Bluff Point Golf Resort 2013
Bluff Point Golf Resort is one of the oldest golf courses in America. It’s located on the shores of Lake Champlain, NY, near Plattsburgh. Last year the owner contacted me about shooting some footage to highlight some of the unique features they offer. Probably the main one is the lodging rentals right on the course. They have great “cabins” which may sound rustic to some but are actually quite cozy. There is also access to a private sand beach, horseshoe pits and more! This is an example of a video a client can put on their website by embedding it from YouTube at no cost. People love to watch video on websites now and there’s no better way to really get your message across then with video, narration and music all cut together into a 2-3 minute message!
TV Commercial-Alice Hyde Medical Center: Walk-In Clinic
This TV ad features the wonderfully talented Aengus Andrew! He was in a spot we did last year called “Boo Boo” and did such a great job that we wanted to use him again. He has no formal acting training but really loves doing it and comes across very natural on camera. I Co-Produced, shot and edited the spot, Tim Kramer Co-Produced and ran audio and Alice Hyde’s Cathlyn Lamitie was also Co-Producer. We shot this all on the Canon 7D with separate audio recorded on a Zoom H4N and synced in post on FCP-X.
Quest for the Magic Light
It’s all about the light! Photography and videography are, by their very nature, dependent on light hitting the sensor of the camera. That light can be soft and muted or bold and vibrant. I found both kinds while out shooting this years autumn colors in Northern New York. It was a spectacular year (2012), with many bold reds mixed in among the yellow and orange hues. Most of these clips are again from the Adirondack Mountain region of far upstate New York.
While I think you can’t beat bright blue skies and sunshine for the best Autumn shooting, I did go out on some misty, rainy days and found the light to be quite spectacular as well, but just in a different sort of way.
I’ve included both in this video, which features the music of Tim McMorris (“Translation”). His work can be found on AudioJungle.net. I just recently learned of this site and find the licensing fees to be priced right and plan to use more from there in the near future.
FInally I used the Canon 7D and my Sony XDCAM EX1 for the cameras, and my cobracrane jib and Konova slider for the moves.
How to shoot from a boat!
This is a short video that shows how I shoot video from a boat including some sample shots! I like a flat bottom boat for minimal clearance under it (you can go to REAL shallow water), and also for setting a full size tripod on it, being able to smoothly pan is a big plus. I also shoot from a canoe but a flat bottom “John” boat works better as it’s less tippy. Use an electric motor driven off a deep cycle marine battery, this will add minimal vibration to the boat. Setting the bubble (keeping horizon straight) for the tripod is important and tricky as a slight shift in your body will change the horizontal level in the boat. You need to put your one arm back on the motor like you are running it, then adjust the bubble of the tripod to keep it level when you are shooting. If your arm isn’t back like you are steering it, then the level will be off when you DO move your arm back!
Pick a very calm day (no wind or waves) and use an external monitor.
Summoning of the Muse
Here’s a spot I put together to show some new clips. I recently went to Vermont and shot a bunch of covered bridges, old barns etc., most are for my stock footage company www.shutterstock.com, but I thought I would put a bunch of them together in their own video and post it to Vimeo. Believe it or not, by posting videos on there, I get quite a few requests for footage from people searching there for clips now. I always liked this song by DEAD CAN DANCE and thought it might work with some of these clips. The lead singer Lisa Gerard has such a haunting voice…I’ve been hooked on her since hearing her sing “Host of Seraphim” in Baraka.
My Demo Reel 2012
Check out my Demo Reel for 2012! Its just a collection of some of my work from all areas of what I do. A little bit of everything thrown in with some cool music. If you are thinking of hiring me, this is a good place to start checking out what I do! Then click a category across the top of the page that is more in line of the type of video you are looking for and give me a call to discuss rates. Asking what a video costs is like saying “What does a car cost?” It all depends on the options! Are looking for a KIA, a basic model to get you where you need to go, or do you want a Lamborghini, something very high end that makes people say “Wow!”? Either way, call me and we can discuss it and figure out the best way forward. With over 20 years of doing this, from National TV shows to Weddings, I am confident I can help you get your project started on the right track!
WARNING: This is a post for those who like to know the technical side of things!!! If you are not interested in that, just scroll down and hit “play”!!
This is a video I made to test the Technicolor Cinestyle preset for my Canon 7D. It basically is a free download for Canon DSLRs that greatly opens up the shadow areas of the image. The picture as shot will look very washed out, (MANY examples of uncorrected technicolor cine footage on VIMEO) so it needs to be color corrected in post production to dial in the correct black and white and color saturation settings. But once you do…..WOW! It adds more dynamic range to the image, and it doesn’t have that DSLR, super contrasted look as much. I also feel the moire is reduced quite a bit!
To really test things out, I shot what I consider a contrast range torture test! A mountain stream on a bright sunny day, with lots of dappled light. Bright, bright highlights and deep, dark shadows!
I then transcoded all the footage into ProRes LT, imported and edited in Final Cut Pro and then used Magic Bullet Looks to color grade all the shots. Basically I used lift/gamma/gain and then color saturation. I did not use curves as I found it crushed the blacks and blew out the whites a bit too much. Actually I had issues getting the LUT (Look up table) Technicolor supplies to load into Magic Bullet Look Up Buddy (I think my system- a G5 PPC-is too old to properly use it!). I felt using Lift/gamma/gain gave me the best tonal gradations anyway, especially for nature subjects where a real cine tone isn’t as needed.
I mostly used my Tamron lenses. My trusty 17-55 F2.8 and the super zoom 18-270 F3.5-6.3. Kept shutter speed at 60 at all times, using ND filters when needed to expose properly.
Remember, this is shot using Technicolor cinestyle, but then color corrected in post. Your footage MUST be worked on after you shoot it, it does not look like this out of the camera. It amounts to alot more work in post production, is it worth it? I think so! I found this to make the 7D footage look quite stunning, especially considering what I usually get shooting such a contrasty subject.
Music is from Stock20.com, an excellent source for buyout music.
Another short that I shot with the Canon 7D. November is a dreary time of year here in Upstate New York. Not much light or color. Very short days. I went to a waterfall not too far from my house that has an old abandoned mill next to it.
I used the indiSlider in a lot of these shots to add some interest. I call this piece NOVEMBER GRAY, though in reality, the 7D captured alot of color in these scenes! It continues to amaze me. I shot this one at 1080 24p. I also used the stock lens that came in the kit for some of the closeups of the waterfall. Its the 28-135 f.3.5-5.8 IS Canon Lens. Its tack sharp and the depth of field is quite nice when you are zoomed in, even though it’s only a f5.8 lens at that point.
I did some color correction, mainly to adjust white balance, I was shooting so early after sun up that the color temperature was changing quite rapidly.
The music is from Digital Juice. Vol. 50 the song is called MOVING FORWARD.
My mentor who taught me so much about TV production back in the early 90’s passed away in 2008. I hadn’t seen him in a few years but still think of his lessons nearly everyday. Many of these locations we shot together nearly 20 years ago. I will always remember him and I offer this video up as my way of saying thanks to an old friend. This was one of the most popular videos I ever did, it was featured on the VIMEO HD Channel.
Technically speaking, this was shot with an EX1 in 1080 30p. Some shots use the Letus Extreme, some do not. A few also use the indislider, but mostly it’s just the stock lens. Cut in FCP and lightly color graded in FCP as well.
Last Days of Autumn
Probably my most viewed film online! Posted this over at VIMEO a couple years ago when I first started using the Canon 7D camera. It now has over 44,000 views and is a big demo video on that cameras abilities, being embedded and reposted about on many, many sites!
I shot everything in it in just a few hours one late October day in 2009. It edited together quite quickly too. Not having endless amounts of video makes an edit go quick as your choices on what shots to use are limited!
Spring is a wonderful time of year. Birds are chirping and the air is fresh and clean in the mountains! I find it very serene and peaceful. This is a collection of images I have shot in May and June in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York.
It’s my first attempt at presenting a video in a panavison, or cinemascope widescreen format! The 2.35 aspect ratio works well for these shots, especially in HD on a BIG screen. I used my Sony EX1 and also a Canon 7D camera. Lenses used were my Tamron 17-55mm 2.8, and the 28-135mm kit lens.
Enjoy and I hope the wide format is OK with everyone, it really is fun to compose for it! It’s much more epic this way! Let me know what you think.
Plattsburgh State Cardinal Soccer Classic 2011
The first highlight video I did for the Plattsburgh State Cardinals was very highly received! Coach Waterbury asked me to make another for the 2011 season. So I shot the same tournament weekend as the year before. I also used some of the same big movie trailer type music. The final game could not have ended any better with an overtime goal and a huge celebration right in front of where I was standing!
Plattsburgh State Mens Soccer 2010
This is a video I did for Plattsburgh State Mens Soccer in 2010. It was meant to be a recruitment/highlight film for the coach to use. I covered 2 games in the Cardinal Classic tournament to get enough footage for this video. Could have used a few more games worth but that was the only chance I had to shoot!
A tour of SpencerARL in Plattsburgh, NY. Shot and edited by me and Co-Produced by Tim Kramer of Northway Productions.
We Love Titus Mt!
TV Commercial for Titus Mt. Ski Center near Malone, NY