Abu Dhabi

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The first night we got in it was pretty much pedal to the metal. Our gracious hosts Jane and Greg met us at the airport and quickly whisked us off to our hotel then dinner. Jane is Irish and Greg is a Brit. It’s always fun to have a bit of a culture mesh and in a country that was foreign to all of us (though Jane and Greg do live there). Jane is an absolutely wonderful person to be around. She is one of those easy to talk to people, very intelligent and in the know. Greg too was a riot, kind of a guys guy. The first night we got there he insisted we go go-karting (which we did later and was the highlight of the trip).

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This was my first time working with the Animus crew. Honestly one of the best crews I have ever worked with. Each person brought a very unique piece to the project. It was very free flow when it came to creativity and we all knew our jobs. These guys are all very good at their jobs and I found myself often thinking how fortunate I was to be working with them.

from left to right Ross, Scott and Kris aka “Castronova”
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Ross was the Editor, although he did some filming but busted his ass off doing same day edits and the opening video. He is extremely good at finding the narrative in a story and meshing together everything in a way that tells the story. I attended one of Ross’s educational workshops a couple years ago when he was working for “get in motion tour”. I learned a lot from his workshop and on this trip as well. He is probably one of the most hilarious people I know. A little OCD mixed with a pretty brilliant mind. A few times on our trip he had me laughing till my abs hurt.

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Next up is Scott. Scott is kind of the Steve Jobs of the group, minus all of Steves short comings. He is very good at anticipating what a client wants and needs. When out filming he always picked up on not only what the client wants to see but also the audience and was very good at getting B-roll that gave Ross the tools to put his narrative together. Scott was very generous in sharing his knowledge and I learned a lot from him as well. He kicked all of our asses in go-karting.

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Last but certainly not least is Kris. Kris was our graphics and compositing guy. He is incredibly talented as well. He is a wiz kid when it comes to After Effects and had a natural knack for design. I dubbed him “Castronova” because without fail everywhere we went he seemed to have some girl fall head over heals for him. It was pretty comical! We had some great conversations and he was very willing to show me the ropes of After Effects.

Kris aka “Castronova” (on the right)SCN_0006

Where did I fit in on all of this? Well I got to do some of the creative filming. I did a couple hyperlapses of the build up and then of course shot tons of slow motion. I was pretty much hired just to do slow motion. The guys were pretty cool about letting me do my thing. Scott really believed in me and I felt like I fit in pretty well with these guys. Im really looking forward to doing another project with them. This was our chance to see how we worked together. We have a few things to fine tune for the next trip as far as workflow goes. Im hoping by the next trip I’ll have the Odyssey 7Q which will give me 4k capabilities, s-log and continuous 240fps at 2k raw.

me shooting on a Rolleiflex in front of the tallest building in the world1600996_10153753624260307_690178510_n

We ended up filming an agricultural development event. Our roll was to capture the individual speakers and panels as well as highlight the overall essence of the event. There were some amazing technologies being shown. Here is the same day edit we produced and the website to the event http://www.innovationsinagriculture.com/

GFIA 2014 Closing Ceremony Same Day Edit from Ross Hockrow on Vimeo.

doing a timelapse of the Burj Al Arab in DubaiIMG_20140205_144331

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The Mosque again20140131_083003

Overall this was an incredible journey. I look forward to working with these guys again.

If you are interested in Animus Studios please visit their site http://animusstudios.com/

8,441 mi

Im off to Abu Dhabi and here is the story. My best friend from high school George attended school at URI, my other best friend Rob used to go visit George and hang out with Georges frat brothers. Well one of those frat brothers Scott, was studying film and Rob said if he ever got married Scott would have to film his wedding. Sure enough that happened and I happened to be a groomsmen at Robs wedding. Well being a filmmaker myself I got pretty excited and had a chat with Scott. We stayed in touch and he has kept an eye on me ever since.

A couple years later, Scott called me and presented me with this opportunity to come along and film with him in Abu Dhabi, specifically to shoot slow motion. We are covering an event there http://www.innovationsinagriculture.com/ which from my understanding is a gathering of the worlds minds on agricultural innovations. I am really looking forward to this opportunity.

Moral of the story, always consider every introduction as a business connection.

SO WHAT DID I BRING BESIDE MY VIDEO GEAR 🙂

I brought a Hasselblad camera with a few lenses, a rolleiflex and a ton of film including some of my infamous color infrared. I also brought a Polaroid camera that Anton Orlov kindly gave me for my birthday.

I am really looking forward to this journey.

Bad Robot

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Recently I had the honor of going on a tour at Bad Robot productions http://www.badrobot.com/ which was eye opening, inspiring, so cool, the best….. haha I could go on for awhile. These guys are responsible for shows like “Lost” and “Alias”, they also have done all the new Star Treks and are going to be doing the new Star Wars movies. This is the J.J. Abrams crew!!!

 

So what landed me on this tour? I got an email from a very friendly guy (later my tour guide) Josh. It was an email from Bad Robot which in my mind I was imediatly like “NO FLIPPING WAY THIS MUST BE SOME KIND OF MISTAKE!” The email said that they had been scrummaging the internet (a very large place) for a some good footage to be used in a trailer for The Mission Continues http://missioncontinues.org/ that will be in every “Star Trek, Into Darkness” dvd. Somehow they found the video that I did for my friends Dave and Kate, when Dave came back from a deployment.

 

Josh asked if they could license my footage which of course I was thrilled and honored to do. Not only that but being a veteran it felt pretty awesome to help out such a good cause in what tiny way I did.

 

I do have to laugh a little, the footage is a pretty short and insignificant detail added to Dave and Kates video. I thought they would want to use the part where they re-united. In any case Josh assured me that they had scowered the internet to the very edges of existence looking for the right footage to put in the video and told me I should give myself a little credit.

 

The tour was great!

I had to wait a little while in the lobby which was full of all kinds of figurines, statues and cool vintage toys. There was a table in the middle of the lobby which had pencils and paper and a little sign that said “please create”. They also had pre-stamped postcards to send off to military abroad I think it was http://www.amillionthanks.org/ (which I later learned that Josh was responsible for). In a room adjacent to the lobby was a kind of in house marketing/media/gift making/creative room. Josh showed me an old printing press that I think was 150+ years old that they use for “fun” to print things out. He showed me an example one of the interns had done which took him something like 18 hours to align all the letters in the plate (clearly the interns have to work hard there). There was a girl making these cool little clay statuettes and they had a sick 3d printer that Josh said they use to build/test their props for whatever production they need. I got to hold Captain Kirks phaser!!!

 

The rest of the tour was pretty quick, but I got to see some of the editing suites (they use Avid, because its easy to share work with it) a really nice sound studio and some of the compositing stuff. They had chefs that cook for everyone there and a built in theatre (which I learned later they had to use to shoot some inserts for “Into Darkness”)

 

Josh Brought me to his desk, where I got to show Dave and Kates video off to a few other employees and then he showed me The Mission Continues video. He also showed me some behind the scenes shots of “Into Darkness”.

All in all it was a great experience. I think it was awesome of Josh to invite me up there, take time from his normal work to give me a tour and he even sent me a couple sweet Bad Robot shirts. I also really appreciate that J.J. Abrams, his wife and Bad Robot are all very appreciative and supportive of military veterans.

 

Being a little guy in the film realm, it felt pretty good to have my video discovered by someone like Bad Robot.

 

NAB2013

Once again another amazing year at NAB. I spent the first two days in seminars learning about; color grading, 4k workflow, timelapse techniques, lighting and other post production techniques. I was inspired by real life cinematographers like Gary Adcock and Geoff Boyle. I also got a chance to visit with and listen to a speech from my neighbor back in New Jersey, Jon Alpert. His speech really hit home with me and was incredibly inspiring. Next year will be a full week trip!

 

NAB2013 from justin edelman on Vimeo.