New Year…catching up!!
I’m not the best at adding new videos to my site! Usually it’s because I’m so busy I can’t find the time, but sometimes it’s because of client confidentiality. My New Years resolution is to try and stay more current adding samples of my work.
(I’m currently working on a new passion project that may take up considerable time this spring but more on that soon!)
Here are some videos I made this past year for clients that I wanted to share, in no particular order:
Dino Roar Valley is a new seasonal attraction in the Lake George are featuring animatronic dinosaurs! I had the pleasure of working with some very dear friends on it too so that’s always a bonus!DinoRoar Valley rough cut 1 from Paul Frederick on Vimeo.
MAGIC FOREST is the sister/brother park connected to Dino Roar Valley! It is a very old and charming place with lots of nostalgia for parents who may have been as kids themselves.Magic Forest Promo Video FINAL from Paul Frederick on Vimeo.
I can’t believe I didn’t post this video on St. Lawrence University’s ADIRONDACK SEMESTER program yet. It was one of my favorite projects this past year! Students spend a whole semester in the Adirondack wilderness. No power (solar panels only) and no cell phones. A complete re connection with nature and outdoor learning at its finest! It’s been a great year working with Tara Freeman and the team of creatives at St. Lawrence. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings!
Also for St Lawrence University were videos for celebrating fall on campus:
And a fun one for their Holiday video!
And last but not least they honored me by asking me to put together a highlight reel of my favorite shots from the year!
In other work…..I also completed a documentary for PBS stations with Producer Vin Tabone called The Hudson River School Pt 2: Cultivating a Tradition. Here is the first 2 minutes of that program. It is available on Amazon Prime and you can also see it on PBS stations around the country!
I’m still doing TV commercials for Curtis Lumber and now some “Day in the Life” spots as well. These highlight what certain positions are like in the company. Here is a sample of what one of their delivery drivers does:
….and a Stager.
That’s along post but I needed to catch up! Have a great New Year everyone!
Documentary style Real Estate videos
I have been making documentaries for almost 30 years now. In this day and age of shorter and faster, it’s nice to still be able to tell a story with some feeling in it. I’ve been lucky to work with Merrill L. Thomas in Lake Placid NY for a few years now. They believe a good story is as important, if not more so, than how many bathrooms and bedrooms a place has. Here a few of my favorites we have done recently in this style.
My wife and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary this past memorial day weekend. We ended up in Lake George, NY (Had a shoot scheduled but it was cancelled at the last minute). As I usually do, I brought a camera to keep from going stir crazy! If I don’t have it with me, I always see things I wish I could capture. Luckily my wife Teri is used to it now and accepts that she will likely be the subject for many shots as well.
When we got back I put a bunch of the shots to a catchy, thoughtful little song I found on artlist.io called “Next to You”. Many of the words are spot on perfect to how I feel about her. I hope you enjoy watching it. Sort of a personal peak inside our relationship, but that sometimes makes for a great video.
Student profile Mini-docs!
I’m thrilled to be continuing my work with St Lawrence University! Recently we created some student profile videos. Little mini-documentaries on their experiences and their lives. This is right up my alley as I started with making documentaries at PBS close to 30 years ago. The big challenge now is keeping them short enough for today’s young audiences! Check ’em out…more to come!
St Lawrence University-Capital Campaign
St Lawrence University launched their capital campaign with a gala weekend of events in October 2018. I had the pleasure of working along Tara Freeman, the Director of Visual Communications in crafting a video to highlight the weekends events but also promote the message of the capital campaign launch. We shot this in a 2.5 days and edited it in a couple more days for a quick turn time. The audio content is from the University President’s speech at the formal dinner.
Due to the run and gun situation of trying to cover many events around campus I shot most of it with a gimbal carrying my Sony A6500. I also had my SONY A7III with a 28-75MM lens for getting closer shots handheld as needed. The drone shots were with my new Mavic 2 Pro drone. The image quality is much improved from the original Mavic Pro. It has a new Hasselblad lens and an improved camera system. Shoots 10bit 4k HLG video in H.265 format which vastly reduces the mosquito noise in the image.
The video has been widely received by both alumni and staff at St Lawrence University!
Chazy School: A Look Inside
This is a video I made to highlight Chazy Central School. The origins of the school date way back to 1916 when William H. Miner started it as the first centralized Rural School in the country! At the premiere of my “Heart’s Delight” documentary on William Miner’s life, I was approached by Chazy School administrators to help make a video on what the school is like today. They are a small school but with deep passionate roots and quire a few events and activities that make them very unique! The idea was to put this on their website to give people that are thinking of moving to the area an idea of what the school system is like.
The Stagecoach Inn – Lake Placid, NY
This is a promotional video I recently made for a beautiful Inn dating back to the early 1800’s. Decided to try and do it more “Documentary style”. I actually shot the couples first visit and then at the end of the stay did an interview to capture their feelings about it. Was meant to be mostly from the female perspective. It really is selling unplugging, relaxing and reconnecting with a spouse as much as this particular place. That’s a little different than most promo videos but I think it worked overall. It tells a story and that is more interesting I think than just having a narrator tell stats and scripted material about the property. I also wanted it to be told mainly from the woman’s perspective, finding the song was a key part to giving me the idea on how to put this all together.
The owners of the Inn are friends of mine that I got to know by filming their wedding in lake Placid in 2010! The couple visiting are also friends of mine that didn’t know the owners or had ever stayed at the Inn before.
Tech details: Shot with the EOSHD Pro Color 3.0 Picture profile for the SONY A6500 and a SONY A6300 on a Zhiyun Crane gimbal. Also used a edlekrone motorized slider for several shots.
“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!
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!
Timelapse video with the SONY A6300
Had some time this summer to shoot some timelapse cloud formations in the Adirondack Mountains. All the original footage is shot in 4k, but I edited it in an HD timeline so i could add some pans and zooms without losing any quality. I didnt use an intervalometer to do this in still photo mode, (triggering a picture every few seconds) instead I just recorded for 10 minutes or so and then sped it up in post. I like this way as I can control the speed of the clouds better and it looks smoother to me when it’s all edited.
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! 🙂
Adirondack Autumn (2015)
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.
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!
“Divine Discontent: Charles Proteus Steinmetz” documentary EMMY nominated!
This is a documentary I produced with Bruce Carlin. We tried for 7 years to get funding and finally managed to secure a grant to get it made. Our good friends at wmht, the PBS affiliate in the Albany area was the presenting station for it to the PBS system. It is now airing across the country! We decided (and at the suggestion of Dan Swinton of wmht) to put it in for a NY regional EMMY award. That’s a tough market as it includes all of NY City and NJ! So we are up against MSG, Yankeeograpy docs etc… It was announced last week that it has been nominated in the BEST DOCUMENTARY category! Winners will be announced on May 2nd.
Here is the promo for it:
And here is the open to the show and a round table discussion we shot at Mt. Lake PBS with Thom Hallock for Mountain Lake Journal. The narrator is none other than Kate Mulgrew who is best known as Captain Janeway on STAR TREK VOYAGER and as Red in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. She was a delight to work with and added so much to the finished production.
The entire documentary can be viewed here:
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!
“A Simple Beauty” Scenic nature film
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.
Focusing on…Nature Photography!
I’ve been shooting more and more stills with my DSLR Canon 7D lately. It started with getting Lightroom and Photoshop leased for $10 a month. I really needed Photoshop for the Charles Steinmetz documentary I was editing to clean up all the old archive photos. Once I had the programs, I started watching online tutorials (can never stop learning) and was intrigued by what these two programs could do. I never shot much in the RAW format, I found the files too big and the workflow too cumbersome, but with the new software, the image possibilities were to enticing not to give it a try! What RAW does is basically record on your CF card the exact data that is hitting your cameras sensor. This allows you to change almost any setting after the fact! You can adjust color balance, exposure, sharpness, bring back detail in the white parts, pull up detail in the shadows etc… It basically allows near complete tweak-ability after you get back from shooting.
In the past you had to expose for the highlights and let the rest go into darkness, or expose for the shadow areas and the highlights would get blown out, but now you can get both to be properly exposed by shooting in RAW and tweaking in Lightroom and Photoshop after the fact. Is it “cheating”? I guess in a way…however it allows me to present the image closer to how I saw it in the filed, which before was always a compromise. Some times I do “paint” the image up with some added highlights and shadow areas to give it interest that werent really like that in the original scene, but to me it’s almost a blend between painting with paints and photography. It’s an artistic interpretation that is opening up a whole new level of “fun” for me! Here are a few examples: Click on them for larger views!
“Drawings” TV Commercial
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!
Their Last Days- A Canon C100 Nature Film
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!
“Sentences” TV spot for adworkshop
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).
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!
Maryann & Andrew “Coming Soon” wedding preview (UPDATE-I’M NO LONGER DOING WEDDING VIDEOS)
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.
Finally…a new camera!!
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>