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!
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! 🙂
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.
This is a video I worked on for adworkshop in Lake Placid (an advertising and marketing agency). They did all the concept and producing and directing, I was the videographer and editor. It’s nice to be a part of a team for projects like this one. It allows me to really focus on the shooting, and what is the best way to tell this story visually. I used a variety of cameras on it, my main camera the Canon C100 for the majority of it, but also set up a second camera for the interviews, the Canon 7D DSLR camera. I used the GoPro on a handheld gimble and the Inspire 1 for some aerial shots.
Editing is always a hidden craft, but it’s really driven by finding the right music. I usually piece the narrative together first (on this project from a script supplied by adworkshop), then find the right music to give it energy and convey the mood. That then drives all the edits of the cut away footage or Broll as we call it in the industry.
Check it out! Merrill L. Thomas Inc. is a great company and I am happy to get to know them better working on their video.
It’s been a slow to start but quite spectacular autumn here in upstate New York. I love this time of year and try to get out to shoot as much scenic footage as possible. Many years I have big projects and hard deadlines that keep me from driving around the mountains during the roughly one to two week period when the leaves are at peak color. To me peak color is when there is still some green trees mixed in as well. Enjoy this short video of the footage I collected this year.
I was contacted to do some TV commercials for Schrader & Co. recently. They had seen my work for the Parade of Homes tour I shoot in the Capital Region and liked my style. They wanted to have a classy looking ad that represented what their company is all about. We discussed it and decided on doing some testimonial spots for them. Getting actual customers to talk about their experiences working with them. I live over two hours away from the locations for these shoots, so we decided to do them all in one marathon day of shooting! While busy, everything went off without a hitch and the interviews resulted in some great comments. It can be tricky to edit down a 10 minute or so interview to just :30! You have to have the company name in there, then tell the “story” of dealing with Schrader & Co. and have it all fit into a 30 second TV commercial.
Here are the three different spots, keeping the logo and theme music the same in each helps make them part of a campaign, instead of just three separate commercials.
It’s refreshing when you can work on a commercial that is intended to be “silly”. This commercial was produced by adworkshop. I did the shooting and the editing for it. They had the bear costume shipped in from China! We shot it out of sequence, doing the store shots first when they were less busy in the morning and then the river shot last in case the costume got ruined (which it didnt, but did take a day or two to dry out)! There are several of these, each one has a humorous end tagline after the logo.
This is a collection of clips for a documentary I am making on William Miner of Chazy, NY. He was a philanthropist from the turn of the century who made his fortune in the railroad industry. He developed a state of the art farm in the early 1900’s that still is functioning today. It will be a historical documentary on his life that should be completed in late 2015. These clips were shot with the Canon C100 and recorded on a Ninja 2 recorder. Shot mostly with the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 IS lens. I love that lens for getting telephoto shots! It’s tack sharp and very fast and clear at f2.8.
This is a slower paced short, to match the feeling of a lovely country farm in the heat of summer. Pour a glass of cold iced tea and enjoy!
This is a collection of some recent scenics I shot for stock footage sales. I recently got the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens. Its $1000 cheaper then Canon’s 70-200 and the quality is excellent! I’ve used both and I cant tell a difference in the video! Plus…its black and looks like it’s a part of the camera better then the white model of Canons. That white can reflect more in glass when you are shooting and just looks….weird! Almost all the shots are with this new lens, with a few Tokina 11-16mm F.2.8 shots in there as well.
Anyway, all this was shot on the C100 and recorded on a Atomos Ninja 2 at 24p. The overcranked shots of the water was shot at 60i (Shutter speed of 120) and retimed in FCPX 10.1.
Nothing ground breaking here, just wanted to test the lens in the field and figured I’d make a little film instead of a “test clip” reel.
This is a TV commercial I shot and edited for adworkshop. They wrote and produced the spot for North Country Savings Bank. Like all their work, it’s very clever and fresh! It can be a challenge to work with kids but I must say this all went down without a hitch. I shot it with my C100 which I mounted on a jib arm to get it directly over their heads looking down on their drawings. Anne Rast and Kari Hoffman were the Producers and Directors on the commercial and lined up the kids, the location (LP Elementary School) and created the “drawings” in various stages of completion for the kids to color in!
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!
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).
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.
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!
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.
I only shoot a couple weddings a year. (UPDATE 1/1/15- I have decided to no longer do any wedding videos, they are just too much work as described below). 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.
It’s been several years since I picked up a new camera. My last one was the Canon 7D, a DSLR that shoots video. It was all the craze about 3 years ago. DSLRs gave nice soft, out of focus backgrounds, the cameras were small and the lenses were plentiful. Along with those benefits were many “problems” that you had to deal with. There was no audio on the camera, you had to record the sound separately for an interview and sync them up later in editing. Fine lines tended to “bead” or shimmer. A nasty artifact called aliasing. If you needed to shoot a brick building or a shingled roof from a distance, look out! My 7D served me well, but I’ve been looking for another option for a while. It seemed a new camera was being released every month if not sooner so I waited until I could find one to suit all my needs.
The Canon C100 came out late last year and it fit almost every category of what I was looking for. It doesn’t shoot 4k resolution, but that is far off before it becomes a standard and everything else is just right on! I’ve only had it a few days but so far it is the hands down the best camera I have owed. The low light shooting abilities is simply mind blowing. It can capture images in such low light that you can barely make things out to the naked eye. Not only capture them, as many cameras can get you an image, but this one does it without falling into major grain and noise.
We went on a short camping trip this past weekend. It ended up raining for 3 straight days! But it did give me a chance to try out the camera and all it’s settings. I posted the clips in a short video below. Notice all the interior shots were done with available light! And the inside of that cabin was very dark. I’m still learning about the settings but this footage is very promising and I especially love how tack sharp it is when you want it to be.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/67032306″>Let it Rain-A Canon EOS C100 test video</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user434753″>Paul Frederick</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>