The Quietest Pitchman

Bill Barol:

On a Hollywood soundstage, Adam Lisagor walks an actor who looks like him through a set that looks like a living room. Sort of: The actor is a taller, skinnier doppelganger for the 33-year-old director, and the set, just a few modern pieces arrayed against bare walls, suggests less a living room than the Platonic ideal of one. The scene is slightly, stylishly unreal. At the moment, though, Lisagor isn’t worrying about style. He’s shooting a promo video for the streaming music service Rdio and wants the tone to be as real as he can make it. “You’re going a little commercial,” he softly chides the actor. “Take it down. Keep it dry.”

Advertising takes place in half-worlds of its own devising, and this one is carefully crafted by Sandwich Video, which Lisagor runs out of his Los Angeles apartment. It has quietly, dryly become the premier producer of online product videos for web services and tech gadgets, cultivating a tone that perfectly reflects a generation of creators who are more interested in (or at least, more comfortable with) invention than hype.