Video/TV Production for almost 30 years!

Posts tagged “documentary

“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!!  🙂

 

 


Plants are cool, too! Episode 3

Our latest episode of “Plants are cool, too!”  is now online!  This one was shot right up here in Upstate New York and features a plant called “Skunk Cabbage”.  Our host Chris Martine visits Rachel Schultz to learn all about this amazing plant that can generate it’s own heat and smells like a “Zombie”!  Find out how and why by clicking below.

 


Divine Discontent: Charles Proteus Steinmetz

This a teaser for a public television documentary on Charles Steinmetz. I’m Producing it with Bruce Carlin. Steinmetz was one of the greatest minds of the early twentieth century. He worked for GE and was considered the wizard of electricity! When you throw a light switch on, it’s largely due to him that you get power. He was a hunchback dwarf that barely made it into America. He was the one Einstein and Edison went to when they were stuck on problems, however he has been largely forgotten.
He was also an avid photographer, socialist, philosopher, and his story is quite simply amazing!

We are currently in the pre-production and fundraising stage.


Nature Weeps

I have relatives who live about 20 miles from Newtown, CT.  They have three children who are in elementary school, and when I heard there was shooting in CT at a school my heart stopped.  While I was glad they were OK I’m still sick to my stomach, as is most of America, at what happened.  I started putting this together a few days later.  It’s dedicated to all those we lost in Newtown, CT on December 14th, 2012. This video uses a haunting song written by Hans Zimmer called “Aurora” that he created for the victims of the shooting at a movie theater in Colorado this past summer.

When will it all end?