Rivers Edge West 2018 >throwback<

2018 was a great year for creating exquisite content and forming stronger relationships with both colleagues and clients. One of our most enjoyable projects to work on was for a Western Colorado non profit called Rivers Edge West. We were tasked with creating five videos; four of which were character videos driven by the voices of people directly related to the river. The fifth video was an interesting way to create an about us video using voices outside the organization to explain their mission. It was a 10 day production in November including travel with the edits bringing us to the end of the year, and it was all worth it. Below is Chip; the third of the four character videos to be released. 

We filmed Chip on his vineyard in Verde, Arizona where he owns a malt house and volunteers along the river. 

Caption: Ryan sits with his “directors hat” asking Chip about river restoration.  

Caption: Ryan sits with his “directors hat” asking Chip about river restoration.  

Even with limited crew, we pulled out all the stops to create something special. Chip was fantastic to work with and we hope to have the opportunity to tell more “Riverside Stories” with Rivers Edge West in the future. You can find out more about their organization at www.riversedgewest.org

 

 

 

Knee deep in the Escalante river, DP Mark Barry gets the shot wearing a borrowed directors hat and waders to protect from the elements.  

Knee deep in the Escalante river, DP Mark Barry gets the shot wearing a borrowed directors hat and waders to protect from the elements.  

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Sometimes the shot just needs to breathe in the desert air. 

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Our first interview with Emily along the Dolores River in Colorado.  

 

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Ryan working the drone on the Gila River in Arizona. The drone shots were essential in telling the stories of the rivers. 

Check out the rest of the videos being released once a month through June. 

Hit the Ground Running

Naturally, I dropped the blog ball. After a Thailand/Vietnam Honeymoon in April, we came back to Chicago and hit the ground running. Starting out with a collaboration with Loose Canon Films; a unique twist on a “day in the life” video focused on a Great Dane dog named Doug. He was a natural born star, and shooting on the RED really helped support a beautiful image. 

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After that; a quick trip to Southbend, Indiana to work with Explore Media for a hospital shoot. Pictured above; Dolly Grip extraordinaire, Joe D, mans the Fisher 11 dolly with the Alexa mini on top.  

 

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After Southbend, we took a couple day trips across country for some quick interviews. October Production and Post proves the value of a good travel kit on two travel interviews in two weeks. Ohio and Boston. 

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In an attempt to keep this post short whilst still covering a lot here’s a couple more photos; 

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A “day in the life” shoot filmed entirely with a GoPro hero 6. Interesting POV shoot with some old friends from NYC.  

 

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A spider shoot at Brookfield Zoo. 

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And a quick trip to Carnegie Hall to film some Broll of Oistrakh Symphony as they hit the stage in the big city for their NYC debut. 

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I obviously couldn’t include every shoot since the last post, but hopefully that can hold you over for a little bit. We’ve been busy and can’t wait to see what else is to come. Cheers! 

Chicago at a Crossroads

For a couple years now RCK Productions has been shooting with Schodorf Media Creative on a documentary about poverty in Chicago and the rise and fall of public housing. The road has been long, but as we finalize the trailer and finish up the last few interviews the project seems to be taking some great shape.  

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The typical interview set up is quick and minimal since the crew is not as big and we are operating on a shoe string budget. Most interviews have been shot with two cameras, a canon c200 and a c100. We key with a diva 400 and edge with a diva 200. The 3x3 ultra bounce acts as either a fill or negative fill depending on the space. An arri light kit has been utilized for background lights shaping the space more than the talent. 

 

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Locations for all interviews have varied from art galleries, to law libraries, to individuals residents. The goal is always the same; to make each interview look great and relevant to the overall film.  

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It’s been a while...

The posts have not been as plentiful, but the work stayed strong to finish off 2017 and well into 2018. Perhaps I’ll start back dating some of the more interesting set-ups and jobs, but let’s start today with a video for Honda and Blaising Productions. Lighting for Cars can be tricky, but a good opportunity to utilize some tricks in the bag. 

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Utilizing Camera movement to spice up the production we had a pocket jib and a mobile gimbal on set. The Canon c300mkii made shooting in 4K a piece of cake and 60fps in full HD. The movement of the Camera made fighting reflections a little more difficult, but not impossible.  

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Because of the curves and glass on the vehicle, to limit bad reflections we flew a 20x20ft ultra bounce with a 4K HMI pounding into it. And for the key light we utilized two 1.8k HMIs through a 20x20 silk. 

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And, to spice up the back wall a little bit we shot a joker 800 through a makeshift cookaloris to imitate a window. The little details help make it look great including the two side quasars, the skips off the ground and the light matte ribbon kit hidden inside the vehicle. Sometimes lighting can be just as much fun as shooting. 

 

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Chi to NYC

After an extremely frustrating travel day, RCK Productions made our way to New York City. October Production and Post produced the piece and the trip proved traveling light is a key to success. 

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We used two 1x1 light panels shot through a magic cloth as a key light for the interview and flew the Wescott Light Mat as an edge.

The 5d mkiv was a great B-Cam for the C-300mkii for a destinct 4K look and the Dji Ronin M was utilized for a lot of the Broll. 

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New York is such an inspirational city. Be brave. Create. 

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PSA with David Eigenberg

The past month was a very busy one for RCK Productions. Kicking off the month, we had the opportunity to collaborate with Schodorf Media Creative on a pro-choice PSA with David Eigenberg from "Chicago fire" and "Sex and the City." 

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We shot outside as clouds were rolling in, so the lighting was limited to a flexfill bounce as David spoke direct to camera while walking. Our Dji ronin M was the perfect tool to steady the camera take after take and the auto focus on the 5d mkiv was put to the test. 

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The shoot came together and the result; a very powerful PSA. 

Big lights on window wells

Working on a commercial the last couple days has proven the value of big lights and importance of keeping it simple. The DP likes a minimal yet natural feel, so an m18 (1800w) blasting through a window acting as the sun can sometimes be enough. Sounded like a pretty simple day until a bulb popped on us and the sky's opened up. The magic of cinema can still make a rainy day look sunny and bright. For the basement shot we propped the m18 and a 1200w light just on top of the window well to create a day like glow coming in from outside. 

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O-O - An October Olivet Production

Broll is an essential part of production, but often it's not possible to Light broll the way you want because you don't have a big enough crew or the time. However, shooting with October Production and Post the past two days provided just that opportunity. A joker 400, joker 800, Arri skypanel, and magic cloth were enough to make this hospital shine and an elementary school feel like it is still in session. 

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After the broll we shoot a couple fine testimonials of Olivet students using the sky panel through the magic cloth as a key light the and the joker 400 with a chimera pancake as an edge light. Great crew to work with and I'm looking forward to our last production day on Monday.

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NDA

Sometimes I'm just not allowed to take pictures or talk about the shoot I am on. Here is a picture of a cool clown plate at location. That's the best I have for you today. 

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Green screen at its best

Working with the talented Mark Barry and October Production and Post we filmed several people; full body green screen with TelePrompter.

Using the Arri Sky panel as the key light and edging with a Joker 400 in a chimera pancake made for a great look and an evenly lit green screen. The shoot was a couple weeks ago, but it's better to post late than never, right? 😁

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98 year old Timuel black

Working with Schodorf Media Creative last Sunday on an Indy doc.  We got to hear about the great migration as told by 98 year old Timuel Black. Shooting at Gallery Guichard is always a pleasure. Bare bones Doc crew, but making it look great! 

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A Trip to D.C.

Nothing better than a quick trip to D.C. to round out a good week. I was invited out by the Destination Marketing Association International to film a conference with many destination marketing organizations across the country. I flew out a bit early to try and capture some time lapses at the national mall. Two rainy attempts, a broken fingernail, and several uber trips to and from the hotel later, I realized that the timing was just not right.&nbsp;

Nothing better than a quick trip to D.C. to round out a good week. I was invited out by the Destination Marketing Association International to film a conference with many destination marketing organizations across the country. I flew out a bit early to try and capture some time lapses at the national mall. Two rainy attempts, a broken fingernail, and several uber trips to and from the hotel later, I realized that the timing was just not right. 

The conference had a nice tone to it, and the b-roll that we gathered will surely help its success in the years to come. It was great to see some special speakers and the performance by "The Fray." A short trip to D.C., but well worth it.&nbsp;&nbsp;

The conference had a nice tone to it, and the b-roll that we gathered will surely help its success in the years to come. It was great to see some special speakers and the performance by "The Fray." A short trip to D.C., but well worth it.  

From Libations to Release

After a day of filming speciality cocktails, RCK went down town to JBTV to film Taylor Bennett's record release party. We sat the brother of Chance the rapper down an hour before the show to ask a few questions about his inspiration for the new record. With Brian Schodorf, of Schodorf Media Creative, asking the questions Taylor was comfortable and excited for the interview.

After a day of filming speciality cocktails, RCK went down town to JBTV to film Taylor Bennett's record release party. We sat the brother of Chance the rapper down an hour before the show to ask a few questions about his inspiration for the new record. With Brian Schodorf, of Schodorf Media Creative, asking the questions Taylor was comfortable and excited for the interview.

Running on a tight time schedule with a small crew accentuates the importance of flexibility. We lit the interview using a Diva 4-bank Kino with a &nbsp;flossier to soften the light a bit. We edged Taylor out with a 300W Arri light with diffusion. We shot with two C100s to insure the two interview cameras would match and an a7s was used to capture his performance and the crowd in the low light. JBTV had the concert covered well with 5 cameras and a live switch including a slider and a jib during the performance so we chose to shoot our B-roll in 60fps and focus on interesting angles and the crowd. Long day of work, but between hand crafted cocktails and some great music, it wasn't so bad.&nbsp;

Running on a tight time schedule with a small crew accentuates the importance of flexibility. We lit the interview using a Diva 4-bank Kino with a  flossier to soften the light a bit. We edged Taylor out with a 300W Arri light with diffusion. We shot with two C100s to insure the two interview cameras would match and an a7s was used to capture his performance and the crowd in the low light. JBTV had the concert covered well with 5 cameras and a live switch including a slider and a jib during the performance so we chose to shoot our B-roll in 60fps and focus on interesting angles and the crowd. Long day of work, but between hand crafted cocktails and some great music, it wasn't so bad. 

Final piece:  

Handcrafted Cocktail, Anyone?

Sometimes it is filming a cheese burger, sometimes a person, and sometimes its hand crafted cocktails made by the world renowned bartender, Angus Winchester. The Intercontinental Hotel brought on RCK to this three day production at the Violet Hour with the talented DP Mark Barry.

Sometimes it is filming a cheese burger, sometimes a person, and sometimes its hand crafted cocktails made by the world renowned bartender, Angus Winchester. The Intercontinental Hotel brought on RCK to this three day production at the Violet Hour with the talented DP Mark Barry.

After filming a sit down interview with Angus, he got to crafting. We had fun lighting with tungsten lights, since it seems like those lights are being used less and less these days. We edged out the drinks with two 650W tweenie lights heavily diffused, raked the background with a 300W Arri, and keyed the whole scene with a 1000W tungsten bulb on a dimmer wrapped in a Chimera 'pancake.' We brought out the cinevate duzi 4 slider and the 5Dmkiv for some 4k and 60fps coverage. The real magic came of the production came with Angus' cocktail building, including a fiery glass for the Daiquiri.

After filming a sit down interview with Angus, he got to crafting. We had fun lighting with tungsten lights, since it seems like those lights are being used less and less these days. We edged out the drinks with two 650W tweenie lights heavily diffused, raked the background with a 300W Arri, and keyed the whole scene with a 1000W tungsten bulb on a dimmer wrapped in a Chimera 'pancake.' We brought out the cinevate duzi 4 slider and the 5Dmkiv for some 4k and 60fps coverage. The real magic came of the production came with Angus' cocktail building, including a fiery glass for the Daiquiri.

A nice clean texture and boca was added to the background by raking a light across empty clear bottles and carefully placed copper elements.

A nice clean texture and boca was added to the background by raking a light across empty clear bottles and carefully placed copper elements.

And to top off a great production, we all had a taste of each cocktail. Cheers!&nbsp;

And to top off a great production, we all had a taste of each cocktail. Cheers! 

A Thunderlab Production

Last week we got on set with Andrew Stegmeyer and Thunderlab to shoot some Food for McDonalds. Between the parallax slider moves, the multiple camera angles, and the carefully crafted lighting set-up I am sure McD's will be "lovin' it."

We lit the food with a large source from the side; we chose to punch an 800 Joker bug through a couple of layers of diffusion to give us the desired affect.  Across from that, an Ultra bounce floppy provided a nice fill with a little accent sparkle for some of the dishes. From there, a sky panel punched into the ceiling helped bring up the ambient of the room and an Astra with a soft box provided a nice edge light separation for each dish. The new Kino Select made its debut appearance as well, making it easy to balance out the colors in the background. We had a nice variety of lights working, and thanks to the modern day technology, dialing in the white balance of the room was a lot easier than it normally would have been. 

Its always great working with Thunderlab!