I start chemo today. WOW, that’s just weird. It’s interesting how leading up to this point was a mix of excitement to finally start something that will hopefully get rid of the tumor and a little bit of dread for actually accepting a needle into my skin that is going to make me feel much worse…
Pleased and very blessed to announce that I and my production company Omnific have been notified that we’ve won three Telly Awards! The 33rd Annual Telly Awards results have not yet been officially announced, so when they are we’ll issue a proper press release, but for now, I wanted to post this here. (EDIT: ANNOUNCEMENTS HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY MADE. YOU CAN READ THE PRESS RELEASE HERE.)
We won the following awards:
- 2012 Telly Award (Silver, Highest Honor) - Cinematography in Commercial Campaign
- 2012 Telly Award (Bronze) - Online Commercial Campaign
- 2012 Telly Award (Bronze) - TV Commercial
The first two awards are for our commercial production for Geisha House, which I’m posting below. We also won an award for a commercial we produced for Tustin Toyota, which you can find on my Vimeo page.
Now, if I can only find some cool new clients to win some more of these for… ;-)
Orange County Cinematographer & Director
Douglas Gresham is the stepson of author C.S. Lewis. In 2005, I heard a radio interview with him while I was sitting in the parking lot of a community college outside Seattle. Something he said in that interview has stuck with me ever since. It summarizes the very core of why I believe what I believe. Last night I was lying in bed trying to remember exactly what he had said. It was seven years ago, but somehow, I remembered one phrase word for word and was able to find the full interview with a quick Google search.
The interviewer asked Douglas, “Who is Jesus to you? Why do you believe in him?”
His answer: “Well, Jesus is the person to whom I’ve handed my life because for many years of my life I tried to run it myself. Didn’t want to submit my life to the authority of anyone but myself, and of course, when you do that, you are in fact worshipping yourself, and anyone that worships himself has a fool for a god. Eventually I realized I’m not qualified to run a human life so I handed it over to the one person in existence who is and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one who died to pay the penalty for all the things I have done and I’m doing that I shouldn’t in my life, and he’s therefore earned the right to run my life as far as I’m concerned.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Stanford University Commencement Speech, 2005
Fast forward to the nine-minute mark to hear this quote
The new Jack’s Mannequin video premiered moments ago on Aol Music. I’m blessed to have been a part of this project as director of photography. We took a very unique approach in the production of this film. From day one, Anders Rostad (director) repeatedly used the word “nostalgic”.
I took this into account with every shot throughout production. With the exception of the live performance, we wanted everything to be moving; to parallel that “racing thoughts” mentality.
We shot over two weekends, with a live performance from frontman Andrew McMahon on a Thursday in a remarkably photogenic location in Camarillo, California.
Due to the very limited budget on the production, we shot entirely on Canon 60D’s and Canon 7D’s, with the Lensbaby Muse in the racing thoughts nostalgic shots, and mix of Sigma primes and Canon L-series zooms for the live performance.
Frankly, even if we’d had a larger production budget, I think I would have stuck with DSLR’s for this particular project anyway – they’re much easier to move an manipulate, particularly when attempting to capture the quick-paced nostalgia of life.
The bulk of the live performance was shot at the peak of golden hour. With the sun in the shot, we knew we had extremely limited time, and with a hard wrap time on the location of 8pm, we really had to scramble. So we allowed the sun to act as primary backlight, keyed with a 20k with 1/2 CTB, shooting through a 20x silk, filled with a 10k shooting into a 4x silver reflector, and put another 10k shooting through a crack in the metal wall directly behind Andrew.
Check out the video below, and read the article on Aol Music here.
Warner Brothers Records recently brought me and my friend Anders Rostad on board to create a new music video for Jack’s Mannequin. Anders was at the helm as director; I worked as his director of photography. Jack’s Mannequin’s new album, “People and Things” is slated for release on October 4th. Stay tuned for the video then. The song is titled “Racing Thoughts”.
We shot in a thousand different locations around Los Angeles, Orange County, even Las Vegas, for a series of rapid-fire, “racing thought” emotions, events, and moments. This was coupled with a live performance by lead singer Andrew McMahon, shot at “Scary Dairy” in Camarillo, California. Scary Dairy is adjacent to an abandoned insane asylum, and clearly emanates an aire of brokenness. The walls are crumbling; graffiti lines every inch; the whole place is forsaken.
The project has completed post production, so be on the lookout for it shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a brief glance of Scary Dairy as I, Anders and Dylan VanDam (Producer) shot some early timelapses a week before our live shoot with Andrew and the rest of the crew.
Feature 1: Shutter correction. Let’s face the facts, when you take a picture, you’ve already missed the shot. Shutter correction adds a random timer to trigger the shutter 5-200 seconds later, ensuring your mistake can still turn into the perfect shot.
Feature 2: Auto pan. Henceforth, when shooting in “Program Auto” mode, DSLR’s will also make framing, panning and tilting decisions FOR you! No need for critical thinking. After all, technology will always be more intelligent than the artist.
Feature 3: HSL randomizer. Who said a good picture or video needs to reflect accurate hue, saturation and lightness? With HSL randomizer, your DSLR will pick random numbers for each control, so you’ll be left saying, “Wow, that’s definitely not what this looks like in real life! Oh, well!”
Feature 4: Melt-free. Ever really wanted a brilliant shot inside a volcano? With the soon-to-be-released “melt free” coating technology, the possibilities have become realities. Simply throw your new DSLR into the depths! Coupled with auto-retreival, your DSLR will self-levitate and return to you when it’s done snapping away!
Feature 5: Image replace. Sometimes the picture you take just doesn’t look quite right. Image replace scours the web to find a better image than the shot you just took, downloads it, and overwrites it on your camera’s 50TB thumbdrive for your convenience.
Feature 6: Happy sounds. Not happy with your shot? Encouraging voices and applause sound effects are now built in, so get ready to laugh and smile, you wonderful shooter, you!
Feature 7: Variable sensor size. Now, control depth of field without having to play with those annoying aperture wheels.
Feature 8: Auto delete. Did you forget to delete a shot you took earlier? Auto delete will delete shots FOR you. Plus, auto format wipes your data based on intelligent algorithms, so you can stay out of your menus and save valuable time.
Feature 9: Push-to-Facebook. Social networking has evolved, and now, camera technology has caught up. Every shot you take is now auto-posted directly to Facebook, thanks to our partnership with Verizon Wireless’ 8G Network.
Feature 10: Gum dispenser.