Recent activity & shop talk.

Life

End of An Era. Exciting Beginning Of Another.

Hello friends & colleagues,

Last job together as fellow StoneKap-ians. Derek Lee Urey and I, Acadia National Park, ME

The “Thank You Screening” of Blood Brother for friends & family was an overwhelming, incredibly humbling success. It’s only the beginning for the film’s potential to make a sustainable, thought-provoking impact on audiences around the world. Off to the film festivals…

“Thank You” Screening – Sept. 20th, 2012

Along with the screening came the release of Rocky’s book “I Was Always Beautiful”. It contains Rocky’s stunning photography of his journey over the past few years as well his journal entries that are brutally honest and heart-wrenchingly real. It is currently available at Animal Media Group.

There’s a new trailer that has been cut as well. Check it out. Don’t forget to hit up the official IMDB page to see the new movie poster / illustration by Court Miller.  Looks fantastic!

The Saxman of Cleveland is still moving along. We reached our kickstarter goal thanks to all of the wonderful supporters of the film. The crew recently shot a pick up day of interviews and b-roll last week and will be tackling the remaining principle photography throughout the rest of the year.  Stayed tuned for more updates

Lastly, I’m excited to share some recent brand films that I shot with the one and only Kevin DeOliveira as Director of both projects.  One was for an independent clothing company out of Braddock, PA called Dead Bury Dead. Love the company and the people behind it.  Both the 60 sec & 2 min version are close to heading into the color suite so stay tuned.

There are a few other rad things on the horizon that I will share as soon as the time is right.

Exciting times folks. Thanks for your attention.

Stripped down Epic. Pick Up Truck. Braddock PA. Beautiful Day.

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A Career In Production. 9 to 5, right?

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me I have to work nights and weekends? No one ever told me I had to work longer than 7 hours!! I thought it was all about art and being creative!!

After browsing the IATSE local 669 site tonight, I found some inspiration in the “Trainee Program” section.  Towards the lower half the page, it read in bold black letters, “IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF”.  When reading through the questions, I immediately thought, “this should be the FIRST thing anyone hears or reads that is interested in a career in production.  These questions speak to not just the folks wanting to dive into the camera department, but the entire production world in general. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people aren’t built for the LIFESTYLE that comes with being a working professional in the industry.  It’s downright brutal at times, both physically and mentally.  But on the other side, I’ve gained extraordinary relationships and had experiences that most people don’t ever get exposure to.

Those of you who are thinking about a career in the film industry, whether it be features, documentaries, commercials, music videos, corporate videos…etc, take a minute and answer the following questions. Be honest with yourself:

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF 

1. Do I like working in teams?

2. Am I willing to work at least 12 hours a day MINIMUM, sometimes 18+ hours?

3. Do I have valid Drivers License? Do I have a vehicle, and is it RELIABLE?

4. Am I willing to work shift work, including nights and weekends?

5. Am I physically able to lift extremely heavy loads?

6. Do I mind being employed sporadically during the year with no knowledge of when I might be working again? The Film Industry is market driven. There may be a waiting period between rotations, sometimes a month or more.

7. Am I willing to work for minimum wage? (or discounted rates)

8. Am I willing to work in all weather conditions?

9. Am I willing to work in many different locations over the course of a job?

10. Do I have a cell phone, and a voice mail?

11. Can I follow VERBAL directions well?

12. Can I multi-task? 

13. Film work has the potential to put strains on personal and family relationships, (very long hours, extremely high pressure and tension).

14. Above all, working in film is not a job, IT IS A LIFESTYLE!

Until next time…


The Saxman of Cleveland documentary to be shot on the brand new Canon C300.

The Saxman of Cleveland - Maurice Reedus Jr.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was at a Dredg concert in Cleveland, OH.  Before playing one of my favorite songs, they announced that they were bringing up a guest musician that they met on the street earlier that day.  Out of the shadows of the stage, came a lanky, yet smooth and stylish man carrying a sax.  The intro started up and he improved with the band as if they had rehearsed it a thousand times before.  It was the most memorable moment of the concert. There was something very special about this guy.  I could just feel it.

If you would have told me that in 6 or 7 years that I would be the cinematographer of a documentary about Maurice Reedus Jr’s life, the one and only “Saxman of Cleveland”, I would have thought that you were one of those crazy sages or mages that go around saying crazy things.  No…really.  Turns out that he is pretty special and we’re about to embark on a journey of telling his story.

Another amazing aspect from a technical side is that we have the honor to be some of the first people to shoot on the Canon C300!!  This could not have been possible without some wonderful people including Scott Handel at Ohio HD Video (www.ohiohdvideo.com) and Mick Edmundson at Canon U.S.A.  Anyone who knows about the camera knows that there aren’t many available on the market at the moment.  This is very special and we’re are extremely grateful for the opportunity to tell this story on the C300.  Mick has requested that we review the camera and I will be providing lots of details both during and after our first bout of shooting.  I got an extensive look into the C300’s abilities during a recent workshop hosted by Andy Shipsides from Abel Cinetech.  Although the camera is brand new, I definitely think that it’s the right tool for the job.  In fact, I’m going to venture to say that it has strong potential to be one of the best options for documentaries of all kinds.

Canon C300 Body

Obviously, there’s much more to share but it’s late and our first stint of principle photography starts tomorrow morning in Cleveland, OH.  I’ll be posting about both the Canon C300 and the shoot itself.  This documentary is going to be shot over the span of one year…winter of 2012 to winter of 2013.

See you soon and thanks for reading!


The Real Bold Badmen to be screened at the 35th Cleveland International Film Fest 2011

The Real Bold Badmen will be screening at this year’s 35th Cleveland International Film Festival. Words provide no justice to the journey that Joe Siebert, Derek Urey and I have been on since it’s inception back in the summer of 2009.  In fact, we were recently talking about all the events that occurred in such a small window of time.  October 2009…Cowboy Len…feisty and giving his own direction to the director Joe Siebert, sat next to an 8mm film projector with Bold Badmen playing behind him and shared his story about he and his brothers making amateur western films back in the 1940’s in Canton, Ohio.  We were encouraged to see a 78 year old man sit there and speak of his films as though they were dreams that persevered through all these years .  He even  showed us lasso tricks and did some gun slinging with his older brother Ky in an alley behind the house!

During the filming, Len was in remission from his battle with cancer.  Tragically, it returned shortly after principal photography.  After assembling a five minute micro documentary for the Reelate film festival, Joe wanted to dive much deeper into the story which required going back to get testimonials from Len’s children and good friend, “Deuce”.  Even with Len’s health compromised, he still made an appreciated effort to pull it together for another shoot day.

I watched this man’s mind and body crumble before my very eyes…but it was evident that nothing could crush his spirit.  The little I knew of his life, I was sure that Len was a dreamer until the day he passed.  I’ll never forget seeing him up on stage at the 2010 Akron Film Festival in his wheelchair…speaking about his journey in film making.  The Zaleski family firmly believed he was hanging on for this moment.  Bold Badmen had finally reached an audience that would appreciate it in all its glory and in tandem, a documentary that revealed the true heart behind the men who created it.  It was an honor to share the stage with such an inspiring man who clearly left a living legacy.

After the screening, Joe, Derek, our friend Beau and myself all stood in the lobby and spent some time with Len and the Zaleski family. Deep down, I knew that we were saying our final good-bye’s to a husband, father and dreamer that graciously opened his world up to us over the past year.

Roughly a week later…I stood in a long line for Len’s calling hours.  It wasn’t a surprise to see all the pictures and video of Len, his family and his life.  It made me think about my life and what kind of legacy that I might leave behind someday.  Obviously, Len was a loved man and will be remembered that way.

His undying spirit is inspiring to this very moment and will be something that I carry with me for the rest of my life. I am fortunate to be a part of something so special…and I believe that God designed this opportunity just for us.

Until we meet again…happy trails Cowboy Len.

The Real Bold Badmen will be screening in the “Ohio Shorts” segment of the Cleveland Film Fest on Saturday, March 26th at 6:20pm.