Soulcraft All Stars

We are storytellers. That is our passion. From creative director to designer to director of photography to editor to composer, we are committed to telling stories that matter. We don’t like to brag, but we have done this for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, international non-profits, and foundations on five continents. We have helped our clients reach tens of millions of viewers and raise well over $100 million. We are masters at understanding and uncovering beautiful stories—stories our clients often are too close to see. We are the makers. No intern will tell your story.

Creative Director Aaron Straight will work alongside you, thinking and creating from discovery to directing on location, from managing the post production team to walking through each review cycle with you. Aaron will even be at your screening or event or launch because once engaged, we’re all committed to your success. Our success is always linked to your success. This will be a beautiful and memorable process for you and your team. Talk to our clients; read their testimonials; check out our work. We make films and campaigns that are well-crafted, deeply human, and move audiences to action.

Say hello. We’d love to hear your ideas.

Respect.

 
 
 
BS_041417_2929 copy 2.JPG

Aaron Straight 

Creative Director + Principal

Aaron is a storyteller. Over two decades, he has told stories across five continents for Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and heads of state and has helped raise well over $100 million for regional and international non-profits. His passion at Soulcraft is to tell stories that matter, using the power of storytelling for people and the planet. Aaron has reached millions of viewers for a wide range of clients, including Adidas, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon Kindle, CNN Travel, The Seattle Sounders, Heifer International, Global Partnerships, Olson Kundig, and the Bill + Melinda Gates Foundation. At Soulcraft, Aaron surrounds himself with ALLSTARS—bad-ass artists and creatives. Raised on the East Coast, Aaron lives with his family in the PNW, where they love to hike, snowboard, paddle, camp, and explore the San Juan Islands.

Aaron’s warmth brings out the best in people, and his curiosity is infectious. As a storyteller, he inspires us to question, to reflect and to want to know more about the world.
— Gabriella Frank, Director of Business Development & Marketing Olson Kundig
 
 

 
 

Meet the All Stars

Just as each project requires the right storytelling strategy, so each story requires the right team. With each new project, we assemble an ALLSTAR team whose talent, life experience, and passion are perfect for the story. These folks are masters of their craft. Decades of experience means that we move seamlessly from strategy to execution. When you hire us, you get us, not our interns. We love what we do. That is why we are called SOULCRAFT. We are a full-service agency. Check out some of our ALLSTARS.

 
 
_BS_091718_0768.jpg

Jamie Valenta

Business Manager + Producer

Responsible for keeping Soulcraft tight, Jamie’s got it covered 100%. Prior to joining SOULCRAFT, Jamie balanced 13 years in financial management with running her own travel photography business. She is truly a right-brain/left-brain woman. Jamie loves to organize our company, keep us running smoothly, and contribute her insight and experience to our creative process. Jamie is an eternal optimist who always finds a way to get it done. Try to keep up with Jamie: every month she’s somewhere amazing documenting people and places all around the world.

_BS_10042017_0672 copy 2.JPG

Andrew McMullen

Director of Photography

A Washington kid gone east, Andrew is based in NYC but travels the world filming for the world’s largest brands. Andrew is both punk rock and perfectly disciplined. He has a unique balance of respect and disrespect that we find refreshing and honest. Andrew’s style is clean and beautiful, but he has an eye for details and composition. It’s authentic characters that he loves the most. Andrew is also an excellent photographer and designer. But don’t be fooled by his discerning taste and style: he still prefers a Rainier.


_BS_091718_1882.jpg

Heidi Dikeman

Designer + Illustrator

Heidi’s design elevates our storytelling. Period. She takes the potentially cluttered world of titles, text, and typography and makes it clean, elegant, and, most important, powerful at communicating the story. Dividing her time between the PNW and Maine, Heidi has spent much of her career designing for large museum exhibitions, books, architects, and retail. She has designed beautiful layouts, text treatments, titling sequences, and film festival posters for many of our projects, from Jim Olson: Art, Building, Nature to Haiti, My Love and Peace Is an Inside Job. Heidi’s great eye comes from spending her grammar school years in Iran and Venezuela and circumnavigating the globe before she was 10 years old. Heidi is great to work with, quick to laugh, and has exquisite taste.


Miles-06.jpg

Miles Lippold

Motion Editor

Miles is one of the best editors in the PNW. He began editing movies for Bill Gates at Microsoft, then expanded to the Gates Foundation and Bill’s third company, bgC3 (The Gates Notes). For 10+ years, Miles, Aaron, and Guido have worked together on these projects and others for IBM, Heifer International, and Global Partnerships. The videos they've done together have covered stories from Africa to Alaska. In addition to editing, Miles is an expert in motion graphics and story editing. His ability to clearly present any subject matter to audiences while making it beautiful and impactful is something rare even in the editing world. And while Miles is handsome, he knows there is more to life than being really really really ridiculously good looking.

BS_010719_0898.JPG

Liz Darrow

Story Editor

Liz is a gifted storyteller. And even though she rarely gets to meet our subjects, she feels their stories in a way that is difficult to describe. She is a master of her craft and a lovely person to work with. That said, she will fight passionately for an interview clip, a shot sequence, or an idea she feels is critical to the story. She is without question one of the most politically and socially aware people in our process. And her heightened sense of justice keeps us all sharp. When she’s not editing or raising her son and daughter, you will find her out in the community doing her best to help people. Liz is a fantastic human being.

IMG_0171.jpg

Guido Ronge

Director of Photography

“The MacGyver of filmmaking”that’s what we’ve called him for a decade. Guido’s skill as a DP is well-known, but his problem-solving skills are his super power. From Zanzibar to the border of Namibia or Haiti or Nicaragua or rural Nebraska, Guido works hard to make beautiful storytelling shots despite nearly any circumstances. Originally from Germany but a long-time resident of Washington State, Guido contributes his significant talent to help tell stories about conservation, social justice, and immigration. When not filming,  Guido may be found carving a stand-up paddle board, minding his chickens and cows, or tinkering with his ’78 Land Cruiser. Guido is one of the best human beings we know.


_BS_091718_2397.JPG

Brandon Sawaya

Photographer

In the most inconspicuous ways, Brandon always gets the shot. A true professional with a sense of ease that permeates the set, Brandon makes people forget that he’s always working for the right light, composition, and moment. Brandon loves the outdoors, and he loves people. He has a great creative mind and is dedicated to telling stories through images. Brandon brings a deep sense of patience with and empathy for his subjects. As a professional model, he knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera. Brandon’s also a bit of a prankster and changes his facial hair more than a bank robber.

AdamW_12024.jpg

Adam Weintraub

Photographer

Like most artists, Adam has a wide range of life experiences that make him capable of telling great stories through his photography. Adam divides his time between working in Seattle, publishing photo books, leading photographic tours in Colombia and Peru, and running four restaurants in Peru. Raised in Seattle, Adam has a passion for storytelling, people, beautiful things, and Pisco, a traditional Peruvian liquor made from grapes. Adam is a highly valued member of our team (and not just because of free booze).

Attachment-1.jpeg

sam kirby

Controller

Sam is the woman behind our financial well-being. We love Sam. Sam has a BA in Finance and Economics from Western Washington University and is a CFP candidate and Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Washington. Sam is sharp and direct in a way not often seen in the PNW, and it’s another reason we love her. Sam and her rad husband and equally rad three children adventure relentlessly up and down the west coast, biking, hiking, snowboarding, and road tripping.


Brown1_medium copy 2.jpg

adam brown

Biologist + Producer

Adam is the type of guy you want on your side when the going gets tough. As the Lead Biologist for EPIC (Environmental Protection in the Caribbean), Brown spends half his year in northern California (studying birds and sharks) and the other half in St. Martin, Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Haiti. As a scientist, Brown brings critical insights to our conservation storytelling; as a producer in Haiti, he makes it all happen in a country where the simplest things can be a major challenge.  Adam thrives in tough situations and always seems to keep things in perspective. Whether navigating the egos of the scientific community or being surrounded by a crowd of angry machete-wielding farmers in Haiti, he consistently demonstrates his humility, intelligence, and great sense of humor.

Paul du Coudray.jpeg

Paul du Coudray

Director of Animation

For 20 years, we’ve admired Paul’s painting, music, design, and illustrations. Our collaborations began in the ’90s on multimedia projects in Seattle, Philadelphia, New Mexico, and Ethiopia. You might think that mastery of his many crafts would make him a tremendous Allstar, but Paul’s greatest asset is his beautiful mind. Paul is a storyteller who understands how to move people through sequential art and to bring this to life within animation. A true renaissance man, Paul is also a great coach and facilitator in his collaborations with other artists, articulating a clear vision, extending freedom, and demanding excellence.

_BS_091718_0582.jpg

Brenda J Phillips

Director of Photography

From grizzly bears in Alaska to Jeff Bridges in LA, Bren uses her unbridled curiosity, ferocious spirit, and compassionate eye to tell some of our favorite stories. Bren is a great storyteller—and not just through the lens of her camera: her stories from her wild life will make you laugh until your sides hurt. But it’s Bren’s unique ability to be honest, patient, and personal with her subjects that allows her to get shots other DPs can’t. Whether working with a 5-year-old character or women’s groups in Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, Bren gets the shots that will move you.