Janet Lewin / Star Wars / Boston University

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Janet Lewin is the Visual Effects Producer for Lucasfilm's Star Wars films.  I photographed her for her alma mater's magazine - Boston University's COM Talk.  Janet was gracious, enthusiastic and generous with her time for our production while she was in lock-down mode - finishing her production on Star Wars:  The Last Jedi.  But for me the highlight was watching that little BB-8 robot operate (roll) with "his" technician at the helm - remote in hand.  "How do you do that?" I asked the technician.  His reply, "Ask him".  So I asked BB-8, and he explained it to me in beeps and flashes - which I didn't understand.  / Art Director:  Janice Checchio (Thanks, Janice!)

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Shot on location at The Letterman Digital & New Media Arts Center (Lucasfilm's headquarters) in San Francisco.

Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Metalist and Literacy Champion, Diablo Magazine

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Okay, this was fun.  Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medalist in figure skating (1992), dazzled audiences for Stars on Ice, won the Mirrorball trophy on Dancing with the Stars and founder of the Always Dream Foundation - dedicated to promoting childhood literacy.  The latter was the occasion for which this session arose.  Each December, Diablo Magazine features a number of local heroes (of the East Bay) who have changed the community in all manner of special ways.  Yamaguchi's foundation provides reading tools to kids at a young age and gets families engaged in reading at home.  Yamaguchi is also an author of several children's books, including the New York Times best-seller: Dream Big, Little Pig.  See below a few additional Threads of Hope recipients who were also honored in the feature.  / Creative Director:  David Bergeron  /  Story by:  Pete Crooks

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Lee Stimmel is the founder of the Blue Water Foundation, providing hope to teenagers who are currently incarcerated in various youth detention centers in the Bay Area - by teaching them to sail.  "These kids are so misjudged by all of us, including me," says Stimmel.  "Once they're in an environment where they're not in constant danger, they become children again."  Stimmel started the foundation with the goal of sharing the joys of sailing with at-risk youths and providing them with an "alternative to drugs, alcohol, and gangs."  "For many of them, this is the one positive thing they have in their lives.  They just melt when you praise them because no one tells them they're good at anything - ever.  And they are.  These are really good sailors."  There.  Lee Stimmel, another deserving Threads of Hope award recipient.  / Creative Director:  David Bergeron  /  Story by:  Casey Cantrell

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Ruth McCahan, founder of Lamorinda Village.  Perhaps you've heard of the idea of a "Village" as it relates to senior living.  It's not a "place", but an idea - and now there's a growing national network of nonprofit organizations aiming to help older adults age at in their own homes by providing the assistance they need to do so.  The Lamorinda Village is the community of elderly folks that McCahan is enabling to stay in their homes as long as possible.  Efforts / services include volunteers providing Village members with essential services like shopping, transportation, and home maintenance.  For more specialized tasks, the Village has a list of "preferred providers" - experienced professionals who have been thoroughly vetted.  Way to go Ruth!  Thanks for letting us litter your backyard with C-Stands and gaffers tape (which I think I left hanging on the branch of one of your maple trees. . . ). / Creative Director:  David Bergeron  /  Story by:  Morgan Mitchell

Visit the official Mitch Tobias Photographer website at:  http://www.mitchtobias.com

Ladies of the Lake / Diablo Magazine

"Calling all senior women!  Let's meet at Lake Merritt at 7:30 AM on Wednesday, get on the water and start rowing."  The Ladies of the Lake is a 100 year old institution wherein a group of about 40 women meet every Wednesday to get in boats and row across this urban lake for exercise, pleasure, and social stimulation.  Witty, full of energy and a zest for life, they put younger folk to shame (not on purpose).  Film made for Diablo Magazine.  I composed the music for this as well.

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Redwood Giants

Redwood High School Basketball / Varsity Teams.  I created these portraits for posters promoting upcoming games.  Each poster featured individual players - who would then go to local businesses and post the handsomely designed calendars to boost attendance.  Designed by Jon Ritt / Jon Ritt Design Co. / http://www.jonritt.com

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Allstate Winter / One Cold Week in Colorado

Winter is cold.  Allstate and digital agency T3 called me to warm it up.  With color, joy, and top notch help from the A-Team crew, we did just that - and got blasted by a few joyful snowballs along the way.  'Twas one week in Colorado creating scenarios related to auto, life & home insurance, with 35 humans, 5 vehicles and 2 doggies.  (Oh, and a medic on hand with canisters of oxygen to make sure no one passed out in the high altitude . . . no one did.)

Having completed numerous library shoots like this for Allstate / T3, a trust has been cultivated between us that enables me to playfully improvise, yielding more and unexpected frames.  Fun + Productivity:  We can do this.

Cozy crew.

Cozy crew.

Me - battling the elements - in the trenches.  Okay, I fell.  (Photography by Julio Duffoo.)

Me - battling the elements - in the trenches.  Okay, I fell.  (Photography by Julio Duffoo.)

Mitch tethered to a tree.

Mitch tethered to a tree.

THE TEAM

Agency:  T3

Group Creative Director:  Carolyn Connolly

Art Director:  Nathan Trafford

Producer:  Dagdag Productions

Production Coordinator:  Kim Siedentopf

Casting:  Sylvia Gregory Casting (Denver, Colorado)

Wardrobe Stylist:  Danny O'Neill / Represented by Artist Untied

Wardrobe Manager:  Sweet

Prop Stylist:  Evan Madden / Represented by Artist Untied

Hair / Makeup:  Katelyn Simkins

1st Assistant:  Julio Duffoo

2nd Assistants:  Adam Rojo & Dan O'niell

Digi Tech:  Jon Rose

Visit the official Mitch Tobias website at http://www.mitchtobias.com