I have always admired the work of fine craftsmen. I have also lusted after great sounding guitars. So it was natural that I eventually sought out accomplished guitar builders. I met Brian Burns a few years ago when I thought I could become a guitar builder myself. I have since come to appreciate even more the experience, patience and attention to detail that a great builder must possess to hand-craft a great sounding guitar.
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.
Local visionaries decided to give the big stock agencies a run for their money. After years of planning, Student Stock has taken flight and is well on the way to becoming the next major resource for innovative images. This was a very graphics intensive production and much of the work went into the concept development and communication with the client so that the end product was precisely what they wanted.
Local entrepreneurs developed a unique way to guide PC owners in the repair and maintenance of their own computers. This promotion shows how it works.
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.
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!
Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a good friend of mine, Chuck Lundgren of Iris Software, on the Freeport Regional Water Authority project. As the end of the contract approached he asked me to create a 3D animation of the intake facility and adjoining pipeline segments. Always glad to tackle a 3D challenge, I modeled and rendered the intake facility and the several twists and turns of miles of pipeline that connects the Sacramento river to the Folsom South Canal .
The model of the building was provided to me in a CAD file which needed several days of “fixing” to make everything render correctly. I built everything else from scratch basing much of the layout on a simple Google satellite map. I used Lightwave 9.6 for both the modeling and rendering. Of course, there was the occasional trip to After Effects for integration with some of the 2D mapping elements.
California State Parks contacted me to help them develop a promotional video to use in their new visitor center that would give visitors with limited mobility a good sense of the beauty of the falls without making the steep walk to the bottom. The project soon broadened into a general look at the history of the immediate and surrounding areas. I used a small crew to provide lighting and grip work as I was using my 21-foot crane and EFP Steadicam for many of the setups. The video was mass replicated and has become one of their top sellers.
I’ve been following the solar array installation at the Sierra Nevada Brewery since it began in October of 2007 for inclusion in a documentary on solar energy in the north state. When completed, the rooftop array will be the largest privately owned array on a commercial facility in the country. This morning, solar panels were being installed on one of the few remaining roofs that still are not making power. But the crews from Chico Electric, the contractor installing the record-setting array, get going before sunrise. So that meant it was up at 4:40 this morning to load both photo and video equipment, get down to Chico, and bum a lift up to the tall roof by 6:00am. The smell of hops while watching the sun come up over the Sierra Nevada mountains is an experience I won’t soon forget.
- Solar Sunrise
It’s not everyday that I have a chance to renew a friendship with a past colleague and provide both a head shot and a video for a prolific author. But today, Leonce Gaiter, author of a soon to be published work, Waking From King’s Dream, examining the legacy and impact of Martin Luther King, Jr., walked into my studio. We had the fortune to work together while at the American Lung Association of California. But it had been many years since we had a chance to catch up, and our studio session was a great opportunity for me to hear about his nearly completed manuscript. He is in the process of shopping the work to publishers and needed a powerful head shot and video to accompany the submission. When he gets a deal, I’ll be sure to post a link to the book.
- Leonce Gaiter