High Wire Distillery
Director’s Notes by Jonathan Hayes


Thanks much for the opportunity to pitch the production of these great humor-infused documentary concepts for Synovus. Telling peoples' stories and finding authenticity is my preferred space to direct and edit. Our company is tailored to handle this format because we’re quick and scrappy, we enlist one singular creative team, and most importantly we understand how important it is to truly engage with talent... in this case Scott and Ann. Uncovering and developing the exact story I would tell will require some interaction with the talent but in the interim, I would like to explain my process and what I think are the keys to success.




Number 1: Our Crew: Small (in number), Experienced, Nimble

Working with a smaller crew will save in obvious areas like budget, but more importantly, my experience has been that a smaller crew allows for flexibility. Talent feels at ease more quickly and stories and personalities emerge naturally and organically.

Mad Hat Creative Production // Director of Photography: Misha Mazor


Number 2: Singular Creative Team

Having one creative team spanning through production and post provides you - our clients - with creative accountability. When I direct documentaries of any length, I can’t imagine anyone else cutting but me - especially when I get to interview the talent. In those interviews a story can unfold that goes beyond a script, and I love being able to assemble that story in the edit suite.

Another outstanding component of our creative team who also exemplifies this is our director of photography, Misha Mazor. I’ve been shooting with Misha for over 15 years and he’s truly incredible at shooting documentary style. He’s stealthy yet right in the middle of the action. He understands the predetermined style and adapts accordingly. Misha is also our colorist/online editor so he’s present at the front and at the back of a project - providing an opportunity to truly perfect the work.  



Number 3: Truly Engaging with Talent

Getting to know talent is by far my favorite part of the job. I enjoy inspiring and enabling individuals to portray themselves as their very best versions. Sometimes that involves loosening them up and providing time to help them forget about everything else around them (lights, camera, 30 people in the background). Other times, it's focusing on a simple genuine conversation that goes beyond reading questions off of a piece a paper. Finding that comfort leads to authenticity which leads to peoples' sense of humor! That’s my recipe. It’s also how I directed these spots on our reel as well as those you can reference above and below. 

Mad Hat Creative Production // Director and Editor: Jonathan Hayes

I’ve chosen to bypass technical ideas and many specifics to help you and your clients understand my process. But I’ll end by saying:  I get it. :)  Having worked with this brand before and as a small business owner who uses Synovus exclusively (Go Matthew Ricks in the ATL!!), I understand the sensibilities of the brand and what’s appropriate (funny vs. racy). I thank you for considering me and Mad Hat Creative to help tell this wonderful story.