My HS Alma Mater Hired Me!

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2017 came to a close with some great excitement. My high school alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas ('08) (Overland Park, KS) had an interesting fundraising campaign goal that they needed help with. A well-known private donor in the Kansas City area was offering to match $500,000 if the school could raise the same amount before Dec 31st. A lofty goal, but one that brought a feeling of belonging for me. I hustled to shoot as many Saints events in about 3 weeks time and quickly edited a piece together of which the school could be proud. OK so football, cheerleading, Can Food Drive, opening night of the play, interviews with students, alumni, all-school Mass, classrooms, lunch, etc.!!! OK now only a few days to edit before I left on a 2 month trip (a story for another time). It was a whirlwind, but it really brought me back and reminded me of why I take on these challenges. The people inside the school really have great intentions for how to better the school, which they knew was/is in need of an update.

I watched as the school released the video, confident, but unsure what our alumni were capable of. Then I left for my trip and heard nothing. I was cut off technologically and would have to wait to see the results. It was a long time to be away. But as I returned, I emailed the school to see how we did and with almost an immediate response I heard, "we met the goal." and "We hit our goal and give credit to the video"!! I was elated. I'm so proud we succeeded but also so excited to have been asked to work with my school. It means a lot.

Our team (the school and I) did such a great job of scheduling interviews and giving me access to cover the school. It couldn't have been done without a lot of help and of course the great community of Saints that pitched in to hit the goal. Well done and I can't wait to work on the next project for STA. Go Saints! You can still go to the sta website to get involved or donate to the school's various funds.

Here is the video for your viewing...

Summer / Fall 2017 Work Trip Photos

Summer / Fall 2017 Work Trip Photos

It's been a crazy 2nd half of the year. I've had the opportunity to stay busy working on several projects that have taken me all around the country. I've covered ground in Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Arkansas and of course KS & MO. It's amazing to see the differences in terrain, climate, culture, but also the similarities. Everyone just wants to work hard to support their families. So along the way, I brought my stills camera and took some shots while we drove to locations. Many of which were out in the country, on farms or away from cities. Although the work was usually filled with long hours, it was still very peaceful to get away from cities, tv, news, politics. I never take my work for granted, and again am so grateful for the opportunity to work with such great clients. Here are a few shots...

Solar Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

That was one cool experience, huh gang!? We originally set out to shoot a music video for a local musician in KC. There was an elaborate plan to pull off a one-shot during total darkness with a few shots mixed in during the partial eclipse. It was to take place in Hiawatha, KS on generously donated land to our cause. Props included fireworks, paper bag lanterns, a telescope, etc.  Unfortunately, as the weather approaching the Midwest looked rather dubious, we had to pull the plug at the last minute. There was some relief as the task at hand was rather challenging, but after all the hours of planning, I was excited to try to pull off the feat with my team. 

So, my girlfriend and I decided to stay in KC and take on the full experience as spectators from a nearby downtown walking bridge. And it didn't disappoint. It's hard to put into words...being around a few KC locals we knew, helped enhance our day. The city stopped, other than a few cars driving on the highway, headlights switched to on. Even construction workers we passed stopped to look up with their solar glasses. As the temperature dropped and the brief 1-2 minutes of total darkness began, things started to feel eerie. You definitely knew you were experiencing a rare event (yes, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, these happen every few years, but not in my home town, damnit!!!!). Here are a few photos...

 

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Sanborn Western Camps

Sanborn Western Camps

Florissant, CO -- I had the great honor of getting to shoot the new Sanborn Western Camps videos along with Jordan Marable who hired me, last Summer (2016). We stayed multiple weeks, capturing footage of all the camp has to offer. The kids do sooooooo many activities during their 4 week stay, so we had to use our time effectively to show off this great place. From daily activities like horseback riding and canoeing to multi-day hikes and climbs to the nearby mountains, these kids covered so much ground. The thumbnail was taken at the top of Mt. Democrat (14,154') with a group from the boys camp.

Here is the main camp video, but Jordan cut several more that now sit on Sanborn's new site. A big thanks to the great people who hosted us especially Elizabeth Rundle Marable and Ariella Rogge, as well as Jane Sanborn! We had a blast filming these!

http://www.sanbornwesterncamps.com/

Food Network | Bellevue, NE

Food Network | Bellevue, NE

Wow. What a weekend making TV in hot hot, 110 degree heat indexed weather! The Pink Sneakers team (Orlando, FL) brought on our local KC crew to help shoot a Food Network special on food festivals in America. This weekend's festival had us in Bellevue, NE covering the River Fest - Red, White, and 'Que Nebraska State BBQ Championship. It did not disappoint. We rolled into town Friday night with our crew (Ty Jones - Cam Op, Tyler Bachert - Sound Mixer, Patrick Monroe - AC), had a quick production meeting and went to bed to catch some sleep for our 6a call time.

We arrived at the site of the festival at Haworth Park near the Missouri River, prepped our gear and began our day. Shooting on the Sony F55 w/ Fujinon lenses on a massive shoulder rig, we had a long day in store. We estimated it weighed at least 50 lbs. We started covering the BBQ teams which were cooking all sorts of items, but we were focused on the ribs. And man were they delicious. We watched as they went step by step through their process, from marinating to basting to rubs to smoking to plating to judging. These teams took their meat seriously! I've never sweat so much in my life. So we were all sure to chug Gatorade and H20 whenever we got the chance. 

After a long day in the sun and handing out a few awards, we successfully all made it through without passing out or major shoulder damage (although my right hand is still partially numb while writing this). Thanks again to Pink Sneakers and Food Network for the opportunity. Until next time here are some photos and video from our day...

The Preservation Project | Sizzle

Title: The Preservation Project

Logline: Disenchanted and struggling to find his place in the food industry, a veteran cheesemonger and chef journeys straight to the source: the growers and makers that first drew him in.

Synopsis: Pat McCroy has worked 10+ years in the food industry as a Chef, Cheesemonger and food buyer in some of the top restaurants and specialty markets in the country. But as he’s excelled in his career, he’s also seen how even the best small food producers struggle to compete with the big guys. The balance of quality, price, and time in today’s American family continues to apply pressure to the slow-food movement. McCroy finally decides to leave his retail job and sets out to see first-hand some of the producers he used to buy from around the Midwest. He gains insight into why these growers and makers still do what they do, knowing the uphill battle they face. As he struggles with whether to stay in the food industry himself, he uses their stories, passion, and wisdom to form his decision making. What he finds surprises him. The Slow Food movement is crucial to our global way of life. It’s anchestoral. It’s also not just about the food itself, but the community and lifestyle around it. As Pat works his way through the country, he sees a parallel between many of the producers. This isn’t just about fighting for sustainable food practices or hippy shit. It’s about preserving our society so that we can pass on our culture from one generation to the next. This is truly what is at stake.

NHL100: 100 Greatest NHL Players

NHL100: 100 Greatest NHL Players

"Outer Smoke" | Behind the Scenes

I got (borrowed) the idea from a recent shoot at VML I freelanced on. The DP Ben Edwards and Art Director Jason Pirtle cam up with the concept to light a water tank and drop acrylic dyes, then capture at high speeds on a RED HELIUM EPIC-W 8K. I took the idea to Travis Wears my good buddy here in KC. He added some tweaks to the lighting, adding gels and backlights, sometimes not, just to experiment. It was a fun day. The video shows some of the work, and that a simple set up is not always that simple.

Here's the final video shot and edited by Wears...