shooting the class was a day-long production involving a crew of five.

On the morning of the shoot, I woke up at 3 AM. This was partly because I’m an early riser (and was jet lagged), but I also like to put in a long rehearsal session before any talk or lecture. I rarely write down exactly what I’m going to say, so shuffling it into recent memory keeps me on point.

8 AM

MAKEUP & WARDROBE

I’m in the studio and ready for action. I love this space! It’s small and modern with floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the room with light.

Looks like Michael, our Director of Photography, is already here and putting together the set.

I’m so excited to meet Katie, our Supervising Producer, who has been working with me on the class. I show her a few wardrobe options I brought, but they’re mostly darks and neutrals. (I guess all my color sensibility goes straight into my work!)

Brit + Co’s online classes have a pretty colorful aesthetic, so she starts exploring the rack for me.

While Katie is working on wardrobe, I run downstairs with Rhia, our hair and makeup artist. By the time we're back upstairs, Katie is waiting with the perfect green top. We have a winner!

Rhia and I take some test shots of our own while we wait for the crew to finish setting up. Her MUA tip: dramatic eyeshadow may look dark off camera, but gives definition when you’re in front of a lot of lights!
Rhia and I take some test shots of our own while we wait for the crew to finish setting up. Her MUA tip: dramatic eyeshadow may look dark off camera, but gives definition when you’re in front of a lot of lights!

Kurt, our photographer, shows up and starts helping Michael with setup.

We have a little downtime, so Katie and I grab some coffee and jam on the script for the teaser. I work through my lines out loud, then she strings the good parts together and gives them structure. Teamwork!

10 AM

TEASER PHOTO SHOOT

After a few test shots, we’re ready to roll. The crew sets me up with some music.

 

This is just the promotional stuff, so I try to get loosey-goosey and have a good time. Kurt is taking photos while Katie and Michael give direction.

We try a lot of different poses with these big, colorful laser cut letters and symbols.

 I’m having fun but my fingers are collapsing by the end of it. Shouldn’t they be stronger from all that coding?!

That’s it for still photography, so Kurt takes off and Kristin, Head of Programming, arrives to help us with the video teaser.

11 AM

TEASER VIDEO SHOOT

Michael takes over the camera and we do more of the same poses, but this time with video. He gives me really clear feedback (look up slowlysmilehold it) as we try different shots.

I take a break as the crew adjusts the overhead camera, which captures me writing out code and wireframing.

When we’re done drawing, Katie pulls up the script we worked on earlier and gives me a few lines to say at a time. I repeat them back into the camera.

We pause a few times to make on-the-fly changes to the script. Everyone gets creative on the spot and chips in with ideas to make the introduction more friendly and clear. I love working this way.

2:30 PM

CLASS VIDEO SHOOT

We break for a late lunch, then get back to it.

Kristin has to take off, but she helps us with a quick set upgrade first. I really like this yellow backing that ended up on the table. I think it adds a lot to the overhead shots.

From this point forward, I teach the class from beginning to end with our lesson plan as a guide. It’s just Katie, Michael, and me in the studio now. The vibe is calm and focused.

I make mistakes here and there but it’s no big deal. When it happens, I take a beat and backtrack a little so it’s easy to edit later.

4:30 PM

That's a wrap

By 4:30 PM, I’ve gone through all the material and wrapped things up. My work here is done! What a great day. I say goodbye to Katie and Michael, who stay behind to work on some fun transitions.


To all the delightful makers of Brit + Co — Brit, Katie, Anj, Kristin, Sarah, Alicia, Michael, Kurt, and Chris — thank you so much for contributing your talents and making this collaboration possible. It was a treat to work with you!

If you enjoyed this post, you may like my ‘Meet the Maker’ interview and tour of my old neighborhood in San Francisco with Brit + Co’s Creative Director, Anj.

If you enjoyed this post, you may like my ‘Meet the Maker’ interview and tour of my old neighborhood in San Francisco with Brit + Co’s Creative Director, Anj.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has shared the class with friends, family, and community. I’ve been blown away by the support.

Allison House is a designer and art director specializing in 3D visuals and motion graphics. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, SPIN, Pitchfork, and many more.