Video/TV Production for over 20 years!

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“Grace Guitarz” promo video

Nothing I like better than making a promotional video for a small company doing great things!  Grace Guitarz is just such a company.  It consists of two people (and their dog Bullock) making world class guitars.

Tom and Tracy are some of the nicest folks you could ever hope to meet.  They converted their old garage into a wrokshop and formed GRACE GUITARZ.  Their work is impeccable and if you get some time check out their website for some more information and high resolution to their work.

This was filmed over almost 8 months of time, thus the winter and summer footage in the same short video!  Sometimes it just takes a while to make it come out just right.  We were waiting for one of their house concerts in the summer to really show that they eat, sleep and breathe music!

For those who are into production details, I used my Canon C100 for the interviews shooting in Clog profile.  Then I used my Sony A6300 shooting at 120fps for the broll.  This allows for those super slow motion shots seen throughout the film.  I think slow motion is sometimes overused lately.  However, I felt it really showed the detail and craftsmanship of what they were doing.  I noticed things when playing it back in slow motion that I just didnt catch in real time.  The bits of dust coming off the sanding block, the particles floating in the air during the cutting of the wood… all microscopic details that show when you can alter time!

 

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Plants are cool, too! (NEW EPISODE)

It was back on the road this summer to shoot a couple more episodes of our plant show!  This time we went to the central part of Pennsylvania.  These are always so much fun to make.  It’s a chance for myself, fellow producer Tim Kramer and host/producer Chris Martine to get back together.  We all used to live in the same area when we started this series, but now Chris and Tim have moved away.  Getting to see them and make these programs is like getting the “band” back together again!

Here is Chris’s explanation of what this video is about from YouTube:

“Many off-roaders think conservationists are all “tree-huggers”… and many conservationists think off-roaders are all “tree-killers.” But somewhere in between there is a sweet spot where forests are appreciated and cared for. In the case of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA), that sweet spot might even help to reinvigorate a local economy.”

We met some fantastic people making this one including a kindred spirit in Lance Schwartz who makes his own videos for ATV Rider magazine!  He is in the video and was loads of help, and fast became a good friend!

Animals may get all the love on TV but……Plants are cool, too!

 


Epic Great Camps in the Adirondacks!

Been having the honor and pleasure of shooting some fantastic camps/homes in the Adirondacks that are for sale.  My friend Nick Politi of Merril L. Thomas Inc. asked me to shoot some of them.  The first two here were just set to music.

This third one however the owner agreed to be interviewed for a more documentary styled video.

I hope you enjoy them and if you decide to buy one from seeing it here first…I’d be more than happy to come stay and film some more!  🙂

 


Interviewed on TV for “Heart’s Delight”!

I was fortunate enough to be asked by Thom Hallock to appear on the program “Mountain Lake Journal” and discuss my documentary “Heart’s Delight: The Story of William H. Miner”.

I got my start working at this station in 1990.  Its the PBS affiliate in Plattsburgh, NY and started as “WCFE” then became “Mountain Lake PBS”.

We taped for about 35-40 minutes and it was cut down to about 13 minutes.  I am clearly better behind the camera but was happy to be able to discuss the program and William Miners life and legacy.  The segment below starts with the program trailer, if you have seen that already, you can skip to around the 3 minute mark.

An interesting behind the scenes note, I was just diagnosed with a herniated C6-C7 disc in my neck and was in a lot of back pain.  It really hurt to just sit still so that’s why I am moving my arms so much!  That, and I am of French-Canadian decent!  Enjoy.

 


Cumberland 12 Cinemas

I made some spots for Cumberland 12 Cinemas recently.  Three that will play on local cable TV and one that is a policy spot for playing before the movie about cell phone use.  They were a lot of fun to make.  As the budget was tight, we had to get people to be in it in exchange for a few movie passes.  My friend Todd Brunner and his wife Jodi and daughter Tia were the perfect family to be featured in the policy spot.  Todd has done some acting for TV shows like NYPD Blue when he lived in NYC and he ad libbed most of his “annoying chatter”.  One thing I really wanted to do was an homage to GOODFELLAS, when they freeze Ray Liota laughing and continue the voice over.  It worked out well here too!

 

Other spots included this one for their birthday parties they offer at the cinema.  My neighbors were perfect candidates for this one and they helped secure other family and friends to be in the “party” as well.  The challenge here was to shoot it all while the theater was open, thus we had to do the red carpet scenes inside the same room where the birthday parties take place.  I changed the lighting for the red carpet shots to look more dramatic, like at a movie premiere, even having the back light appear in the scene.  In reality it’s the same room as the other party scenes.  Finally using 120 frames per second as a shooting rate made it all look more glamorous when played back in slow-motion.

 

 

The theater does 10am shows on Wednesday for just $5!  Not second run films but whatever is currently playing at the time.  I thought a clever way to promote this was with a 1980’s theme as that is what a premium ticket used to cost back in the 80s!  Again, the talent was some friends and neighbors.  They really embrassed the theme and went all in with the look of the 80’s including big hair, spandex and a fanny pack and mullet!

 

Finally we wanted to do a spot that promotes the C12 “Experience” of their large curved screen, surround sound and 3D!

 

Overall, we all had a blast making these and it’s fun to go to the movies now and see them up on the big screen!


SUNY Plattsburgh Music video!

This was an incredibly fun project to work on!  When Paula Bachman of the SUNY Plattsburgh admissions office started to talk about making a music video for incoming accepted students, I was excited and nervous at the same time.  The idea was to show the students and staff of the college dancing and singing to the song but also to show as much of the campus “in the background” as we could. With the possibility of hundreds of participants, and as much as 30 locations for a 3 minute song, it was a little unnerving to think about pulling off.

Luckily Paula would handle the coordination with all the students, groups and faculty and try to schedule them in as few days as possible.  (She is AMAZINGLY organized)!  We then mapped out the locations of the campus we wanted to include, then what parts of the song would be lip synced and what parts would be danced too.  Then as the list of participants came in, we decided who would sing what parts.  We used a small bluetooth speaker for location playback off of an iphone.  It was difficult to pre-plan much beyond that as we never knew how many would show up or what they had for props etc.  We also had to think fast to design the shot for each as most people only had 15-30 minutes.

Everyone was really into it and made shooting fun!  Usually once we nailed the “action” we would rewind that section of the song and then shoot it several times.  I used a 11-16mm wide angle Tokina lens on almost every shot so we could see the campus “in the background” and did the entire shoot handheld to give it the energy and drive it needed.

The biggest challenge was clearing the rights to the music!  It took SUNY Legal over a year to do it!!  The music industry has GOT to make that easier.

Anyway, please enjoy this video, 3 minutes…and several weeks of work to make!

 


William H. Miner documentary preview

I’m happy to present a “coming soon” preview trailer for my next documentary called “Heart’s Delight: The William H. Miner Story”.  I’ve been working on this off and on for almost 3 years now!  It’s a passion project of mine and I’m finally done with all the interviews and am entering the writing/editing phase.  It’s a massive undertaking as William Miner had a very complicated and “rich” life!

More to come for sure but for now, please check out this short clip.  Narration by my friend Greg O’Brien.