Now that we are officially in December we’ve taken the opportunity to look back at our work this year. We’ve had a lot of intense moments, struggles, long nights but beyond all that we’ve had victories, triumphs and success. We’ve built memories with lifelong friends and business partners. We learned a ton about this business and even more about ourselves. As we venture into next year we want to take you back to one of our favorite projects.
The Atomos Shoot.
Atomos is one of the industries top external recording monitor manufacturers. We had the privilege to work with them on the launch of the “Ninja Assassin.” After a few NDA’s we had multiple meetings discussing their new product, we couldn't wait to get our hands on it. After a few weeks of intense planning we were well on our way to one of the greatest weeks of our lives. We had to plan out a route to highlight all the innovative ways you could utilize the Ninja Assassin in any environment. We booked hotels, got permits, estimated the budget, contacted the right people and got our heads in the game. This was run-and-gun filmmaking at it’s finest. We had an overall plan but timing was key, everything needed to work just right.
We started in San Fransisco. We got beautiful landscape shots and filmed all the random nooks and crannies in the heart of the city. We thought we were going to run into some road blocks when it came to flipping the camera and monitor upside down to get over the head shots but to our surprise we could actually flip the image on the Ninja Assassin! This made shooting inverted on the Ronin so much easier. Around golden hour we got impeccable shots of the product soaking up the last light of the day.
We headed down Highway 1 to get some great shots of bridges and all the iconic places. Once we got to LA to get aerial shots over the city we found out we couldn't film the night shots due to flight restrictions from the Dodgers game. Our first speed bump. One thing I will mention is on every shoot no matter how planned out you are you will always have something go wrong. Being a filmmaker isn't always about getting the perfect shot, sometimes it’s about adapting to your environment and making something out of nothing. The main thing is attitude. Keep a level head and move on and up. Instead of shooting the night time aerial we were able to get there in time to shoot over LA towards sunset. We used the Ronin to shoot out of the helicopter and turned all the motor tension settings up to handle the wind resistance. Our Ronin was absolutely flawless in this situation. We shot skateboarding of our good friend Kam Krigel that night all over LA to show the image quality of the 4k from the Ninja Assassin. The focus peaking from the Ninja Assassin was perfect for the night shots as well.
After our permits finally went through we filmed at the Pismo Dunes the next day. Wind and sand don't mix well with high end camera equipment so we had to adapt quickly if we were going to get the shots. We can’t overstate how much the Ninja Assassin actually helped us. It was insanely bright out there with the sun reflecting off the sand and would have been near impossible to judge the right focus and exposure but with the Ninja Assassin we had no problem pulling focus and using the waveform for exposure. We spent multiple hours filming our talented model, Chelsey Rader, in the sand and had all the confidence in the gear we had. It took extra pressure off us as filmmakers giving us the opportunity to focus on the subject at hand not the technical things that come with a shoot.
We left Pismo and headed back home to pick up some talented friends Slava Daniliuk and Valentin Sevostyanchuk. Slava took some incredible behind the scenes photography of us working with the Ninja Assassin in Yosemite. That is one our favorite things about California you can truly do some much and go to such different locations in a matter of days. In Yosemite we got some fun long boarding chase shots with the Ronin with the beautiful background of the national park. Yosemite was in smaller words, breathtaking. Trying to capture that majestic beauty was a feat but the end product turned out so well we used it as our opening shot.
We recently saw a photoshoot Tim Engle did where he used UV paint on models to achieve a crazy cool look. We figured it would be an amazing way to show off the detail from the 4k. We came back to Sacramento and filmed a talented model Christine Alward and makeup artist Jasmine Cardenas to achieve the Tim Engle look. Some of our favorite shots came from that part of the shoot, in fact we made a separate video of those shots which you can view and share right here:
Galaxy Girl turned out great and we were on our last day of shooting at a horse ranch in Elk Grove. We were going for a Clint Eastwood/Budweiser feel for this part of the shoot. Rolling shots of horses, beautiful natural light gracing the faces of the cowboys and cowgirls. Barn shots, riding at top speeds. It was a great day on a beautiful location with great people. Our director, Jonny Mass, even road one of the horses. We had a blast. Special thanks to Julie Lockwood for helping organize that.
San Fransisco, LA, Pismo, Yosemite and Sacramento. One week and multiple editing hours later we had our final product. Working with Atomos was an absolute pleasure. They are hard working, innovative creatives and they allow us to have a good amount of creative control. We love working with great people and great companies. We look forward to speaking at their NAB booth this upcoming year. We did everything in house, nothing was outsourced. We used our team and made something we are extremely proud of. You can check out the Atomos commercial right here:
Thank you to everyone involved for helping us create this video! A special thanks to Atomos for providing their equipment and being such a huge support. Please go check out their website here: http://www.atomos.com
Creating isn't just our passion, it’s what we do.