WINNER! 2012 SA Neighborhood Film Project (Northside)

For the second year in a row, I competed in the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs and the San Antonio Film Commission.  The short film project is meant to “highlight the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of San Antonio” and had it’s most entries to date, totaling 68 shorts from filmmakers across the city.  My entry last year, “Southtown Pedicab” won in the Southside, and this year we moved to the Northside with our romantic, under-dog, dancing tale, “Believe” starring HollyAnn Ovard and Richard Simkaitis.  For the second year in a row we were fortunate to take 1st place in our category!

Probably the most asked question I get about this film is how the idea came about.   Most of the time a reply jokingly, “watching dancing with the stars of course!”, and although I am laughing when I say it, it fact, it is mostly true.  My family and I have watched the show off and on for some time and I have always been impressed how the producers of the show would mix different styles of music with seemingly opposite styles of dancing.  So I had the idea of using dancers to showcase a neighborhood, but crap, I didn’t know anyone.  So I hoped on Google and started searching for San Antonio dance studios, found a few, but not quite what I was looking for.  With a few more clicks of the mouse I came across Ballroom Dance Academy.  After clicking through their website for a while I found exactly what I was looking for, a competitive dance duo made up of HollyAnn Ovard and 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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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

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: 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

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

Ask Rod: Premiere Pro CS5 Export Settings?

via comment:  “What are your settings for premiere pro cs-5 and what do you export as?”  -Randy

Great question Randy!  In fact, I had this very same question when I first started using Premiere Pro CS5.  I was lucky enough to be pointed in the right direction by a fellow HDSLR shooter and Premiere user, Richard Allen Crook.  Below are a couple of screenshots I took of the settings I use to produce a 1080p, 16:9 aspect ratio video and 1080p 2.35:1 cropped cinema version.  Please remember, the export setting’s I use below is what has worked for me and might not necessarily be the right way to do it. Continue reading

Review: D|Focus Follow Focus V3 w/ Canon T2i/550d

I got back from lunch this afternoon, and to my great surprise, a box from Jag35.com was waiting for me on my desk.  Inside was David Aldrich’s latest version of his D|Focus, follow focus system.

I currently do not use rods or a cage, so I also ordered the D|Mount, which will allow me to attach directly to my CanonT2i/550D.  I quickly unboxed both items and placed on my camera.  Looks like there are several different ways to configure, in the pictures below is one way I have found, (please let me know if you come up with something better).

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Timelapse- Hong Kong Intervalometer w/ Canon T2i

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at creating a timelapse for a while now.  Last week I finally took the leap and ordered a knockoff intervalometer from ebay seller ADPLO.  Shipping from Hong Kong took 7 days to reach Texas, and last night I was able to give it a test run. Continue reading