I’ve been doing some new commercials for Curtis Lumber. Their headquarters are near Balston Spa, NY. We have been working with the wonderful Rachel Jenack as their spokesperson. We are moving fast on many of these shoots and locations, hoping to get a take in before a cloud comes over or a truck goes by and Rachel usually nails it in one take every time! Here are a few of our recent spots that air in the Capital Region of NY as well as Upstate NY and Vermont.
I recently acquired the DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter for shooting aerial video and stills.
It’s an awesome platform to shoot from. As you can see the camera is built in and sends a full HD signal down to the remote so you can monitor the shot from an iPad. It can shoot 12MP stills and 4k video! It is also bigger and heavier than the Phantom model I was using before and that means more stability in the air. The camera is gimbal stabilized too so the footage is rock solid. The range is also very impressive! In the video below, the last shot is of a train and I was over 3000 feet away at the furthest point. This video is all made with shots from the first day I flew it and is more of a test video than anything.
What’s it like to fly through the air at 80 miles an hour off a 120m tower on a pair of skis? It’s something I always wanted to know! The ski jumps in Lake Placid have always dominated the landscape since they were built for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. I’ve been up to the top a few times covering corporate events up there, but was never fortunate enough to see it being used. The smaller 90m is used year around, but the 120m takes a lot of effort to get up and running and just one 45 degree day can melt the ramp surface. With the warming temperatures of the last decade or so of winter, it hasn’t been open…..until this year!
A friend of mine is a ski jumper and mentioned I should come get some shots of it in use. Luckily the technology of video has come so far so fast that there are now some new tools to show this sport in a way that wasnt possible just a couple years ago.
I just received my new DJI Inspire 1 aerial drone and its the perfect flying platform to get super stable shots! Couple that with the incredible GoPro action cameras and we were in business! I hope you enjoy the video, its the closest many of us will ever want to get to going off a massive ski hump like this!
This is a documentary I produced with Bruce Carlin. We tried for 7 years to get funding and finally managed to secure a grant to get it made. Our good friends at wmht, the PBS affiliate in the Albany area was the presenting station for it to the PBS system. It is now airing across the country! We decided (and at the suggestion of Dan Swinton of wmht) to put it in for a NY regional EMMY award. That’s a tough market as it includes all of NY City and NJ! So we are up against MSG, Yankeeograpy docs etc… It was announced last week that it has been nominated in the BEST DOCUMENTARY category! Winners will be announced on May 2nd.
Here is the promo for it:
And here is the open to the show and a round table discussion we shot at Mt. Lake PBS with Thom Hallock for Mountain Lake Journal. The narrator is none other than Kate Mulgrew who is best known as Captain Janeway on STAR TREK VOYAGER and as Red in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. She was a delight to work with and added so much to the finished production.
The entire documentary can be viewed here:
“Songs to Keep” is a Public Television documentary about the life of Marjorie Lansing Porter. She was a collector of Adirondack folk music in the early 1900’s. Marjorie would go around and actually record musicians singing to preserve the songs which were handed down from generation to generation. The program won a regional Emmy, and I had the pleasure to be the videographer on it along with Daniel McCollum. It was produced by Paul Larson at Mountain Lake PBS.
One of the highlights was getting to videotape Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael perform “My Adirondack Home” at their studio in NYC.
I’ve worked with quite a few well known celebrities over the years and these guys were a couple of the nicest! Very generous with their time and cooperative to give us “one more take” for the music video portion of the shoot. The song is super catchy, just click the link below to see this section of the show. (The scenic shots from this section were also mostly mine -except the aerial- including the misty road shot which is actually my driveway)!
I was contacted to do some TV commercials for Schrader & Co. recently. They had seen my work for the Parade of Homes tour I shoot in the Capital Region and liked my style. They wanted to have a classy looking ad that represented what their company is all about. We discussed it and decided on doing some testimonial spots for them. Getting actual customers to talk about their experiences working with them. I live over two hours away from the locations for these shoots, so we decided to do them all in one marathon day of shooting! While busy, everything went off without a hitch and the interviews resulted in some great comments. It can be tricky to edit down a 10 minute or so interview to just :30! You have to have the company name in there, then tell the “story” of dealing with Schrader & Co. and have it all fit into a 30 second TV commercial.
Here are the three different spots, keeping the logo and theme music the same in each helps make them part of a campaign, instead of just three separate commercials.
It’s refreshing when you can work on a commercial that is intended to be “silly”. This commercial was produced by adworkshop. I did the shooting and the editing for it. They had the bear costume shipped in from China! We shot it out of sequence, doing the store shots first when they were less busy in the morning and then the river shot last in case the costume got ruined (which it didnt, but did take a day or two to dry out)! There are several of these, each one has a humorous end tagline after the logo.