I'm an accelerated production M.A. student at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2022, I completed a double B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Film & Media Studies: Production. As a big fan of subjectivity, I believe that visual spectacle should be as fast as thought itself — ever-changing, infinitely layered, and violently detailed.My friends call me Horse — it's an old joke-turned-truth when people ask what HN stands for.I'm currently based out of St. Louis, MO (but very willing to relocate or work remotely) and in search of new projects to join. My M.A. program formally ends May 2023, but I'm available for work at any point. To view projects I've worked on previously, head to the menu above.
AS A MULTIVERSAL JACK OF ALL TRADES AT ACONITE
August 2022 — December 2022
THE BUREAU OF MULTIVERSAL ARBITRATION
Editing, Animating, Asset Gen, Writing, Orientation Design
While I was initially intended to mostly complete work for the video team (generating assets using Stable Diffusion and then hand-rigging/animating 3D-esque scenes from these 2D generations in After Effects/Premiere to be included in the game's various Final Observation Reports, one of which is included to the topmost left), I also helped out with creation of the trailer and product video.Aconite also gave me the (rather incredible) chance to design the mechanics and complete all of the writing for the game's orientation/onboarding experience. Every single player had to interact with this experience to enter the gameworld, and my hope was to create immediate fictional immersion with the BMA's corporate absurdity. We toyed with several iterations during development, but ended up settling on a design where players determined their "Deskfeel (TM)" by performing a highly-directed variation of the game's penultimate mechanic, searching. Players would answer five (funny) bureaucratic questions and receive a portion of their new BMA office as prize for each — these office images were actually masked init AI image generations, meaning that a player who responded "I lost my pet fish when I was 5" to an orientation question could receive something like a nice new briefcase full of fish to take into their brand new job as an Arbiter.
During our live finale, I was also given the opportunity to play the role of the Multiversal Search Engine! No other mechanical being has ever broken more hearts purely by only saying "yes", "no", "um", and "I guess" in a robotically generated voice before exploding.But most importantly, I WAS awarded my Joyous Whimsy Certification during my time at Aconite (one of the rarest and most essential accolades in the multiverse industry) for my exceptional frolicking abilities.
Additionally, here's the onboarding test I did before being hired — my instructions were to turn any 2D image into a 3D scene using After Effects. I had a week to complete this task, but finished it in one day by creating this mini-sequence of four sequential, narratively organized shots.
— SHOT 1 (STAIRS) - Masked elements in PS (including holes in stairs), arranged as 3D scene in AE, re-generated scene textures using content aware, used puppet tool on figure, set camera to dolly.
— SHOT 2 (BOTTLES) - Masked three levels of bottles in PS, imported to AE, created camera movement, applied motion tiling to extend bottles.
— SHOT 3 (HAND) - Rigged fingers and keyframed motion. Generated a depth map to apply a camera lens blur to the whole scene.
— SHOT 4 (BAR) - More parallax with a dolly motion. Added some static on the TV for fun that I adjusted position of through more keyframing, because the static is a video imported 3x on a 3D layer in front of the background.
AS AN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER AT STORYTRACK
May 2022 — December 2022; hired as an intern, kept on staff.
Asset Designer, Assistant Editor
I was brought on to assist our primary story editor during the middle of this multi-year-long video campaign for the newly constructed TSX Broadway building in Times Square, New York City. Specific contributions included:— Designing animated assets, most often maps and flyover visualizations, to be included in the videos.— Researching, writing, and editing commercial video scripts.— Finding music, sound effects, and other audio elements to assist in the design of each video's soundscape.— Making and editing video thumbnails.— Assisting our lead in brainstorming a unique and targeted thesis statement for each individual video.Primarily, my work focused on being there to actively close gaps in the editing process and assist our story editor.
Assistant Producer (On Set & Post-Production)
COMPLETED SEPTEMBER 2O22My largest project while at StoryTrack, this privately-commissioned family documentary is ten minutes in length and my first-ever stab at story editing. After two months of meticulously combing through seven interviews (averaging two hours in length each) and dozens upon dozens of hours of b-roll footage (which I logged, tagged, and synced by hand), I planned out a narrative arc that balanced the family's development and values against the changing of the seasons.The final piece is an exploration of the infinitely reciprocal nature of American family farms.
Assistant Producer (Post-Production)
COMPLETED AUGUST 2022A series of two videos: a commercial case study on Honest Kitchens' use of BW Packaging equipment, and a redone brand film for the entire company before a three-part merger. I logged/tagged/synced all provided footage, hired film crew members for further shooting, compiled shot lists to guide the filming process, and composed a string out of the brand film's structure from prior company interviews.
THE NEXT STEP
One of many live sets I helped out on during my time at StoryTrack. The Next Step is a local nonprofit that provides tuition assistance to individuals active in a 12-step recovery program for alcohol or substance abuse; StoryTrack would capture and edit "student stories" to promote the organization. In this one, Marcus' story, I actually have a cameo as a "troubled teen in spiritual therapy".
AS A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT / GRIP & ELECTRIC FOR MITTEN MEDIA GROUP
Production Assistant / Grip & Electric
IN PRODUCTIONOriginally brought on as a PA, I ended up working as grip and electric for a feature-length documentary filmed in St. Louis, MO. Centered on an experimental brain surgery that implanted a "brain-computer interface" into a chronically depressed woman's frontal lobe, filming actually happened during a now-historical Missouri flood that nearly drowned the entire production twice.But filming wrapped with no issue, and the final film will be distributed within the next few years.
AS A WRITING RESEARCH INTERN FOR CAROLYN KRAS
January 2022 — May 2022
I completed multiple versions of a pitch deck for Carolyn's legal episodic drama "In Chambers". Each week, based off her feedback, I'd deconstruct the delivered deck and revise it based on her vision for the show.All included art is by myself, with all stand-in actor representations chosen by Carolyn.During my time under Carolyn, I also learned how to write script coverage ( TELEVISION / FILM ) and perform/compile casting research.
This section is a smorgasbord of various personal work I've finished, academic and otherwise.
For Theory and Practice of Experimental Film, Fall 2021. Some metals self clean when submerged in water; if I collectivize a set of my mental machinations into the concept of a horseman and submerge him in water, will he (and I) return clean? This film uses hand-drawn experimental animation (and voice memos of my friends' most unethical desires) to toy with the human inclination to wish for bad things.
For Theory and Practice of Experimental Film, Fall 2021. An introductory experimental film that makes use of animation, repetition, circular representation, and multiple depictions of self. Why do we invent patterns when the world is based upon entropy (I)? Why do we abstract ourselves into patterns (II)? Why do we partake in this behavior when no one else will ever abstract you in the same way (III)?
For Making Movies I, Fall 2020. As my final project for a class during the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, this 2-5 minute assignment had to be developed without access to department equipment or other actors. The resulting film is shot on a normal lens with myself as the only flesh-and-blood character. Narrative is constructed around animated figures, inserts, and sequences. A series of production-centric fires put out with unconventional means.
NATHAN SPRINGMAN FOR YOU
Shown at Swedefest 2020
For Making Movies I, Fall 2020. Based off of Season 1, Episode 5 of Comedy Central original Nathan For You ("The Hunk"), this intentionally tacky Swede plays on secondhand embarrassment and wince-worthy editing. Abridging a 15 minute episode into 4 minutes of content, two non-actors (my friend Nathan and my roommate Hannah) play every single part in the span of one day of filming.
I DO ART ON THE INTERNET
For Making Movies I, Fall 2020. A rapid-fire exploration of beat editing and "exciting" visuals upon an otherwise arbitrary subject matter. Filmed and constructed in a single day, this short expresses several of my own frustrations with the creative process: regardless of how hard I push myself, there are physical limitations to what one person can produce in a single day. Physical realization of abstract ideas cannot exist without challenge.
For Making Movies I, Fall 2020. Less a film and more a series of clips, we were instructed to take 5-10 shots that (when combined) clearly presented the energy and content of any physical space. After purchasing a 50-year-old baseball bat off a woman selling her possessions in an old storefront, I ended up spending a week in the mall. Going beyond the original scope of the assignment, a conversation with her is used as backing across shots of the abandoned mall.
THE EXTENDED MIND
For Making Movies I, Fall 2020. Instructed to use found footage to explain a complex topic, I used a combination of animation and archived footage off my own phone to explain Clark and Chalmers' extended mind thesis. If something causes a deficit to your cognitive functioning when it is removed — such as how a deletion of your phone's photos would destroy a secondary storage of your own episodic memories — is said thing not part of your mind?
If my little homepage blurb didn't fully satiate you, hi! I'm HN (they/them). I'm 22 years of age, a St. Louis native, and a fiend for stories. When I'm not working on something professionally relevant, you're likely to find me spending an absurd amount of time powerlifting, wandering around in search of juvenile red-tailed hawks, or collecting things with a checkered print.You'll probably never see me not wearing two specific accessories around my neck: a chain of 8-balls, and a 6-sided die on a chain. Yes, both have a purpose.
I can be reached at:
hnhoffmann (at) wustl.edu
hoffhn (at) gmail.com
Resume and writing samples (screenwriting, academic, etc.) also available on request.