Category Archives: BEHIND THE SCENES

New Toys

New Toys

Our Canon C100 and 5D Mark III have arrived. Looking forward to producing some quality videos with these. Below are 2 test videos that I shot to get acquainted with the new equipment.


C100 Test Footage

Shooting with our new C100 at Tongva Park in Santa Monica.

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5D Mark III Test Footage

Jamie is making some lunch while I test our new 5D.

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2013 Snapshots.


Transiton to the colorful world of Adobe


I have officially made the transition between Final Cut Pro Studio to the Adobe Creative Cloud CS6.  After putting off buying After Effects or switching to Premiere for so long because I didn’t want to cough up the +$2,000, Adobe came out with something I could not pass up.  A $50 a month membership to its Creative Cloud.  This gives me unlimited access to ALL Adobe software.  There are some programs that I won’t even touch but I have already tapped into After Effects and Premiere Pro.  There are several reasons why I made the switch but the main reason is because I really wanted to learn and use After Effects to elevate my graphics capabilities.  I also did not want to go to FCP X which has been making FCP users everywhere make the leap to Adobe.  I am now one of them.

Adobe Premiere Pro has made it ridiculously easy to make the switch.  They have a FCP shortcut keyboard that you can use.  I don’t have to learn all new shortcut keys which would have been dreadful.  After editing my first project (The one pictured above), I feel pretty comfortable with the program.  I was constantly getting stuck on some things that Premiere does differently than FCP but after some trial and error I was able to continue editing.  Its pretty safe to say after just a day on the system I feel good about the switch.  After over 5 years on FCP, It will obviously take me awhile to be fully confident on Premiere.  I may just have to dedicate more time to some of my projects at the beginning.  The big difference that I have noticed is that it can take .h264 (DSLR Footage) natively (No Rendering needed)  This saves me several hours of converting footage through Compressor.  Another thing is the rendering is so much faster on complex projects with multiple layers like the one above.  FCP was slowing me down and it was time to dump it.

I also dabbled into the world of After Effects – a program that really is only limited to one’s imagination.  I have A LOT to learn here but I am watching several tutorials and playing around with many of its features.  Its one of those things that will just take some time and dedication to learn.  After just a few hours on the program I was able to come up with this graphic animation (below).  It uses many of the cool effects such as 3D, keying, particle producers, and text fx.  I love this program already.

So here I go… another several programs to learn and play with.  Hopefully it steps up my production value and workflow!  Stay tuned!



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It was another successful trail run for Steel Rock Films and Bestop.  As someone who had almost no off-roading experience three years ago, I can almost call myself an expert after several trail runs with Bestop in 4 different states across the country!  Each run has its own unique flavor to it- beautiful views, crazy jeep rigs, dangerous maneuvers, and filming challenges.  After a few 100 degree Jeep shoot days in Moab and Missouri or freezing temps at 13,000 ft in Colorado the weather in Big Bear, California seemed almost too perfect.  Sunny – mid-70’s.  Its what I’ve come to expect after living a month in Santa Monica.  The purpose of the shoot was to capture the new products – Bumpers – Dusters – and Tops of the Jeeps without the marketing being too over the top. Secondary, its supposed to capture the thrill of a day of off -roading and highlight trails in Big Bear.  And third, some of the footage will be used at this years SEMA auto show in Las Vegas.  The video will most likely be added to the Bestop Facebook Page.

After meeting our Jeepers for the first time in the morning we hit the trail grabbing spectacular shots along the way.   Equipment, like always on a trail run is at a minimal.  However, I did add one of my favorite pieces of equipment – The Cinevate Atlas 10 Slider (pictured above).  This provided some awesome tracking shots over branches or rocks.  I ditched the Glidecam for this shoot.  As for the other equipment – a small Manfroto tripod that I can extend one leg out and use as a mono-pod.  This is what I used for about 80% of my shots.  The rest of the shots were handheld with the HoodEye viewer that I could use for support when it was pressed against my eye.  Nat sound was provided by a small shot gun mic made by Azden.  I also picked up the opening comments with the shotgun mic.  It doesn’t do quite as well as wireless lavs but when you are on the go you have to make it work.  I tied down everything in the back of the Yellow Jeep which was my ride for the day.  By using less equipment I could easily jump in and out of the Jeep without having to put anything away.  The idea is not make the shooting take over the day.  Let the Jeepers do what they would normally do if there was no camera around.  You get happier Jeepers and natural documented footage.    My Lowepro camera bag carried my extra lenses and batteries but I pretty much stuck to the 16-50mm 2.8 Tamron Lens on the Nikon D7000.  The bag got a bit dirty (pictured above) but thats the price you pay as an action sports videographer.

Editing was done with FCP.  Colored in FCP.  I experimented with some new light leaks overlays that I got online and overlayed them to help with transitions and add a more cinematic experience.

  • Please check out the video below from Bestop’s YouTube page!  Thanks for checking out my blog!

a look at the RED MX

a look at the RED MX

shot from a shoot I was working on




This video is comprised of almost every time lapse shot I have done over the last couple of years.  Luckily, when the Annex came to me and asked me to do an intro video titled:  “Weathered,” I had the perfect kind of footage in my video library.  Colorado is an awesome place to take timelapse shots, so enough explaining, just watch the video!

The water shots were done with my Nikon D7000 and a 35mm lens with some plexiglass and a kitchen sink.  Here are some photos from the shoot:


Intro video for First Presbyterian Church of Boulder’s sermon series called “Truthstories”  The challenge was to come up with a compelling intro by just using some of the pastors notes.  After several days of coming up with no ideas I came up with the idea of making the Bible come alive, giving it a life of its own, just like the stories that are told in the Bible.   All of the words in this video appeared somewhere in the notes or in the book of Luke.


20110908-030230.jpgTo make the appearance of the Bible coming alive I used some lighting a little help from a fan.  With the fan off camera the video creates the illusion that the Bible is flipping its pages on its own.  A few filters were used to make a completely black background by crushing the blacks and saturation in the filter: Color Correction 3-Way.  I used the effects:  Dazzle and Bloom together for the light reflections on the Bible.