Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The house was incredible. It had two guest bedrooms, a bathroom, and a cool loft/lounge area in the lower wing of the house. Then as you climb the stairs it opens up into a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. The main room is extremely spacious and is raised above the ground so that you can see the waves below the bluff. And where better to put a hot tub than on the deck overlooking the ocean? Oh and this wasn't a sketchy hot tub, it went up to 106!
Then as the house winds back to the ground, you cross through my favorite room of the house which I have named the "Inspiration Room." It's a room with one huge chair in the middle of it that faces a massive window. The room is surrounded by bookshelves; though, most of the shelves are empty. Below that is the master bedroom, which is essentially it's own wing of the house.
It was hard finding the feeling that I wanted to convey in this video. I decided on going for a relaxed and inspired tone; one that invokes some nostalgia within me and I am hoping in others. I wish I had been there on a sunny day, I think it would have added to the upbeat mood of the piece. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure filming in such a wonderful work of art, and taking night time hot tubs.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Here is a special piece I edited for Metmedia. We've been talking about doing proposals for a while now and this was the company's first opportunity to do it. We created this piece in collaboration with Vince Tarry Studios, a company whose photography I love. Jeff (remember the J's?) from VTP was there with Jonathan to capture this enormous moment in Celeste and Anwar's relationship.
Both Jonathan and Jeff sat at a table near where the proposal would be. They hid their camera's under jackets or peaking out of camera bags. Anwar was also mic'd with a wireless lav so that we could hear some of the most important words of his life. After the proposal the couple went around Union Square to shoot some engagement photos with Jeff. They will be getting married in Hawaii where Celeste is from.
In editing this fusion piece I was dying to edit a fast paced video. However, since I only had one camera worth of video, I didn't have enough footage to do fast cross cutting. The song is one that Anwar suggested we use, and since we really want this video to be about the moment he planned for months, I figured it was appropriate to use it. I did only a little bit of color grading to the video. I didn't want to over stylize the moment and I wanted to keep the footage close to the reality of the moment, since it is something they will likely be showing their children and grand children.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sea Ranch is a residential development on a bluff right above the ocean. However, it's not just an ordinary housing development. The houses here are architecturally designed in a beautiful and very peaceful way. Most houses seem to rise out of the ground like small hills; and, with their color requirements they are well camouflaged among the high grass and windswept trees.
I was expecting bad weather, but the sun broke through for a few hours on my first day there. I grabbed my camera and started shooting. I then noticed an Egret nearby and tried to sneak close to it. However, whenever I got close it would fly another fifty yards from me and wait for me to try to sneak up again. Stubborn bird... I could have made you a star. I guess that's why I need to invest in a telephoto.
Most of the other footage I shot in the daily Sea Ranch mist or in the gentle rain. Thanks to the 7D's incredible weatherproofing, I wasn't worried about having a camera malfunction. I did have to do a lot of lens cleaning, but it wasn't too much trouble.
The film is laid out to take the viewer from the sunlight, to the overcast skies, to the rainfall, and finally to shelter. "Gandalf's Hat" is a small non-denomination chapel on the bluff. It's always been a dream of mine to shoot it. Now I just need to shoot it in the sunlight and I will be very happy.
I really wanted to create a meditative mood for the film. Sea Ranch to me is a place where I can get away from my daily life, draw inspiration, and focus on my passions. I wrote my first 35 minute film The Third Stage while I was at Sea Ranch as well as my high school feature film The Age of the Ruash. For the video, I wanted it to really sooth the mind. I figured acoustic guitar is always a catalyst when it comes to chillin out.
Canon EOS 7D
Glidetrack SD 1m
I hope you enjoy the video! Check back soon for a video I created for Rams Head Reality, a Sea Ranch real estate company.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Nikon just closed it's online digital filmmaking contest and we got our film in a few hours before the deadline. The prompt was to make a film about "a day in the life." We had a few ideas, but decided we would take the opportunity to experiment with tilt shift photography. The idea behind video tilt shifting is to make objects appear like miniatures. This is done by immitating the depth of field of a macro shot on an object that is life size. When the brain accounts for the different depths, it assumes that what you are looking at is very small.
In order to get the look of a miniature, we also had to make the motion look more like stop motion footage. To give it this look I put a strobe on the footage and ramped it up pretty fast. This gives it the feel of it being animated, like someone playing with little toy people and cars.
The Waldo idea was to throw another element into the tilt shift mix. We know that the story isn't complex, or even a story at all. However, we took the chance to make more of an experimental type film that is more art than storytelling.
On this shoot I got to work with Nathan Visconti, a filmmaker from Berkeley, as well as a long time friend Cameron Clark who did the composting on the one shot of the book with the footage moving inside of it. I also made some other new friends in the Berkeley filmmaking crowd which is always, always, always a fun crew to shoot with.
You can see the submission to Nikon here.