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.
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!
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!
This is a video I made to highlight Chazy Central School. The origins of the school date way back to 1916 when William H. Miner started it as the first centralized Rural School in the country! At the premiere of my “Heart’s Delight” documentary on William Miner’s life, I was approached by Chazy School administrators to help make a video on what the school is like today. They are a small school but with deep passionate roots and quire a few events and activities that make them very unique! The idea was to put this on their website to give people that are thinking of moving to the area an idea of what the school system is like.
Plattsburgh has many great eateries and bars now. The downtown scene has exploded with a wide variety of options from Himalayan food to Greek, Mexican and other fine dinning. The place we tend to go to the most though is uptown on Rt 3. The Butcher Block Restaurant! It’s where my bowling league goes every Thursday night before we bowl and also where my wife and I dine often.
Last year they did a major renovation to their bar area and a few years earlier started an outside bar for the summer months. I discussed doing a new video with the management to showcase the new look. We originally discussed doing a simple “virtual tour” with my camera on a gimbal showing a walk through the place. But that wasn’t going to show the “vibe” of the clientele too well. Instead we did a couple nights of filming both inside and out. Showing people having fun, showing the wait staff and some of the food and drink, even some of the live bands as well!
When it came time to edit, I was searching through the music that I have rights to use (copyright cleared) and found this awesome tune that is a mix of big band and EDM dance music! I knew it would fit perfectly with the visuals I had captured. Music always drives my edits and finding the right cut can be tough but when you do….it’s magic!
Check it out below…since the two days I uploaded it directly to facebook it has over 5K views and was shared by almost 80 people. As close to viral as this small region gets! The folks at Butcher Block are thrilled as many have come in saying they saw it.