Teaming up with Marvel once again

Ant_Man

As often happens, the phone rings unexpectedly and within a matter of days I am heading out the door on my next shoot.  This is certainly one of the things about working in the motion picture industry that I really enjoy.  Getting to work in new locations with new crews on new projects and often times on the biggest shows in the business.

This time the call came from Marvel to cover the B Camera on main unit of Ant-Man with the prospect of joining the 2nd Unit when it got going in late October.  I’ve worked on several Marvel projects in the past including Iron Man 1,2 & 3, Captain America and most recently Captain America 2: Winter Soldier and have a good working relationship with the studio as well as with many of the regular crew hired to work on Marvel films.  What was especially exciting about this project was that I was not only getting called to work on Marvel’s next big movie but I was getting called to work with long time Hollywood cinematographer and main unit DP Russell Carpenter whose feature credits include the Hollywood blockbusters Titantic, Charlie’s Angels, and True Lies.  As anyone in the film business would say, and especially anyone who works in the camera department, having a chance to work with the likes of Russell Carpenter is something of a dream opportunity.  And this was not only a chance to watch and work with a true master of the craft but also an opportunity to work with a crew Russell has assembled and are no doubt some of the best in the business.  Included in this crew was Peter Rosenfeld, A-Camera/Steadicam Operator with a deep resume of A list movies including most recently “Gone Girl”, “American Sniper” and “Into The Storm.”  I had met Peter while working on the 2nd Unit of Cowboys & Aliens as he was on main unit but “Ant-Man” was the first time getting to work along side him as an operator and he too, like Russell, is a true master of the craft.

What was only supposed to be a week on main unit turned into two and then, as was proposed when I first got the call, I joined the 2nd Unit as it got going as the B Camera Op with Dir/DP John Mahaffie at the helm.  And what a treat this was.  Along with the excitement of getting a call to work on the any major Hollywood feature also comes the trepidation of working with a director, dp and/or crew you’ve never met.  As anyone in the business will tell you sometimes it goes great and sometimes it doesn’t.  Working with John Mahaffie has been nothing but fantastic.  A total pro, incredible at his job pulling double duty as both the director and DP of the 2nd Unit on a big film and and truly a great guy to work with.  I can say that working with John and watching him work has been one of the most pleasant experiences I have had in the business.

Our 2nd Unit camera department is comprised of industry veterans, the best of the best which makes the experience all that much better.  We have all the toys to move our cameras which comes with working on these big films and is always welcomed.  We are shooting digitally with Alexa cameras and employing A & B cameras much of the time with the occasional third camera/Steadicam when needed.

This shoot, like so many others in the past, has been great.  Once again reaffirming the somewhat serendipitous nature of the business and of good things coming together and falling into place almost as if they were meant to be.

I’m already looking forward to the next phone call….

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More work with director Tyler Stableford and Cabela’s

Between weeks of shooting in Atlanta on the feature Insurgent I have been able to squeeze in a couple of commercial shoots. The first shoot is with my good friend and director Tyler Stableford and Cabela’s. Tyler and I collaborated in the fall of 2012 on a multi week branding campaign for Cabela’s and their “It’s In Your Nature” 1.0 campaign and then again in the fall of 2013 on version 2.0. For this shoot we are filming in Missouri over the course of a week and shooting a few different spots. Working with Tyler is a great challenge as he has a great eye and a discerning sensibility for composition and many of the scenes we are shooting happen at sunrise or sunset so timing is critical for all the pieces to come together.

Cabelas Sunset

 

This shoot has brought together many of the usual suspects from our past shoots including our producer Danny Taff, Key Grip Arte Shelton and my 1st AC Scott Daharb. New to this round of shooting is Steadicam Operator Kevin Andrews who I met last year on the 2.0 shoot. For these spots Tyler wants the camera constantly moving which means that Kevin will certainly have his work cut out for him in this hot and buggy climate.

Cabelas Ticks

Also a welcomed addition on this round of shooting is the Yonder Blue Films team who are heading up the RC helicopter filming that is also a new component to this round of shooting for Cabela’s. The RC is a remote controlled helicopter with a variety of video and still cameras that allows us to get spectacular shots from an arial view while still being at a low altitude.  I have recently been working with Yonder Blue Films on a few shots in Atlanta on Insurgent. At a time when the market place is rather saturated with RC Heli operators that over promise and under-deliver I was impressed with the work Yonder Blue was delivering and under considerable pressure. As Cabela’s was shaping up and Tyler asked me about potential RC helicopter operators I knew that Yonder Blue would deliver and they certainly are. 

Cabelas HC

 

 

 

Cabelas HC 2                                                                                                                                                                     For this round of filming we are again shooting with my Red Epic Dragon predominantly in 5K though taking advantage of the 6K capability of the Dragon at times. This camera allows us to get 9 times more pixels than HD with advancements in micro contrast and MTF creating an even clearer image. Tyler likes shooting in 5K+ as it allows him to do some reframing and digital zooms on the back end. Our lens package is relatively simple and consists of a set of Ultra Primes. These lenses have the widest focal range creating excellent quality shots at close range. During the shoot last year we shot with Red Epic in 5K and used the Zeiss Ultra Primes and the Angenieux 16-42mm & 45-120mm zoom lenses. Tyler likes to shoot with fast glass and wide open for nearly every shot and considering the majority of our work is on Steadicam the Ultra Primes were an obvious choice.
Cabelas The Guys

Cabelas Kent                                                                                                                                                                 This shoot so far has been a tremendous amount of work as we’re shooting some very long days in the very hot and humid weather of Missouri. But as always shooting with Tyler and Stableford Studios is very rewarding! 

Cableas Sunset Kent

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