Field Notes

  • CES 2019 Of all the trade shows that are in Las Vegas, CES is a big target on my wish list. This year I was able to attend… and work the show. Operating Station at the 2019 Consumerand Electronics Show (CES) The Consumer and Electronics Show is amazing. Its where all the new consumer tech comes out. Robot ...
  • Seeing in the Dark I have taken something for granted – the lack of light pollution where I live. Seeing the Milky Way, even the northern lights, is pretty common in the Central Plains so I didn’t think much about the stars until I started working with more and more people from the coasts that never get to see them. Like, at all. ...
  • Luck Reunion 2019 The Luck Reunion is Willie Nelson’s little contribution to the SXSW festival.  That’s South by Southwest for those of you that don’t speak country music acronyms. SXSW is huge. It last for over a week in Austin, TX and has festivals around music & film to forms on social issues and technology.  The Luck Reunion is only ...
  • Polecam for Rubik’s Cube Championship Red Bull does an amazing job firing people up. And not all of them are athletes!  Red Bull has a MINDGAMERS series that host events that challenge the mind: specifically memory, creativity, musicality strategy, visual intelligence and logic. These play out in escape rooms, hacking, and specifically, winning at Rubik’s cube.  In the fall of ...
  • A Ride-Along After years of shooting video for news and for corporate projects, my opinion is that a combine is one of the hardest places to shoot clean video.  Why?  Not because all farmers are “interesting” drivers, but because the field are so not paved interstates. And than makes them very shaky and even harder to shoot ...
  • Baby Legs The Hi-hat and the Low-Hat have been around a long time. I resisted getting either as they seemed too limiting for the way I like to move in the field. Then I ran into these little guys. Its not a new concept, but I was ready to add it to the arsenal. These are the Benro ...
  • Frequent Flier Two polecam jobs back to back. A surgery shoot in Florida followed by a week long corporate event in California. This gear is earning its merit badge in airport navigation.
  • They always told me…. …I’d end up with a grip truck. I fought it. I work lean. Compact and easy to pack. And I was wrong. Late summer I worked a 2 day shoot Gaffing in N. Central South Dakota. Neat place that doesn’t actually have an address. It was a house ranch in the middle of all the ...
  • Did you bring your sun? What do you do when the sun just isn’t good enough. You bring your own. I gaffed a recent interview shoot and nature was doing its amazing thing… blazing sun into the corner of the frame adding life to the neutral grey background. It was awesome. Except, we had 45 minutes until the interview ...
  • Interviews and Tail Pipes Every August the Black Hills of South Dakota come alive with the rolling thunder of tail pipes for the Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally. A few years back, I worked a concert venue for close to 2 weeks – and haven’t worked that scene sense. This trip, my job was to capture clean audio through the ...
  • Nature 1, Me 0 Thanks to the wine documentary project, I’ve got my hands on some neat time lapse capable cameras. One has a close focus opting in a completely weather-proof housing. One of its advertised features is garden photography. What could I possibly do with that??????  Hmmmmm….   Enter a grand idea. I wanted to time lapse a crop sprouting ...
  • Hutterite Film Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to work on a very neat project with Sioux Falls native Becca Flynn. The working title was Hutterite. It was a short film based on her mother’s story of growing up in a Hutterite colony, making the decision to leave and then doing so. It was a ...
  • ORs, Boots and Broken Hearts Not sure how else to start a story about Nashville…? All those things happened on a recent trip with some surprises along the way. The first one came in the airport. Before we took off when, one of our favorite clients was on all of the same connections. How fun is that? We lost her ...
  • Working with the Four Percent Working with the Four Percent In the start of 2017, I was fortunate to meet and start working with Vick Strizheus of the Four Percent. We have had some great projects since then and I want to introduce you to what will be in future write ups. Vick has created on online ecosystem for marketers and ...
  • Keeping the Goal Alive In the never ending quest for better gear, I have progressed from Tungsten lamps to LED panels to LED Fresnels (Sola 4s and 6s) and most recently, LED Flexlights. The jump to LEDs and then flexible LEDs have been amazing for working light in the field and travel situations. But, some of these lights ...
  • Steel Yourself Sometimes, it’s just better to do it yourself. Like when its time to make custom parts for your Polecam. And in this case, when I say by myself, I mean with all of the adult males from the farm leading the charge and me in the dust. When I added the Ronin M head to the ...
  • Traveling Light (yes, light) Lots of Airports. I have seen what feels like all of them. That’s not even close to true… but I do get a round a lot. And packing for production is something you can not gloss over. Whether its Polecam for a live broadcast or surgery, an interview kit or more, getting gear thru an ...
  • Another Polecam Day in the OR We received a call for Polecam in an OR. Collin and I stepped up and made things happen in Chicago. We have very few pictures from setting ups on surgery days. Surgery is always early morning and in the rush of getting into a foreign facility, squared away with staff, changing into scrubs and acknowledging ...
  • Going High End A high end client had some commercials to produce. We had the budget to add some PL glass to accompany the 4K images we were going to capture. Translation: time to play with some high end toys! We shot 4K 30P on a Sony FS5 and mounted Elite PL Primes to the camera with a simple ...
  • Wines at Home A group of us are working on a long format doc about South Dakota Wines. There is a lot to know about this topic. We are only scratching the surface and the stories being uncovered are incredible. To get some promo footage and b-roll, Collin of Cmac Productions brought out his drone and we played ...
  • Glitter Bomb This could have been titled; No officer, I didn’t do it! Let me explain. A lot of the material I work on is not for public consumption. Its often held for a later broadcast date, part of a timed campaign or simply not for the public to view. Many times the last I see of a project ...
  • Polecam at LA Auto Show Just before Thanksgiving was the Press Event postion of the LA Auto Show. John Gillen needed a second Polecam op for the Jaguar Land Rover booth and I gladly obliged. With the less than optimal flooring at these events, the Ronin head has become a vital part of the Polecam kit. It simply keeps the camera ...
  • From NYC to LA I am currently in Las Angles preparing for the LA Auto Show. Where does the time go? I haven’t posted a single bit from the NYC auto show and that was months ago. For this show, I was on the Acura Booth for their reveal of the NSX. A very cool car. Look it up. Its ...
  • Polecam takes Aim Freshly released by Springfield Armory, is The Saint. Its the first AR platform from Springfield Armory and I was there to help document the group of writers doing through their introduction, training and shooting drills in Las Vegas. Epicosity, an agency in Sioux Falls, works directly with Springfield Armory on their marketing. Collin McKenzie and ...
  • Virtual Reality Is Really COOL! With Fall upon us I need to post about what I did last summer. One of the most unique shoots was a Virtual Reality project that focused on bees. So imagine this; you in a virtual environment, not only surrounded by bees, but actually in their hive. Seeing them fly by you and hearing it as ...
  • Carpool Karaoke SDSU opened their new stadium, the Dana J Dykehouse Stadium, this September with a blow out concert featuring Luke Bryan and then 2 days later had a big win over Drake.  Part of the festivities included several videos to keep the concert night crowd entertained between bands. One of them was a story showing Dana ...
  • I’m winded! I worked with a colleague last week on a shoot for his new client. Someone new to the world of video production. The shoot went great. He directed and would be editing the final pieces. I did the lighting and shot lifestyle scenes in a new construction home. The client was very excited about the ...
  • More Grippage Its kind of fun to show how we rig different set ups. Here are some samples recent shoots. We were testing how we would rig up a multi-camera shoot in a vehicle. We needed to mount 3 mini cams and the Toshiba IH-HD1s were perfect for this. I have 2 and used another split head camera ...
  • Slew of Interviews Many of my recent projects have been centered around creating well lit interviews incorporating part of their work or home environment into the background. In this setting the subject really lays out their full story for the camera. The issue of course, is how much time we get to make a nice shot and sculpt ...
  • Sony E3 Sony launched their latest round of PlayStation material and a new Virtual Headset at E3 in June. And Polecam was a part of the show. Creative Technologies was behind the scenes and put on a heck of a presentation. Massive 4K LED video boards with an LED floor and back wall. Intense lighting effects, a full ...