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Blog

15

Sep

Brand storytelling summer roundup

  • By David

People on bikes
While the unusually warm summer we’ve been experiencing up here in Oregon refuses to give out, we all know the end is nigh and the rains will eventually come. So even though it’s still swimming pool hot, the kids are back in in school and the nights are cooling off quicker. Summer’s coming to an end it’s time to take a look back at the season’s best brand storytelling. And there’s been a lot of great work out there.

First mention goes to some web spots for the Levi’s commuter series. It’s directed by Truen Pence of Instrument with his relaxed and lyrical documentary style he brought to life in last year’s This Place (which we were lucky to be able to help with), it explores three real and very different characters with a passion for cycling. Smartly set in the iconic cities of London, Oakland and New York, it goes beyond tapping into the bike commuter zeitgeist through telling honest and distinct stories.

Read more…

02

Dec

Seeing the world in 4K

  • By David

sheeps

I had some time to shoot with a RED  just for fun this weekend. It’s nice being able to take a camera through its paces off of a project. I headed out early on Thanksgiving morning to shoot some landscapes on a Scarlet while the family watched the parade in their PJs. Needless to say, it was quiet and peaceful in the Coast Range, and we had some nice, clear weather and interesting skies, atypical for Oregon in November.

On the one hand, 4K can often feel like overkill. After all, most HD broadcasts are still 720, and nobody out there is really broadcasting, projecting or serving 4k files to audiences. I’m sure it’ll happen someday, but the infrastructure seems to be years away.  So why shoot in 4K? Of course there’s the future-proof/archival reasons for doing so.

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14

Nov

American Wine Story aerials

  • By David

aerial vineyard

We’re excited that the trailer for the documentary American Wine Story is now making the rounds and it contains a number of our aerial shots, captured over the last year. Vineyards are always spectacular locations as it seems that grapes like to have a nice view.

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10

Aug

Shooting a Dream Car

  • By David

Yellow Mercedes

Though we didn’t get to drive it, we still can’t complain about spending a day shooting a preview of a Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Black Series. It’s hard to decide what made our jaws drop more, the car or the stunning views on Mt. Hood’s Lost Lake Road.

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21

Jun

Aerial video on the solstice

  • By David

Airlie1

To celebrate the first day of summer, we headed to Airlie Winery at 6:30 this morning. Airlie is set in a gorgeous location, nestled in the Coast Range at the edge of the Dunn Forest. Towering pines give way to sprawling vineyards, and the pond at the high point of the property adds a quiet, pastoral touch.

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16

May

The drone debate

  • By David

Justin Smith holding a newspaper with a photo of a drone next to our hex

We recently checked into a hotel after a day of film production in Central Oregon, and we were carrying our small rig, a hex multiroter helicopter with a GoPro. The front desk clerk’s eyes widened and she asked, with more curiosity than angst, what the hell we were carrying.

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15

May

New article up at meetcontent

  • By David

muI’ve had the great fortune to work in higher education, producing a wide web and video content. Universities have the best stories. Kick a stone and it’ll land on a great concept for a documentary film. There’s no shortage of subjects, from sports to research and tales of overcoming great odds.

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25

Mar

New demo reel

  • By David
copter-play

We launched our 2013 demo reel this week, featuring shots from recent projects and aerial cinematography from around Oregon. It took more than a year for us to develop a commercial-worthy aerial capability, and this was built upon a lifetime of RC piloting experience on Justin’s part. We originally thought we’d be up and running in a few months.

But the development has been worth it, as we can now lift production quality cameras and capture some amazing footage.

19

Mar

Brave Julius’s “The Wind Kept”

  • By David

Through our Corvallis-based creative collective, we produced a music video with the superbly talented Santiago Uceda and Brave Julius. Justin served as the project’s director of photography, and I worked on the production and editing side.

After more than a year of planning and execution, and a number of late nights by Santiago as he worked created an imaginative landscape, the final piece that came together is something we can all be proud of.

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13

Feb

Content marketing: selling the culture not the can

Rusty can

There’s been a lot of buzz about content marketing lately. Forbes recently called it “the next digital media revolution.”

But content marketing isn’t new, in fact some companies have been doing it for a while. John Deere’s been doing it since the late 1800’s.  The Internet has certainly streamlined the delivery of content marketing, making it easier than ever for brands to become publishers, and this has thrust the concept into the spotlight.

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10

Jan

Early morning aerial

  • By David

In western Oregon, when it rains much of the winter, we have to take advantage of any break in the weather to shoot with our aerial rigs. You’ve got to keep your skills sharp, and plus we’re always testing new parts and technology, new camera gear, and new techniques to make the shots as steady and interesting as possible.

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03

Dec

Stealing African sunshine

A project this past summer took me to one of the most challenging environments we’ve shot to date.  Rural Africa can offer some of the most breathtaking scenes you can hope to point your camera at, but those images come with challenges.  Aside from the various health and safety concerns associated with extended travel in rural Africa, approaching a trip here for the purpose of filming a documentary brings along a whole host of technical complications.  

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12

Nov

First flight

  • By David

We’ve spent the last year perfecting our new aerial camera platform, and we’re starting to put it to use on the wine documentary. We should have it ready for use on commercial projects beginning in the spring of 2013. Low-altitude aerial adds an entire new dimension to digital storytelling.

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19

Mar

Brand cinema is ‘content marketing’

  • By David

This article about “content marketing” applies to web and commercial video production as well.

“Effective content marketing holds people’s attention. It gives you a distinctive brand, loyal fans and increased sales.”

If you want to share the story of your business through video, you have to give your audience a reason to watch. If you’re not careful to craft a compelling story that inspires them or gives them a message worth taking home and sharing, then you’re spinning your wheels.  Other than your friends and family, nobody’s going to watch your video, and they’re certainly not going to pass it along to others.
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17

Mar

Aerial rig in development

  • By David

We’ve been working since late last year to develop an RC aerial platform that will match the cinema-quality standards we apply to our projects. We’re now in testing and will hope to launch this service line in the summer of 2012.

You can walk past any Brookstone and see RC helicopter units, and your thought might be, “Well, if kids can fly these things, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a camera rig in the air, right?

T-Rec camera helicopter

Think again. Every day brings us a step closer, but it’s not an easy leap, even despite having years of RC plane and heli experience. But now that we’re close, we’re thrilled about the big picture look we’re going to be able to bring to all of our projects and the possibilities that this platform opens up for storytelling.