BLDUP Spotlight: Bringing the Cinematic Advantage to Boston 04/18/23
For over twenty years Shimahara Visual has worked to press the visual media of the built environment toward cinematic expression from their studios in Los Angeles and New York. The firm continues to be inspired by the strength of the relationships forged as they collectively explore the intimate kinship between architecture and film. Now Shimahara is set to open a Boston outpost and we recently spoke with Shannon Strickland the Studio Director.
BLDUP: Tell us about Shimahara as you prepare to open your Boston Office. History/size/office locations/# projects completed in the past few years.
Shannon Strickland: Founded in 1999, Shimahara Visual is a creative agency that specializes in architectural visualization with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and most recently Boston. Our services include film, branding/strategic communications, architectural digital illustration, and virtual reality. Our studio includes 50 exceptionally talented individuals with a range of backgrounds in architecture, interior design, film, 3d animation, photography, and marketing. We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on hundreds of projects over the last few decades that range from impactful anthem films and in-depth marketing campaigns to stunning photoreal digital illustrations that all intend to capture the beauty of the yet-to-be-built architectural environment designed by some of the top design firms around the world.
Bldup: What was your motivation to open a Boston office?
Shannon Strickland: In 2022, the company decided to launch a Boston studio to better serve our clients in the region and capture additional ground in the life sciences real estate market. The Shimahara Visual family deeply believes in collaboration and the open exchange of ideas – not just with our business partners but with our respective communities. We have a history of planting roots in the cities where we live and work; supporting association chapters, participating in university job fairs, creating industry events, and offering pro bono services to local public institutions and NGOs. Our goal is to grow as an integral part of a vibrant, multifaceted community, and in light of this, it’s difficult to imagine a more fitting location to launch Shimahara Visual’s newest home than Boston. We hope to see you at our launch party in June!
BLDUP: Tell us about your leadership team in Boston.
Shannon Strickland: Our Boston team is led by Shannon Strickland, an exceptionally talented artist who’s been with the company since 2018. Starting out in our New York studio producing beautiful art, he supported the NY Studio Director in growing that studio from a small three-person team to a team of fifteen creatives. Shimahara Visual has been doing work in the Boston area for many years so it was an easy choice to make this jump with Shannon to expand to Boston. Working with other top visualization agencies in the NYC area, he found his home at Shimahara Visual in 2018. While our new studio is small in staff currently, it is large in talent. The team has the support of the entire SV family at their back in order to be able to take on projects of all sizes until we can grow the team with more amazing local talent.
BLDUP: Talk about some of the work coming out of the Boston office currently.
Shannon Strickland: We’ve partnered with some incredible architects and developers recently to bring life to their projects. Longwood Place with Skanska Development and Sasaki Architects is a 2M+ sq ft project in the Fenway / LMA neighborhood which includes office, lab, residential, public, and outdoor spaces. We’ve also recently created a beautiful film for Biomed Realty for an amazing addition to Assembly Row in Somerville called AIP (Assembly Innovation Park). This multi-phase development will bring incredible high-tech life science buildings to the area. We’ve also collaborated on beautiful digital illustrations with ZGF Architects for a couple additions to the UMASS Medical School in Worcester, MA. Their NERB (New Education and Research Building) will bring dynamic training facilities to the school and allow them to push the boundaries of what is possible for the future of the biotech industry.
BLDUP: What are your clients asking for in 2023 that is different from past years to get their projects noticed?
Shannon Strickland: This year, we’ve had many clients approach us about Artificial Intelligence and what it means for the future of not only our industry but the built environment as a whole. We’ve been experimenting internally on many projects using AI to help push the capabilities of what we can provide. We’ve been seeing a lot of success in the real-time space using platforms like Unreal Engine 5 with pixel streaming capabilities. We’ve noticed a huge uptick in requests for films and cinemagraphs for websites, but also for mobile content that has become so important in recent years. We’ve also loved collaborating on some amazing culture films that help people connect with each other post-pandemic.
BLDUP: What do you want the Boston market to know about Shimahara?
Shannon Strickland: Shimahara Visual isn't your run of the mill creative agency. While we are incredibly passionate about creating beautiful art, we’re more passionate about building incredible relationships with our friends and clients. We are here to help find solutions to your specific pain points, highlight the things you’re excited about, and make the process of working with us smooth from start to finish. We see ourselves as an extension of your team and we know that your project is like a baby to you, so we want to make sure you trust that we’ll take good care of it. Whether it’s a single rendering or an entire marketing campaign for a project, we are invested in it and here to help every step of the way.
Looking forward to connecting!
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