Video/TV Production for over 20 years!

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Their Last Days- A Canon C100 Nature Film

I love shooting fall scenics in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York!  This year was a great one for color. I was only able to get out a couple times, but when I did the light was fantastic. This was all shot with my Canon C100 and recorded to a NINJA 2 external recorder. I sell stock footage online at Shutterstock.com so having all the clips already in ProRes is worth the hassle of setting up the external recorder. It also helps give better image quality for very highly detailed shots or shots with lots of motion. These are the ones where the AVCHD codec runs out of bits.
Specifics: Shot using a picture profile I cooked up that is a combination of some I found online and tweaked to my liking. Mostly based on the Wide DR setting. Color turned up some and adjusted for more red and contrast increased some, (black level and gamma adjustments). Further post color correction was done to get the most out of each shot.
Lenses: Canon 24-105 F4, Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, and most shots were with my Tamron 18-270 super zoom! I love that lens and while it isnt as sharp as the Canon, it gets you an incredible range.

Thanks for watching!

 

Plants are cool, too! Episode 4-New Mexico

Doing this show is one of the highlights of my year!  We have such a great time making them and it’s always fun to “get the band back together” to do so.  You see, the host Chris Martine and my co-producer Tim Kramer both used to live near me in Upstate New York, but have since moved to different parts of the country.  This was the first episode where we all arrived from different parts of the country.  It’s always “interesting” flying with TV gear, and this time I had to go it alone.  Luckily, it all arrived along with me (not always the case when you have to check some of it).  Soon we were on a journey across the deserts of New Mexico to shoot not just one, but TWO episodes of Plants are cool, too!

This episode involves giant hawk moths that fly for miles each night in search of flower nectar — and are thus critically important as pollinators of desert wildflowers. We met up with Krissa Skogen (Chicago Botanic Garden) in New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument and found plant romance happening by the light of the full moon!

Shooting in the desert heat (105-110 F during the day) really was a challenge!  The camera got so hot, being black, that it sometimes overheated, giving a temperature warning in the viewfinder!  Luckily, a few minutes of down time in the shade gets it back running again.  I used the SONY EX1 for this, as doing this kind of run and gun shooting (all handheld) is best with that camera instead of the Canon C100.  Its always important to use the right tool for the job!

 

Oh yeah, did I mention we had to look out for scorpions and rattle snakes all the while we were working as well!  That’s a new experience for this country boy from Northern New York!

This episode was the first one that Tim and I did a collaborative edit on and it worked out great!  We are both using FCPX and once the file structures are the same on our hard drives, then its just a matter of swapping the project file over the internet to see the edit the other guy was working on!  I been so busy lately that Tim did most of the editorial cutting on this one, getting the story down and I did the clean-up/polishing to it.  Which included audio sweetening, color correction, graphic creation etc…

Its a long video, so grab a beverage and prepare to get edu-ma-cated!!  :)

 

 

“Sentences” TV spot for adworkshop

I do alot of work for adworkshop in Lake Placid.  They are simply a great group of people to work for!  Their ideas for client spots and advertisements are always creative and very well planned.  This is a commercial for Canton Potsdam Hospital who is their client.  Anne Rast and Kari Hoffman did the storyboards, hired actors, and found the locations for each shot in this one.  Our goal was to make a “national” quality spot for the client at a fraction of the cost of a big national ad!  I’ve been told the client was very happy with the results of everyone’s hard efforts!  For those who want to know the technical details, this was shot on the Canon C100 and I used a variety of lights for different scenes.  The first shot was an arri incandescent kit, then it was mostly F&V LED Ring lights and reflectors for the outside shots.  All footage was recorded to an ATOMOS NINJA 2 external recorder that records in ProRes format (a much higher bit rate then the internal codec of the C100).

 

Ronald McDonald House Charities-Burlington VT

This is a video that I worked on with Tim Kramer of Northway Productions.  We actually did two videos for the Ronald McDonald House in Vermont.  One was a volunteer training video and this one which is more of an image piece they could use to show people what they are all about.  They (and we!) were very pleased with how it came out.  I wanted to post it on my blog as an example of a company image video.

Whiteface Lake Placid – Summer Passport video

I shot and edited this video for adworkshop in Lake Placid.  It’s a fun video showcasing the Summer Passport from whiteface.com.  It was all shot in one day.  Kudos to Kari Hoffman for putting together the tight schedule and lining up the “actors”.  The song is very catchy and it’s licensed from audiojungle.net.  I’ve been using them for a while now because you can license music for @$17 a song.  Very reasonable and it’s quite good!  I had heard this song on there and was waiting for the right project to use it on, I was excited to hear Kari say she thought it would work perfectly for this video. 

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to jump off an Olympic size ski jump.  Luckily, Kari’s husband Taylor is a ski jumper, so he and his buds took the gopro helmet strap up and did a few runs with it!  Pretty cool stuff so make sure you make it to the 1:45 mark!

This video is a good example of using the right camera for the right job.  Most was shot with my Canon C100, however, the GoPro 3 was used on the POV car shots, stuck to the outside of the Gondola and on the ski jumpers and luge/bobsled riders.  I also used my Sony EX1 for the overcranked shots of the ski jumpers going slo-mo into the water.  Each camera has it’s strengths, and you need them all to get the job done sometimes!

 

 

 

Parade of Homes-Real Estate Video

I’ve been working with the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association in Albany, NY for a few years now.  Mostly producing a TV commercial for them to highlight their PARADE OF HOMES tour each June.  Visitors can tour a dozen or so homes over two weekends.  This year they wanted me to shoot each home and produce a compilation tour video as well as break out each home/builder for their own separate video.  The compilation one is below and I wanted to post it here as a sample of a home/real estate sales video.  Nothing shows off a home better then moving video! My very wide angle lens (Tokina 11-16mm F-2.8) was used for the vast majority of this.  It just covers more of the spaces in a single shots because it’s so wide!  There is some barrel distortion with that wide a lens, but the benefits more then make up for it.  Most of this is also shot with my Canon C100.  The steadycam shots were done with a a Canon 7D on a Glidecam 200.

 

Maryann & Andrew “Coming Soon” wedding preview

I only shoot a couple weddings a year.  With my regular work of corporate videos, TV shows, and commercials, I just don’t have the time to do too many of these.  Plus to be honest, they are probably the most stressful gigs to do!!  There is no second takes.  You can’t control the situation like with most shoots.  Its purely capturing the events that unfold the best you can.  And to do them to the level of what I like to work at, its downright exhausting!  Most times its a 12 plus hour day.  I shoot mostly with my new C100 camera.  But during the actual ceremony, I set up 3 other cameras, one that my wife runs, and two locked off shots.  This helps later when you edit to keep the shots cutting around to hold interest.  On top of that is the audio to worry about!  I use two wireless mics, one on the groom and one on the officiant.  The bride is usually close enough to either of those two that I can pick her up audio up from them.

 

I start shooting around 9am for most weddings, getting the bride getting hair and makeup done.  Then go over to the grooms location and get them getting ready, then back to brides place to get dress going on.  I also do interviews during these times to use through out the video.  I find you need some statements to give some kind of “story” and meaning to the finished video.  Once I get that all done, it’s off to set up the four cameras and audio at the event location.  I also try to get shots of people arriving, the nervousness of the groom etc…this is by far the most stressful time of the day!  The clock is ticking and it can be a challenge to set up everything where you need to, get the camera settings correct for each location, find groom and officiant to put wireless mics on them, test those mics to the camera and still get shots of folks arriving!  My wife is great and a big help at schlepping gear, but I need to do all the set ups because she doesn’t know much about cameras!

 

Once the ceremony is finished, I feel a bit relieved!  The receptions have moments you have to capture, but I only use two cameras for most of that stuff.  By the end of the night, I have over 80GB of camera footage to then sift through later on for the edit.  This equates to about 6-7 hours of footage for an eventual 25-30 minute final video!  Within two weeks, usually sooner, I edit one of these “Coming soon” preview trailers for the couple to show all their friends what the day was like.  They usually post it on their facebook page.  These little 3 minute videos can take up to 8 hours to edit!  The actual video takes closer to 40 hours to edit!  Now, you can begin to see why wedding videos can be expensive!  It’s not your Uncle Louie in the back of the event with his handycam, these are full broadcast quality HD movies that could run on TV!

 

Sometimes I think “Is it too much that I’m doing for these?”  “Do I REALLY need to be so fanatical about it all?” but in the long run, it’s a life event for the couple and it’s my job to make the video a treasured keepsake for them.  Even more then photos, the video has the ability to REALLY capture the day.  The sights, the locations, the sounds, the atmosphere, peoples voices…one bride lost her grandmother shortly after the video and said she was so thankful I got her talking on the video so she could always remember her voice!  It’s these little moments in a video that can truly make all the effort worthwhile!

 

Maryann and Andrew were a wonderful couple to work with!  So full of joy and passion that I knew right away this one would be special!  The rainy summer decided to take a day off and the actual wedding day was just glorious!  They picked the Whiteface Club and Resort in Lake Placid for their destination wedding (Andrews parents live there) and I can’t think of a prettier place to have an outdoor wedding.

 

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