HP AMP – The Sound of Color

Commercial Director | Creative Direction | Motion Graphics | Soundtrack | Writer

Project Overview
Hewlett Packard (HP) reached out to develop the creative vision and video delivery of their latest product innovation: an ultra-compact speaker and printer combination called the “HP AMP”.

Pre-Production: Creative Direction
We had a clear audience: potentially creative millennials who have limited space, print occasionally and love music.

To feature this innovation, I proposed two concepts that fit the demographic makeup. One was a narrative character driven approach and another was focused on product. And, though they loved both paths, they chose to launch with my edgy, product-focused vision called “Sound of Color”.

It called for clean, cinematically lit mysterious product visuals sync-cut to strong contemporary music and sound design contrasted with a handful of stunning practically shot visual effects filled with (literal) splashes of vibrant color.

To build suspense and pace the spot begins with details: a speaker bar, a bluetooth light, the HP logo, the illumination sequence an LED bar – all details and so close the viewer can’t discern whether this is a phone, a speaker or a quantum computer.

Then, as the music drops a splash of color and the HP AMP is fully revealed. An innovation truly unexpected.

After the reveal, we detail all of the HP AMP’s key features with stylistic flair and visual effect accompaniment showing that with the HP AMP you too can listen, talk, charge, and print.

PROCESS: Pre-Production

  1. Script Development
  2. Storyboard
  3. Animatic and VFX Previz
  4. Budget, Production Plan and Studio Preparation

PROCESS: Production

We shot for two days in two locations.

Production Equipment List

For the gearheads out there, here’s the technical goods behind the shoot:

  1. Red Raven
  2. 85 mm T2.1 Zeiss CP Lens
  3. 100 mm T2.1 Zeiss CP Lens
  4. ENG2 CF Tripod Legs for Video20
  5. JIBO Jib
  6. Manfrotto 114 Heavy Duty Cine Dolly
  7. Paint, Pellet Guns, and lots and lots…and lots of painter’s plastic…


PROCESS: Post-Production

  1. Assembly (Adobe Premiere)
  2. VFX Title Sync
  3. VFX Creation, Sync and Integration (Nuke 3d and Adobe After Effects)
  4. Music Production, Sound Design, Mixing and Sync (recorded, mixed and mastered in Ableton)
  5. Voice Over Narration Dubbing (sessions via Skype and edited in ProTools)
  6. Color Timing (DaVinci’s Resolve Studio)

Music, Sound Design and Foley
For the project to succeed thematically the music selection was critical. Pouring over hundreds of licensable music options it was clear that this project warranted custom music and sound design.

If you listen closely you might be able to hear a percussion track recorded and made entirely of sounds recorded from the HP AMP mechanics.


Creative Concept and Direction – Jonathan Higley
Cinematography – Morgan Peszko
Executive Producer – Gemma Raymond
Post Production Supervisor – Bob Roath
Visual Effects – Jonathan Higley
Nuke 3D Artist – Ryan O’Phelan
Voice Over Artist – Jesse Estrada
Grip – Dwane “Defari” Johnson
Grip – Daryl Levinson
Music Production and Sounds Design – SHSHA (Jonathan Higley)
Additional Music Synthesis – Ben “YEYEY” Shepard