I have been making documentaries for almost 30 years now. In this day and age of shorter and faster, it’s nice to still be able to tell a story with some feeling in it. I’ve been lucky to work with Merrill L. Thomas in Lake Placid NY for a few years now. They believe a good story is as important, if not more so, than how many bathrooms and bedrooms a place has. Here a few of my favorites we have done recently in this style.
My wife and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary this past memorial day weekend. We ended up in Lake George, NY (Had a shoot scheduled but it was cancelled at the last minute). As I usually do, I brought a camera to keep from going stir crazy! If I don’t have it with me, I always see things I wish I could capture. Luckily my wife Teri is used to it now and accepts that she will likely be the subject for many shots as well.
When we got back I put a bunch of the shots to a catchy, thoughtful little song I found on artlist.io called “Next to You”. Many of the words are spot on perfect to how I feel about her. I hope you enjoy watching it. Sort of a personal peak inside our relationship, but that sometimes makes for a great video.
For the graduation ceremony at St. Lawrence University this year I was asked to create a highlight video. Get as many shots during the ceremony as I could, then take some sound bites and edit something together for facebook, youtube, etc.
I then found a real cool song on artlist.io that I subscribe to for music clearances that was called “One”. The Lyrics are about taking your best shot to being a success but was definitely geared toward a younger audience. I pitched the idea of doing another version to this song for instagram. Luckily the college agreed to give it a go!
Its an interesting view to see the two different videos done COMPLETELY for two different audiences. First is the more formal/traditional one, then the 1 minute version that was on instagram.
I’m thrilled to be continuing my work with St Lawrence University! Recently we created some student profile videos. Little mini-documentaries on their experiences and their lives. This is right up my alley as I started with making documentaries at PBS close to 30 years ago. The big challenge now is keeping them short enough for today’s young audiences! Check ’em out…more to come!
Zach is a friend of mine. He has his own real estate company, The Z Group, but also makes incredible furniture and cutting boards in his garage during his “spare time”. He’s recently been asked by NBC to submit a video for a possible role in an upcoming TV show they are working on. Anyway, I really like doing small “mini-documentaries” on interesting individuals and Zach fit the bill. Shot this on my Sony A7III in about 4 hrs one day while they were getting some group photos done. We then shot over to his very cool garage on a blustery cold winters day to finish up some shots of him making cutting boards for the holidays.
I was asked by St Lawrence University to help create a video that the President could send out as a “virtual holiday card”. Tara Freeman worked with some very talented students to write an original song. I felt it would be best to get it recorded and then we could shoot to them lip syncing to keep it consistent. There wasnt much snow on campus at the time we had to shoot this so we utilized older campus winter video and shot them on a theater stage. A little smoke, some fake snow near the end, and voila!
St Lawrence University launched their capital campaign with a gala weekend of events in October 2018. I had the pleasure of working along Tara Freeman, the Director of Visual Communications in crafting a video to highlight the weekends events but also promote the message of the capital campaign launch. We shot this in a 2.5 days and edited it in a couple more days for a quick turn time. The audio content is from the University President’s speech at the formal dinner.
Due to the run and gun situation of trying to cover many events around campus I shot most of it with a gimbal carrying my Sony A6500. I also had my SONY A7III with a 28-75MM lens for getting closer shots handheld as needed. The drone shots were with my new Mavic 2 Pro drone. The image quality is much improved from the original Mavic Pro. It has a new Hasselblad lens and an improved camera system. Shoots 10bit 4k HLG video in H.265 format which vastly reduces the mosquito noise in the image.
The video has been widely received by both alumni and staff at St Lawrence University!