Principal and Founder
Jesse is a passionate storyteller leading the development, production, and implementation of powerful multimedia experiences. He works at the intersection of physical and digital space and has a keen understanding of human-centered design that leads to highly engaging informal learning experiences for audiences of all ages.
Right out of NYU film school, Jesse’s first major project for the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) was producing Get to the Basement, affectionately known as “the tornado show.” The immersive experience remains one of the most beloved museum attractions in the Twin Cities.
Jesse worked at MNHS for 21 years, creating and directing multimedia experiences in over 40 exhibits, countless video productions, mobile applications, and many other projects. Twelve of those projects received prestigious awards. He led the multimedia team for more than a decade and most recently served as Director of Strategic Communications, overseeing, marketing, social media, multimedia, and front-end web development.
Jesse has also worked with national and international clients outside of MNHS for many years. He now runs Heinzen Media full time, collaborating with a talented team of artists, designers, writers, technicians, and creative coders, continuing to tell powerful stories and create captivating experiences.
Stories can be transformative, build empathy, and evoke emotion. Heinzen Media uses a “story first” approach, focusing on personal narratives whenever possible. A good story is enduring and will outlast any technology used to deliver it.
Once the story is determined, our attention is focused on crafting a media design that will most clearly connect with the audience and maintain a sense of beauty and elegance. We use technology as a means, not an end, to achieve a unique experience that can be clearly distinguished from something a visitor can do at home.
Finally, we design robust yet appropriate media delivery systems, always balancing function and sustainability with cost.
We’re passionate about projects that elevate diverse and marginalized communities – that educate about systemic racism, inequality, and injustice, and honor resilience, language, and cultural uniqueness. Recognizing and acknowledging that we, along with much of the media and exhibit field, lack diversity, we are committed to cultivating evermore diverse partners and collaborators.
The technology we use and the exhibit spaces in which we work traditionally have a significant carbon footprint. We practice conservation and sustainability by limiting energy use, water consumption, and waste. We specify durable and long-lasting equipment and reuse materials when possible. Our physical studio footprint is small and we subscribe to Renewable Connect for clean power. We drive electric and minimize air travel. We are energized by projects that educate about the environment, climate change, and how we can all live more sustainably.
We believe that all people deserve access to great stories and experiences. Multi-language production, captioning, audio description, inductive hearing loops, and web accessibility standards in software-based interactives are just some of the ways we can help make your project enjoyable to the widest possible audience.