Eye on the Storm

I'm really excited about this Storm season, not only because it's my SIXTH (!!!) season with the team, but also because we're producing a behind-the-scenes documentary series Eye on the Storm, and it's been a ton of fun to produce. 

In the past my work for the Storm has been mostly entertainment and event focused, but this season we're going all-in on the basketball story.  There's a place for the silly skits (and we're still doing a few), but the story of the team, and especially the players, is really what the fans are there to see, so I'm excited to be able to focus on that this season. 

New episodes will air during our broadcast halftimes, and of course on stormbasketball.com and the Storm's youtube channel.  Here's a playlist of all episodes to-date.

Oh, and then there was this...

I didn't prompt her to say that, she brought it up on her own I swear!  She was referring to the Intro Video on opening night.

W Wear Wednesdays

My latest video for W Seattle is live!  This one is a promo for their Wear Wednesdays Fashion Social events that they hold monthly.  This month they featured designer Carole McClellan.

It was the perfect opportunity to try out my 360 degree panning timelapse camera  (AKA a GoPro stuck to an Ikea Kitchen Timer).  Here's a photo of it sitting by the fireplace (this shot is at 00:10 in the video), from Ilya's Photography

And here's Alex Berry (another talented Capitol Hill based videographer) guarding it for me in the other spot we had it set up, this shot is in there briefly, at 1:46.

Blue Chalk Website

I'm working on re-designing my website, so I've been looking at websites of other freelancers & video production companies for inspiration. 

Blue Chalk's website stood out to me. For one, because the way they describe themselves sounds more like how I would describe myself & my business (if I were better at describing myself) than any video company I've come across. 

I love this nugget:

Blue Chalk arrives at a complicated time in the evolution of the visual media industries. We embrace this moment of disruption and encourage blue sky thinking about the technologies and approaches needed to create and convey picture-led stories in a digital world.

...and I totally agree with it.  This part confused me a little though:

The world of visual communications, once a largely individual endeavor, is rapidly becoming a team sport. Blue Chalk specializes in building teams to accomplish the ambitious multimedia and video projects that clients now demand.

I think that in video production at least, things are moving in the opposite direction.  I frequently get the comment that I "came in WAY below the other bidders" on projects.  I have to assume that it's either because other freelancers are inflating their bids because they think they can, or (more likely) because I'm bidding against companies that default to hiring a full production team for everything.  They'll hire a director, camera operator, sound guy, grip, script writer, editor, etc... because "that's the way it's done," whereas I typically do all of those roles myself or with one or two assistants.

It looks like Blue Chalk offers a wider range of services than I do, so maybe that's where the difference lies.  I definitely make a point of sticking to what I know, video production, so I don't branch out into all the areas that Blue Chalk does. 

But anyways, keep up the good work over there in Brookyln, Blue Chalk!  And everyone else, stay tuned for a website redesign in the not too distant future. 

Allrecipes / Herdez

I shot a new series of videos for Allrecipes.com recently, this time in partnership with Herdez Brand, featuring their Mexican Cooking Sauces that they're just introducing.  Allrecipes brought in one of their users, Diana, who I worked with once before on an episode of What's Cooking, and she did a great job... better than many on-camera professionals I've worked with actually!

I didn't get to shoot in the kitchen that I really wanted to... but we ended up in the community kitchen of an apartment building on First Hill and it worked out great.  Here's the Enchiladas video...


And also... they exist!  I saw them at QFC last week:

The team after the shoot.

Welcome World Cuisine

For the past year or so Erik Dinnel and I have been producing a show for Allrecipes.com, called Welcome World Cuisine

Allrecipes built its business on step-by-step recipe instructions, while my thinking has always been to tell a good story first and worry about the details second.  I think with this series we were able to combine the two in a way that really works.  If you want the step-by-step recipe instructions, they're there, but if you want to just enjoy these videos for the story and for the "food porn," that's there too.

Up until now Allrecipes has been posting these to a dedicated page on their website, but they just started releasing them on youtube so I figured I'd share a couple of my favorites here.  

First is Pork Dumplings, from Liana's Cafe House in the International District.  You can buy these dumplings frozen, by the bag, and I highly recommend doing so!

And then here's Pho with Eric Banh of BaBar.  Eric was a realy interesting guy and we got two really good videos out of him (we also did Vermicelli Bowl).

You can find the rest of them on youtube here (they're saved as a playlist on allrecipes' main account).  They've posted 10 so far, and I'd imagine they'll be releasing more in the near future. 

Cook it Forward

McCormick and Allrecipes.com teamed up to create a short video series promoting McCormick's new line of Gourmet Seasoning Mixes, and they brought me in to produce them.  It's a reality/ documentary style series called Cook it Forward featuring Allrecipes members, each of whom tries out one of the recipe packets and then teaches the recipe to another member. 

It's always a little hit or miss working with non-professional talent, but the ladies all did great and it was a fun 3 days of shooting.  Below is episode 3 out of 3.  Episode 1 can be found here, and Episode 2 here.  And below are some photos from the shoot, courtesty of Valerie Brunmeier one of the stars of episodes 2 & 3, and a food blogger at Valerie's Kitchen.

We shot these on a pair of Sony EX1's.  Me on the left, Erik Dinnel on the right. 

Our two rock star food stylists, Jean and Bridget.

Someone's gotta eat it.

Office Nomads

For about the past 6 months or so I've been a member at Office Nomads, the "Capitol Hill coworking grandaddy" that happens to be about 3 blocks from my apartment.  The coworking concept is defintely not a perfect fit for a video production business, but I'm making it work, and I'm loving it here for the time being.  I suspect that as video production continues to get leaner and meaner, coworking will become a more viable option for video producers like myself.  

Anyways, the point of this post is that the folks that run Office Nomads are launching a "big initiative to clean up, revamp, upgrade, organize, structure, and just generally over-all improve the coworking wiki," and I produced this video for them to get things going.