In the News: 2011 SA Film Festival

I was honored to have my first short that I filmed accepted and screened at the 2011 San Antonio Film Festival.  “Unimaginable“, written by Cedric T. Smith, is a 22 minute dramatic short story about domestic violence in a same sex relationship.  What was especially fulfilling was having a lot of the people that were involved having the chance to see it on the big screen in San Antonio.  It was my first time to a film festival and I must say San Antonio’s home-grown 11-day event was a very memorable experiece.  Films from all over the world were shown, from almost every genre available.  I have some projects in the works, hopefully we will be invited to come back next year.

Check out some of the press we got and pics from the event below!

San Antonio Express News         CONEXION         The Examiner      The CURRENT

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Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig Part 3 w/ Zacuto EVF

Last week I received the awesome Zacuto EVF Flip. This left me to totally redesign my Cowboy Studio/Express35 shoulder rig. At first I thought I would no longer need the Express35.com offset adapter (reviewed here), but after trying different combinations, it is still a vital piece of the configuration.  The camera is no longer directly in front of my left eye, now with the EVF in place, I can now move it back onto the rig itself, inline with the shoulder support.  The EVF is supported to a rod with an articulating arm, which now sits in Continue reading

WINNER!! 2011 Short Shorts Film Festival


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My third music video premiered for the first time Saturday, June 4th at the 2011 Short Shorts Film Festival in San Antonio. I was fortunate to win the Critic’s Pick and Taylor James Johnson picked up the Audience Award. Thank you to the organizers, John Lambert and Brad Milne for giving us an outlet to display our work. Also, a big thank you to the judges, Dagoberto Patlan’, Pablo Veliz, Bryan Ortiz, and Nikki Young!

“It’s All Good” is a story of a young man who lost someone special and how he was able to overcome his sadness by leaning on his friends. Directed, shot and edited by San Antonio resident, Rod Guajardo over 3 days in San Francisco, CA., February 2011. Shot on a Canon T2i/550D, with no crew and using available lighting, with the Canon 50mm f1.4 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. Edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and Continue reading

Ask Rod: Tools, camera settings, and more…

Hi Rod,

My name is Jose, I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I recently bought the Canon T2I (Christmas present). I was so amazed and happy to see that you were using the same camera to produce some awesome results. I really wish I could get the same results….lol. So you just started videography last year or DSLR videography? Either way, your work inspires me to learn more!!

I just bought the LCDVF because of your recommendation. Seems to be a great alternative to the Zacuto. I wish I would have bought this sooner because focusing is such a challenge with just the LCD screen.  Also, what ND filter do you recommend for the Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: “Wild Sunday”

Ever wondered what it likes behind the scenes of an ultra low budget film?  Well, thanks to San Antonio photographer and video enthusiast, Richard Jemal, you can now take a quick peek inside.  He was there as we started shooting our entry into the 2010 San Antonio 48hr Film Experience.  Check out his footage below!

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In the News: Josh Glenn + DETAILS magazine

Check it out!  After the editors of DETAILS magazine randomly came across Josh Glenn’s Music Video, “Vulnerable Minds” on YouTube, they contacted him to use his song for a behind the scenes video for their May cover star, Mark Ruffalo.  Full story to come, congrats Josh!! 

Check out the video shot here in San Antonio, that started it all (see below). Also,CLICK HERE to read more about the shoot and check out BTS photos. Continue reading

Review: Calumet BP1500 Backpack

Click here to visit the Calumet website to view more details. I do not work for Calumet, I am just a happy BP1500 owner. :)

For additional information on the messenger bag, please visit Coyote Tactical’s website located HERE. Dave, the owner is an awesome guy and makes quality custom gear for Special Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies.

White background created with the help of a queen sized white bed flat sheet and (2) ePhoto 1650 watt 6 bank fluorescent video light panels as reviewed on Cheesycam.com, click here. This was my first attempt and I learned a few things.

Current Project: Moby “The Day” Music Video

My submission into the Moby, Vimeo and Saatchi & Saatchi music video challenge. This is dedicated to all the fathers, husbands, son and brothers that have lost someone special….

A young mother suffering from a terminal illness finally succumbs to her pain and agony. Leaving behind a heartbroken father that is having difficulty moving on and their young, brave daughter. While reminding him how to live and love again, the young girl teaches her father how to welcome the future after a tragic loss. Continue reading

Ask Rod: Mounting Mics and Recorders

Hi Rod,
I notice in your video, that you have your Zoom H1 mounted in a shock mount on top of the camera. I am on the verge of purchasing the Zoom H4n and hopefully the Rode NTG-2 shotgun microphone. My intension is to mount the NTG-2 on top of the camera and the Zoom H4n (somehow) in a vertical position to one side of the camera so I can easily view the screen while monitoring the audio levels.  I would like to later add an external LCD screen to assist in better focus. My questions are: Continue reading

My Day with Philip Bloom

On March 22, 2011, I had the extraordinary opportunity to intern for London-based Director/DP/Editor, Philip Bloom.  Philip was a cameraman for Sky News for 17 years before going freelance.  He has worked with the likes of Star Wars creator, George Lucas, and is known worldwide as one of the pioneers of the DSLR camera revolution.  As a part of a 12 city U.S tour, Philip was going to be in Austin conducting a DSLR workshop with the founders of Canon Filmmakers Live, Jon Connor and Cristina Valdivieso.  I had to make sure I was Continue reading

WINNER! 2011 SA Neighborhood Film Project (Southside)

On Saturday, March 26th, 2011 the screening and awards were held for the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project at the Guadalupe Theatre.  I was fortunate to win in the “Southside” category and took home a check for $3000 with my short doc, “Southtown Pedicab” starring Michael Urbano.  The short film project, managed by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and the Office of Cultural Affairs, is meant to “highlight the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of San Antonio”.  Click here for full competition details and rules.

There were 4 neighborhoods for filmmakers to choose from and after some deliberating I went with the Southside.  Unfortunately, I did not know much about the area, and the extent of my visits to this part of town were visits to C4 Workspace on King William Street.  To get some inspiration Continue reading

Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig Part 2

**6/23/2011 Update:  Part 3 with Zacuto EVF now posted!

Follow-up to my previous blog post, “Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig“.  This time showing a new piece to the shoulder rig, the Express.35.com “Rig X“. I am located in San Antonio, TX, if you are in the Central Texas area and would like a demo, just let me know!  Continue reading

Testing: T2i with Magic Lantern Firmware

I recently installed the Magic Lantern Firmware for my Canon T2i/550D and was interested in seeing how the Zoom H1 and Audio Technica ATR-3350 would perform. I don’t mind recording externally and sync’ing in post, however for run and gun stuff I wanted to test if the recording the sound to straight the camera would be permissible. Continue reading

Current Project: Arthur Woo “It’s All Good”

Arthur Woos’ “It’s All Good” music video has wrapped in San Francisco and I am now back home in San Antonio for post production.  Shot on (1) Canon T2i/550D, using available lighting, with Canon 50mm f1.4 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8.  To be edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and colored graded with MBL and Colorista II.  Video to be released early March 2011.

mini-NorCal DSLR Meetup!

Tomorrow I will be hoping on a flight to San Francisco to shoot a music video for record label, Muted Digital.  While there I hope to have a chance to meetup with other fellow HDSLR shooters and enthusiasts.  After about 5 minutes of planning, local Bay Area resident, Michelle Brown of moshbrown.com, and I will be getting together this Friday, Jan. 14, 7pm at The Irish Bank bar and restaurant.  Anyone and everyone is invited to join us.  This will be a very casual meetup with no agenda or schedule, just kicking back talking about DSLR’s, gear, etc. over a couple drinks.  So if you are in the area, swing on by after work! (look for us on the patio) Continue reading

Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig

A few days ago I tweeted a couple pics of my new Run and Gun DSLR Rig, the Cowboy Studio (CBS) Shoulder Support Pad.  Since then I have received a lot of requests for more information and additional pics, so here we go….

First off thanks to Caleb Pike and Phil Hoyt for turning me on to this idea and saving me hundreds of dollars!  I was looking for an affordable solution and this sure did fit the bill.

For those unfamiliar with the product it’s basically a low cost, lightweight shoulder rig, and retails anywhere from $20.00 to $30.00 online. I have used other DSLR rigs, including the Red Rock Micro eyeSpy Standard, which sells for $826.50. However, I must say I greatly prefer the CBS solution. One of the biggest features I like about the CBS rig is that it can be completely hands free. While using the Red Rock Micro system, I often found myself needing to use both of my hands, which was simply impossible. With the CBS I can do just that.  Ohhh..and did I mention how comfortable it is?  It’s much lighter then anything else I have tried and put’s less strain on my back and shoulders, which allows me to go longer with less fatigue. Continue reading

Recent Project: TEDx San Antonio Video Intro

I was approached by the organizers of the local San Antonio Chapter of TEDx to create a short, 10-15 second video intro. The intro would be included on all of their videos and would play directly before the main content. They requested the video to showcase some of the people and places of San Antonio, however, not to focus on some of our major attractions like the Alamo and Riverwalk.

TED is huge and has members around the world; the videos that each chapter is putting out are getting millions of views. I thankfully accepted the job, and took a couple of days to come up with an idea. Next, I spent a few days around town capturing some footage, first the downtown area, also a local Air Force Air Show, and even a Dia De Los Muertos celebration being held at Hemisfair Park. After arriving home I quickly realized I got way too much footage to fit inside a 10 second intro. I had to figure out a way to show as much as I could in the short time allotted. Finally, I came up with the idea of, instead of showing one location at a time, how about 3? By cutting the viewing area into three seperate frames I could show 3 different shots at a time with a total of 9 shots, instead of just a few. I placed my shots in the timeline of Premiere Pro CS5, grabbed some music, “Laid Back Guitars”, thanks to Kevin MacLeod, and started editing it all together.

Below is the completed intro:

And here it is added to the a talk, this one featuring San Antonio Mayor, Julian Castro.

Recent Project: Tension Speak “Choke”

I was hired by local San Antonio rock band Tension Speak to create a new music video for their upcoming CD release, “This War”. They choose the track “Choke” and after a brief meeting with the band, and listening to the inspiration for the song I came up with a storyline. The song is about the world caving down on you, with so much pressure you feel like you are getting choked out.  I know I can relate to this, and I believed others could as well.  We were to use 4 members of the band to show 4 different vices, including alcoholism, drug addiction, no money, and cheating wife.  The lead singer, Fred Silva was to play the role of the “Angel”, stopping the other person from doing damage to themself or to others.  Sounded great on paper, but could I pull this off??  This would be my second music video, and after the first one, I was confident, but staying humble.  I went home that night, thought about it some more, came up with a shot list and went to bed uneasy. Continue reading

Recent Project – ‘Wild Sunday”

This weekend, for the first time, we participated in the San Antonio Film Commission’s own, “48hr Film Experience“.  If you have never participated in one of these before, let me tell you it’s quite a ride!  For those unfamiliar with the weekend long event,  each team is given specific criteria to incorporate into their film, and then have 48 hours to write, edit, and score the film. Films are also limited to 8 minutes in running time.  So a  couple weeks beforhand we started casting in preparation of the event.  I was lucky enough to land Anthony Guajardo (pictured above), who has been most recently seen on AMC’s hit new series, “The Walking Dead”, as Miguel on episode 4, “Vatos”. Continue reading

On the Air – Nadia Sahari Talk Radio

I was invited to be a guest on the Nadia Sahari Talk Radio Show which aired on Dec. 2nd, 2010.  We talked about family, how I got started shooting, San Antonio Filmmaking,  DSLR cameras and my upcoming short, Unimaginable. I had a great time and was honored to be on her show.  Thank you Nadia!

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WINNER! 4th Annual Texas Music Coalition Music Video Showcase – Best Video

On Tuesday Nov. 16th my music video, Josh Glenn, “Vulnerable Minds” was screened at the Alamo Drafthouse in San Antonio during the 4th Annual TMC Music Video Showcase. Two audience awards were given away, Best Song and Best Video. The very talented singer/songwriter, Laura Marie won best song with “Love You Like Me” and we were lucky enough to win best video with “Vulnerable Minds“.

I have never thought of myself as a filmmaker, but more of a guy who dabbles in video production as an escape from my full-time job as an I.T. Systems Engineer, but last night when they called my name, “Filmmaker…Rod Guajardo, Best Video”, it sure felt good!  Along with a great certificate (above), prizes included a $50.00 check, one-year membership to TMC, a San Antonio Film Commission hat, and a Tenor ‘ukulele donated by the great people at Sam Ash Music.  Lucky for me, I am part Hawaiian and can play it!

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photos courtesy of Carol Epstein

I’d really like to thank my friend Josh Glenn who believed in me and the vision, thank you for allowing me to work with you and I can’t wait to do it again!  Also big thanks to hosts Nikki Young, Jade Esteban Estrada, Lee Hurtado and everyone at Texas Music Coalition for hosting a truly wonderful event at Continue reading

Recent Project – My First Short Film “Unimaginable”

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This project was a first for the majority involved, especially the crew.  I had just come off releasing my first music video and was looking for a new project to work on.  I was browsing casting/crew calls on ShortFilmTexas.com and came across an ad for a short film looking for a Director of Photography in San Antonio.  Continue reading

Recent Project- .com Web Commercial

Final product starring Valerie Garza:

Hired by .com credit agency to create short multimedia intro for website homepage, as well as, create custom voice-over for telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.  Also responsible for securing shooting location and booking the talent for this project. Continue reading

Review: D|Focus D|Riser

In a previous blog post I raved how much I was enjoying my new D|FOCUS Follow Focus V3.  However, one of the bummers for me was not able to use my new focusing solution on my Canon T2i/550d, with Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and BATTERY GRIP, battery grip being the key word here.  Thankfully, I wasn’t bummed out long, as David Aldrich, the man behind D|FOCUS Systems, noticed the need for a solution and is now producing the D|Riser!

Description for website:

“The D|Riser is a riser and offset block to raise the height of the standard D|Focus V3 gearbox.  The D|Focus V3 has a low profile design for a light weight and space saving configuration but in some cases it may be necessary to raise the height of the D|Focus V3. Continue reading