I have recently completed production on an 11-minute mini-documentary following the development and construction of phase 3 of Butte College’s solar project. This record setting project makes Butte College the first in the world to become “grid positive.” It was an exciting 2- year process being there from the start all the way through to the ribbon cutting and final commissioning of the arrays. Being a one-man-band, I enjoyed every step of the process from shooting to writing scripts to narrating and final editing.
After 22 years and a few hair cuts, I may be returning to KHSL-TV (and now KNVN) to anchor the weather portion of the newscast on a fill-in basis when Kris, Robb or Cort can’t rearrange their schedules to cover for vacations and illnesses. Yep, 4th string weather guy…so no, I’m not leaving my day/night/weekend job of actually producing videos for my clients. It will only be an occasional gig that is fun and keeps me very sensitive to what I ask many of my clients to go through when they face the pointy end of my cameras.
While I’m not a meteorologist, I did take meteorology courses in college and became intimately committed to weather forecasting in northern California as an active glider pilot. I’ve been training with chief meteorologist, Kris Kuyper, to learn the the station’s new computer graphics system for the last couple of weeks and meeting the staff and crew, several of whom I had to supress the urge to blurt out that hackneyed quip, “you weren’t even born the last time I…”
Unfortunately, today, one of the young crew members declared that fact before I could deflect the obvious. To underscore that aged feeling even more, here are a few clips I found in a dusty old box along with a can of pretty toxic looking hair spray.
A friend of ours, Dennis Gulla, is an experienced dog and exotic animal trainer. He recently moved out to California, in part, to assist with the relocation of the Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation facilities. The owner and operator is his wife’s aunt, Roberta Kirshner, who graciously allowed Dennis and his daughter to give my wife and I a private tour of the new facility today prior to its opening to the public. Many of the exotic animals cared for at the Foundation are former (and current) “actors” such as Nyla, a Sumatran Tigress who was the commercial Exxon tiger. Other big cats have recently appeared on the Jay Leno Show and soon on Konan O’Brien. These are wonderful animals that are well-loved and cared for.
Of course I couldn’t resist taking at least a still camera with me.
I recently wrapped production of NorCal Strength & Conditioning’s latest marketing video. Everyone, from the owners Robb Wolf and Nicki Violetti, to the coaches and clients were incredibly dedicated to making this video as powerful as it is. Watching it will give you little sense of how much coordination and energy it took to schedule interviews and time away from the gym with busy professionals. But as Nicki, and particularly coach Natalie Taylor can attest, it was a real challenge.
We did the interviews during actual training time, so you’ll hear plenty of clanking and grunting of workout activity in the background. But more importantly, I think the casual atmosphere allowed each interviewee to reveal their genuine feelings about their NorCal experience without the worry of trying to sound like an actor. Most of the interviewees either spoke just before or, in some cases, right in the middle of their workouts. So yes, this is quite real.
To get some of the open and close video, we scheduled a Saturday morning when most of the people I interviewed could make it for a “camera” workout. Well, I think most will admit that it turned into a gruelingly real one. I later heard that my asking for just “one more time,” over and over resulted in me getting an honorary coach title (I imagine it was actually something far less flattering).
Thanks to everyone for contributing their time, expertise and unique voices to this project.
I edited two versions, an 8.5 and a 4.5 minute version. The short version here will give you a taste.
Just a few months after Robb Wolf debuted his best-selling book, The Paleo Solution, local strength and conditioning coach and cook, Sarah Fragoso, is poised to release her new book, Everyday Paleo. We just finished putting together a very simple but effective video of her for use on Amazon, Borders and Barnes & Noble websites. We shot in my studio starting in the late morning and then went straight to editing. A little chromakey work, finding just the right background and a few emails back and forth and we had a finished product ready in less than 48 hours.
The book should be out in April and I’ve seen an advanced copy, and can see that there are really three books here; a background of the science behind Paleo nutrition, a Paleo cookbook with more than 100 recipes and a great introduction to workout programs for everyone from the beginner to the advanced athlete.
While shooting a series of TV commercials for Ginno’s Appliances, the executive producer, Scott Whiting, grabbed this shot of the clients and me reviewing a take. There’s three of us standing there, but look closely at how many “faces” you actually see.
No, this didn’t touch Photoshop.
Some shoots are just stranger than others.
How brave is Robb Wolf? Well, the author of the best-selling book, the Paleo Solution: the Original Human Diet, is brave enough to let me twist his character into that of a lovable serial killer. While developing the script for a marketing video I’m producing for his gym, Norcal Strength & Conditioning, it occurred to me that a mash-up between the Paleo lifestyle and the open to the hit show, Dexter, would be fun. Robb agreed and here’s the result. I shot all of the scenes with a Canon 5D mark II and the versatile Canon EF 100mm/2.8 macro USM lens.Most of the scenes are close to the actual open but I had to make small modifications to make it Paleo-Kosher; like coconut butter instead of regular and running shoes instead of boots. Thanks to Robb for being such a great sport and sharing my warped sense of humor!
As if Content Aware fill wasn’t enough, Adobe has unveiled a significant upgrade to their lens correction technology. Now included in Lightroom 3 and Camera RAW 6.1 (shipping with the CS5 Suite), is the ability to easily correct lens distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. Now some of these controls have been available in earlier versions, but not in a one-click tool that also provides a great deal of manual overrides and the inclusion of both preset and custom profiles.
For the latest direct from Adobe
I had the opportunity to review the groundbreaking new suite of media tools from Adobe, CS5 Production Premium, for Videomaker Magazine. For the last month I’ve been testing what I really believe is a revolutionary upgrade. For certain key tasks, like editing multiple layers of HD video, I’m seeing between five an ten fold increases in performance. When was the last time THAT happened in a mere dot upgrade? Check out my full review at Videomaker.