Video/TV Production for almost 30 years!

Posts tagged “NY

Happy Anniversary!

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.


Zach Latinville-Inside The Studio

Zach is a friend of mine.  He has his own real estate company, The Z Group, but also makes incredible furniture and cutting boards in his garage during his “spare time”.  He’s recently been asked by NBC to submit a video for a possible role in an upcoming TV show they are working on.  Anyway, I really like doing small “mini-documentaries” on interesting individuals and Zach fit the bill.  Shot this on my Sony A7III in about 4 hrs one day while they were getting some group photos done.  We then shot over to his very cool garage on a blustery cold winters day to finish up some shots of him making cutting boards for the holidays.

 


St Lawrence University-Holiday Greeting

I was asked by St Lawrence University  to help create a video that the President could send out as a “virtual holiday card”.  Tara Freeman worked with some very talented students to write an original song.  I felt it would be best to get it recorded and then we could shoot to them lip syncing to keep it consistent.  There wasnt much snow on campus at the time we had to shoot this so we utilized older campus winter video and shot them on a theater stage.  A little smoke, some fake snow near the end, and voila!


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!


Rock this Place-Butcher Block Restaurant

Plattsburgh has many great eateries and bars now.  The downtown scene has exploded with a wide variety of options from Himalayan food to Greek, Mexican and other fine dinning. The place we tend to go to the most though is uptown on Rt 3.  The Butcher Block Restaurant!  It’s where my bowling league goes every Thursday night before we bowl and also where my wife and I dine often.

Last year they did a major renovation to their bar area and a few years earlier started an outside bar for the summer months.  I discussed doing a new video with the management to showcase the new look.  We originally discussed doing a simple “virtual tour” with my camera on a gimbal showing a walk through the place.  But that wasn’t going to show the “vibe” of the clientele too well.  Instead we did a couple nights of filming both inside and out.  Showing people having fun, showing the wait staff and some of the food and drink, even some of the live bands as well!

When it came time to edit, I was searching through the music that I have rights to use (copyright cleared) and found this awesome tune that is a mix of big band and EDM dance music!  I knew it would fit perfectly with the visuals I had captured.  Music always drives my edits and finding the right cut can be tough but when you do….it’s magic!

Check it out below…since the two days I uploaded it directly to facebook it has over 5K views and was shared by almost 80 people.  As close to viral as this small region gets!  The folks at Butcher Block are thrilled as many have come in saying they saw it.


More Real Estate Videos!

I have had the pleasure to work with Merrill L. Thomas Inc. recently doing more real estate videos for some amazing high end properties!  Most are edited to music and are done mostly for social media use and promotion.  (All of them live on the website for that properties listing too).  Some however are more like mini-documentaries, telling the story of the property from a first person perspective.  With my documentary background from working at PBS for 11 years, these are right in my swing zone!  Below are some examples of both types that I have made with Nick Politi of Merrill Thomas.

If you have a great connection make sure and watch in 4K resolution!


“Caught in Time”

Another little video featuring my wife and a warm day in the Adirondack Mt’s of NY. All shot with the SONY A7III, a SONY 10-16mm, Sony 35mm F1.8 and a Sony 50mm F1.8 lens. Used a gimbal for only a few shots the rest were handheld.

I frequently head out to shoot stock footage to sell online.  It’s one of my favorite things to do and occasionally I can bring my wife out with me!  She is a real trooper about carrying tripods and lenses but also for being in my shots.  I’ve found nature shots with people in them tend to sell a little better than just pure nature shots so it’s fantastic that she is so cooperative.

This is real short, the song I picked for it was only 1;15 long but I really liked it and felt it matched the mood of the footage and the day.

 


“Living and Working in…” regional tourism videos

Last summer I had the pleasure to work on this series of videos for Northern Adirondack Board of Realtors.  It was also a chance to work with my former colleague Kari Hoffman, who was the Producer on these.  The idea was to highlight what select towns in the region are like to live and work in for potential home buyers.  We shot the vast majority of it, but some select shots were supplied by ROOST.  Kari did the rough editing in FCPX to flesh out the story lines, then I did the final edits by adding music and effects, B-roll and all graphics etc.

 


When the Cold Wind Blows-Scenic video

Shot this a few months ago but forgot to post it!  Was having fun shooting snow falling at 120 frames per second on the SONY A6300.  When played back at 24fps, or normal film speed, you get very smooth 1/4 speed slow motion.  This was shot out at Pt AuRoche state park near Plattsburgh, NY.


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!

 


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.


Merrill L. Thomas Inc. – Company video

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.


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:

http://video.wmht.org/video/2365246534/


Schrader & Co. Construction Services TV Campaign

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.


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.

 

 


“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!

 


Parade of Homes-Real Estate Video

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.

 


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.

blog-canon-c100-main-back Canon_C100_fullside-670x439

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&gt;.</p>


Rediscovering the Light: Restoring New York’s Capitol

Here is the TV promo I made to promote the Public Television special I’ve been working on with Joanne Durfee at WMHT in Troy/Albany NY.  She’s been the Producer/Writer and I’ve been the shooter/editor.  We hope to have the show ready to air by late June 2013. It will probably air on all the PBS stations in NYS.  This half hour show will highlight the completion of phase four on the restoration project to bring the Capitol back to it’s original splendor.  It really is an AMAZING building that one should visit if in the Albany NY area.

 

 


An Italian Affair TV Commercial

I do some local commercials for Time Warner cable from time to time.  Usually it’s for the smaller establishments that want to get their message out but on a limited budget.  This commercial for An Italian Affair in Massena, NY is a prime example of that.  The owner Aaron clearly loves everything about his restaurant and wanted to promote it.  I came up with the idea of the tired Mom, just getting home from work, and being met by the kids looking for dinner!  To keep the costs down, I managed to talk my wife into being in it along with my son and his girlfriend.  I also did the voice over for the rest of the commercial!

I utilized my new GoPro Hero 3 camera to get some unique angles.  Its a small, 2×2 inch camera that you see snowboarders using strapped to their helmets as they fly down the mountain.  Here I attached it to the pizza peel as it removes the pizza from the oven and into a box and also on the order the waitress is bringing to a table. gopro_hero3_chasejarvis8-620x701

The food was all shot on a rotating table my Dad built a few years back for me using a chicken rotisserie motor! Food always looks better when it’s rotating.

We wanted to give off the vibe of a fun place to eat with great food.  I think it worked with the help of all the great staff, great food and oh yeah….my understanding family!