Samsung Galaxy S5 + Gear Fit



I was the Aerial DP, and the MoVI Operator on this commercial for the new Samsung Galaxy S5 + Gear Fit.

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For the Aerial sequence with the Base Jumper I used one of my Red Epics with an Angenieux 25-250 lens on the Continental Side Mount. Alfie Speight was my Pilot.

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I also operated the MoVI M10 for the running sequence through the forest. The MoVI was such an amazing tool for this job. The Director loved the shots.

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I used one of my Red Epic's with my new Cooke Mini S4i lens set. This combination is perfect for the MoVI M10. Small, lightweight camera package that shoots beautiful cinematic images.

It was some very fast running over rough and slippery terrain, but the MoVI handled it perfectly and I was able to concentrate on the framing and the footwork. The results were wonderful, and I am really amazed by what I can achieve with this new kit.



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Appalanchia



I was the Director of Photography on this Korean Commercial for Appalanchia Bikes.

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Michael Cha from Oyster was the Director.

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Michael came well prepared, and we had several discussions about the look that we wanted to achieve. We decided to shoot on the Arri Alexa XT using Zeiss Ultra Primes.

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We wanted to place the family in nature, and our Location Manager Phil Turner gave us some great spots to work with.

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For the tracking scenes I used a bungy rig, and had Josh Dunn as my key grip.

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It was a fun shoot, and most importantly, the client is very happy!

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JR SKISKI



I was the New Zealand DOP for the 2013 JR SKISKI series of commercials.

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Mayumi Komatsu was the Director and Dynamite Productions line produced.

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We filmed up at Cardrona and I used a very small crew who could all work from ski's. This enabled us to move rapidly and achieve the shoot day. We had a lot of material to film including background plates, snow elements, stunts with body doubles, overlay shots and all of the tracking skiing shots.

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As a Skiing Cameraman I use a custom rig to assist with smooth filming while skiing. On this shoot I used a Red Epic and an Optimo 15-40mm lens.

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It was a really great shoot and I was super happy to film it. Back in 2003 I camera assisted on the classic JR SKISKI Ostrich commercial. So it was very satisfying to work again for the company 10 years later.
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Toyota Camry 'Holding Hands'



I was the New Zealand Aerial DOP for this Commercial for China.

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Peter Refle was the Director, produced by The Shooting Gallery and Line Produced by Iris from Batch.

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I shot on Alexa using the Shotover Camera System K1 with Alfie Speight flying.

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Uketamau

I Directed this Documentary Film in Japan in 2012, where I was invited to be an Artist in Residence. This was an incredible shoot. Very physical, it was hot and humid and there were many challenges.

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I travelled to Yamagata Provence in Northern Japan. It was an amazing place. Very spiritual, and I did not see another westerner for a week.

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My crew consisted of Mile Nagaoka from Green Valley and Camera / Sound Assistant Taigo Kawaguchi. We communicated in pigeon English. We were here to film the Yamabushi training. Essentially, this involved us taking part in the training, as well as making the film.

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Fumihiro Hoshino is a 13th generation Yamabushi, someone who guides people on Shugyo ascetic training in Japan. He was the Master, and I decided to structure the film around him. It was very challenging interviewing him in loosely translated Japanese, but after spending several days with the group - I was confident that I understood the sentiment.

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The first night was wonderful. An amazing meal with just the crew and the Yamabushi Master. The next day was a little bit different….

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We began to walk. Lot's of walking. Day one I was told that we would take a short stroll… we walked up 4500 steps to a temple. This in itself was a challenge, but to throw in the heavy Red Epic camera equipment, and the awkward clothing, and I struggled. Myself and my crew did not make it all the way, we were carrying too much weight and my giant western feet that stuck out of the split toe Japanese slippers were in pain.

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We were all living in the same tatami mat room. I grabbed a corner for battery charging and downloading.

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A far cry from the first night's meal, we were now on a starvation diet consisting of one bowl of rice, soup and two vegetables. The chanting and prayers stopped at 11pm, and after a mosquito filled night we were woken at 4am.

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This was the big day, and I had negotiated to be allowed to wear my own clothes and shoes. This was to prove to be a great decision. I stripped back the camera equipment to two lenses, 3 batteries and 3 Redmags. Weight was going to be critical. (I must also admit that I cheated and packed some extra water, a Pocari Sweat Isotonic Drink… and a couple of candy bars…)

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I was told that the walk would take us about 2 to 3 hours… so I assumed 5. In the end the hike up the mountain took over 8 hours. It was a massive day. I had to film the group as they would pass me, then run ahead to catch up and repeat the process. It was tough, but it was also absolutely beautiful and satisfying.

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Chanting and prayers again along with the starvation meal. Everyone was exhausted. I was so tired that I really had to concentrate on my downloading… I could not afford to make a mistake.

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Up at 4am again, woken by the sound of the conch. We loaded up and started off back to the 4500 steps that had defeated me earlier. I have to say, after the previous days marathon, it was a breeze. I practically ran up the steps, and the morning light was beautiful to work with.

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We got to the top, and the temple was very cool. I looked over… and a car drove past. I couldn't believe it! Apparently there was a road up to the top, but we took the steps!

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The weekend was over. Everyone was tired, but we all had a great sense of accomplishment. We sat around and had a feast, including the biggest cup of Sake I have ever seen. It was a great experience, and I was honoured to be invited into the group and I am proud to be Yamabushi.

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'Focus: Fresh Challenges'



I filmed the backbone of this piece with Ben Brown recently in Rotorua and Hamilton.



Directed by Ethan McLean from Milk Money Films in Sydney. 'Focus' screened on Fox Sports Australia.



I shot on one of my Red Epic cameras. It was the perfect tool for the slow motion kayaking and overlay with Ben Brown. Also, by shooting the mid shot interview in 5K resolution Ethan was able to reframe and punch in for close ups in post.
(There is existing library footage and aerials in this edit that I did not film).
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Peugeot 208 GTi vs. Jaden Leeming



Following on from our Red Bull: Conquer the Crown film, Director Ryan Heron asked me to DP this clip for Peugeot and Red Bull.

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We filmed at Auckland Film Studios which bought back memories as the last time I worked there was back in 1990's when I was camera assisting on Hercules and Xena.

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Ryan wanted the piece to be dark and moody. It was a great lighting challenge. I decided to put in a row of Par Can's along the back wall to add some visual interest and backlight the smoke. With the shiny black Peugeot I was basically playing with large reflected sources.

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Tane Kingan was my Gaffer, and I had access to a lot of lighting fixtures… keeping my lighting team very busy! I used a bunch of 5K's and 10K's, pulling power from two and a half studios.

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I shot on Red Epic as the main camera. Haimona Ngata was my B Camera Operator on a Red Scarlet.

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We bought in Daryl from Phantom Effects with his Phantom camera on the second shoot day. I shot this at 1000fps, for the stunt sequence. This involved a pretty substantial relight to lift the levels for the Phantom exposure, while keeping the dark moody look that we had established.

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I am really happy with the final film. It was a big job and a busy couple of days. With everyone working together we came in on time, and on budget. There will be commercial cut downs on broadcast television soon.

Thanks to Graeme Murray and my Camera Assistant Jymi Best for the stills photographs.

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Red Bull 'Conquer the Crown'



Director Ryan Heron asked me to be the Director of Photography for this clip for Red Bull.

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To be perfectly honest, when we first started talking I thought "what a fantastic idea… it will never happen…they will never give permission for a road closure." When Ryan called me up with the green light I couldn't believe it!

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This job involved a lot of logistics. There was plenty of prep, and we had a great, experienced crew. We were able to section off the road into three parts. With each section we were able to have a five minute road closure every thirty minutes. Which mean't we could send Mad Mike Whiddett through for one run each block. With such a small shooting window we needed to make the most of each run.

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We used several cameras on the job. Two Red Scarlet's shooting at 4K so that we could reframe and stabilise in post. I shot one of the Scarlet's for the establishers and end sequence, and it was also the camera I had on the tracking vehicle. Simon Tutty operated the other Scarlet on the tripod shots. Jamie McKenzie bought down his Sony F5 and he was shooting the slider shots. Daryl from Phantom Effect came down with a Phantom V642 which we shot at frame rates up to 2500fps. Minicam expert Ben McAlister was in charge of the Go Pro Hero 3's. Finally, we had Peter Thompson there with his Cineflex in the helicopter.

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We were lucky enough to have Pete Bradshaw as the Grip / Precision Tracking Vehicle driver. It was the last job for the 'Expert' vehicle before retirement… and I think we gave it a good send off. I shot from both the front and the rear using a gyro stabilised bungy system. We planned through the shots careful, and chose the corners where mike would be at a close (but safe) distance to the lens. We essentially kept to separate lanes and Mike would then drift the car through frame with Pete holding a safe line, and me holding on and locking into the frame that I wanted. It was fantastic seeing the control that Mike had and the shots that we were able to pull off.

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Post Production was handled by Mandy in Auckland with Smoke Artist Andy Timms and Colourist Dave McLaren.

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This was a great job to shoot. Really different to conventional car commercials where we have to stay at the speed limit and keep within the white lines!

Photos courtesy of Graeme Murray and Miles Holden

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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.
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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.

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