How we helped Seattle Southside stand up and stand out. 


What comes to mind when you think of Seattle?
The majestic Space Needle, the towering Seattle Art Museum, or perhaps the bustling Pike Place Market?

Now, tell me, what do you think of when you hear Tukwila, SeaTac, and Des Moines, Washington?

Located just 15 minutes south of Downtown Seattle, these three cities were struggling to attract new visitors after a few tough years courtesy of the pandemic. 

Few people were aware of the region, and without any iconic attractions, they were having a tough time competing with their big-city neighbors up the road. 


After a process of multiple months to redefine the brand’s positioning and design, brilliantly led by our partners at 123W, came the crucial time to put it all together into a succinct message capable of encapsulating the core values and differentiators of the new brand and creating an emotional, almost visceral connection with viewers.

We used the following phrase as our north star:

Curiously Wonderful, Microadventure After Microadventure in Seattle Southside.

With concept in hand, we had two main goals for our video:

  1. Seattle Southside, its people, places, and attractions, are a little bit quirky, just a bit weird.

  2. The layout and proximity of the three cities allows for shorter, microtrips, filled with adventure.  


One of the major tenets we have at Cantera is to expend as much time and effort as possible in the pre-production stage of any project to tackle challenges with concept, story, and planning that would be exponentially more costly to face during production.

One such example came a couple weeks in when the decision was made to do a complete 180° to the visual approach of the piece. 

Our initial pitch to recreate the dreamy landscape of Seattle Southside physically through the magical medium of miniatures and stop motion animation, while an absolutely worthy vehicle for our stated concept of “Microadventure after Microadventure,” began to feel constricting as the realities of budget and time were further assessed against a script that kept creping further and further into “Curiously Wonderful” territory... 😂

That’s how we landed on what would become our final look, something we called a Cinematic Collage, midway between a realistic VFX piece and the textured feel of a paper collage.


This experience served to reinforce our belief that it is crucial to make the most of the pre-production stage when major changes to the story or concept cost nothing more than a wipe of a whiteboard or an edit to a Google Doc.

Being exhaustive at this early planning stage yields major savings of time, money, and effort during production where changes can be exponentially more costly. 


We were all so psyched on the initial idea of playing out our childhood dreams of miniature worlds and stop-motion animation. 

We have the immense luck of counting on Jennifer Skarbnik, wonderfully talented producer, who is a master of the medium, as well as to have great relationships with teams like “Hobby” and “El Taller Del Chucho” in Jalisco, Mexico, the literal epicenter for the art of stop motion in Latin America. 

Maybe next time..!


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Juan E Bedolla
Founder & Creative Director

© Cantera Studio 2023
Sunset Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA.