Adam Lisagor: The Video Guru
If you've been to the website of a buzzy new tech startup in the last few years -- Groupon, Airbnb, Square -- chances are you've seen the work of Adam Lisagor. Not just his short videos, which are passed around the Internet to promote and teach you how to use these products, but also Lisagor himself, the 34-year-old creative director who stars in them. He's the guy in the thick-rimmed glasses and frizzy beard, an uber-accessible Everyman who walks you through a complicated idea with refreshingly deadpan yet thoroughly earnest delivery.
"The purpose of the videos is to make the information exciting," he says. The result is somewhere between a Michel Gondry movie and an OK Go music video: highly visual, rich with metaphor, giddily clever.
A video for a new app called Mixel, for example, features a multicultural cast sitting on a brownstone stoop, building and sharing iPad collages, as their primary-colored creations interact in the air over their heads.
It often looks a lot like good children's television -- which he takes as a compliment. "What is Sesame Street if not simple but respectful of kids' intelligence?" he asks.
Lisagor grew up in Camarillo and spent Thanksgivings with relatives such as David and Jerry Zucker of Airplane! fame. He was most influenced by their Kentucky Fried Movie. "I used to watch it pretty much nightly," he says. "It's sketch-based, but each sketch is a short film in itself, whether it's an educational film or a kung fu movie or commercials."