Video/TV Production for over 20 years!

Posts tagged “documentary

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.

 


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.


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!


“Songs to Keep” PBS documentary wins EMMY award!

“Songs to Keep” is a Public Television documentary about the life of Marjorie Lansing Porter.  She was a collector of Adirondack folk music in the early 1900’s.  Marjorie would go around and actually record musicians singing to preserve the songs which were handed down from generation to generation.  The program won a regional Emmy, and I had the pleasure to be the videographer on it along with Daniel McCollum.  It was produced by Paul Larson at Mountain Lake PBS.

One of the highlights was getting to videotape Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael perform “My Adirondack Home” at their studio in NYC.

PF Bacon Bros Small

I’ve worked with quite a few well known celebrities over the years and these guys were a couple of the nicest!  Very generous with their time and cooperative to give us “one more take” for the music video portion of the shoot.  The song is super catchy, just click the link below to see this section of the show.  (The scenic shots from this section were also mostly mine -except the aerial- including the misty road shot which is actually my driveway)!


Short film “The Country Life”

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!

 


Plants are cool, too! Episode 5

Sorry for the long delay in updating the website.  I just get so busy and forget to add new stuff!  Here is the next episode of PLANTS ARE COOL, TOO!  We shot this the same time as we did Episode 4 in New Mexico.  This is a different location and a different subject.  We trekked into one of the most remote sections in all of the continental US to search for species of plants that have not been discovered yet!  It was also incredibly hot!  True desert heat of around 110 degrees + and NO SHADE!!  The camera kept on ticking though.  Check it out when you get 15 minutes to spare.

 


Plants are cool, too! Episode 4-New Mexico

Doing this show is one of the highlights of my year!  We have such a great time making them and it’s always fun to “get the band back together” to do so.  You see, the host Chris Martine and my co-producer Tim Kramer both used to live near me in Upstate New York, but have since moved to different parts of the country.  This was the first episode where we all arrived from different parts of the country.  It’s always “interesting” flying with TV gear, and this time I had to go it alone.  Luckily, it all arrived along with me (not always the case when you have to check some of it).  Soon we were on a journey across the deserts of New Mexico to shoot not just one, but TWO episodes of Plants are cool, too!

This episode involves giant hawk moths that fly for miles each night in search of flower nectar — and are thus critically important as pollinators of desert wildflowers. We met up with Krissa Skogen (Chicago Botanic Garden) in New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument and found plant romance happening by the light of the full moon!

Shooting in the desert heat (105-110 F during the day) really was a challenge!  The camera got so hot, being black, that it sometimes overheated, giving a temperature warning in the viewfinder!  Luckily, a few minutes of down time in the shade gets it back running again.  I used the SONY EX1 for this, as doing this kind of run and gun shooting (all handheld) is best with that camera instead of the Canon C100.  Its always important to use the right tool for the job!

 

Oh yeah, did I mention we had to look out for scorpions and rattle snakes all the while we were working as well!  That’s a new experience for this country boy from Northern New York!

This episode was the first one that Tim and I did a collaborative edit on and it worked out great!  We are both using FCPX and once the file structures are the same on our hard drives, then its just a matter of swapping the project file over the internet to see the edit the other guy was working on!  I been so busy lately that Tim did most of the editorial cutting on this one, getting the story down and I did the clean-up/polishing to it.  Which included audio sweetening, color correction, graphic creation etc…

Its a long video, so grab a beverage and prepare to get edu-ma-cated!!  🙂