Delivering the Visual Depth of Sales with DP Lucia Zavarcikova of The Story of Sales

Story Of Sales (behind the scenes)

An adventurous spirit is inseparable from the creative mind. In terms of storytelling, one can conceptualize but directly experiencing the world empowers the type of communication that allows for the transfer of fascinating ideas. This is particularly relevant when it comes to visual communication. Consider the work of cinematographer Lucia Zavarcikova on Rockbridge Production’s The Story of Sales as evidence of the impact visuals can have on subject matter. It’s likely that “sales” is not a topic that most consider exciting but Lucia (along with directors Stephen H. Aldridge & Jim Hopkins) crafted a visual style which conveys the inner story and lineage of sales in a way which humanizes it. This documentary film possesses a look which makes it almost tactile to the viewer, transporting them to fields and offices where it’s possible to comprehend how the sales industry is integral to life as we know it. The look of The Story of Sales is perhaps the strongest factor in creating the emotional sense of connection that is paramount in the success of any film. While Lucia Zavarcikova is well known in the industry for narrative films like Esther (Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award Winner) and others, she proves here that her skill applies to any style of film upon which she collaborates.

DP Lucia Zavarcikova

A two pronged approach was necessary to create the type of documentary that producers Mikey Kaney and Roman Medjanov envisioned for The Story of Sales. Sales luminaries such as Joe Hart (president/CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates), Shari Levitin (author of Heart and Sell), Walter A. Friedman (author of Birth of a Salesman), and others were featured in interviews to supply context and information. Counterbalancing this is the footage Zavarckiova captured with her miniscule crew which traversed the US, following in the footsteps where so many sales professionals have travelled before. What Zavarcikova has achieved is striking; through her eyes we see the importance of this industry and how it aids humanity. Equally impressive is the fact that this is not done by means of overly technical camera approaches. Rather, this cinematographer has allowed us to tap into the spirit of these people via her talent. Lucia communicates how taking a minimal approach was ideal in achieving the proper emotional tone stating, “There was a myriad of interviews for this documentary and the look we chose in preproduction was clean with subtle, natural lighting so as to not pull the attention from what the speakers are saying. Attached to the interviews was a lot of b-roll of the places we visited. Because of the nature and the subject matter of the documentary, we tried to capture what was in front of us in the most real way possible without altering spaces or manufacturing situations. One of the locations we shot was a radicchio farm where the owner and his employees were walking us through the process of growing and processing radicchio. We captured each stage of the process naturally, as it was unfolding in front of us to give a true image of what they do and how the sales department makes it possible for the farm to continue functioning and employing people.”

Zavarcikova on location for Story of Sales

Following its premier at Salesforce’s annual customer/community event “Dreamforce”, The Story of Sales embarked on a six-city tour where it was screened for VIPs and customers. In addition to its appearance at the Silicon Valley Film Festival, this documentary has gone on to become part of the curriculum at the University of Texas at Dallas, Northern Illinois University, the University of Minnesota Duluth, and the University of Houston. These varied venues confirm the uniqueness of this film. There’s an indescribable charm to The Story of Sales; it’s like an unexpected acquaintance whom you find yourself drawn towards. It’s undeniable that people are visual creatures and the immense power of The Story of Sales lies in Lucia Zavarcikova’s enchanting skill.

Writer: Arlen Gann

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