Category Archives: client projects

What’s Coming for 2015

Adding to my FAQ’s , I think I should add “what the heck are you up to?” and well, it’s a lot – so thought “ok, time to let people in…”

Chris’s Picks – This was a compilation I made for the Carolina Cup last year and I was thrilled to present a film of my favorite videos from the last 8 years of covering stand up and prone paddling. It was tons of fun, so much so, that I have been quietly re-editing it to tighten up the edit and release to Vimeo. Because of complications with people being on different brands and athletes not wanting a commercial project out there with them on different sponsors and the huge expense of licensing music, I figured I will just put it on Vimeo and beg you all to donate pennies to the tip jar. I will donate half of all tips to Athletes 4 Cancer. Look for this by the end of Jan

Calico Syndicate – also by end of Januaray, look for the 2nd full length feature from Fin Films to come out. Our fly fishing opus, The Calico Syndicate that tells the story of 5 salt water fly fisherman who have been pushing the boundaries of fly fishing along the California coast. Sound edits are happening now with (we hope) a release by month’s end. I don’t have full control of the distribution, the executive producers have been moving along slowly on that end. My hope is that we will have a DVD pressed soon and a digital download available via Vimeo or some other outlet.

Molo ’14- I am SO proud to announce that I will once again be rejoining forces with my talented Brother, Steve Aguilar, to produce the Molokai 14 race web series. This is by far one of the strongest sets of Molokai footage I have ever worked with thanks to Ocean Paddler Television and our continued partnership. Look for this series to start showing itself in March of this year

The 2014 Reel – The reel has become a short film and I am close to finishing a look back at my year with Quickblade, Bark and Surftech as well as the events I have been lucky to shoot for. Should have this one wrapped up by next week. Stoked to share this one with you.

Legacy- This is the prone film. It is in VERY early development, but I hope we can start actual shooting in March 2015 and shoot it all year along with a potential release in 2016 – maybe in late 2015 if things go well. Look for a kickstart and other things to bring this out to the public.

Ok that’s it….not a lot going on :)

 

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Molokai 14 – BTS

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The Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships really is the super bowl of paddling. Each year, the best of the best of the best the rest show up on the small island of Molokai to take on the channel of bones. The channel is 32 miles of currents, swells, and is one of the most feared bodies of water in the world. What makes it so gnarly? It is deep. Really deep and it gets deep really quickly. Also, it is smack in the path of the ever present trade winds. Sometimes it can be a good run, but most times it is a side chop suffer fest. As big wave pioneer and all around waterman, Dave Kalama said of the finish, “it is the only race that gets harder as you get closer to the finish”. Why? When you finish you are fighting the refraction of water bouncing off Oahu, a current line and a head wind. In an interview one year Kalama called it ” Cruel and unusual punishment”.

The race started as a group of paddlers and surfers who just wanted to try it. That was 18 years ago and it was a handful of guys. Now, it is a world class event with international media coverage. This year after the race, we had footage going to ESPN, Australian National Broadcasting for the Morning Shows, and crews from all over the world shooting.

As the official producer for the race, it is a daunting task to cover it every year. But life is made a little easier with the help of Ocean Paddler Television in Hawaii and their capability to cover with their own boats and (gulp) helicopter. The day after the event is a made dash of hard drives being copied and cards being captured so we can collaborate on footage together.

I usually get to Hawaii a few days before the event to help the race committee (a small team of about 5 people handling 300 paddlers and 200 or so escort boats) with setting up registration and other pieces of the race. The first shooting day is the registration at Dukes, then we run off to the island. The Saturday before the race is always hectic trying to get in all of the athlete interviews. In previous years I have always over shot these interviews and this year, I committed to keeping everyone under 5 minutes. Mission accomplished – we ran interviews from 10am to 6pm…I shot over four and a half hours of interview footage featuring not just the top talent in the sports of paddleboard and SUP – but also a lot of the relay and solo people just going out to do the race. Those people are interesting to me, they have spent thousands to get here and are not doing it for any other reason but to do it. It’s special.

The morning of the race starts at 4:30am with packing gear and prepping for the swim to the boat. Yes you swim to the boat. There is no dock. So everything has to be in Pelican cases and dry bags. Luckily this year we had a ski to help taxi us out, but usually, it is a morning dip in the ocean. After the prayers and final instructions, we load up, run to the start and wait. Race morning is chaotic- from a production stand point, my goal is beach side interviews, shoot B roll and try to capture what it is like to be on the beach in the morning of the race. Not sure I have ever really done that. But hey, you have to try.

The rest of the day is spend bobbing around the channel trying not to fall on top of the other shooters on the boat. The water there is rough, very rough and when you are moving at around 5mph, you feel every bump. Shooting from a boat is a science in itself. I try not to drink coffee that morning — at least too much. One year I over did it and you can see it in the footage. I think boat shooting is by far the hardest thing you can do, and I have tried every device you can imagine to not get any shake – it’s ocean and you cannot beat it.

Once we wrap up the channel shooting, i scurry to the hotel to get out a Video News Reel for the international press. I usually don’t even shower till this reel is done. It is really a feat to accomplish getting footage exported within a few hours of the event. It was made a little easier this year as I used Adobe Premiere which natively handled all of the different camera formats – unlike my old Final Cut that would have required a bit of transcoding.

The next day, I spent the whole day once more in editing working on a high light reel…this again was done in Adobe, it was my third ever project in this software and I have some learning to do – that’s for sure (such as audio leveling haha).

 

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Behind the Scenes…QB’s Trifecta

Recently for Quickblade Paddles, I got to make a very cool video for their new, innovative paddle – the Trifecta. It’s a really special paddle that needed a really special video.

Most of our work with QB has taken place in their paddle flume, a gym designed for training water athletes. We have used this for our backdrop for most instructional and other types of content. But for this video, I wanted to show the process of the paddle – showcase its unique features and make something a bit different then usual.

One of the neat things about QB is that the place is a manufacturing center. The paddles are made and assembled on site – and in the owner Jim Terrell’s suite are actual presses used for molds. They are stainless steel, beautiful and are labeled with the QB logo. In addition, there are workspaces with carbon fiber dust, foam dust and all kinds of other things that go into making the paddles. This is the very room where prototypes are born.

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To give the look of a car commercial I opted to keep everything very dark and moody. One challenge of the room though are skylights and I was shooting the middle of the day. The nice thing about the Panasonic GH3 is how flexible the camera is and through a combination of manual settings, I was able to make the room dark enough to look like it was pitch black. The next ingredient was a single LED light.

I put the paddle in various positions and going handheld with the camera in one hand and the LED light in the other I created light pans across the paddle. I shoot most things handheld, it is pretty rare that I use a steady cam or tripod these days, it takes practice, but once you get it down it’s simple. The LED light created very cool shadows and the fades in the video itself are not post production fades – they are literally the light coming up and backing down across the paddle and work areas.

As luck would have it, Jim walked in while I was shooting and needed to sand a paddle blade. It was actually an outrigger paddle with a Trifeca blade – a sort of test. But I saw the opportunity to get some moody shots of the master at work. I used the single LED to shoot Jimmy sanding a paddle out and this impromptu shoot created one of the best collection of moments in the video. It shows that you need to be open to what could happen next to get good footage. Jimmy working was not even in my storyboard.

We got lucky that one of our Hawaiian dealers was going to see Travis Grant, one of the co-producers of the paddle – so we had him conduct an interview with Travis and send to us. It all fit together perfectly and created a very dynamic, contrast filled video. All shot with a Panasonic GH3 and one LED light.