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.
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.
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'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.
Jennifer & Angela: These two were pros at the "sip coffee and laugh a lot" scene.
Allrecipes, Kahlúa, and yours truly teamed up to make this five video series to showcase Kahlúa's seasonal pumpkin-spice flavor. When the idea was brought to me, the plan was to use a similar format to the videos we produced for Herdez, with an Allrecipes member as host reading a prepared script.
While I was really happy with how those Herdez videos turned out, I didn't think it was the most engaging format and I also didn't think it really fit very well with Allrecipes' brand (not to mention the added difficulty of asking non-professional talent to 'host' a one-person cooking show, which trust me, is harder than it looks).
What makes Allrecipes, Allrecipes, is their community of home-cooks that use the site to share recipes & tips with eachother. A stand-up host felt more Food Network than Allrecipes, so I sold them on the idea of doing these in a more natural, documentary format and letting the Allrecipes members (that they flew in from all around the country) speak for themselves and say what they like about the dish, and what their experience was in making it. I'm tempted to call these hybrid documentaries but I think that would come off as blasphemous to people out there making actual documentaires (or hybrids), so I'll refrain.
Here are some fun behind the scenes shots on Angela's blog Dancing with my Father. And hats off to all the ladies who were super fun to work with and all did a great job!
Here are two of my favs;
Nelly making the Kahlúa Pumpkin Whiskey Cocktail
Sarah making Kahlúa & Cofffee
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...
The team after the shoot.
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.
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!
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.
Graham Elliot and I
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.
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.