What a great year for work. Two features, a major network TV show, a kickass short film and a handful of wonderful commercials and other TV show content.
January 2014 started out strong with a series of spots for Buffalo Wild Wings directed by Jon Nowak for Space 150, and starring Richard Portnow (Se7en, Barton Fink).
Richard looks at playback while 1st AC Chris Hadland looks on.
Key Grip Joseph Gallup and Gaffer Mike Handley flank Richard
Then began the first of my narrative projects for the year, a short film directed by Eric D Howell titled Strangers. (teaser below)
We photographed this movie in northern MN near Silver Bay on an exquisite property and in the amazing house that stands on it.
I stand on a piece of steel deck in a very cold Lake Superior. Key Grip Peter Clemence engineered this as a way to lay track for a crane move we had the following day in this inlet.
I mostly spent the winter months avoiding the cold, perfecting the art of the blanket fort, and hibernating… and did a series of commercials for Numerica Credit Union directed by Roger Sackett. I also teamed up with Chan Phiilips again on our first round of Play It Again Sports ads.
Mike and Joe goof around with props on the set of the Play It Again spots.
The cast of one of the Numerica spots.
Serious Blanket Fort skills
Roger watches the monitor on one of the Numerica spots
I also killed time by creating a couple of images for a friends book on hollywood glamour photography. Thanks to Mina Vang for wardrobe design, Darin Limvere for helping me light it, Natalie Hale and Amber Rose for exquisite hair and makeup and Mike Handley and the Acme Stage for the space and lights. It was a fun collaboration and I hope we can do more!
Ivy Beech harnesses her inner Hepburn
Pegeen Lamb plays Marlene Dietrich rather well
Details on when the book will be published will hopefully be available soon.
In March I finally realized my dream of working with director Patrick Coyle on a feature film. I have been a huge fan of his work since I interned on his feature debut “Detective Fiction” back in 2003. His new film titled The Public Domain centers around an ensemble of characters that congregate at a bar named “the Public Domain” and have in some way, a connection to 35w Bridge collapse tragedy of 2007. It was a fun project and we had an amazing home grown cast.
Patrick Coyle with Sarah Jean Shervin, our wardrobe designer (she’s actually wearing a costume…)
It was a chilly March for as many night exteriors as we had
Script Supervisor Brandon Lohstreter takes over the bridge.
David Tufford came for a day and lounged around on the floor of a church basement.
1st AC Chris Hadland stands by as patrick directs some extras, some of whom are his own children.
On the heels of Public Domain, Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival screened Stay Then Go, a film I am proud to have been the cinematographer on that was shot a couple summers ago. If you get a chance, go see it.
Producer Christine Walker, star Matt Kane, and director Shelli Ainsworth at the reception
Some words before the screening.
Then it was back to commercials for a moment with some shots for Sleep Number Beds with Flyover and Chan Phillips.
Gaffer Mike Handley aka Paco
Chris (1st AC) and Joe (Key Grip)
The team of bed stylists make sure it looks perfect
Playing with a colored grad filter… we had plans to play with a bunch of old filters on this job but the client didn’t find them as fascinating as we did… perhaps a music video is in order…
We then jumped a plane to Los Angeles for a series of commercials for Plato’s Closet. Directed by Chan Phillips this was my third year crafting spots for the second hand clothing retailer. We had some amazing locations (thanks to my old friend Peter Wulff) and I am very proud of the photography.
While in LA, I landed my second feature of the year shooting for MN homegrown director Matt Osterman on his movie 400 Days. I wish I could share more images but this is the only one that has been released so far:
This is an informative article if you’re interested in hearing more: http://www.movieweb.com/400-days-movie-release-dane-cook
It was great working with Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Caity Lotz (The Machine, Arrow), Dane Cook (Good Luck Chuck, Dan in Real Life) and Ben Feldman (Cloverfield, Mad Men). The LA crew was great and I was so lucky to have such talented and hard working soldiers by my side.
Camera intern Nobuyoshi Sakurai shows us how to cable wrangle.
Best Boy Electric Hanon Harrower’s fingers of legend.
Our key makeup artist Kelsey Berk before going to a Friday the 13th party.
Frankie and Sean scale the walls
Robert Harris. He flew in WWII, was a stunt man for Elvis and holds the record of being the oldest racer of motorcycles. Crashed when he was 89 and messed up his hip but at 91 he still gets around just fine. Look him up on IMDB under Bob Harris
A-Cam 1st AC Lili Soto rides a lift gate like a boss
Our studio in Castaic
Me, Gaffer Darin Limvere and Key Grip Frank Bello
Director Matt Osterman paces while on the phone during pre production at the office in Encino
Producers Gabe Cowan and John Suits
The dolly looks like a moon rover on the morning of picture wrap after our last overnight.
It’s also important to note that while in LA, I had a blast catching up with some old friends and took my first ever trip to Disney Land!
Driving into the desert with my dear friend Scott, from Chicago, who now lives in San Diego
where we camped on some BLM land.
Stars while camping
The view by moonlight in the desert where we camped.
Me crashing Peter’s loft downtown
Me on Peter’s deck downtown LA
Lindsey and Magan! At DISNEYLAND!!!
Phil Joncas at the YouTube Nation office we worked at last year
Me and my BFF Sarah Jean
Me and Fireball, my personal hair stylist.
Kevin Pittman is the man
Back in MN I found that my car still had the heat turned on from when I left in April (snow was still on the ground), at it was now full on summer. I went right to work on a few spots for Play it Again Sports, again with Chan Phillips directing.
Then did a series of videos for Target directed by Josh Thacker and some back to school spots for Sears, directed by Jon Nowak for Olsen.
On set for Sears
Terrible shot of me, but Jon looks very handsome.
The set of the Target Baby DIY videos.
Then as summer was in full swing, I began a 6 month journey with Committee Films. It began with a History Channel special on Bigfoot and some recreations for the show America Unearthed. Summer had a few brief moments of respite as well. I got to hang with my parents a bit, saw some fireworks from a friends dock, went on some bike rides and got to see a lovely wedding.
The calm before the storm… the CF kitchen that would become our production office for the next 5 months. Todd already demonstrating his state of mind.
our fearless and athletic cast makes ready to hunt the big guy
Aaron Richey is a badass
Criff and Old Man Har uncaged
Mark prepares to beam up
Cave Alter, you know…
Chris and myself found ourselves at a very strange BBQ
So excited for BBQ!
wait, human BBQ?
Matt Muegge and a few other folks at Fort Snelling
My Mom and Dad on a lovely summer evening
The 4th was spent at my friends parents house on Lake Minnetonka, their last year there before moving so it was also a farewell party.
Went on a bike ride with Eoin, we saw some serious Seekins.
My friends Andy and Noriko finally tied the knot!!
Then in late August we began prep on an ABC TV show titled In An Instant. As part of the recreation team I photographed 7 episodes and also acted as director on one.
Joel Sisson is a badass
Grip Dept doing their thing
A day at the office
The view from my desk
Meet Whopper. He’s a Kodiak bear.
He loves snacks
And he loves performing. Producer and director of this episode, Todd Cobery is scared of nothing.
I am wondering why the bear gets all the snacks
part billy goat
Andy Awes, Carly an Jordan
I do lots of pointing at work. Peter Clemence loves to goof on me.
Key Grip Peter Clemence receives a tender hug from sound man Jim Morgan
Production Designer Michelle Gilstead and Chris Thickins look up
Darin Spring found a friend
Max Cooper wonders what he got himself into.
Andy directed this episode and made a mess
B-Camera 1st AC Eoin McGuigan has a strange hat
The camera truck on a calm day…
The Acme Stage where we built our set
correction, Joel Sisson built the set with a little help from Alex Cooper
Michelle and Jessi Dery, our costume designer
Actor Greg Berman with Lion and Jim, our sound team.
The peanut gallery… mostly on Facebook
My old college chum Brian Forrest stopped by set… he also wrote the episode
Mike Winn, Best Boy Electric, left, and Matt Muegge, the machine, the legend, our gaffer
Some lights doing some lighting
Mark Har our 1st AD and Andy Awes… director, producer, editor, coffee fiend and owner of Committee FIlms
Mike Handley says hello from the head office
Some refreshment from scotland after our first 3 weeks.
Each episode featured some kind of near death event that the survivors recount and we would reenact. It was a tough challenge as every episode had some type of large production number and we were required to deliver roughly 40 mins of content each 5 day shoot cycle but the team performed amazingly and I am sincerely proud of the work we created. In the middle of that production we took a small “break” to shoot a program for History Channel on Monsters, Myths and Legends.
Odin just hanging around
Chris contemplates the meaning of life
Didn’t mean to Krampus his style
1st AC Chris Hadland and 2nd AC Ryan Johnson enjoy a lovely fall day
Ryan shot this.. on FILM.
Producer Tom Lynch
Todd loves to make art. WIth gallons of blood.
Make up artist Kaci, UPM Julia Schaffer and Wardrobe Sylist Jane Williams are all awesome
Peter Clemence checks his dolly work
Ben Krueger can both direct and act.
Casting out the demons
She doesn’t like antiques I guess…
Odin trips balls and discovers language.
It was a nice breather from the true to life tragedy/survival stories to shoot horror and fantasy elements for a few weeks right around Halloween. Then it was back to In an Instant for the next month and half.
Brandon Boulay, our B-Cam op for much of the show and myself at lunch
Some lights in the fog. In an airplane hangar
Michelle is so thoughtful!
Gaffer Matt Muegge knows how to party
Down in Texas, Todd takes in some sun while watching his football game on our sunday off.
I like making friends.
B-Camera Operator WIlson Webb is very concerned about hearing protection. And an amazing cinematographer, we were so lucky to have him.
Actor Holt Boggs and Me, clowning around
Things got messy
The camera team on the last episode…
Chris Hadland loves the flu more than he loves snorkel lenses.
THAT is a WRAP! Producer Todd Cobery, director Ben Krueger, 1st AD Mark Har and myself.
The last episode for In An Instant wrapped up the production just a few days before Christmas and so concluded my production year.
I am so grateful for all the wonderful people that I got to share these adventures with this year. If I didn’t catch you, I hope to this coming year. It was great meeting so many folks as well. My life is mostly my work these days, but since it’s good work, life is good. For that I am also thankful. It was fun pushing the envelope on so many projects and in so many ways. To all my collaborators, thank you. To all my soldiers, I hope it was fun, and thank you. To all my friends, thanks for sticking by me, we should hang out more!
Thanks 2014, it’s been real. Hope to have more excitement in 2015, but last year will be hard to top… Peace!