Archive for 'On Location/Backstage'

Two weeks ago we released “Luna Blue,” the first of two music videos we filmed with mother/daughter duo Belles & Whistles. Today we have the pleasure of releasing the second video from our creative collaboration with them with “I’m Wild.”  

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Kelli walks down a dirt road for the beginning of “I’m Wild.”

The beauty of Nebraska isn’t just the wide open scenery. It’s the people, the open front doors and the help at every corner. We shot “Luna Blue” and “I’m Wild” simultaneously. Depending on the light and the scene, we could send Kelli and Jason to quickly change from one outfit to another. Each video has its’ own color scheme. “Luna Blue,” as the name suggests, has a bluer and darker tone, while “I’m Wild” is warm and light. To achieve these different looks while shooting simultaneously, we relied on our Sekonic C-500R Color Temperature meter. In the digital world many people have abandoned light and color temperature meters, but keeping each camera in sync for each shot made post production much faster and the final product better. “I’m Wild” is a visually open dialogue with sweeping views of the Nebraska countryside from the front seat of an old truck.
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Kelli drives the truck down a dirt road outside O’Neill, NE.

  About 90% of the scenery was filmed on and around Kevin and Katie Morrow’s farm, the dirt roads and sloping hills of northeast Nebraska. For “I’m Wild” we also got to go back to one of our favorite places - The Bassett Lodge and Range Cafe in Bassett, NE.
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Kelli in the opening scene of “I’m Wild” at the Bassett Lodge.

 
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Laura hand holds the RED for a quick shot of Kelli writing in her notebook for the beginning of “I’m Wild”

The Range Cafe is an old diner with classic old stools and a midwestern feel. The Lodge, which is attached, is an updated hotel that is locally owned and operated. If you ever find yourself in north central Nebraska on US Highway 20, we highly recommend stopping in.
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Katie run the Movi-M10 with a Nikon D5 and 14-24mm f/2.8 past Kelli in the Range Cafe.

Bassett itself is a classic small town, complete with a painted water tower and old Phillips 66 gas station. Before heading to Bassett we had told Jason Hahlbeck and his dad that we would love to shoot at the Phillips 66 station, but we couldn’t find the owner of the property. The Hahlbecks made one phone call. They, of course, had known the owner for years.
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Kelli in front of the Phillips 66 in Bassett, NE.

Laura calls it the Nebraska name game. Mention any landmark in any small town to a Nebraska native and within 5 minutes they will find a personal connection to the landmark, the town, and a person or people who live there. The final scene was shot on our final night in Nebraska. “I’m Wild” is an upbeat song and needed an upbeat ending. Belles & Whistles assembled their band and we all met in Loma, NE, a small town 40 minutes north of Lincoln. Once again, Jason came with his brother’s truck from O’Neill, which is a 3 hour drive.
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Kelli and Jason pose in front of the truck in Loma, NE, before filming the final scene.

“I’m Wild” was a simple video to shoot. We wanted the landscape and motion to tell the story. We relied heavily on the Nikon D5 and 14-24mm f/2.8 on the Movi-M10 to get the camera moving, but we also let a lot of motion move through the camera lens. For that we used the Nikon D5 with either a 300mm f/4 or a 400mm f/2.8 on a Manfrotto 509 Fluid Head and a 545B Aluminum Tripod. This configuration allowed us to move quickly and seamlessly through each shot.     Come see these areas for yourself this October. A few spaces are still available. Join our Photo Workshop! Nebraska Project Button

Iceland is the land of fire and ice; volcanoes and glaciers. iceland4 It is a land of extremes. Extreme weather. Extreme landscapes. Extreme beauty. iceland Last year we took a group of 12 friends to Iceland, starting and ending our trip in Reykjavik – one of the coziest capital cities in the world. iceland5 We trekked from the eastern city of Höfn, all the way down across the southern coast, inland to Geysir, then west to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Our driver, Solveig, seemed to never tire, always willing to keep going – to keep looking for photos. iceland2 Our trip brought us a lot of everything. We saw icebergs off the Vatnajökull, puffins on the coast, waterfalls coming out of canyons, black beaches. We watched the Strokkur explode at the Geysir Geothermal Park, we bathed in the blue lagoon outside of Keflavik, we ate local food and even crashed a wedding. The trip was one for the ages. And we’re going back. Iceland3 We’ve teamed back up with Solveig, our driver extraordinaire, and are trying something new. An even better itinerary than last year. This time heading north and west. This will mean fjords, glaciers, geothermal areas, whale watching and more. We leave August 12 from Reykjavik and stay until August 21. We can’t wait to start this new adventure and hope you will want to join us. If you’re interested, let us know. We’re always happy to have more of our friends share in these experiences.

This year was my 12th time going to the Belmont in hopes of witnessing Triple Crown history. By now, we all know how the story ended for California Chrome. But the chase made for a fun spring. Sports Illustrated's galley of the best images from the Triple Crown races is now online: http://new-www.si.com/more-sports/photos/2014/06/19/si-best-photos-of-the-2014-triple-crown-races On to summer adventures.

From the banks of the Platte, our photo tour is underway.

We are covering the migration of the Sandhill Cranes. If you are near Grand Isle, stop by the Wild About Nebraska Weekend on Saturday, March 16 at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. Bill will be presenting at 11 a.m.

Learn more about his presentation in the feature in The Grand Isle Independent.

As always, we are happy to be back in Nebraska.

Joe McNally never fails to make me appreciate his wit, generosity, talent, and most of all his work ethic.

Early in my career, I did a particularly grueling portrait shoot with a recalcitrant long jumper who was willing to give us two jumps and 10 minutes of his time. My assistant and I had trucked in about a ton of sand, built a scaffold platform for a high angle, erected a 16' x 16' scrim*, set up two 10K lights balanced for tungsten so we could make the sky deep blue in the middle of the day, positioned eight remote cameras and spent two hours doing lighting tests. All told we spent a combined 30 hours in preparation for 3 seconds of actual shooting time.
SI's Director of Photography Heinz Kluetmeier looked at the take, and said "It's very good. If I had hired Joe McNally for this he would have really worked it -- for sure he would have buried a camera in the sand too."
Lesson learned.
* Erecting a 16' x 16' scrim is no easy feat in and of itself. Columbus came across the ocean with less sail power.

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