Video/TV Production for almost 30 years!

Posts tagged “action

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!

 


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!

 


DJI Inspire 1 – New quad copter!!

I recently acquired the DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter for shooting aerial video and stills.

DJI Inspire 1

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.


Jumping the K120 – Lake Placid, NY

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!


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!

 

 

 


Getting better with the DJI Phantom!

Here is some footage from the DJI Phantom quadcopter.  If you check the earlier post, I crashed it on my second flight!  Now I’m getting better flying it, and also learning how to get the smoothest video from it.  Still a little way to go before I’m REALLY happy with it but it’s getting there.  For those who are interested in the technical details here is what I’m doing:

1) Balance Props! Basically you put prop on a rod, and see what side is heaviest, then you sand that side down or add tape to the other one.  Continue until they are perfectly balanced and can stay in a horizontal position on the rod.
2) I’m using a GoPro Hero 3 Black-1080 60p medium view with Protune mode on. (This uses a higher bit rate for less blocky footage).
3) In FCPX, import footage to a 30p timeline and slow clip to 50%.
4) Use FCPX stabilization feature (I forgot to on the one clip at 1:05-for an idea of what a non-stabilized shot looks like).
5) Fly in as straight a line as possible in ATTI mode.

I’m only looking for short smooth shots to use in my video productions. Not in capturing complete flights.

Still some warble, mostly in the sunny clips, I think it’s the GoPro3 making an adjustment to battle the brighter light. Either cranking up shutter speed internally or lowering ISO? Not sure but on a bright day some kind of ND would help.

It’s getting there!


Epic soccer action!!

I made this video as a recruitment tool for the SUNY Plattsburgh Men’s Cardinal Soccer team.  It’s my third year doing one for them and was struggling to find a “new” way to do it.  While researching I found the speech “I am a champion” and with that it just came together.  I shot this at  just two of their games during the Cardinal Classic weekend.  Luckily they scored alot of goals!  It’s really tough to make a highlight video without scores.  Having shot alot of sports highlights over the years, I’ve learned to move around the field alot and get different angles.  It’s also hard to make a dynamic video when all the shots are from the same angle and framing.  Finally I shot some of this at 60 fps, called “overcranking” so when it’s played back at the regular speed of 30 fps, it will have very smooth slo-motion!

Crank this one up!

 

 


TV Commercial with some special effects!

This is a commercial I shot and edited for adworkshop.  The client was Canton Potsdam Hospital.  It was a fun one to work on. I was going to be shooting it and doing the editing.  There was some special effects for this one, beyond what we normally do, so I did some test shots in my yard with my son to figure out how to do it.  We wanted a jogger to be jogging in slow motion while everyone else was running full speed.  At first we thought having him run against a green screen would work, then we could composite him in and then slow down the footage, but then the realities of painting a treadmill chroma key green and how realistic it would look began to sink in! Plus the shot he was to go against would have to moving at his slo mo speed, meaning a dolly or truck shot.  To avoid this he needed to be coming directly at the camera.

After some test shots, I figured out that if the camera is stationary, then you can shoot multiple passes and then just mask out certain things (the guy jogging) and it would all look seamless.  With the camera locked off on the ground level shot, we had the guy jog towards us, I shot this in overcrank mode (60 FPS instead of the usual 30FPS), so the slo mo would look better/smoother after when played back at 30FPS.  Then once he ran by, we positioned the other runners to run on each side of where he was, when it came time to edit, I masked out a box around him and put it over the background runners shot!  Since the camera didn’t move, it looked seamless!  For the next shot to freeze him, I took a freeze frame, cut out around him (And his shadow!) and put that over the same composition of others running by, again, don’t move the camera and it’ll work!  What really sells it is the foreground runners, which I shot over a chromakey on location.  Just frame up the chroma key in bright sun, then have some runners run through the shot!  The blur is perfect, and all you need to do is composite them on top of the other two layers!

 

Check it out below!

 


My Demo Reel 2012

Check out my Demo Reel for 2012!  Its just a collection of some of my work from all areas of what I do.  A little bit of everything thrown in with some cool music.  If you are thinking of hiring me, this is a good place to start checking out what I do!  Then click a category across the top of the page that is more in line of the type of video you are looking for and give me a call to discuss rates.  Asking what a video costs is like saying “What does a car cost?”  It all depends on the options!  Are looking for a KIA, a basic model to get you where you need to go, or do you want a Lamborghini, something very high end that makes people say “Wow!”?  Either way, call me and we can discuss it and figure out the best way forward.  With over 20 years of doing this, from National TV shows to Weddings, I am confident I can help you get your project started on the right track!

 

 


Balloons!

My son and nieces and nephews wanted to make an action movie a few summers ago. We even had a few extra kids from the neighborhood join in. This is what resulted from nearly 2 months of on again, off again shooting (tough to get everyone back together!). It is all in good fun and I hope everyone can see the “violence” is tongue and cheek!

Its a little long, (8 Minutes) but the bloopers during the credits show how challenging this actually was to shoot! Its quite a departure from the usual videos that I post!

Shot in 720 24p with my Sony EX1 and Letus Extreme. Most is overcranked to 60fps for the slo-motion. Color graded with Magic Bullet Looks. Enjoy!