Behind the Scenes

 
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About LAI Video

LAI Video is an award-winning marketing shop in Washington, DC, specializing in digital campaigns that raise awareness and make change. Wielding a wildly talented staff of designers, cinematographers and producers, the scrappy outfit uses video as its primary storytelling weapon. LAI Video works with local businesses, associations and other non-profits and was thrilled to continue its partnership with the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association and MedStar Health to produce a feature-length documentary that definitively describes strokes, captures its grueling aftermath and outlines preventative lifestyle choices.

LAI Video is owned by Leading Authorities, Inc., whose President and CEO, Mark French, suffered a stroke in 2015. A Teachable Moment is the ultimate realization that video and film can make a difference. It's the product of hours of research, interviews and tedious animation — a company-wide and pro-bono effort to help survivors and the general public cope with and prevent suffering from this debilitating disease.

 
 
 

"Being able to impact other people's lives is meaningful."

Mark French, STroke survivor

 
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The Team

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James Favata
Director, Editor, Executive Producer

As a student of the Maryland Institute College of Art, James began his exploration into documentary filmmaking. The Senior Creative Director of LAI Video, James refined his docu-style storytelling techniques to push marketing agendas for LAI’s partner organizations. LAI Video is now known as DC’s premiere source for short-form, corporate documentary work and A Teachable Moment is their most ambitious project to date. As the director of A Teachable Moment, James flexed every LAI Video team muscle that he has been coaching over the years. When you make eye contact with the featured survivors you will see his vision at work. While crafting this film, James noticed the correlation between stoke prevention and living a better life. He hopes that this film will become the moment that viewers decide to make changes in their diet and lifestyle that lead to a longer, healthier and more fulfilled life.

 
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Tori Furphy
Producer, Executive Producer

Tori serves as the Director of Operations and Client Experience for LAI Video. While normally leading a team of seasoned producers across the company’s many projects, Tori was thrilled to wear the hat of producer herself on A Teachable Moment — an unprecedented cinematic endeavor for both LAI Video and the topic of stroke. Taking on the enormous research challenge, Tori orchestrated and synchronized the efforts of several partner organizations to find the right experts and survivors to shed light on this debilitating disease. Spending days with each subject, Tori invited interviewees to share their strength, struggles and successes directly with viewers. To inspire others that recovery is possible and that stroke is both treatable and beatable.

 
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James Loizou
Executive Producer

Perhaps best epitomized by his signature sneakers and tie combo, James Loizou enjoys walking a fine line between creating and business-ing. Between storytelling and marketing. James runs LAI Video and manages a team of ruthless talent. He writes and speaks about communications trends and regularly seeks new opportunities with brands and organizations willing to experiment to make something meaningful. As a film enthusiast, James was particularly excited to collaborate with new partners on A Teachable Moment and dedicate LAI Video's collective resources to a project that is as creatively challenging as it is important. 

 

 
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Jun Yang
Director of Photography, editor

Jun Yang is as skilled behind the camera as he is in the editor’s chair. As LAI Video's Senior Cinematographer, Jun serves as one of the video agency's most tenured creatives. He remains the most traveled team member by a long shot, regularly flying across the country to farms, factories and other remote locations — going wherever the story takes him. For A Teachable Moment, Jun worked closely with the cast and crew to document something that was modest in its directness, but also very beautiful. During the edit, Jun emphasized strength through emotional vulnerability — to allow the film to speak plainly and powerfully.

 

Additional Crew

Cinematographer
Phil Eisenberg

Additional Cinematographers
Zacc Goldsmith
Anthony Jacoway
Gus Soudah
De’von Wellesley

Art Director
Tiffany Lewis

Animators
Dan Crane
Rob Kramer

Colorist
Anthony Jacoway

Title Designer
Dan Crane

Associate Producers
Catherine Church
Ellyn Church
Kate Kelly
Dylan Lynch
Krystal Tingle
Sarah Wides

 
 
 

Together to End Stroke

 
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Partners

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters. AHA funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provides critical tools and information to save and improve lives. The nationwide organization includes 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees. The American Stroke Association was created as a division in 1997 to bring together the organization’s stroke-related activities.

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 31,000 associates, 5,400 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

 
 

In Loving Memory

While filming A Teachable Moment, the production team was heartbroken to lose two family members. Roderick is a featured stroke survivor in the film, whose kindness and generous storytelling made this documentary stronger.  Kathleen is the daughter of Mark French and spoke with us about the challenges that any family faces when supporting a stroke survivor. We are grateful for their participation in this project, forever preserving emotional accounts that will continue to change lives. We proudly dedicate A Teachable Moment to their memory.

Kathleen French
May 7, 1984 – October 18, 2017

Roderick Dunston
July 17, 1972 – February 26, 2018