Father-son team Jon and Jean-Luc Slagle are at the heart of Scope, a broadcasting and media production company that has been making some serious waves both locally and nationally.
Jon, an Emmy-nominated producer, and Jean-Luc teamed up only four years ago to found Scope (the new studio is housed in the iconic Icehouse building). With Jon’s 20 years of experience producing, writing, and directing and Jean-Luc’s background in graphic design and visual communications they make an unstoppable artistic team.
They began working together when Jon needed some graphics created for a client and Jean-Luc stepped in to supply the designs. From there he quickly became an asset to the company and found that together they could bring design components to the video production world, allowing them to come at projects from a unique creative angle. Of the partnership, Jean-Luc, who serves as art director, said, “When we teamed up together we were able to target different clients and get greater access to more opportunities than we would have separately.”
Jean-Luc explained that a lot of the artistry in their work is behind the scenes, from crafting the image that the viewer sees to a well-written script, and music fitting the emotional tone. “The art is in each of those things individually but [also] in compiling them all together in a way that feels right and feels interesting.” As they collaborate both with marketing agencies and directly with clients, their creative process can look dramatically different from project to project. Agencies often already have a completed vision with a script and storyboard, leaving Scope to bring their ideas to life by deciding which camera to use, how to light each scene, and how to edit it to achieve everyone’s vision. However, when working directly with a client they begin with researching the business, what they want to achieve, and defining what their goals are and from that common ground, forming a concept.
While great design and visual communication is something that is often seen in the film industry as so many films are beautiful pieces of art, in the corporate video and advertising world these are often overlooked. From the perspective that people almost universally tend to process things visually in a similar way, Scope applies basic components of art such as contrast, composition, and balance to their commercial and advertising pieces making their finished works not only more appealing but also easier for people to understand. Jean-Luc also described their understanding of how emotion affects viewers over simply providing information. “At the end of the day you’re not buying a product or a service—you are buying the end result. We definitely approach every creative concept and every piece that we produce with that in mind.”
This design philosophy is woven through all of Scope’s work and a great example of this is their recently released commercial for Kern Federal Credit Union. Instead of listing off different services that they offer such as free checking or banking, Scope chose to look at the core of what banking is and why people use it. Their concept, moments, comes from this idea and dives into how banking can help customers achieve their goals. The important moments in life serve as the focal point in the commercial, such as a young woman securing a loan for a car, a couple financing a first home, and a father spending time with his children.
“That’s a big part of what we try to bring to the table for clients in Bakersfield; to make work that connects with people, that doesn’t just rattle off information.”
And what does the future hold for Scope? Right now they are focused on bringing the same high production-value and creative services to Kern County that businesses would normally have to go out of town for. Jean-Luc said, “we want to add value to Bakersfield and the Central Valley as a whole by offering high-value services right here at home.”
And isn’t that a beautiful idea?
Photos by Gregory D. Cook