Fifty People, One Question: Restored

~ 20 October 2008 ~

Prior to a conference in New Orleans earlier this year, I arranged a dinner with a few acquaintances I had made through a post on this site. My intent was simple: Converse with NOLA locals to understand what life was really like for web professionals in the area.

We dined at Brennan’s Restaurant. The cuisine was fabulous. The conversation was stirring. Hearing first-hand accounts of the devastation and recovery during and following Hurricane Katrina was both moving and inspiring at once.

Among the wonderful individuals accompanying me that evening was Benjamin Reece, a self-described “proficient designer, indie filmmaker, adequate photographer, and dabbling musician.” What Benjamin didn’t tell me that evening is that his indie filmmaking skills are phenomenal.


Left to right: Me, Yasco Sulejmanagic, Benjamin Reece, Jonah Langenbeck, Jacob Sibley.

One of Benjamin’s recent projects is “Fifty People, One Question: Restored”. The idea is simple: Ask 50 people a stimulating question. Record their responses. The result combines cinematography, music, editing, and human emotion to produce one of the most compelling, well-produced indie videos I’ve seen in recent memory.

Remarkably, the video was shot entirely with an amateur-grade Canon HV20 camcorder — the same one I own (correction, I own the HG10) — but with a 35mm adapter and Nikon lens. Music is by Four Tet. Opening song is “Slow Jam” available at iTunes and Amazon.

But the real excuse for this post? Proof that I knew you before you were big in Japan, Benjamin. Rock on, bro. Or film on, that is.



Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.

1   Piotr ~ 20 October 2008

Bind-blowing clip. Made me shiver. Thanks for that Cameron! I’m hunting for more of Benjamins’s work right now.

2   gravesit ~ 20 October 2008

Simply Amazing.

3   Mark Aplet ~ 20 October 2008

That is a very inspiring clip. As you said, the music track is perfect. The responses were great. Thanks for sharing that.

4   Riccardo Mori ~ 20 October 2008

Thanks for this, Cameron. It’s a brilliant idea, very well executed. There are some moments in the clip that are subtly very moving. It’s fresh, simple and powerful. Great work, Mr Reece!


5   Benjamin Reece ~ 20 October 2008

Wow :) thank you for the high remarks and encouragement. It helps me to know that I am on the right path.

Shhhhh….we actually will be posting an all new location and all new video soon @

6   Mike Metcalf ~ 20 October 2008

Profound! Well done Benjamin!

7   Mark ~ 20 October 2008

Ben - great job on the video! Your eye is quite skilled my friend.

8   Nathan Heleine ~ 20 October 2008

Thanks for linking up the project!

Our studio is collaborating with Deltree to expand this project and produce new films in more cities. We shot this past weekend and will be releasing the new locations soon at Fifty People, One Question.

Check it out, and ask yourself the question…

9   Wesley Walser ~ 20 October 2008

Some people are just too good.

10   Dan ~ 20 October 2008

Wow, very nice! Reminds me of One Question Interview, a blog which has inspired me.

11   Michael Jackson ~ 20 October 2008

Thanks very much for sharing this one Cameron. If you’re reading this Benjamin, you have a lot of talent. This film is practically a window into the souls of these people…what makes them tick. Very well shot and produced.

12   elizabeth ~ 20 October 2008

I am always greatful that there is another day to tell my husband and kids how much I love them.

13   Karen ~ 20 October 2008

It’s a wonderfully powerful thing to make people stop and think about the here and now, and what’s happening around them. Thanks Cameron for posting this and thanks Benjamin for making me appreciate today.

14   Brian Breslin ~ 21 October 2008

First off, fantastic video guys. How do you get that color effect out of a standard off the shelf video cam?

Second, I would LOVE to do this in Miami with our refreshMiami group. Next week we’ll have 100+ technologists/web folks getting together.

15   Flug Brasilien ~ 22 October 2008

I love this clip … This Clip is more than “commercial”…its a lifestyle ! Please keep it on ! special thanks

16   Rob Russo ~ 23 October 2008

Incredible. Heart-warming. Engaging. In both content and presentation.

17   Chris Ploeg ~ 26 October 2008

Can’t go wrong with a good Four Tet tune for mood!

18   Ron Domingue ~ 28 October 2008

Ben Reese’s work is very inspiring. This and his 504ward video gives plenty of creative professionals in Louisiana a lot to look forward to. Thanks for recognizing his talent Cameron.

// Ron

19   Maria Stultz ~ 26 November 2008

Emerging from mamahood…
Really good film. Thank you for posting it Cameron. I particularly loved the response of the guy who said he wanted his son back.

20   Josh ~ 29 January 2009

Wow, great film. Cinematography and soundtrack really well done!


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