L.A. Times Media Works Expo

I recently plunged into the deep world of interactive online marketing and advertising covering the Media Works Expo presented by the L.A. Times.

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There business owners of all sizes were initiated into the fine points of website design, SEO, online advertising and the uses and value of rich media content creation–as I created marketing-rich video content of the event!

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On the Edge of the Super Bowl

The last week of January finished with a big bang spent in Phoenix, in the Super Bowl maelstrom.  The heart of downtown was Super Bowl central for fans who were roaming everywhere – consuming, celebrating and  partying.

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Lighting Director Dave Navarro made the building look spectacular outside and inside.

In the midst of all the chaos is the famous Herberger Theatre, an elegant venue for the ESPN Sport Science Newton Awards (named after that awesomely famous physicist Sir Isaac). The awards honor a cross section of athletes, from Gold Medal Olympians to NFL players to LA Kings hockey players, for outstanding achievements.

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The Newton Award is a 16 pound 24 carat gold monster.

My duties as DP involved the use of a 20′ jib, two 12′ jibs a Ronin stabilizer and a total of eight Sony cameras, including EX3, FS-700 and PMW-300.Newtons stage

The crew from Base Productions was incredible.  Pulling together a complex live-to-tape show with live performances, lots of mind-blowing video segments, celebrity presenters and awardees is incredibly complex!  Directors Jason Mergott and Annie Tang spearheaded everything with cool, unflappable precision; while smooth-as-silk jib operators Gaston Carrizo and Kevin McLaughlin upped the production value in a big way.

The show airs in the second week of February.

 

 

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Rose Parade 2015

The first job of 2015 was an early riser. Call time at 4:30am to get into Pasadena along with 100′s of 1000′s of others to get in position for the monster parade.

The best way to witness the spectacle is not from the grandstands where you are squeezed in, but from the street gutter with an “all-access” pass that lets you roam at will. I was shooting for several national sponsors that had floats in the parade, so it meant behind-the-scenes coverage, and that really helped to understand some of the immense background logistics to put on an event that huge.
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There’s a lot more to see than what is shown on television. That’s the most memorable aspect. The marching bands sound great up close. The drill teams make major mistakes. The white-suited pooper squads are stationed every 100 yards or so and dash out into the street to clean up after each horse brigade passes.

After the parade we covered the inrush of 18,000 onlookers who each paid $10 to view the floats on display. Pasadena erects about 3 miles of fencing to create a viewing park that lasts for 3 days. Then its all cleaned up and put away til next year–kind of like Halloween.

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Recent Projects

Pony Tail Video
I shot the 2nd unit camera on “Pony Tail” music video for prolific music composer/producer Dylan Berry. Check out the video and see why it got over 500,000 views within 2 months.(http://youtu.be/ZgKBpwmBgqY)

 

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And of course I am still shooting regular segments of ‘SPORT SCIENCE’ on ESPN for Base Prods.

 

Killer Kids

Also several days of interviews with child psychology experts for the 3rd season of ‘KILLER KIDS’ on LMN for 44 Blue Prods.

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Atlanta Burns – From Selznick to Hunger Games

 

 

Recently I shot parts of a documentary in Atlanta at the Swan mansion, on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center, that serves as the location for the Governor’s house in “The Hunger Games” movies.Atlanta history

Me, the PR director of the Atlanta History Museum, and producer Ross Hawkins.

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Scene from “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” shot at the Swan House in Atlanta. Extensive set decoration changes the appearance from the original structure.

The documentary chronicles the colorful life of an unusual photographer, Fred Parrish, who was David O. Selznick’s still photographer on Gone With The Wind.  We spent several days shooting historic sites that were connected with Gone With The Wind, including author Margaret Mitchell’s house, where she wrote the epic best-seller.

Fred Parrish

Fred Parrish, The Man Behind the Camera will be a one-hour doc that will feature never- before-seen production stills of the making of the movie that some critics have dubbed the greatest of all time.

 

 

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Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to shoot a day of activity with Chris Weidman, the UFC Middleweight World Champion. He conducted a training seminar in NYC for aspiring mixed martial artists. It was all part of a promotional event for a great cause, the LIVE TO FIGHT non-profit organization that helps people with cancer and other life-threatening ailments.
Shooting Chris Weidman

The MMA community is tight-knit and caring for their own, and this was just another example of how they demonstrate their willingness to help each other, by supporting the organization devoted to the well-being of their friends and teammates.
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It was a whirlwind weekend of activity marked by the energetic guidance of noted MMA producer/director Bobby Razak, who has made more MMA themed films than anybody. And another star of the shoot was the awesome package from Birns & Sawyer consisting of the Sony F-55 camera shooting in 4k and overcranking in 2K. The Fujinon Cabrio 19-90 zoom, with the longest range of any lightweight zoom, is what it took to capture the lightning-fast sparring and training activities in startling detail.F55 portrait

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New Camera – Now Available

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

The latest weapon in my shooting arsenal is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (MFT model).  It features the popular DSLR form factor (5D, 7D, etc) but with vastly superior resolution and imaging capabilities. Its Raw or Pro-Res output allows more digital information to be recorded—making better than HD pictures.

Beyond HD – instead of 1920 x 1080 how about 2592 x 2192! Its a 2.5K camera.

Lenses                                                     Lenses
Nikon 10-24mm 3.5
Canon 28mm 2.8
Canon 55mm 1.2
Canon 135mm 3.5
Canon 200mm 2.8

Recording Media
Sandisk Extreme 480gb

SPECS Large Viewfinder
13 stops of exposure latitude (like Red and Alexa)
Sensor Resolution 2592 x 2192
Raw Resolution 12-bit RAW files recorded at 2432 x 1366
Shooting Resolutions 2.5K RAW at 2432 x 1366, Pro-Res HQ at 1920 x 1080
Frame Rates 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p
Sensor Size 16.64 mm x 14.04 mm

$150/day camera
$125/day lenses
$40/day SSD card
$100/day Small HD OLED 7” monitor
$50/day Cavision Matte Box/follow focus

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Movie Fans and Filmmakers – Cool Movies Online

Most of you know me as a cinematographer.  Well, I am still shooting shows for Discovery, ESPN, etc. and for the Web…and the occasional feature film.  But now I am also dividing my time with a new venture that will interest you!

Flixhouse.com is an online streaming network that offers movies you can stream to your TV, computer or mobile device.  There are FREE MOVIES, hard-to-find titles, and independent films to enjoy.  No subscription fee, just a small a la carte cost per title.

I was looking for a way to release a documentary and an old feature film that I co-produced into the growing new media marketplace, and I found that a good friend, Tony Kandah, who has 12 years of distribution and film marketing expertise has started Flixhouse.   So I added my films to his library, and I’m working with him to grow the venture.

Since DVD’s are phasing out and digital download is the new frontier, this looks like a great place to be!

Call it a “mini-Netflix” if you like.  It is the perfect place to see and discover new movies.  And it’s a danged less-expensive alternative than cable/satellite.

FILMMAKERS: Check out this new site!  We want your movie!

 Flixhouse helps filmmakers connect, share and keep in touch with other filmmakers around the world.

We market movies from independent filmmakers like you!

-Generate revenues, place your movie on our pay-per-view network

-Multiple marketing strategies to insure maximum exposure

- Discover new filmmakers and get discovered

Please show your support for independent filmmakers.  It’s FREE, so register and be a part of the independent film community.  Tell your filmmaker friends about us, and Like us on Facebook.

Check it out now at WWW.flixhouse.com We appreciate your support. See you at the movies!

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Please keep in mind that Netflix and Hulu took years to grow into their present form, so don’t expect us to compare…yet!  We’re still growing, searching for, and constantly adding cool, new films.  So check back with us often to see the new additions to the library.

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My Haunted House – Dramatic Re-enactments

Working with the Small HD AC-7 OLED monitor outside was much easier than an LCD.

Working with the Small HD AC-7 OLED monitor outside was much easier than an LCD.

I recently completed shooting six stories for Biography Channel’s “My Haunted House” series featuring actors re-enacting case histories of people’s experiences in haunted houses.  Shooting with the Canon C-300 as the A-camera, it was a joy to use Small HD’s new OLED monitor.  Its got great color and contrast, and proved a big help in evaluating the really dark, scary scenes–and there was no lack of those!  At each of the six houses we featured night-establishing jib shots using only available garden-and-street-lighting. As dark and scary as possible was the word from Co-Directors Rob Dorfmann and Chris Voos, as well as EP Jim Casey at Painless Prods.

 

 

 

 

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Tragic Death Site Now a Historic Monument

Tom Mix MonumentWe’ve all heard of movie stars getting killed on the highway, like sex symbol Jayne Mansfield who died on Highway 90 in Louisiana, and some of us know where the memorials are…like James Dean’s roadside monument in Central California.  Well, I learned a bit of history on a recent shoot for the Documentary, “Celluloid Cowboys” for producer Ross Hawkins.

The most popular Western movie star of the silent era was Tom Mix, who was killed in a freak accident on Highway 79 twenty miles South of Florence, Arizona in 1940.  There is a touching monument there topped with a small metal figure of Mix’s amazing trained horse, Tony…riderless and sad.

It seems Mix was able to stop in time to avoid hitting the road crew.  But when the car lurched to a halt, a metal suitcase banged into the back of his head, and broke his neck.  he died in seconds.  It marks the end of the first chapter of “Celluloid Cowboys,” soon to be available to audiences.

The monument is bullet-riddled.  It's Arizona!

The monument is bullet-riddled. It’s Arizona!

 

 

 

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