The Sash is Back

I’ve had some great opportunities to create video with Peach State Overland and the Overland Sash is no exception. The idea came about when I was perusing some old photos and two pictures of my mom stood out. One was of her as a young girl wearing her Girl Scout sash and the other as an adult from a few years back jokingly wearing the same sash. I figured this would be hilarious to re-purpose a sash like this for today’s morale patch fad in the overland and tactical shooting clicks. Patrick Metzger from PSO wrote a script based on the style and cadence of the infamous Sham-wow commercials starring Vince Offer. I also wanted to ride the 90s craze that was/is happening now in commercials, fashion, and social media so we let that guide some of the wardrobe and gags. The rest of PSO then came together as a group and started tweaking and pre-planning what was possible given a budget of zero and decided that April 1st was the day for the launch. That gave us roughly 2 months to complete the project in our spare time. We decided to keep a few scenes while we axed a few others. We wanted to capture a few poignant jabs at some overland cliche’s as well as some of our own in our experience in the overland space. That narrowed it down to the elevator, the selfie-stick, and the epic b-roll scenes as well as the hilarity of what the patches represent to us.

The spot breaks down to 7 scenes and/or locations:

  • A host/narration scene at an overland camp site
  • An elevator
  • A scenic view with our 90s guy using a selfie stick
  • A camp site cooking b-roll montage
  • A scene with PSO member Andrew dressed in full tactical garb for the Tacti-cool segment
  • Sash b-roll with a 3/4 mannequin
  • Customer testimonials

Each had their own challenges, be it timing, travel, props, green screen, etc, but the elevator scene required the most coordination and people power. We opted for an undisclosed location that we’d have relatively uninhibited access to on a weekend, we cast Lauren Taylor (a friend and local music and acting talent in the Atlanta area), called in a favor from friend Josh Crosby to assist with grip and gaff duties, as well as PSO’s Steven Sorenson as our 90s guy. Patrick shot the scene and I directed. All in all, it turned out pretty well. Shooting an elevator scene with the assist of false walls is a little difficult, lighting, doors closing constantly are all troublesome, but we made it work.

Everything was shot on a Fuji XT3 at 4k/60p or for some of the slo-mo 1080p120. For green screen I took advantage of the camera’s 10bit HEVC codec to get a nice clean cut.

Once we had all the pieces, the edit was relatively quick. I put together rough sequences the night after most of the shoots, so assembling them and adding some SFX and beds as well lots of crop-ins and dutch angles was about it.

It’s not perfect, but for a fun passion project, done is the goal and we received lots of positive reaction and re-posting on social sites.


Shooting Kodak Ektachrome 7294 Super 8

For Peach State Overland’s Annual Fall Color Run 2018, I decided to change it up. Kodak had just released the Super 8 version of their Ektachrome 7294 stock and it seemed like a great oppurtunity to try it out. I was handed down a Canon 310XL which was still in great working order. Exposure is automatic on this camera, so it came down to be selective with shots as I only had about 6min worth of film total. I was very please with the flat log scan that Pro8mm did and once graded has an amazing look. Pardon the VO, but enjoy nonetheless!

“We give a run down of where our hearts are in regards to group rides. The film is set to the backdrop of our last group ride through eastern Tennessee, the Nantahala, and Tellico Overland Adventure Destination in late October 2018.”

Shot on a Canon 310XL and processed and scanned by Pro8mm in Burbank , CA.


Studio C-41

When a niché is more than an niché. This is the progress I’ve seen within one of my friends and industry peers, Bill Manning, as he’s delved into the rebirth of film photography. Bill runs a podcast along side his colleague, Steven Wallace, called Studio C-41 that focuses on film still photography and industry news. With a wide range of topics encompassing film as well as interviews with some prominent figures and companies in the film industry, he’s making a name for himself. In that same light, Bill came to me to discuss the possibilities of adding video to Studio C-41’s swath in social media. Ideas have swirled, but the other day, Black Friday no less, instead of shopping we decided to #optoutside and go shoot something, anything! We met up in Ballground, Ga, and on the way, called me and discussed shooting some kind of intro for either the video version of the podcast or something for his recently launched VLOG.

His idea was simple, shoot a sequence highlighting the activity he usually takes part in when shooting a VLOG, i.e. driving to a location, load some of that sweet Kodak film into one of his fantastic and in some cases antique cameras and snap some photos. With that premise I then looked at ways to add some style either in what how it was shot, what I focused on in the composition, or what I would do with it in post in regard to editing and music. The first thing that popped into both of our head’s was his hat. Bill likes to wear a fedora when he’s on camera and it’s kind of become a signature of his. So I knew I wanted some action to happen around that, but I also wanted to keep his face relatively hidden. I kind of thought with the podcast you often only hear his voice, but I also wanted to add some mystery to make this simple sequence slightly more interesting. So I shot around that premise, over-the-shoulders, hands, details, motivated camera moves, all leading up to the big reveal of this amazing dilapidated house we had scouted at nearby Gold and Grass Farms.

I shot the sequence with my usual arsenal, C100mkii with Rokinon primes, SL1 on my Ronin-S, and a few key shots on my Phantom 4 Pro. We had limited time in what would have been golden hour from 4p-5:30p, but inclement weather was inbound. We talked through the shots and then started shooting. Drone shots first to get the hard stuff out of the way given the turn around time for the vehicle and also infrequent breaks in the strong wind that day. Then I moved to C100 for the opening shot in the car and the handheld shots while Bill loaded film. Then while it was sprinkling, the gimbal shot of Bill walking to the gate was the last shot. Here’s the final product, after editing and finding some music that matched the pace and also had a nice reprieve for the big reveal, it all came together nicely. I added in some light leaks as an homage to film, as well.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrtJrIggXLg

Beginnings

Several months ago I set out to see if I could compose a short video telling the story of how Sarcraft came to be and what they’re trying to do as a company. They needed to establish themselves with a video that really digs into what they’re about will let people relate to them better, hopefully leading to more business.Read More


Red Clay Rally Documentary

The next large scale release from Peach State Overland was just launched. This time, coverage of the first annual Red Clay Rally, organized by Overland Tennessee. This was a 3-day monte carlo style rally that spanned across paved and unpaved roads throughout the Appalachian Mountains from north-eastern Tennessee down through North Carolina and Georgia. For those who are unaware, as I was, a monte carlo style rally is not a race, but a timed event where the goal is to match as closely as possible to a set goal time. In this case, the organizer set the pace on a pre-run months prior to the event. If your team was too slow when compared to the goal time, you lost points, but if your team was too fast, you also lost points.

On the video production side of Peach State Overland, I’ve come to the conclusion that the better way to provide coverage of our trips is to, unfortunately, not drive. Capturing the details, the dialogue, the better angles, all require attention that is hard to spare when you’re driving your own rig. This is not only the case when driving, but setting up camp as well. Simply put, if your attention is diverted elsewhere, the content will naturally suffer. For the Red Clay Rally, the team wanted to put this theory to the test. We ran a three vehicle team, and all six (at the time) team member’s were in attendance. Specifically, we had three drivers responsible for each of their rigs, one navigator in the lead vehicle, and two people responsible for video/production.  This allowed everyone to have a predetermined scope of responsibility and in my opinion, helped greatly.

The rally was hard work and put our team dynamic to the test. Ultimately, the video production improved. But you can be the judge.