New Normal: staying at home with STORY


Editor’s Note: The world changed right before our very eyes. We now work, live, exercise and entertain ourselves in our homes. This is the new normal. In this new on-going series, we check in on ad agencies, production companies, post-houses, and anyone else who wants to talk about their personal experiences during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

STORY is a full-service production and post-production company with locations in Chicago and Los Angeles. 

Commercial production is all about being resourceful and finding solutions so for the STORY team, finding ways to work safely and remotely during the Pandemic was just another production hurtle.

The easiest part was being able to edit remotely. As any high school kid can tell you, remote edit and supervision is just a few clicks away. Once the Mayor called for stay and home we were up and running with remote editing.

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Production in isolation is a bit more of a challenge. Our director’s families have become the casting pool. Blair Hayes is a director/cameraman so shooting and lighting in his house was easy. His wife is Boti Bliss, an actress in many movies and commercials and also a great photo assistant. Boti is also the animal wrangler. Their dogs are also camera ready. His adorable 9-year-old son, Ashby, also has acting experience and the family has already auditioned together for potential work for Bo.   

Likewise, Ky Dickens, owns her own 4K camera and has 2 cute kids ages 6 and 1.  Ready for casting without the cattle call.   

The production team is supporting the bidding and pitching of jobs remotely.


Cliff Grant’s home office, complete with his Emmy.   Cliff produced a series of public service ads aimed at Illinois residents to stay in with STORY director, Jane Lynch, directing herself at home, for OKRP.

Production Manager Tom Syoen has the perfect convenient setup at home for his laptop.

STORY Business Manager, Mary Pat Forston, has a set up at home with her husband Don, who is an actor and voice over talent.


Mary Langenfeld our Head of Production with son, Wyatt and dog, Joey working at home. Mary typically spends as much time working out of the office on location or set, than in, so that remote setup was super easy for her.

Blair Hayes shooting an audition of his wife, Boti Bliss at home.


Ky Dickens at home with her 1 year old son and 6 year old daughter.


Executive Producer, Mark Androw says his Lakeview home office has a nice 2nd floor view of the street and a very short commute from the bedroom.

But way too many distractions.  Did I feed the cat?  Practice guitar? Do tech support for my wife?


What’s your New Normal? Send your story to editor, We want to hear about it.