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Tuesday
Apr102018

SAVOVO

My friend Savovo's a young, whippersnappin' photog who likes to capture his world in spectacular fashion. I've been a fan of his pics for years, and he was gracious enough to let me capture he & his buddy Jon while they do their thing. There were a number of things I wanted to try with this project, and a lot of them came out pretty rad. The rack focus between footage & titles. Parallaxed photos. Visually, aside from the interview set-up we had to construct in a pinch, I'm pretty stoked with how this came out. 

I can't say I'm elated about the story told, however, and a lot of that's on me for trying to tell a story that was barely even there; a story of risk. As a result, in my honest opinion, the story fell flat, and I learned a valuable lesson.

All in all, though, not bad considering the amount of pre-production that went into this piece. Enjoy!

Tuesday
Apr102018

Brooks PR Invitational

I was lucky enough to get hired by FloTrack to capture & present the 2017 BrooksPR Invitational, one of the premier annual high school track meets, featuring many of the top track athletes in the country. I had less than 48 hours to capture & turn the edit around for them to post on their site. Pretty happy with how it turned out, considering. Enjoyed filming these phenoms do their thing.

 

Tuesday
Feb102015

CASE STUDY // The Mercadantes

At the time, they called themselves EVERYNONE. It was back then, a few years ago, when I first saw their piece called WORDS. I didn't quite get it at first. It was just a sequence of random shots that told no coherent story at all. But I looked at the comments under the video & saw people using adjectives like "beautiful" & "brilliant". It made me wonder what I was missing. So I watched it again.

Towards the end of my second go-around it, the light switched on for me. Play. Blow. Break. Split. Run. Fly. Fall. Light. Space. Such a simple concept for a film, but it was brilliant, and it was beautiful. So I searched for more from them.

I wasted no time to fandom.

I've been following them ever since, and it was no surprise when I started to see their work on television last year. Commercials for VWDicks Sporting GoodsFacebook, and more recently, Fitbit. I had no problem identifying the work as theirs. What they craft is so unique & exceptional, of course companies are going to approach them with opportunities to create for them. They established themselves as the people who do this work. They're sought after because of their style & their ability to take a simple concept & create something remarkable with it. The thing that's so inspiring about this, is that it all started out with their passion projects.

That's one of the lessons you can obtain from following the journey of The Mercadantes. You can take time to develop your own style. Refine it & perfect your craft. Put your work out into the world, and if you persist, people will take notice & opportunities will present themselves. Sounds rad, does it not? So let that inspire you & go create something you can call your own!

Fin.

Thursday
Sep252014

RANT // Stop Trying to Impress People With What You're Shooting On

Because there's a good chance I can find loads of work shot on a T3i, a hacked GH3 or even an iPhone that's more inspiring or engaging than what you shot on that RED or C300. Personal experience has showed me that many of the people who boast about gear aren't actually producing work that makes their viewers feel much of anything, or at least captivates them. And too often it's just plain boring.

Before I go on making myself out to be even more of an arrogant cynic, it's not my aim to discount the value of higher end cameras like REDs & C300s, and there's an abundance of exceptional work shot on them. I've used them a few times & I'm aware of how their advancements & innovations benefit us, the brand equity they bring, and how not using them or others can prevent us from landing higher paying clients. The RED, for example, is kind of my whipping boy in this post because so many times over the past few years I've heard the words "We shot on RED" used as a means of impressing & blowing sunshine up the butts of people who don't know any better. Too often, it's the answer to a question nobody asked. It's flaunted as a badge of honor, or at least a means of validating their project. And this is a prime example of a mindset that's too prevalent in our industry.

Now to the core of what I'm really saying. Don't try to impress people with the gear you use. Impress them with the quality of your work. Impress them by making them feel something when they watch it. Impress them with how you structure & tell your story. Or at the very least, spend more time being detail oriented enough to eliminate the sloppy distractions in your work, instead of focusing on how to make your production appear to be more pro than it actually is.

Just focus on the creative first. Once your message & vision for the piece are defined & polished, then move on to the techy crap. But remember kids, oftentimes they really don't matter as much as you might think. This will be heresy to many, but quite often, it doesn't matter that you shot on a RED, C300 or F5 instead of a DSLR. Getting caught up in the minutia that comes with the former can be a real waste of time. It also doesn't matter that you used a knockoff Steadicam and not a MoVi. And in some situations it doesn't matter that you used a monopod and not a Zacuto shoulder rig complete with a matte box.

You don't need that stupid matte box. Get over yourself.

People just want to look like pros, even if their work isn't pro caliber. It annoys the crap out of me. That elitist mentality that sometimes comes with using top notch video gear, when the final product is anything but. It seems like in some circles it's become an unspoken rule that you need the latest & greatest to produce good work. This is so mindless & shows that their priorities are out of whack. You don't. You need a good eye, some heart and a creative vision. Like my pal Pablo Picasso once said, "Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist." This is a craft you're working in, so get crafty instead of talking about your tools all the time.

Rant OVER.

Tuesday
Sep162014

IMPERIAL MOTION // Color Change T-Shirt Series

Every once in a while you get to work with the kind of brand that kind of made you want to get into video in the first place. Imperial Motion is one of those brands. One day back in November, I got a call from them with an interesting idea for a project. They were coming out with a line of thermo-reactive dyed T-Shirts (or color change T-Shirts) like what I remember seeing in the early nineties. They were asking for a series of short pieces showcasing just how cool these shirts are.

 

It's nice having the kind of creative freedom they gave me for this. We had a clear objective & a 15 second time limit for each piece, but outside of that, they trusted my ability to communicate the main points in a simple & aesthetically pleasing manner. God bless 'em.

I'm stoked about all these pieces except the last one that just features our guy walking into frame & standing there while his shirt changes color. It's boring, un-engaging, and the change in color is hardly even noticeable in that one. The weakest of the five, for sure.

On a positive note, I saw this as a good opportunity to abandon my long lived dependency on music. I'd almost always depended on it to make the work more interesting for viewers. So for this one, I relied on the raw audio I picked up from the warehouse & had some fun reversing the audio of wine glass dings to add some fun. Worked well, don't you think?

Me too.

THE END.