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April 11, 2016#

Trust

Why_Still_1
Image ©Corey Rich

My approach to production was molded by an early career filled with risk. Risk to us was much more than just “did we get the shot?” We had to capture the action while at the same time, focus on safety, ensuring that no one was injured – or worse. Continue Reading

March 25, 2016#

Production is all about the people. But sometimes the project is animated, so there are no people – which makes the real people that much more important.

This was my first animated production, made much easier by some very talented animating people and writing people and idea people.

Client: Riverside Healthcare
Agency / Production Company: Fedele Studio
Director: Victor Ridaura
Producer: Blaine Deutsch
Concept / Story / Writer: Victor Ridaura
Animator: Preston Gibson (90 Degrees West)

February 24, 2016#

Learning From Others

I’m borrowing today’s post from the good people at Story & Heart.

21 FILMMAKING LESSONS YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEARN BY YOURSELF.

This list is the culmination of responses to a simple question – “What’s one thing you know now about filmmaking that you wish you knew sooner?” What follows is some sound advice that applies equally to filmmaking, photography, and life in general. Continue Reading

January 13, 2016#

David Bowie and the Art of Reinvention

Bowie
Photo ©Masayoshi Sukita

I read a spot-on tribute a few days ago, crediting David Bowie with having “invented re-invention.” It hardly seems fair to say, as many have, that he constantly evolved, for he was often the force that brought about evolution. David Bowie was the global event that rewarded the authentic and unique. For testament to his widespread impact, one need only look at the variety of circles who mourned his passing; music, fine art, dance, theater, cinema, fashion, cosmetics, culture, and identity. Continue Reading

October 27, 2014#

Mike Tittel – Primaloft

– A talented photographer
– Solid crew
– Fun client
– Breathtaking locations
– Skilled athletes
– A bit of serendipity
– Whiskey

For a successful project, some of these elements are required, others are simply nice to have. Though, occasionally, everything lines up just right and they all come together for an amazing shoot. Continue Reading

September 18, 2014#

Become an Expert

In last week’s post, I discussed some strategies to help find your way to the perfect seat in the photo/video world. Now that you’ve landed in your the proper role, how do attract the eye of clients and collaborators? Again, a simple one-step process – become an expert. Become an expert in something totally outside of your chosen career. During the years I spent producing for Corey Rich, I heard him say this time and again. Whether talking to students, emerging photographers, or established pros, the advice was always the same – become an expert and find your niche. After a few years as an independent producer, working with a great spectrum of collaborators and establishing my own niche, I’ve come to realize that this advice not only applies to the image makers, but many members of a crew. Continue Reading

September 9, 2014#

So you want to be a …

Over the years, speaking at workshops, career days and portfolio reviews, the most common question I’m asked is “How do I become a …?” Producer, director, photographer, no matter your dream, the first step is always the same.

As may come as a surprise, this step has nothing to do with going to college. This is a great path for some people, but does not work for everyone. My suggestion applies to anyone, with or with out a degree. Continue Reading

August 11, 2014#

SteadyFilm + EYEZ

eyez_Steady

Despite a recent non-sensical rant by Stefan Sagmeister, I very much consider myself a storyteller. In fact, I believe we all have the capacity to be storytellers, as everyone has something unique worth sharing. Conventionally, most of the stories I capture are part of a project, though many of the best tales come about between takes. Sometimes. it’s just about getting the right people in a room to talk about life – and it goes on from there. Continue Reading

August 5, 2014#

Inspiration

I love research – digging through websites, books and magazines, searching for that one essential bit of info which will bring life to a project. When time allows, my research focuses on photographers and filmmakers. I look for images that inspire me, for videos that I wish I had produced. (Check out my growing series blog “I Wish I Had Produced That – IWIHPT”)

Once I’m inspired, my search goes a bit deeper. Beyond the image maker, I look for the person behind the curtain, the producer. One part spying, one part voyeur, I want to know who’s doing what, and more importantly, how they did it. I have quite a few “impossible” production feats of which I’m proud, but there will always be some producers out there who continue to set the bar even higher. One such person is Lynn DelMastro, producer and studio manager for the incomparable Joe McNally. Joe’s images, and the production behind them, is anything but straight forward. They routinely involve some combination of improbable locations, gut wrenching emotion and circus animals, all perfectly lit. These set-ups don’t just happen, they are expertly produced.

I first learned of Lynn’s work years ago when I was producer and studio manager for Corey Rich. It was quite a feat to carry a business card with both titles, but Lynn makes it look easy. Check out Joe’s blog to read what he has to say about his “studio manager, producer and Mother of Dragons.” It’s always interesting to read about a producer’s work from the photographer’s perspective. Nice work Lynn. Thanks for the inspiration.

May 21, 2014#

IWIHPT – OBEY THE GIANT

OTG

IWIHPT (I wish I had produced that) #3
I wish it hadn’t taken me a year to sit down and watch OBEY THE GIANT – but damn it’s good. Continue Reading