Making Of: Google - Own It

February 22, 2024


Google &  Hook Agency approached Porch House with an inspiring story. In conjunction with AAPI heritage month, Google created an ‘Asian-Owned Business’ Label for their platform. This feature was designed to help bring visibility and awareness to Asian Owned Businesses around the world.

Our talented director, Lukas Dong, was tasked with bringing these unique stories to life. The general concept was to explore 6 different Asian Owned Businesses from all different areas of Los Angeles. After talking to a few candidates, it was decided we would take a deep dive into Tortise General Store, East West Clothing, Jitlada, Bollypop, Good Haus, and an amazing Director.

For this project authenticity was top priority. Lukas is an Asian - American director and the perfect fit to lead the charge on telling these vignettes. We really tried to gather Asian American talent across the board for this one, and we were able to use the amazing Jeremy Snell as our DP and Kat Yi (Forager) as our Editor.

Follow along below as we share the story of how these visuals were brought to life.  


This project took place over the span of three shoot days in Los Angeles.

The production team knocked it out of the park scheduling this one as it was quite a tight turnaround. Each day consisted of one company move from one location to another to accommodate covering 6 businesses. It was meticulously shot listed and scheduled by our wonderful AD Erika.


The most difficult location for production was Jitlada. While the food is incredible, the location is not as film friendly as we might have hoped. With it’s tight quarters it was hard to shift lights and set up different shots. Fortunately, we were able to get exactly what we wanted from that spot!


Jeremy Snell led the camera department as our DP. He and Lukas planned out some really amazing maneuvers and sourced great gear for a unique look.

We shot on the Sony Venice II with BlackWing X-Tuned Lenses. We then shot each of our talent with an incredibly shallow focus lens. We wanted to give a dreamy effect and shot that lens wide open at 1.4. Needless to say our AC loved his job.

Steadicam was crucial for many scenes as was our jib for those long sweeping moves. We had such a great time getting creative on this job, and were able to try a few new techniques as well.


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All of our talent were real people. We really enjoy these types of shoots, as they bring such realism to the screen. Lukas is a joy to watch work with these types of talent, as he really knows how to bring out their true personality. Being on camera can bring a ton of pressure, and we try and make our sets as natural / comfortable feeling as possible.

Edit / Post Production

Kat Yi, our wonderful editor from Forager cut this piece remotely from NYC. Our office space has remote editing capabilities, and a full edit / color bay, so we were able to host client in person for the sessions.

We are super happy with Kat’s final product, and knew how important it was to have an Asian American editor putting the finishing touches on this project.

Kat is known for her fast paced editing style, bringing a sense of excitement to the footage. The match cuts were also very important to Lukas’s vision. We shot and edited so that we could seamlessly move from one business to another.


Director Spotlight

Q: What does this shoot mean to you?

LUKAS: From the very beginning one of the main goals for this project was to showcase the breadth of cultures that make up the “Asian” label. Spending much of my childhood in Asia, when I came to America it was surprising to see how often Asia as a whole was condensed to such a simplified version of itself. I hope this project leaves Asian business owners with a sense of pride and non-Asian audiences who are not as familiar with the cultures with a sense of sparked curiosity to look a bit deeper.

Q: What creative influences did you pull into this shoot?

LUKAS: A lot of the “creative influences” actually came from the characters themselves. I knew that I wanted each character and their business to feel like a unique world; smoothly transitioning from one scene to the next, but never blending in with each other. Each character offered their own creative perspective on their work, and by spending some time with them in their spaces I leaned into the details that caught my heart within each story. For example, the natural flow from Aakansha’s Kalbeliya dancing (Bollypop). As we followed her beautiful dance moves, a unique camera movement language was created for that scene.

Q: What was your main goal on set?

LUKAS: My main goal on set was to stay fluid and prioritize capturing natural moments. In a 60-second spot like this, everything is pretty locked in before the shoot - each shot is boarded, pre-lit, and dressed. I bring this level of preparation to all my projects, but on the day I tried to make sure I was fluid enough to see which moments are working and which are not. This is especially key when working with real people and real locations. I would observe the talent and keep an eye out for candid moments that presented themselves.

Q: How were you inspired by your own Asian heritage?

LUKAS: This project was an equal part dive into my own background as well as the backgrounds of the characters we featured. I grew up in a mix of different Asian and American cultures and for me this project is about telling people they can be the nuance

they are and still be a part of a larger community. That is what so much of the Asian American experience is about. Although each business owner and I had different upbringings we were all unified by the fact that it’s not just one thing that defines our culture, it’s a mix of our Asian cultures, American culture, and what we add to that as individuals.

Q: What was the most difficult aspect of this project?

LUKAS: A key part of this project was getting to know each individual character and making sure the piece accurately conveyed the little details and nuances that make their business unique. I really enjoyed finding and shooting these details, but with such a fast paced piece, it was difficult to show everything I had originally wanted to. The stories and details of each character were so rich I felt like we could have cut together a five minute film on each of them alone.


Sean Hazen, another talented Asian American, took the lead for photography. He was tasked with capturing shots of all of the talent in their element. We’re super proud of the final product.

Please find a selection of his shots below: