Month: May 2012

Directing, Editing, Winter Storm Short

The Colors of Winter Storm

May 22, 2012

Once I was finished with the rough cut, I wanted to address the color issues I had from using two very different cameras and from shooting in unpleasantly great weather. This SoCal winter was the hottest one we had, sometimes above 80˚F, in the past 100 years! How was that supposed to look cold? I went to see my colorist, James Knott, and we spent a few hours on examining the project. He confirmed that it was going to be a rough ride. He could only make it work, he always does somehow, if we made realistic decisions about the look and came up with ideas to create an authentic winter feel. I believe I have a few of those ideas up in my sleeve…

Shortly after our meeting, I received a few reference frames from James. They are pretty rough, but good enough to get things rolling.

Winter Storm Color Ex1

As a starting point, I chose the very last frames of both examples. This process seems to work the best for me. It tones down the bright spots and desaturates the colors, which helps us to convey a colder feel. I think it’ll look spectacular, once James starts cranking and I throw some After Effects magic at it at the very end.

Winter Storm Color Ex2

Commercials, Directing, Editing

Hannah’s World

May 16, 2012

I was able to carve some time out to create a spec spot for Domtar’s Paper Advocacy campaign. It was an easy task because just weeks earlier, before I’ve learned about this campaign, I had a conversation about digital technology and how it couldn’t replace all art forms. Although… it’s trying really hard. Have you seen the finger painting app?

Finding talent was the toughest part. I needed an Origami Artist, someone who’s energetic, cute, personable, somewhat fashionable and also comfortable in front of the camera. Ultimately, I was going to be happy with an artist who looked and sounded natural on camera. I knew I could make the rest work. I didn’t have to, because I had only one artist to select from… a friend’s recommendation… and she was all of the above!


I created an outline for the project, along with a few key questions. I wanted her own words, rather then a rehearsed script, in order to achieve a natural and fluid performance. I started to work by dressing a ‘creative corner’ to shoot against. It became her work space, Hannah’s World, filled with office supplies, paper and origami. This beautiful setup had presented us with some colorful shots. We used gentle camera movements to advance the story and to help me create a seamless edit. I wanted to achieve a stylized documentary film feel, something beautiful, sunny and relaxed and I believe that we’ve succeeded. The feedback has been positive and our :60 spot, titled Hannah’s World, is still going through the selection process. I’ll find out in June if Domtar likes our commercial enough to pick it up. It would be incredible if they did.