Chronicling filmmakers as the ultimate creators

Filmmakers, by the millions, are some of the most creative people in the entertainment business. Steven J. Levy, Habana President and Founder, explained how creativity and storytelling are pivotal components in this industry – and what keeps the filmmakers hooked.

There’s an insatiable desire to tell a story.

Each client has their own story to tell. There’s opportunity on a daily basis to help clients share their life while engaging viewers through film and imagery. No two projects will be the same – and that’s the thrill of it.

As creators in the film industry, Habana is here to help. Film and photography are the only tools we have to preserve memories, and it’s a filmmakers’ job to make sure those memories are remembered and portrayed in the best way possible.

I have a desire to tell stories. And I’m never quite satisfied. Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime, we need to keep them alive.
— Martin Scorsese

The challenge, the risk, and the thrill of discovery.

Each project is different and takes an ample amount of time to craft a plan that works best for each one. “People like the diversity of our capabilities and what we’ve done. They like the fact that we have a real understanding of marketing, music, promotional work, commercials and features,” said Steven.

"We’re the guys people can come to because we’re flexible enough to work with many different types of content and brands. The great thing about being a creative agency and working with clients is the constant overflow of great ideas all coming together. There’s a great deal of satisfaction upon project completion and knowing we’ve created something magical."

Of course, details and logistics are always subject to change and it keeps us on our toes. No one can expect everything to work out perfectly every time, but at Habana, we’re confident in our knowledge and staff to be able to handle any minor setback with precision and ease.

Small team collaborations get the conversation started.

In our offices, there are teams of people working hard around the clock to ensure proper planning and execution of all endeavors. From engaging first-time clients with kickoff meetings to the final wrap, the wheels are always turning. Brainstorming and thinking aloud are such essential parts of this profession and there’s a lot of passion that forms a constant flow of ideas that eventually turn into projects.

James Cameron couldn’t have said it any better: “When a small group of people form a tightly-knit team…in that bond, you realize that the most important thing is the respect…that you’ve done a task that you can’t explain to someone else. Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own. Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality.”

The belief in creating a visual soundtrack to peoples’ lives.

Many people don’t consider the effect that music has on film. For those who are able to hear music, these sound waves can make a huge difference when watching a film. When you pick a song to go along with a scene, credit roll or special moment – you’re adding so much more meaning to that experience.

When mobile music finally came out, there was a soundtrack to your life. Whatever was in your ears – that’s what empowered you. We are very fortunate to be in a position to create the content and soundtrack to peoples’ lives. “I really love the music aspect of filming,” said Steven. “There’s something really special about it.”

There’s time for work … and time for play.

There’s an advantage to working on a variety of different projects. Filmmakers get to meet lots of new people on a regular basis doing what they love. At Habana, our directors have been able to experience some really incredible things in this business and sometimes forget that we’re actually working. We’ve had the pleasure of working with celebrities and it’s easy to get lost in the moment.

When it’s time to buckle down and get to work, it’s not hard for us – we love it! There’s a thrill in finding the perfect location, assembling all necessary parts and executing the project.

The ability to share work on an infinite number of devices.

The good thing about all the technology releases and devices means there’s no limit how we can share our work. Of course, films are best viewed on larger screens, but then again – we’d rather a person see our work on a mobile device than not at all. Whether you’re viewing our films on a large desktop screen or small iPhone on a plane, we’re all grateful for the opportunity that grants anyone access to our work at any given moment.

The use of social media has grown exponentially in the past decade, allowing people to research, discover and share their finds instantaneously with friends. In today’s day and age, it’s hard to find time to sit down with friends and family anymore – so we’re thankful that technology gives people the chance to watch most things on-demand.

There are many jobs to be fulfilled.

At times, this can be overwhelming. Filmmakers tasked with creating, writing, filming – and all the logistics in between. We’re agents for our next project. We’re directors, cinematographers, photographers … the list goes on. Each project is a chance to learn something new and we never stop learning.

We’re very fortunate to work with a talented team of individuals who all bring something new and fresh to the table (and the set!).

The world is a stage.

We can work anywhere. Well, almost – permits and no-fly-zones aside, our office is wherever we need it to be. It gets challenging having projects all over the U.S. but that’s what makes it fun. With offices in California, New York and Florida – we are extremely flexible and love traveling.

Let’s start telling your story.