Category Archives: PRODUCTION PHOTOS

2013 Snapshots.




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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!




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:

11,585ft WITH BESTOP

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A rocky mountain off-road shoot with Bestop near Breckenridge, Colorado.  Video will showcase Bestop’s Colorado Backyard Tour winners and 3 of Bestop’s Jeeps at 11,585ft.

TECHNICAL:  Nikon D7000, 35mm 1.8, 70-200mm 2.8,  Go Pro Hero


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.

BEHIND THE SCENES [Coming Home – Boulder, CO – Annex Opener 2011]


because it was almost impossible to frame up Jay J’s walk the same way for each shot,  I had to align each shot in post-production.  I used a red reference line that I laid above the main track.  This line was my reference point to make sure Jay J was walking in the center for every shot.  To do this, I had to resize and move each shot accordingly.  When I cut each shot together I made sure his head was almost in the exact same location as the previous shot.  This created the illusion that Jay J was walking through each scene.  Once edited, I deleted the red line and the video was good to go.


Most of the shots (blue clips V1, V2) were straight cuts with the exception of some flash transitions. The light purple clips are Twixtor slow motion plug-in shots.  The audio (green clips) was a challenge because we didn’t want all of Diddy’s rap (no offense Diddy, some of your lyrics just didn’t fit this video)  I cut the original song (A1, A2) with an instrumental version (A3, A4).  The other clips were sound fx of a fighter jet that I used for transitions.


To create the vibrant colors on some of the scenes I used FCP 3 Way color effect.  I then bumped the saturation added a little orange.  I also used a Blue tinted vignette and another FCP plug-in called Luma Toy to add even more color.


Organization was key to this video because there were over 150 shots.  Within Final Cut I labeled each shot accordingly and gave it a description about its location.  I then placed them into bins according to what type of shot it was.


Before the shoot I brainstormed my ideas for the video and listed some shots I definitely wanted to get.  Some shots, unfortunately, did not make the cut.



Nikon D7000. 35mm 1.8 lens with attached Hoodeye and Manfrotto tripod in front of Norlin Library, University of Colorado

After a full day of shooting the Annex College Ministry Opener with Intern Jay J Matott the video is finally in post-production and will premier Sunday night at 7pm at The Annex.  Without giving too much away, this was a very challenging shoot….miles of miles of walking around Boulder totaling 150 shots and about 40 minutes of footage.  Our goal is to top last year’s opener shown here:  


Shot with Bestop's Wragler and Alice Glacier