Anthony Bourdain and Creative Inspiration

Just like all image makers and content creators should embrace the story, great storytellers understand the power behind an image. Anthony Bourdain has risen to be a great example of this, continually absorbing and referring to film and music to inform the delivery of his stories. Anytime he’s interviewed, he’s sure to mention the movies he’s watching, the music that drives him, and all of the sources from which he and his crew draw their inspiration. Be sure to check out this article on IMDB for some insight to some of his sources of reference.

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But It’s a Dry Heat

As winter gives it one last try with temps dropping back to to the teens, I can’t help but to think of this photo, shot last June in Phoenix. It wasn’t until that day that I knew what 120 degrees felt like. Everything can be a bit off when the temperature is that high. Cameras shut down, computers time out, people get cranky, and prop food starts to droop. Though, as this image will attest, by virtue of a steadfast plan, a great crew, solid talent, and an air-conditioned respite just out of frame, none of this happened. It all came together, we got the shot, then quickly made use of that great pool in the background.

Image © John Fedele

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Nikon – KeyMission

Went to Texas / worked with some great friends / made some new friends / played with cool gear / learned a lot about wind turbines

Earlier this year, Corey Rich and I got the band back together to team up on part of his work to launch the Nikon KeyMission collection – 3 cameras, each with a unique function that offer some great new options in the ever-growing world of visual storytelling.

Most impressive to me is the 360 camera. Very quickly doing away with the need for a large array of cameras, this single body, sporting two lenses, captures all the action. This presented some interesting challenges in the field, as it suddenly becomes necessary to entirely hide the production. With some quick thinking and a bit of creativity, we quickly got out of our own way. Looking at the footage, you’d never know we were there. This project really proved to me, a strong case for 360 footage. The time and technology will come that we can easily immerse ourselves as a viewer in the round. Until then, the potential of the footage really shines in the edit. Take special note of the few times in this piece where the scene seems to spin or flip – this happens by rotating the footage along the edit timeline, creating camera moves that were before, impossible.

In addition to wrapping my head around the potential of these new tools, I spent some time learning about wind turbines. These are truly amazing feats of engineering (which are, in great part, held together by magnets), and a very important component in the effort to implement sustainable energy. I’m so grateful for the time spent with the turbine technicians and construction crew, and very appreciative of their passion and commitment to create change for the better.


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El Jimador Tequila – Reach for the Silver

I’ve often said that my favorite part of production is the fact that no two projects are the same. Each has it’s own personality, message, and approach. That was absolutely the case this Spring, as I entered into to some uncharted territory – comedy. Up to this point, all of my work has been a variety of peak action, documentary, and lifestyle. Comedic narrative was something new, but I was so excited to add it to the mix. Aside from the all-important casting process, there’s very little that differs in the pre-production. But what happens on set is a world all to it’s own. A great crew and wildly funny talent made for a great shoot.
Be sure to check out all three spots here:




Client: El Jimador
Agency: Boxing Clever
Director: Kurt Simpson
DP: Jon Michael Ryan
Producer: tooktake
Post-Production: Rukus

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Many legged insects wrapped up in string theory… // A few of my favorite things


A few weeks back, I sat down with Wesley Hoffman, the super cool idea behind The StrangeHouse podcast and Treehouse Networkshop, for what was initially intended to be a discussion about life, work, and what’s next. Turns out, we were having so much fun, Wes decided to turn on the recorder so we could share the conversation with you. Check out Episode #67 of the Treehouse Networkshop podcast where you’ll hear us talk about art, astrophysics, mindfulness, production, and why you should strive to be an expert.

There’s also a lot of talk about my photographs of insects. If you’re ok with spiders, be sure to check out my Instagram feed.

Have a listen – I think you’ll like it.

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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.

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Riverside Healthcare – Animation

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)

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Learning From Others

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


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.

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David Bowie and the Art of Reinvention

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.

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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.

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