Nikon 'D5200'




I was the 2nd Unit DP / B Camera Operator on this TV Commercial for Nikon.

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Henrik Hansen was the Director and Marc Flennert was the DP.

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Big Fish was the production company and Leilani Tomaszewski from the Sweet Shop handled the production in both Australia and New Zealand.

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We filmed exclusively on Nikon D800 cameras. At the time they had only just been released, and we were pleasantly surprised by the image. They were great to work with, and provided a really nice picture.

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We mostly used their Prime Lenses, and a semi flat picture profile. We did tests with an external recorder, but found that there was little benefit for the added bulk and complications.

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We filmed part of the spot in remote Fiordland, New Zealand with access by Helicopter.

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We filmed the other part of the commercial at Lake Gairdner, Western Australia. We stayed at Mt Ive Station. It was a major undertaking to get the crew there. We travelled in convoy, in Toyota 4x4's with extra water, tyres, and in constant radio contact. It was a very long journey… but the location was worth it.

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Lake Gairdner is a Salt Flat Lake, and it was beautiful. We travelled all that way for the early morning reflections and we spent about a week to get the perfect shot.

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Our Australian crew was excellent and their expertise at working in the outback was very appreciated.

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We also shot a few more stand alone clips for Nikon, and they will be released over the coming months.

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It was a great shoot with a wonderful crew, and I am hoping to work with my Australian friends again soon.
Thanks to Joe Wigdahl and my assistant Paul Shakeshaft for the photos.
Comments (1)

Ssang Yong 'Rexton'




Leigh Hart from Moon TV asked me to be the DP on this car commercial for the new Rexton.

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We only had one day to shoot the job, and there was a lot to get through. Stunts, pyrotechnics, bonnet rig, side rig, dialog, tracking vehicle and aerials. The only way to achieve all of this in one day was to shoot without road closures. Moon TV found a great private track at Boomrock, just outside Wellington.

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I flew up from Queenstown with my Grip, Josh Dunn. All of my equipment is packaged for travel. I bought up a Red Epic, Red Scarlet, Leica Primes, Canon Zooms, Monitors, Mattebox, Filters etc. Everything we needed for a two camera shoot. Josh travelled with his full rigging kit and even a 3' slider. With my Air New Zealand status we flew with all of this gear for only $60 excess luggage costs!

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We picked up the rest of the crew locally, with Roger Fenstra on focus, and Kim Thomas assisting.

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Because we had a very small crew we were able to move quickly and efficiently. Leigh was Directing as well as staring in the commercial. Once I was happy with a take, we would review playback directly from the Red camera and move on.

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Having both the Red Epic and the Red Scarlet on set was a huge time saver. I was able to shoot one of the cameras while the second one was being pre-rigged for the next set up. This allowed us to move very quickly. Also, because of their small size I was able to rig both cameras on the bonnet at the same time, so we could shoot a two shot and a close up simultaneously.

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A few of the behind the scenes pictures of the 'camera crew' being taken out by the water were 'leaked' on Facebook before the commercial was released. This caused a huge amount of feedback, and the viral campaign was a great success.

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Here is the infamous 'Camera' that was taken out during the filming of the commercial… (rest assured, everything went as planned).

I really enjoyed shooting this commercial. Everyone involved was fun to work with. The script was refreshing, and I am very happy with the result.

Thanks to Brady Dyer for the photos.

Comments

Hellers



I recently shot a campaign for Hellers.

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The commercials were produced by Shuriken and Directed by Richard Bell. It was great working with Richard. He has an extensive background in the industry having worked on some of the most iconic music videos made in the last 20 years. His planning and Direction made the shoot go very smoothly.

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It was good working with Leigh Hart aka 'That Guy' again. Leigh is always professional and is a pleasure to work with. The last time we shot together back in 2008 we made this spot for Speights.



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We shot Hellers on the Red Scarlet with Zeiss Super Speed lenses. It's such a great camera to work with and I am very happy with the results.

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We had a great team on the shoot. We negotiated the weather, and shot around the shortest day of the year to capture 3 commercials in 3 days.
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Sarah Alainn 'Breathe in Me'



Universal Music Japan asked me to be the Cinematographer and Director for this music video for Sarah Alainn, for her debut album 'Celeste'.

(This online copy is a very low quality short version. There is a HD Blu-ray disc included with each CD).
The Album has just been released in Japan, and is currently ranked at number 5 in the iTunes charts.

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We filmed around Queenstown for two shoot days, taking advantage of some of the beautiful locations. Miz Watanabe was the NZ Line Producer. The Japanese Production company was Cinq. I had worked for them previously, almost 10 years ago, and it was good to strengthen the relationship.

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I chose to shoot at several spots around the region where I have not filmed at previously. Taking advantage of the sun at each location.

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I shot on my Red Scarlet camera, and used my vintage lenses. I decided to use a lot of lens flares and optical effects to make Sarah look ethereal.

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Sam Strain was my grip and we used a Panther Mini Jib extensively, along with some tracking shots in the forest.

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Stu Gotting was my DIT and we delivered Colour Corrected ProRes 422 movie files at the end of the shoot.

It was a great shoot with a high quality result achieved by a small team. Sarah is hugely talented and I really enjoyed working with her. I am confident that her album will be a success.



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Nurofen 'Be Sure'



Sam Scott asked me to shoot this commercial in Auckland.

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Because we had a lot of visual effects involved, along with a dolly track and focus pull I decided to shoot on my Red Scarlet camera. The camera gave us 4K resolution which really helped the compositing. It also gave us a Raw image to grade from. Andy at Metro Film rented me a set of Zeiss Ultra Primes. Bryce Swainson was my focus puller.

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Sam Scott was also responsible for the 3D set. (The only physical set in the bathroom is the mirror, cupboard and the green set flat that it's attached to. Everything else is generated).
I had the light boxes built into the set, and we lit the first scene to be quite harsh and abrasive. With the flickering lights really adding to the sense of discomfort.

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Then, in the pharmacy I went with a classic soft beauty light on the talent.

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Miquel Ubeda was the 2D Compositor and the Colorist. Spencer Locke-Bonney was the Gaffer. It was another successful shoot with a small crew, and the client is very happy.

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Munns



Amanda Jenkins from AJ Films put myself and Director Robin Shingleton together to film this brand commercial for Munns.

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We took advantage of the great locations in Oamaru, choosing this wonderful traditional street in the historic part of town.

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I used Andy Rennie as my gaffer and he came down from Christchurch with his team.

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The challenge was to light the dark suits so that they looked stylish on camera, while still keeping the dramatic night time feel. I separated the guys from the background by using a moon colored backlight, and I lit the foreground with large tungsten sources to be soft and flattering. I really enjoyed playing with the colored lights in the back of shot, and it was great fun lighting the entire street.

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I wanted to achieve crisp sharp images to match the sharp suits and I shot on my Red Scarlet camera. I used Canon L series lenses as they resolve an amazing sharp image and are just perfect to use at night.
Robin wanted to have a slow motion feel to the images, so we chose to shoot at 48fps, 3K. This gave us a high resolution image with great detail.

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We only had 3 hours with the talent on set, and everyone worked very hard to make sure that we came in on time, and on budget.
Whitebait TV produced and edited the commercial and I worked with Auckland based colorist Miquel Ubeda on the grade.

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It was a great shoot, and and I am very happy with the result.

Comments

Hotel St Moritz





Before I lived in Queenstown, I came here often for work. Many times I stayed at the Hotel St Moritz and it was always perfect. I recently filmed a promotional video for the Hotel, and it was a pleasure to see that the Hotel is still beautifully maintained, and perfectly run. It's a timeless classic in Queenstown, and it was an honor to film it.

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Darren Simmonds Directed the shoot, and we filmed over a couple of days. We had a lot of locations to cover, and many set ups.

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I decided to work with the new Sony F3 Camera and Zeiss Compact Primes. Recording to my NanoFlash.

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It was great working in my home town, and I really enjoyed working with my Queenstown crew. Max Catterick was my Gaffer. Josh Dunn was Grip, and Raj Patel was my Camera Assistant.

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'Solar World'



Amanda Jenkins from AJ Films asked me to DP this film for Peter Keil. This was a huge honor for me, Peter is regarded as one of the world's top car photographers and I have admired his work for many years.

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This was not an ordinary car shoot. The Solar World GT car is circumnavigating the globe in a race, powered only by the sun.

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We did not want to waste any power with multiple takes, and we had very little control over the car. Most shots were achieved on the fly, with only one take.

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GT was our location scout and fortunately he directed the German crew to leave State Highway 1 and head through the Lindis Pass and into Queenstown. The scenery down here speaks for itself and I love shooting cars on these roads.

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We had a tiny crew. I shot most of the job with my PDW-700 XDCAM in Full HD. I also set up Canon 5D2's as additional cameras, and had the camera assistants hit record on these extra lock off shots.

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I worked closely with Editor Paul Wedel in Wellington and Visual Effects and Grading was handled by Miquel Ubeda in Auckland.

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This was a really fun job, and I am proud of the result. I wish the team all the best for their travels around the world.
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'Atomic Tracker'



I shot and directed this film for the new Atomic Tracker bindings. We shot during the New Zealand winter, for a Northern Hemisphere winter release.

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The Tracker is a Back Country Binding, that has two functions. It allows the skier to skin up the hill easily, and comfortably then at the top they can clip in and ski down with the performance of an alpine binding.

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Daron Rahlves was the skier, and his fitness and stamina was amazing. Daron hiked for multiple takes in challenging terrain. He wasn't gentle on the product, jumping off 50' cliffs and generally skiing super aggressively. The binding passed with flying colors, and Daron was a pleasure to work with.

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We shot for several days in the Southern Alps. We needed clean, beautiful, inaccessible backgrounds - and we found them outside the ski area boundary. Each shot takes a lot of time to get to, let alone set up and shoot safely in this environment. We were all avalanche aware, and equipped. My camera assistant Stacey Farrell has ten years Ski Patrol experience.

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Because we were working off ski's and we had to carry all our own gear I chose to shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II. It's a great small camera for hiking with, but very slow to set up and make adjustments to when perched on a ridge. It was hard work, but the results speak for themselves.
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"Chi" TV Commercials



IndyFX Producer Sam Scott asked me to film these commercials for the rebranding of the iconic New Zealand Herbal Mineral Water 'Chi'.

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We shot at White Studios in Auckland. I decided to shoot on my Canon 5D Mark II camera kit. This was a great choice for the shoot as we had to supply both commercials with a quick turnaround, and I also had to deliver several high resolution stills photographs of the newly branded bottles.

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The commercials were directed by Gilbert Hunt. The brief was for our model to be very clean and pure, wearing white, while against a white background. I went for a very classic soft beauty lighting design, while achieving good separation from the background so that she was well defined, and not lost in a sea of white.

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We shot the pack shot and the pour with the logo in the background practically, with the logo printed on card and placed behind the bottle. It was very old school, but it was the best way for the product to look great in the glass. VFX were supervised by  Miquel Ubeda who handled the 2D compositing, and the grade, and Sam Scott was responsible for the 3D elements.

It was another fun, successful shoot with my usual crew in Auckland. It was also great to shoot for 'Chi'… I have been a fan ever since I discovered the cocktail 'Falling Water' while filming for 42 Below Vodka!

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