A bunch of projects sent members of our production team traveling far and wide this summer, to film and produce videos for brands — quite literally — around the world. Make and Google in particular had Senior Producer John Santora jet-setting from cool location to cool location on a weekly basis during a two-month stretch to produce live Google+ Hangouts for its Maker Camp Field Trip series. These hangouts enabled viewers to virtually visit often-classic, always-innovative locations, at which people make awesome stuff and push the boundaries of creativity and/or technology. John went behind the scenes with the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas, inside the incredible Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, learned about Google’s self-driving cars at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, and tapped back into his childhood at LEGO’s HQ in Denmark, among others.

Make wanted to create an engaging summer Hangout series that went beyond the “talking head” structure that others have taken on the platform. That meant an active live switchboard with fast cuts, b-roll, and plenty of live interactivity. The goal was to make a real-time digital environment that made viewers feel like they were traveling from place to place as well, going on field trips all summer long that stimulated the learning process by way of high-level access to places and experts.

John is now back in NYC, and though it contained a whirlwind of hard work, he reflects on the summer as one of his most exciting. When asked if he had a favorite episode in the series, he couldn’t name just one due to the uniqueness of each. But for him personally, having the opportunity to go behind the scenes with the Blue Man Group, and being able to spend time inside Jim Henson’s Creature Shop — looking at puppets created by the man himself — stand out as highlights.

Which one is your favorite? Watch each of the Hangouts in full below to find out.

Blue Man Group:

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop:

Google’s Self-Driving Cars:

Cartoon Network:


LEGO Headquarters, Denmark:

NASA with Buzz Aldrin:

Google Treks:

Any thoughts on the Hangout Series? Let us know in the comments and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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EmilyWilsonEmily Wilson is a writer and editor from Long Beach, California. She earned a B.A. in English at Chapman University and an M.A. in online journalism at the University of Southern California. She’s done writing and/or digital marketing for The Port of Long Beach, Entertainment Technology Center, Anthem Magazine, Instituto Fazer Acontecer, and others. She now works as Senior Content Editor at Magnet Media and eats an awful lot of NYC pizza.