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MeanGreen Media:
Behind the Scenes Short


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Giorgio Citarella,

This short, while only 30 seconds, required an immense (and intense) amount of focused collaboration. I will never forget the lessons I learned making this.

Anatomy of a Short

Welcome to the case study of the behind-the-scenes short produced by MeanGreen Media, a prominent post-production house in Washington, DC. During the 2022 midterm election cycle, I had the privilege of working as a Junior Editor and Production Assistant at MeanGreen Media. As part of my responsibilities, I was tasked with co-writing, co-directing, co-editing, and co-producing a short spot that provided an exclusive glimpse into the inner workings of the company.


Giorgio Citarella writing the first draft of the script, Nikon FM, Ilford HP5
Photos by Giorgio Citarella

This case study will delve into various aspects of the production, from the technical specifications to the creative inspiration, the pitch process, production challenges, the editing workflow, and culminate in a comprehensive and summarizing conclusion. It will provide a comprehensive account of the behind-the-scenes journey, highlighting the collaborative efforts and creative decisions that brought the project to life.

Throughout this case study, we will explore the technical aspects of the short, including the equipment used, post-production workflows, and the visual and auditory elements that contributed to its overall impact. Additionally, we will delve into the inspiration behind the project, uncovering the sources that fueled our creative vision and drove our storytelling approach.

Camera test of Giorgio in the office.
BMPCC 6K + Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

The case study will also shed light on the pitch process, outlining how the concept was presented and received by the stakeholders at MeanGreen Media. It will detail the production phase, including the challenges encountered, the coordination of the crew, and the execution of the behind-the-scenes shoot. I will then dive into the editing process, examining the choices made to craft a compelling narrative that encapsulated the essence of MeanGreen Media's operation.

Examining the lens, Nikon FM, Ilford HP5
Photo by Giorgio Citarella

Lastly, I will conclude the case study by summarizing the key takeaways, lessons learned, and the overall success of the behind-the-scenes short. By exploring the various stages of production and reflecting on the collaborative efforts, this case study aims to provide a comprehensive and insightful account of the creative process behind the short.

Join me as we embark on this behind-the-scenes journey, uncovering the technical, creative, and logistical intricacies that shaped the final outcome of the MeanGreen Media behind-the-scenes short.

Technical Equipment and

Technical Equipment and Software:

To capture the behind-the-scenes short, we utilized a range of technical equipment and software tools to ensure optimal production quality and seamless post-production workflows. The following is a list of the equipment and software utilized throughout the project:

Camera test of Giorgio Citarella editing.
BMPCC 6K + Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens


  1. Camera:

    • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (BMPCC 6K): This versatile camera allowed us to capture high-resolution footage with excellent dynamic range, enabling us to achieve the desired visual aesthetics for the behind-the-scenes short.

  2. Lenses:

    • Canon 50mm 1.8: This prime lens provided us with a versatile focal length, ideal for capturing detailed close-ups and shallow depth of field shots.

    • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS: This zoom lens offered a range of focal lengths, allowing us to capture a variety of perspectives and establish a visual narrative throughout the behind-the-scenes short.

  3. Stabilization:

    • Ronin RS3: We utilized the Ronin RS3 gimbal stabilizer to achieve smooth and steady camera movements, providing a professional and polished look to the footage.

  4. Screenwriting:

    • Final Draft Pro: This industry-standard screenwriting software was instrumental in co-writing and refining the script for the behind-the-scenes short. It offered robust features and a user-friendly interface, facilitating efficient collaboration and seamless revisions.

  5. Video Editing:

    • Adobe Premiere Pro: As our primary non-linear video editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro allowed us to organize, edit, and assemble the footage captured during the behind-the-scenes shoot. Its powerful editing capabilities and intuitive interface contributed to a streamlined post-production workflow.

  6. Visual Effects and Motion Graphics:

    • Adobe After Effects: To enhance the visual appeal and add captivating motion graphics elements, we utilized Adobe After Effects. This software enabled us to create engaging visual effects, titles, and other dynamic elements that enriched the overall storytelling.

  7. Color Grading and Finishing:

    • DaVinci Resolve Lite: For color grading and finishing touches, we employed DaVinci Resolve Lite. This professional-grade software offered comprehensive color correction and grading tools, allowing us to enhance the visual mood and achieve the desired cinematic look for the behind-the-scenes short.

Camera test of Giorgio Citarella editing.
BMPCC 6K + Canon 50mm 1.8 lens

By leveraging this combination of technical equipment and software, we were able to capture high-quality footage, refine the screenplay, edit seamlessly, incorporate visual effects, and achieve the desired visual aesthetic and overall polish in the final product.

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The Balletic Cadence

In the production of our short spot we embarked on a creative journey inspired by various sources of inspiration and aimed to create a captivating and unique viewing experience. This case study will delve into the inspirations behind our creative decisions, the lessons learned throughout the process, and how these elements influenced our final product.

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Parasite, 2019
Barunson E&A
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Storyboard for MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
MeanGreen Media
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Camera test of Giorgio Citarella bounding up the staircase.
MeanGreen Media
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MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
MeanGreen Media

1. Director Bong (Ballet & Score): One of our significant inspirations was the director Bong Joon-ho, particularly the balletic cadence depicted in the peach scene of "Parasite." We aimed to infuse our film with a similar rhythmic quality, showcasing the inner workings of the office as a dance performed by the employees. The mechanical operations and their tasks became the driving force behind the balletic movements, creating a captivating visual and audio metaphor for the office environment.

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She-Hulk, 2022
Marvel Studios
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MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
MeanGreen Media

2. She-Hulk (Meta): Influenced by the Marvel show, She-Hulk, where the main character breaks the fourth wall to interact with the audience, we decided to incorporate a similar meta approach in our advertisement. We believed it would be an engaging way to invite the audience to engage with our content directly. By breaking the fourth wall, we encouraged the viewers to actively participate in the narrative and connect with our brand.

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3.  Dogme 95 (Hand-held): While we didn't strictly adhere to the Dogme 95 movement's Vows of Chastity, we found inspiration in its emphasis on the authenticity and democratization of filmmaking. We adapted certain aspects of the movement's hand-held camera techniques, which suited our project's needs. The goal was to capture a raw and intimate feel, mirroring the energy and immediacy of the office environment.

The Celebration, 1998
Janus Films

Lessons Learned: Throughout the production I learned several valuable lessons that contributed to the project's success:

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Storyboard for MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
MeanGreen Media
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Unused footage for MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
MeanGreen Media

1. Storyboarding and Location Scouting: Proper planning and storyboarding played a crucial role in visualizing our creative vision. I realized the importance of thoroughly scouting locations to ensure they aligned with our intended aesthetic and supported the narrative. This attention to detail helped us achieve a cohesive and visually compelling story.

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Giorgio Citarella directing CEO Glenn Greenstein and Head of Production Melanie McGhee in a scene, 2022
MeanGreen Media

2. Testing Our Vision: Before production, conducting camera and lighting tests allowed us to fine-tune our creative approach and ensure technical aspects were aligned with our vision. These tests provided insights into the visual aesthetics we wanted to achieve and allowed us to make informed decisions during the filming process.

3. Rewrites: Embracing the flexibility of the creative process, we understood the significance of embracing rewrites. As new ideas and discoveries emerged, we actively revised the script to enhance the storytelling and further align it with our overall vision. This willingness to adapt and refine our work proved invaluable in creating a cohesive and impactful narrative.

4. Preparing for the Pitch: Recognizing the importance of effectively communicating our creative ideas, we dedicated time to thoroughly prepare for the pitch. This involved crafting a compelling presentation that showcased the unique aspects of our project and effectively conveyed our vision to the team. Through thoughtful preparation, we gained buy-in and support from key stakeholders, ensuring a smooth production process.

Conclusion: We successfully captured the essence of our creative vision, thanks to the influences and inspirations that guided our decision-making process. By incorporating balletic cadence, meta elements, and hand-held camera techniques, we created a visually engaging and immersive experience for the audience. Throughout the project, we learned the importance of thorough planning, testing, flexibility, and effective communication in bringing our vision to life. The short stands as a testament to our dedication to innovation and storytelling in the world of film.

Pitching The Project

Pitching the script to the company on the morning meeting
Video courtesy of MeanGreen Media

The success of any creative endeavor relies heavily on the initial pitch, where the vision and potential of the project are presented to key stakeholders. The behind-the-scenes short project was no exception, and the pitch played a crucial role in securing support and resources to bring our creative vision to life. This section delves into the process of pitching the project, highlighting the difficulties encountered, the importance of vulnerability, preparation, and the incorporation of new ideas.

  1. The Pitch: The pitch served as an opportunity to communicate the concept, objectives, and unique elements of the behind-the-scenes short. It was crucial to clearly articulate the purpose of capturing the company's operations and the intended impact on the audience. By presenting a compelling pitch, we aimed to secure buy-in and generate enthusiasm among decision-makers.

  2. The Difficulty of Pitching: Pitching can be a challenging endeavor, as it requires distilling complex ideas into a concise and engaging presentation. Crafting a compelling narrative that effectively conveyed the value and significance of the behind-the-scenes short was no easy feat. It involved careful selection of key moments, emphasizing the creativity, innovation, and storytelling techniques employed in capturing the essence of MeanGreen Media's operation.

  3. Being Vulnerable: Pitching necessitates vulnerability, as it involves sharing personal creative ideas and opening oneself up to potential criticism or rejection. Embracing vulnerability allowed us to connect with the audience on a deeper level, showcasing our passion and commitment to the project. By conveying our genuine enthusiasm and belief in the project's potential, we aimed to establish a sense of trust and resonate with the stakeholders.

  4. Being Prepared: Thorough preparation was paramount to a successful pitch. We conducted comprehensive research on the company's values, goals, and target audience, aligning our vision with their objectives. We developed a cohesive pitch deck that effectively communicated the project's key aspects, including the technical approach, creative inspirations, and intended impact. By meticulously preparing our pitch, we demonstrated professionalism and instilled confidence in the stakeholders.

  5. Incorporating New Ideas: Pitching offered an opportunity to incorporate fresh ideas and perspectives into the project. By actively seeking input and feedback during the pitching process, we fostered a collaborative environment that allowed for continuous improvement. Incorporating new ideas enriched the project, ensuring its relevance, creativity, and alignment with the evolving needs and expectations of the stakeholders.


The pitch served as a crucial stepping stone in securing support and resources for the behind-the-scenes short. Through the difficulties faced, the vulnerability displayed, thorough preparation, and the incorporation of new ideas, we were able to present a compelling case for the project's value and secure the necessary backing to move forward with production. The next section will delve into the production phase, where we transformed our vision into a tangible reality.

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Giorgio Citarella with crew members Angela Edwards, Sarney Bajani, and Trevor Matthews after a long shooting day, 2022
MeanGreen Media


Shooting Time: The production phase of our behind the scenes short took place over a span of two days. We carefully planned and organized the shooting schedule to optimize efficiency and ensure we captured all the necessary footage. By allocating specific time slots for different scenes and setups, we were able to stay on track and make the most of our limited shooting time.

Lessons Learned: Throughout the production process, we encountered valuable lessons that contributed to the success of the project. Here are some key takeaways:

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MeanGreen Media
Storyboard for MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
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MeanGreen Media Short, 2022
MeanGreen Media


  1. Clear Communication: Effective communication among the team members proved to be crucial. We established open lines of communication and ensured that everyone was on the same page regarding the project's goals, creative vision, and technical requirements. Regular team meetings and discussions helped streamline the production workflow.

  2. Flexibility and Adaptability: As with any production, unexpected challenges and changes are bound to arise. We learned the importance of being flexible and adaptable to these situations. Whether it was adjusting the shooting schedule, improvising creative solutions on set, or adapting to unforeseen circumstances, our ability to adapt played a significant role in overcoming hurdles and keeping the production running smoothly.

  3. Attention to Detail: Paying meticulous attention to detail was paramount in achieving the desired outcome. From set design and props to camera angles and lighting, we ensured that every element of the production was carefully considered. This attention to detail enhanced the overall visual quality and contributed to the authenticity of the behind the scenes portrayal.

  4. Team Collaboration: The success of any production heavily relies on teamwork and collaboration. We fostered a collaborative environment where ideas were openly shared and contributions from all team members were valued. This collaborative spirit not only enhanced the creative process but also allowed us to tap into each team member's strengths and expertise.

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Laughs in-between takes
MeanGreen Media


By incorporating these lessons learned, I was able to navigate the production phase with efficiency, creativity, and a keen eye for detail. These insights served as valuable guideposts in shaping the overall outcome of our behind the scenes short.


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Giorgio Citarella editing camera test.
MeanGreen Media


Collaborating: The editing phase of our behind the scenes short was a collaborative effort that involved multiple editors working closely together. Collaboration played a key role in ensuring that the final product aligned with our creative vision. We held regular meetings where editors shared their ideas, provided feedback, and made collaborative decisions regarding the pacing, sequencing, and overall structure of the short. This collaborative approach allowed us to tap into the collective expertise of the editing team and resulted in a cohesive and engaging final cut.


Editing can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it is not without its frustrations. From grappling with technical challenges to making tough creative choices, our editing team encountered various frustrations along the way. However, we recognized these frustrations as opportunities for growth and problem-solving. We maintained open lines of communication, allowing team members to express their concerns and find solutions collectively. Through effective communication and a shared commitment to the project's success, we were able to overcome these frustrations and move forward in a positive and productive manner.

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Giorgio Citarella editing camera test.
MeanGreen Media

Compromise (Flip flop editing / alternate between editors to optimize time):

To optimize time and ensure efficient progress during the editing phase, we implemented a strategy of flip flop editing. This approach involved alternating between editors, allowing each editor to work on different sections of the short while another editor reviewed and provided feedback on their work. This collaborative editing method not only accelerated the editing process but also fostered a creative exchange of ideas and perspectives. By leveraging the strengths and expertise of each editor, we were able to maximize productivity while maintaining a consistent and cohesive vision for the final product.

Compromise also played a role in creative decision-making. As with any collaborative project, there were moments where differing opinions emerged. In such instances, we embraced compromise as a means to find common ground and make informed creative choices. Through respectful discussions and a willingness to consider alternative viewpoints, we arrived at decisions that satisfied the collective vision of the team. This ability to compromise ensured that the final edit incorporated the best ideas from all involved, resulting in a more well-rounded and impactful behind the scenes short.

The collaboration, perseverance through frustrations, and willingness to compromise were integral to the success of the editing process. By working together as a team, we were able to create a compelling and cohesive behind the scenes short that effectively showcased the inner workings of the production.

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The production of our behind the scenes short at MeanGreen Media was an invaluable learning experience that brought together various creative disciplines and required extensive collaboration. As co-directors, co-writers, co-producers, and co-editors, I faced unique challenges in balancing my respective roles and responsibilities. However, these challenges served as opportunities for growth, pushing me to develop effective communication skills, adaptability, and a shared vision.

One of the key takeaways from this project was the power of collaboration. From the initial stages of pre-production to the final editing process, every aspect of the behind the scenes short thrived on collaboration. The success of the project hinged on my ability to work together, exchange ideas, and respect other's creative contributions. I learned that by leveraging the diverse strengths and perspectives within our team, we could achieve a more well-rounded and impactful final product.

The collaborative nature of this project extended beyond the core creative team. We also had the privilege of collaborating with talented individuals across various departments, including sound design, and color-management. This collaboration allowed us to tap into a wealth of expertise and craftsmanship, further enhancing the quality and depth of our behind the scenes short.

Despite being the shortest video I had ever worked on, this project proved to be the most collaborative and involved a substantial amount of pre-production. The extensive planning, storyboarding, and location scouting that took place before shooting laid a solid foundation for the production. This meticulous pre-production process allowed us to streamline our workflow, anticipate challenges, and make the most of our shooting time.

Throughout the journey, we encountered both expected and unexpected obstacles, tested our creative boundaries, and honed our problem-solving skills. The challenges of co-directing, co-writing, co-producing, and co-editing taught us the importance of effective communication, compromise, and maintaining a shared vision. We discovered that embracing collaboration and harnessing the collective talent of our team led to greater creativity, efficiency, and overall project success.

In conclusion, the behind the scenes short at MeanGreen Media was a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and meticulous pre-production. It taught me valuable lessons about the art of teamwork, the importance of communication, and the rewards of embracing creative collaboration. As I reflect on this experience, I carry these lessons forward, knowing that they will shape and inform my future endeavors in the realm of filmmaking and creative storytelling.

Giorgio Citarella delivering the final cut, Nikon FM, Ilford HP5
Photo by Giorgio Citarella

Full credits list:

Directed by: Giorgio Citarella & Esteban Larach Produced By: Angela R. Edwards, MeanGreen Media Cinematography By: Giorgio Citarella & Esteban Larach Score By: Trevor Matthews Colorist: Giorgio Citarella II Production Coordinator: Elon Blackwell Production Sound By: Bruno Falcon Post sound mix by: Trevor Matthews Thank you: Glenn Greenstein, Melanie McGhee, Whittney Wernsing, Christopher DiNardo, Sean Kimber, Nicole Haddock, Elon Blackwell, Sarney Bajani, Angela R. Edwards, and Trevor Matthews Executive Produced By: Giorgio Citarella II & Esteban Larach

© MeanGreen Media all rights reserved 2022

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