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Raafi Rivero ’95

“Some production companies are more avant-garde, or minimalist, or into fashion. For us, nothing moves without a good story—without finding where the burden lies and how it’s alleviated.”

The Storyteller and His Color Machine

T

he Color Machine’s office is a Brooklyn artist’s loft: all open concept, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, polished concrete surfaces and jangling elevator cage. The space is a comfortable blend of well worn and cutting edge—a perfect place from which filmmaker Raafi Rivero ’95 and his business partners to craft visual stories. Raafi has worked in film and advertising since graduating from film school at Howard University. Prior to that, he studied film at Brown, and he’s been in New York City since. Two years ago, Raafi and Jordan Alport—filmmaker, friend and business partner—put their reels together and shared the collection with potential clients, showing that they were two people bigger than one. Both directors have well-honed filmmaking abilities and have produced their own work, but they were missing the necessary business acumen. Partner Liz Regan, a producer herself, came on to fill that gap. The Color Machine’s collective client list now includes global brands like Coca-Cola, Dior, Skype, McDonald’s and Quicksilver, as well as entertainment powerhouses like HBO, Sony and Discovery. Each production, regardless of client or product, gets at the heart of a human tale. The company’s site describes the trio as “a gang of makers.” While directors are assigned to projects according to client need and vision, collaboration is at the heart of their work. Together, they develop scripts, provide constant feedback, and ensure that the videos they release meet the same high-quality standards. “As a filmmaker, you need sounding boards,” Raafi says. “You might think a sequence or a cut works well, and someone else will watch it and say, ‘What does that mean?’ Having people you trust—who have a different perspective but great taste—look over your shoulder and share their opinions is essential.” Spring 2013 15

Milton Magazine, Spring 2013  

Milton Magazine, Spring 2013

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