I’ve been in the dark for a while. I’m coming back. Be patient.
You might recognize this shot from my portfolio section if you have been to the site recently. Allow me to move back a few weeks to explain my brain. One of my clients through Porcaro Communications asked us to produce a quick turnaround low-budget commercial for the release of the Motorola Xoom on their network. Normally when a client needs something pretty quick and cheep, we usually go with canned footage, or simple CGI to get the message across. I didn’t want to do that this time though. After watching The Bourne Identity for the umteenth a few weeks previously, I knew I wanted to try to do an action sequence for a commercial. Here, of course, was the challenge that I always seem to place upon myself, how to accomplish what I see in my mind quickly, under budget, and still look good. I was able to accomplish all three. Here’s how I did it: Read More
I have been so flipping behind on the bog it is sad. But it is actually good as I have been very very busy. Here is the latest from your’s truly. Another low budget spot that I refuse to make look low budget. It is kind of interesting how this one came about. The client didn’t have any phones in that I could photograph, so I had to do the whole thing with one flat image. Nothing you see here was done with 3D software, this is all Indesign psuedo-3D.
I’ve been waiting to post this a while. I was going to do a behind the scenes and have some details of the making of the actual props, but it will have to wait, as I am really, really busy at the moment. The actors have been waiting to see the finished product. Here it is in it’s glory with more info to come, Rocketman:
p.s. Today marks the anniversary of the day Doc Brown hit his head and came up with the Flux Capacitor, which makes time travel possible. Since I have a nice hat tip to the Capacitor in this commercial, I thought it fitting I post this today.
Directed and produced by Vince Penman and Matt Twohy.
Just finished doing the post work for this image for an ad and thought you’d like to see it. I had way too much fun making the jet pack for the shoot. We shot this on Saturday, just two days ago. We were also supposed to shoot video for the TV commercial part of the campaign, alas, Texas was receiving MUCH needed rain all weekend (worst drought since 1950) and we couldn’t shoot outside. We are scheduled for Tuesday to shoot the commercial, so keep your eyes peeled for something early next week. As promised I will have a blog post dedicated to some behind the scenes action as well.
Here is some close-up on a little detail:
Also what the ad will most likely look like for the print campaigns:
I am really, really excited. No, this is not equipment to build a bomb, so no need to inform any authorities. I am working on props for an upcoming photo shoot and television commercial production. I spent a couple of hours at Home Depot, possibly one of my most favorite things to do, and carefully selected items for a, hopefully, impressive prop. I also spent a little time at the Salvation Army too. I forgot about the cool little finds you can get there. Anyways I don’t want to give away too much, as I am hoping to make a cool production video out of the whole process.
Here is the game. Try to guess what this pile of second hand junk and Home Depot items will be.
Clue: Napoleon Dynamite meets Empire Strikes Back.
Here is another commercial that I did in a couple of days. The client needed a quick spot for the Samsung Finesse. The phone is alright. It’s no iPhone. But I wanted to make a cool commercial none the less. That’s the only thing I really care about anyways. Shot with the MarkII. Can you guess who the hand model is?
For the past month, I have been doing nothing but making commercials, at least it feels like it, and for the most part it is true. I am actually working on yet another one as I write this. Total protonic reversal. That’s not the name of it, that’s just how I feel. I told you the line between photographer and video producer is thinning.
The latest commercial I did, which was approved today from the client, was an absolute blast to produce. And I am going to fill you in on how I did it. But first the spot:
I wanted to have a feeling of constant movement in each of the shots. In order to achieve this I needed to use a Steadicam. Well, the Merlin Steadicam costs $800 and no one rents them nearby. Since we have a set, and rather low I might add, budget for these spots, any money we spend is less we make. So I decided to DIY it. I will spare you photos of my shoddy machine workmanship, but I will just say it worked fantastically… once I got the hang of it. I basically followed the plans from this guy. After a couple of trips to Home Depot, I was set. (I might do another post and show how I made the thing with pictures and all I just don’t have time right now)
For the coloring of the spot, I wanted something really different. We have Magic Bullet Looks, and I LOVE that plugin, don’t get me wrong, I just wanted a little more punch. So I thought about doing it in Photoshop. Yes you can edit some video in Photoshop, but I wanted even more control than that. So, once I got the spot edited to where I wanted it, I exported the footage as a psd sequence. What that means, is I exported every frame to a Photoshop file. Then I could control each frame how I wanted, just like any photo in Photoshop.
A lot of people know I am not a big fan of actions. In fact I get fed up with all of the paid actions that people sell online. Don’t get me started, really. There are some actions, however, that I think are totally worth the money. The actions from Totally Rad Actions. Seriously. This isn’t a plug, but I truly think these are possibly the most worthwhile actions that anyone can buy out there. The rest, don’t even bother. Create your own.
So what I did was to create a “recipe” of several of the actions. Then I ran a Photoshop batch on all of the 900 images, and voila. I re-imported the frames into After Effects and bam, that was it.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I think it was well worth the effort. I even tried to recreate the effect with Magic Bullet and couldn’t pull it off.
If there are any TRA users out there, here is the recipe for kicks:
Pool Party (25%)
Grandma’s Tap Shoes (25%)
Contrast Luma (100%)
Lux Soft (40%)
Acid Washed (20%)
Bullet Tooth (50%)
Finally, I am able to post this. I finished this spot a couple of weeks ago and we were in a holding pattern for final approval. But I think it’s worth the wait.
This commercial was shot exclusively with the Canon 5d Mark II. Like most Alaskan ads we have to do things on shoestring budgets, but make it look good. That is why I love that camera. It also gave me a chance to try out my custom built shoulder mount and dolly system for the push in shots.
One frustration I had with this commercial is all the logos and branding from other companies had to be removed. But, I did have a little fun whit it as well, like the custom candy bars, fake movie poster and the name of the bank. Enough talk. Here are the two spots. The first is a thirty second that plays on TV. The second one is a sixty second version that was supposed to play on the clients website, but ended up not happening. So I posted it to Vimeo.
If you are looking at this post on an RSS reader, you might need to see the actual post to watch the movies.
I’m still busy with the commercial. I made a few rookie mistakes and am paying for it now in After Effects. Too bad the talent went on vacation right after the shoot. A couple of new takes would have been helpful. Here’s a screen shot to wet your appetites.
Sorry for the lag in blog posts. I’ve been working on a new TV spot for a client. This spot will be filmed entirely with the Canon 5D Mark II. I love this camera. I cannot say that enough. Just like I said before, the line is disappearing between photography and video production. We just wrapped up the first day of shooting yesterday. Here are some stills from the shoot yesterday.
Sometimes life throws lemons. Sometimes life sticks a flaming bag of crap at your doorstep and rings your doorbell. Life has been challenging lately. The economy sucks. There’s a possible pandemic right in my backyard. Yeah I’m talking to you swiney. I would lie if I said life is peachy right now. The fact that both Rachael and I moved down to Texas with zero clients during a tough economy hasn’t really helped my attitude either.
But, you know what. There is lemonade. There is soap and water to clean off the smoking pile. There is hope for the economy. Who am I kidding the economy will still suck for a while, but that’s OK.
Just when things were busy, Rachael and I have been made busier with some church responsibilities. Life seems hectic. But you know what? Lemonade. It has helped us realize what is really important. Our family. “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” So true.
So if life, when you are painting your office and moving your furniture back, makes a five pound award that you won for a commercial, fall from the top shelf onto your head then bounces onto your computer monitor that you had under your desk covered up to prevent paint from dripping on it, smashing it in the process, don’t get yourself down. Just get another monitor.
So, this spot is a complete gem. We needed a new concept for a BlackBerry campaign, and Matt, the copywriter, suggested the headline Sweet, Juicy, Blackberry, and my mind went wild. The first thing I thought of was a BlackBerry getting covered in Chocolate with a Barry White voice-over. Boom. So, here it is in it’s five seconds of fame. I say five seconds because that’s about how long it lasted on TV. Well maybe a couple of days. This deserves an explanation.
Companies have branding guidelines. Some companies are really crazy about them, ie Apple, HP and, of course, RIM the makers of the BlackBerry. Technically I should be typing it as BlackBerry®. Anyways, advertising in Alaska gets overlooked by the major companies. There are only 600,000 people in the entire state for Pete’s sake, why would they care. Well, we got this account from a competing agency. They have been bitter to say the least. Did you know that in BlackBerry branding guidelines, the BlackBerry Smartphone cannot be covered by any object when shown in a sales manner. Yeah, didn’t think so. No one knows that. Unless you do their advertising. You know who you are, so I won’t mention any names. Well, they ratted us out to BlackBerry. No longer can this be run on broadcast television. Not to worry though. We are salvaging the spot and will follow their guidelines, it just won’t be as cool. Jerks. We are not in trouble or anything, it is just lame how good ideas get stifled because of bureaucracy.
This was a fun spot to create. We didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good BlackBerry, so I made a fake one. I pushed the phone into PlayDough, then filled the space with plaster of paris. I let that dry overnight then painted it with green acrylic so I could green screen it. Then I just poured chocolate sauce all over it. I shot it with our new 5D Mark II. I love that hunk of machinery, most of the time. Here is a little video of the making of the ad:
ps If you didn’t catch the fine print in the commercial at the top then watch it again. That’s one of my favorite parts.
So, there is nothing really too exciting about this spot. Some of you who know me might have seen this already. I actually did it a year ago for the client when they were in the process of switching over to us. I had done it as a comp initially. Now it’s been a year later and they wanted to run it. So I cleaned it up a bit and off she went.
Funny thing is though, the song, that’s all me. I wrote the song that night that I was producing the spot. I had my guitar with me and boom a couple of hours later, I wrote a song for a commercial. Thanks GarageBand.
You might have noticed that I have updated my blog a little. The pictures are bigger. Bigger is better. At least that’s what they say. Whatever. I was tired of images getting lost in the thumbnail smallness. So if you scroll past this post you will see how small the other pictures were.
Now, If you are like any other individual reading this blog you might have looked at the picture above and at least wondered why a grown man is working in a room with cute girly stencils on the wall. No? I know who you are. The rest of you, let me assure you it was strictly a professional decision. Truth is the room that we made into a home office was extremely hot. Like 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. It’s only February (for those who didn’t know we move from Alaska to Austin Texas last month and I work from a home office). So over the weekend, I kicked my daughter out of her room and moved in, with the intent of painting… eventually… maybe.
ps my daughter didn’t mind the move.
[UPDATE] How are things now? My old office is just right in temperature. It seems my computer stuff is putting out too much heat. Now I am stuck in a hot, humid, pink room with stencils that look like they are ready to peck my eyes out.