Archive for 'Videos'

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

One of the best parts of our job is getting random, unsolicited inquiries from future clients and fellow artists.

In May, Jaymie Jones reached out. Jaymie and her daughter Kelli are Belles & Whistles, a country singer/songwriter duo out of Omaha, NE.

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Kelli and Jason paddle through the pond at Katie and Kevin’s farm in O’Neill at sunset.

They had seen the Nebraska Project and wanted to be a part of it. Jaymie offered time and music. She sent over a handful of tracks for us to choose from and we quickly settled on Luna Blue as a good place to start.

We had already made plans to be in Nebraska in early June, so we scheduled some extra days, called some friends for help, and made plans for another music video.

We’ve spent a lot of time in Nebraska over the last year and a half, but a of couple places have stuck out as favorites; places where we know we can make images no matter what. - A wilderness area near Hastings, NE. - and Kevin and Katie Morrow’s farm north of O’Neill, NE.

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Katie holds up a Sunbounce to light Kelli’s face at sunrise in Liberty Cove.

We told Jaymie and Kelli that we’d bring the cameras - a couple fresh-out-of-the-box Nikon D5 bodies and a RED Dragon - if they brought the props and a model, namely a boy and a truck.

They happened to find the boy and the truck in O’Neill, NE. Jason Hahlbeck is a rising senior at O’Neill High School and happens to be good friends with Kevin and Katie’s oldest daughter Emily. Things seem to work that way in Nebraska - everybody helpful, everybody connected.  

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Jason Hahlbeck on set.

This was the first time we’ve had significant time with the D5 in our hands since we shot My Nebraska last September and it felt good to be shooting 4k UHD with the same camera we use for making high quality stills.

For this video, we wanted to employ a lot of motion, so we rigged our EZFX jib and our Movi M10 with a D5, Nikkor lens and Small HD monitor. Katie Klann, the newest edition to the Straw Hat team, is fast becoming an expert at getting the Movi ready to go quickly.

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Kelli stands in a pond for a shot in Luna Blue while the SHV team preps the EZFX jib.

 
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Katie Klann running the Movi-M10 with a Nikon D5 and 14-24mm lens.

We wanted to shoot a majority of the video in low light, which the D5 is perfect for. We shot every day at sunrise and sunset. To make our lives a little easier, we camped every night so we were in place the moment we woke up each morning.

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Our camp site outside Hastings, NE.

For this project, we utilized the newest additions to our equipment case - two light meters from Sekonic. The Litemaster Pro (L-478DR-U-EL) is key when calibrating cameras. The Nikon D5 bodies are amazingly consistent, as are the RED Weapon and Dragon bodies, but they work very differently. When we need to mix files, the Litemaster Pro is our go to meter. The Nikons are extremely accurate when it comes to color balance, zero fluctuation between bodies. The need for calibration comes in multi camera production with the light coming from different directions, and in diverse ways. And then there is post production to consider. For documentary work, we want to present the light temperature and intensity as we saw it. For music videos that's not necessarily the case, and keeping things straight is a different challenge. The Sekonic C-500R Prodigy Color Temperature helps us calculate not only what is, but what we want it to be.

Overall, we spent four days with Jaymie, Kelli and Jason and shot two music videos in that time. Luna Blue is the first of those videos. We invite you to watch it on NebraskaProject.com.

Education is a huge part of my life.  Both as student and teacher.

Last year, I spent close to seven weeks in Lebanon observing and working with educators. I watched the Syrian crisis from Beirut and the north.

Lebanon has a population of 3.75 million.

They are housing 1.5 million Syrian refugees, along with 500,000 Palestinians.

It's a tough situation, financially and socially.

Imagine being uprooted, forced to leave your homeland as a child, every constant you've relied on changing, and being deposited in a foreign land with no idea when you can simply go home.

That's what refugee children face.   

Their salvation is education. Finding that path when you have little control over resources is a daunting task-one that requires help from the host nation.

Tiny Lebanon has stepped up. Here is part of a conversation we had last week with Fadi Yarak at the Education World Forum in London.

He, and the people there give me hope.

Last summer my daughter Havana and I were driving along Highway 20 -- one of the prettiest stretches of Blue Highway in America -- across the top of Nebraska. Approaching Cody -- A Town Too Tough To Die -- we saw a small football field nestled between hills just outside of town. It pulled me straight in like a visual magnet. As I stepped out of the car, I was mesmerized. The air was so fresh. That giant crystal clear blue sky was littered with puffy white clouds. Gentle prairie sounds hummed all around. I walked across the field and stooped to pick a blade of the sweet long grass. I knew I had to come back in autumn. As it has been my entire life, a good chunk of my focus this fall would be football -- in Nebraska. cody It's about the game, but more about community.  Life in a little Nebraska town. My story and film about the Cody-Kilgore six-man football team is now on ESPN.com.

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of working once again with the talented Rachel Price in her hometown of O'Neill, Nebraska.

We were all going to be in the state at the same time. Bill and Laura were working on a continuation of the Nebraska Project. Rachel was home for some tour dates.

We were able to assemble a great team last month for our continued work out there. Roy Rossovich came to town from Stockholm, Tricia Coyne flew in from North Carolina, and Kyle Henderson joined from Indiana.

In the middle of our various work schedules, we were able to get everyone together for an afternoon to shoot this cover of Johnny Cash's “Ain't No Grave.”

Our good friends, Katie and Kevin Morrow, chipped in with some pre-scouting help. No one knows that area better than Kevin, and he found an old graveyard between farms outside of O'Neill.

We got lucky on the weather. Overcast was exactly what we needed for the mood. We worked quickly, shooting everything on the Red Dragon using three Nikkor lenses - the 24mm PL, the 45mm PL and the new 300mm f/4.

Rachel Price on set/

Rachel Price on set.

 
It was windy that day and Rachel couldn't here the portable speaker, so we attached an iPhone to her back with some tape.

It was windy that day and Rachel couldn't here the portable speaker, so we attached an iPhone to her back with some tape.

 
DOP Roy Rossovich runs the Red.

DOP Roy Rossovich runs the Red.

 
Bill gives direction on a jib shot for the opening scene.

Bill gives direction on a jib shot for the opening scene.

We wanted the perspective control lenses to give the video a dreamy feel. We coupled that with some motion employed by the Cinevate Atlas 200 slider and an EZ-FX jib.

We hope you enjoy the video. You can watch it now. And Happy Halloween!

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