What a great year for work. Two features, a major network TV show, a kickass short film and a handful of wonderful commercials and other TV show content. January 2014 started out strong with a series of spots for Buffalo Wild Wings directed by Jon Nowak for Space 150, and starring Richard Portnow (Se7en, Barton Fink).
Then began the first of my narrative projects for the year, a short film directed by Eric D Howell titled Strangers. (teaser below)
We photographed this movie in northern MN near Silver Bay on an exquisite property and in the amazing house that stands on it.
I mostly spent the winter months avoiding the cold, perfecting the art of the blanket fort, and hibernating… and did a series of commercials for Numerica Credit Union directed by Roger Sackett. I also teamed up with Chan Phiilips again on our first round of Play It Again Sports ads.
I also killed time by creating a couple of images for a friends book on hollywood glamour photography. Thanks to Mina Vang for wardrobe design, Darin Limvere for helping me light it, Natalie Hale and Amber Rose for exquisite hair and makeup and Mike Handley and the Acme Stage for the space and lights. It was a fun collaboration and I hope we can do more!
Details on when the book will be published will hopefully be available soon.
In March I finally realized my dream of working with director Patrick Coyle on a feature film. I have been a huge fan of his work since I interned on his feature debut “Detective Fiction” back in 2003. His new film titled The Public Domain centers around an ensemble of characters that congregate at a bar named “the Public Domain” and have in some way, a connection to 35w Bridge collapse tragedy of 2007. It was a fun project and we had an amazing home grown cast.
On the heels of Public Domain, Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival screened Stay Then Go, a film I am proud to have been the cinematographer on that was shot a couple summers ago. If you get a chance, go see it.
Then it was back to commercials for a moment with some shots for Sleep Number Beds with Flyover and Chan Phillips.
We then jumped a plane to Los Angeles for a series of commercials for Plato’s Closet. Directed by Chan Phillips this was my third year crafting spots for the second hand clothing retailer. We had some amazing locations (thanks to my old friend Peter Wulff) and I am very proud of the photography.
While in LA, I landed my second feature of the year shooting for MN homegrown director Matt Osterman on his movie 400 Days. I wish I could share more images but this is the only one that has been released so far:
This is an informative article if you're interested in hearing more: http://www.movieweb.com/400-days-movie-release-dane-cook
It was great working with Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Caity Lotz (The Machine, Arrow), Dane Cook (Good Luck Chuck, Dan in Real Life) and Ben Feldman (Cloverfield, Mad Men). The LA crew was great and I was so lucky to have such talented and hard working soldiers by my side.
It's also important to note that while in LA, I had a blast catching up with some old friends and took my first ever trip to Disney Land!
Back in MN I found that my car still had the heat turned on from when I left in April (snow was still on the ground), at it was now full on summer. I went right to work on a few spots for Play it Again Sports, again with Chan Phillips directing.
Then did a series of videos for Target directed by Josh Thacker and some back to school spots for Sears, directed by Jon Nowak for Olsen.
Then as summer was in full swing, I began a 6 month journey with Committee Films. It began with a History Channel special on Bigfoot and some recreations for the show America Unearthed. Summer had a few brief moments of respite as well. I got to hang with my parents a bit, saw some fireworks from a friends dock, went on some bike rides and got to see a lovely wedding.
Then in late August we began prep on an ABC TV show titled In An Instant. As part of the recreation team I photographed 7 episodes and also acted as director on one.
Each episode featured some kind of near death event that the survivors recount and we would reenact. It was a tough challenge as every episode had some type of large production number and we were required to deliver roughly 40 mins of content each 5 day shoot cycle but the team performed amazingly and I am sincerely proud of the work we created. In the middle of that production we took a small “break” to shoot a program for History Channel on Monsters, Myths and Legends.
It was a nice breather from the true to life tragedy/survival stories to shoot horror and fantasy elements for a few weeks right around Halloween. Then it was back to In an Instant for the next month and half.
The last episode for In An Instant wrapped up the production just a few days before Christmas and so concluded my production year.
I am so grateful for all the wonderful people that I got to share these adventures with this year. If I didn't catch you, I hope to this coming year. It was great meeting so many folks as well. My life is mostly my work these days, but since it's good work, life is good. For that I am also thankful. It was fun pushing the envelope on so many projects and in so many ways. To all my collaborators, thank you. To all my soldiers, I hope it was fun, and thank you. To all my friends, thanks for sticking by me, we should hang out more!
Thanks 2014, it’s been real. Hope to have more excitement in 2015, but last year will be hard to top... Peace!