Before coronavirus, award-winning filmmaker Ben Proudfoot and his production company Breakwater Studios were in high gear, flying around the globe creating more than 40 short documentaries a year for The New York Times, Charles Schwab & Co., Annapurna Pictures, lululemon, Kelly Services and the LA Phil to name a few. Proudfoot is known for his humanist, interview-driven approach that has garnered two Webbies, an Emmy, and a 2020 James Beard Award.
Suddenly, the world changed. Planes were grounded, businesses were reduced to minimum basic operations, and Breakwater was forced to innovate a way to keep shooting its various projects without sacrificing quality. They developed a comprehensive Self-Isolated Protocol (S.I.P.) that has allowed them to capture interviews in their signature style and quality all over the world, and in a thoroughly COVID-safe manner. Since April 1, Breakwater Studios has now completed 7 S.I.P. productions in the United States, Canada, UK, and Myanmar.
In conversation with sub-genre’s Brian Newman, Proudfoot, who was honored as Forbes’ 2020 30 under 30, takes us inside Breakwater Studios’ camera department in Los Feliz, California to explain just how they did it.