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Telling a Visual Story

Lael Erickson’s past and future in film



 



“It’s always about a story, and the story is not always in words.”
 

Lael Erickson is a storyteller through moving images. The visuals she has created, captured and illuminated throughout her career as a producer, director and editor at Ackerman McQueen have defined Oklahoma – and the world around us – for the past three decades.

“The initial Oklahoma tourism campaign in the early 1990s was one of those extraordinary moments,” she remembers. “People had a negative opinion of Oklahoma that we were dry, flat and dusty. Our job was to change that perception.

“We showed places with lots of water, undulating terrain, cities filled with life. The outdoor beauty was something that people just didn’t know,” she says. “We were able to slowly change people’s perception of the state.”

The campaign increased out-of-state tourism to Oklahoma, driving real dollars into the economy. But it did not just affect outsiders; Oklahomans started noticing the beauty all around them.

The success of the tourism campaign fueled Erickson’s passion for understanding the psychology of images. How does the interplay of visuals, music and words create emotions and drive behavior? What is the effect of one visual versus another?

“Every shoot, be it a commercial, short film, corporate video or documentary, needs to be researched to fully find the psychology of what you want to present,” she says. “The light, color palette and movement should represent the emotion of the piece.”

With thousands of projects under her belt, Erickson’s influence stretches into every business sector. She flew over the Gulf of Mexico to film the first offshore oil rig for Kerr McGee; she helped re-launch Baptist Hospital as Integris; she recently partnered with the Chickasaw Nation to welcome tourists to Adventure Road.

And as executive VP/creative director, she has helped Ackerman McQueen stay on top of the constantly changing technology landscape in film and video. Ackerman was one of the first agencies in America to move to non-linear editing, purchasing one of the first three AVID editing systems, and early adopters of the new generation Canon cameras with film lenses. And now, they are heading into the world of virtual reality.

With more than 50 people in production, from producers to editors to gaffers to grips, Ackerman McQueen now has the biggest in-house production team in the state. It allows them to collaborate more freely, solving problems in pre-production so they are more efficient when they are out on a shoot. This saves clients money … but also requires great leadership. And part of that leadership involves identifying and grooming future leaders to take over when you are gone.

“You have to be able to cultivate the young people who are coming into the business,” says Erickson. “They need careers and livelihoods. We are stewards of these people; we are stewards of our industry. We have to guide and show and nurture. Then we have to let go and turn it over to the next generation of storytellers.”

 

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Calendar

September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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