My reel project is a moving image spot that is challenging to cut. That said, I encourage all DP | Directors to experience post editorial to understand the beat of camera moves. I begin by pulling clips from my most recent projects that I find relevant to my point of view while considering potential client’s perception of production depth. The goal of cutting a new reel is to keep my perspective in front of people. Each project I shoot, either for a client or personal work, convey’s my passion, what I’m good at, and my tireless work ethic. Sound is half of your picture so the overall reel planning begins by a beat. Once I get a feel for it I lay it down in the sequence and begin inserting clips that play well with the track. The two skateboarding spots featuring Jeff Fowler were originally intended for a 6:00 min music video. During pre production, I scouted three locations and carefully choreographed the actual tricks and movement of camera. I had to consider how fast Jeff skates and decided to use a drone in order to capture some of the more complex moves at 96fps. In addition, I customized one of my older decks with long board risers to carve quick and wide along with smooth wheels from Chis Ray to chase skate along with Jeff at a normal frame rate. Chase skating afforded a real immersive look to cut back to. The police were made aware and make a decision to shoot on a Sunday to avoid a lot of pedestrian traffic. The biggest challenge in cutting a reel is eliminating shots that you love but don’t play well with over all beat of the spot to hit a predetermined length. The idea is to keep the viewer interested in watching all of it. Regarding the skateboarding spots, operating a drone with a professional pilot while I’m operating the camera moves with video assist in sync with each other can be difficult. That’s why storyboarding and choreography in pre production are paramount. I had know where the camera and Jeff, the skater, needed to be with respect to timing. The wind became a factor with gusts up to 25mph so some of the scripted shots were improvised. After post, I went round and round with the band’s manager and ended up scrapping the original intent. A shorter cut was used for another band’s video in black and white. Recently while cutting the new longer form reel, the footage inspired me to cut two :60sec spots, one about skating technique and one about the lifestyle of youth culture with a “Summer Loving” vibe. I’m my own worst critic and believe your only as good as your last shot. The reaction has been positive and has put me in front of art buyers, direct company marketing directors, and some really cool people I’ve never known in the youth culture lifestyle. That’s where I feel most comfortable. My favorite part of these projects is approving the final cut and looking forward to new inspiration. I feel privileged in getting to know each subject and maintaining a relationship with them. Being awarded a project, especially from a spot you shot a while ago after looking it from a different perspective is pretty great and keeps you moving. I’m currently custom printing a new folio to show along with the new reels. I’m excited to keep the rhythm going with youth culture lifestyle. Oh and my boy, Miles Dean, doesn’t stop eating.
I had done a motion spot featuring fashion designer, Dalton Taylor at a show of his first complete line. I was capturing a story of the chaos in the dressing room before the show began. One of the models, Kailee Lawerence, had presence- it’s been my experience to recognize good talent. I could tell Dalton was drawn to her as well. I spoke with her agent, Sasha Speiker about shooting her for a still and motion “Fashion Vignette”. I’ve been doing a lot of still and motion projects lately and they’ve evolved into cutting my stills into a moving image spot to convey a subject in a different ambiguous narrative. My goal was to create a four page fashion story of stills and a 2 min motion spot for personal promotion, while using my experience to mentor/direct a fourteen yr old model with real potential. She’s 5’11” and has this quiet sophisticated beauty. Clothes dictate fashion stories, so I thought of a simple story portraying a girl just finishing a performance at a theater next to her hotel room. She was out of costume and unwinding then playfully auditioning different options of what to wear out on the town with her troupe. She ends up staying in and asking herself who she is- getting lost in the window. Pre Pro is paramount in producing stills or motion. Scouting location was first, I decided on a recently renovated Deco Hotel. The owner was very accommodating in selecting the right room to augment daylight with both continuous and strobe lighting. Next I pulled clothes I knew I wanted stick with youthful yet playfully sophisticated apparel. I chose from a dark and neutral palette- feather vests, leather pants, body suits, halter tops with ornately embroidered tights. I worked with a wardrobe stylist to help with handling clothes and a hair and make up artist. I presented a mood board with the clothes and a rough shooting schedule along with a detailed call sheet. The last thing was thinking through my approach and made an equipment list. The day I scouted it was sunny and the forecast for the shoot day a week was cloudy and cold, which became the case. I was prepared and rigged a 800 watt Par light from outside the window through opal diffusion. With such a young model, I knew I have to work with her on taking direction and feeling the clothes. I actually told her at one point just breath, do some Tai Chi with me and embrace how the outfits made her feel. How did the room feel after finishing your pretend “Performance” at the theater adjacent to your room that you could see? What has the reaction to the images been so far? Peers and some friends in high places have very well received the motion spot in the fashion business. Dalton Taylor really enjoyed seeing it after returning to New York. Kailee and her agent were thrilled. It’s continuing to pick up traction as I’m getting to bid on projects for new clients. What I take away is realizing what I pre visualized and having fun collaborating with a good team. It’s pretty special when Hair & Make Artist suggests building from natural to heavier as the piece progresses or when wardrobe stylist auditions looks I didn’t consider. I’m going to use the piece to continue getting it in front of people that I specialize in; youth culture. My focus is on Fashion/Beauty, music, and artists. I’m taking stock in a very extensive early experience in fashion and beauty. My favorite project is the next one. 2:25 min spot- Featuring Kailee with has real potential talent. Wardrobe includes; C. Luce Vest & wool body vest | Bobeau Shirt | Lucy & Co Leather Pants | Christian Louboutin Shoes | Via Spiga tights courtesy of Pretty In Patina. I’m honored that Wonderful Machine included the project in their Wonderful Machine weekly round up.
Needle Drop: Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan (Bambook & Quina Edit) | Objekt- Porcupine
Marcey Yates is a hip hop musician with The Dilla Kids, MC, and promoter. He approached me to collaborate on a project called FreeCoolOMA. The project takes shape as an online magazine that will include photography as well as a video series, called StillMoving which I will direct/DP. The projects intention is to share the idea of escaping societal and internal expectations of self, or freeing oneself from being “cool.” Each issue spotlights a different person who is defining their path independent of expectation and pressure. The first spotlight features Hip Hop artist, JCrum. I called a friend, Alex Kirts, to design the logo. He’s an all around gifted talent and you may have heard him playing bass for the band, “See Through Dresses“. It’s always a team that makes any creative pursuit happen. I’m humbled to tell Denise Ibsen Cole’s story for an event she created called, “26.2″ Steps MiniMarathon”, which will connect folks to “Move Further Faster” in Breast Cancer activism. My approach to take off from recent interview styles I’ve been playing with. I wanted off white to grey backgrounds to focus on subject. I lit it clean with my large “Hot White” technique to open up skin tones”.