Behind every professional football player is an agent. Their clients make the plays on the field, but they run the game off the field. Esquire Network gives an inside look at the business behind America’s biggest sports obsession as cameras follow four top real-life ‘Jerry Maguire’ sports agents navigating the cutthroat world of professional football in The Agent. Premieres August 11 at 10|9c.
This is a new TV show I’ve been camera operating on. It’s very different from the documentary style of work I usually do but it’s been fun. I’m one of the handheld cameras near the ring, you can see me a few times in the edit. The wrestlers rarely stay in the ring, they come flying out and fight on the floor a lot, barely missing me. They move fast and the moves they do are pretty impressive.
The camera they give me is a Sony HDC1500 which has no internal recording mechanism and a tiny black and white view finder. It’s a 2/3″ CCD but keeping my focus sharp is the hardest part of the job even with peaking cranked up. We are shooting in an old warehouse in downtown LA and it gets really hot when they turn on the show lights. I invested in sweat bands after the first day and they help. Eight cameras are tethered to the control room and we are all on PL headsets with our director calling the shots.
From Executive Producer Mark Burnett and Robert Rodriguez, This is Lucha Underground. Premieres Wed 10/29 at 8pm ET/PT, on El Rey Network.
Almost 1 year ago I traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to cover pre-production of Pete Berg’s latest film “Lone Survivor” for Herzog & Company. I got to work with some of my crew from “On Freddie Roach” again too, Brandon Carroll was our producer, Sean McElwee was camera operating, and Travis Franklin was running sound. Here is a description of the film:
Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and resilience as they stay in the fight to the finish.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell, the author of the first-person memoir “Lone Survivor,” whose book has become a motivational resource for its lessons on how the power of the human spirit is tested when we are pushed beyond our mental and physical limits. Starring alongside Wahlberg as the other members of the SEAL team are Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.
Tobias A. Schliessler was the cinematographer for the film, we shot the interviews and behind the scenes shots in this featurette below. Lone Survivor will be in theaters January 10.
Here is another weekend video project of my bike ride to CicLAvia in downtown LA from Venice. I’m still having fun with my GoPro Hero3 Black even though they have already released a new + version which is of course smaller, faster, and better as the trend seems to be. This time I remembered to turn on ProTune giving it a little flatter image. I shot 1080P at 23.98fps but I sped it up 20x in FCP X and color corrected in After Effects since I haven’t gotten any coolplugins for FCP X yet. The music is from “Song for the Dead” by Queens of the Stone Age.
Here is a fun little video I shot last weekend at my friend’s saltwater pool with my GoPro HERO 3 Black. The first one that I ordered was defective but they sent me a replacement, it just took some time. I wanted to try out some of the slow motion options. The image quality is not great and to get 120fps you have to drop the resolution down to 720p, but it is a $400 waterproof camera that fits in the palm of your hand. I wish I had turned on the “ProTune” option so that I might have gotten a little more dynamic range out of it, I’ll do that for the next weekend project. I conformed the footage to 23.98 CineForm QuickTime files and brought those into FCPX for the edit. Final Cut doesn’t really like that codec so I should have created optimized ProRes files but this was quick and dirty. I exported the edited piece and brought that into After Effects for some color correction and film grain which took a couple of hours to render but gave it a nice look.
I put in some crazy long days out in the Nevada desert to capture some of these moments. I was second unit and I zig zagged all over the state with my shot list, a 5D mark III, and a GoPro Hero 3. I also got to check off several items from my bucket list in the process, including riding in a hot air balloon, rafting in the Colorado River and zip lining while filming. It was hard work but I love my job. The song is by the Killers.
It’s always a pleasure to see the end results of your work. I was camera operator on these spots for Degree deodorant directed by the Malloys with director of photography Giles Dunning. We shot handheld on 2 RED Epics with Nikon glass and employed a Bolex 16mm film camera for some shots.
I just got back from another week in New York City where I shot a commercial for one day with Carmelo Anthony and the Malloys for Degree deodorant but that isn’t online just yet. I hung around for a few days after we wrapped to shoot photos and visit friends. I had never been to the top of the Empire State building before and that seemed like a good place to take my 14mm f/2.8 lens. It costs $25 to go to the 86th floor and it was bitterly cold and windy up there but it was worth checking out. Check out some of the photos. These are all 2 stop, 3 exposure images shot on my 5D mark II which were tone mapped in HDR Efex Pro.
Sunset from the 86th floor
Makes my palms sweat…
Sunset over Jersey
Those buildings look big from the ground.
I didn’t realize I was pointing my camera into a spot light but I liked the way it turned out.
My friends like to say that I’m living the dream and my last gig certainly didn’t tarnish that reputation. I recently got to travel to New York to shoot the most beautiful women on the planet for the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show featuring Justin Bieber and Rihanna.
A couple of months ago I got a call to travel to Nashville to shoot a Sony commercial directed by the Malloys. I didn’t get any more info, just a plane ticket. When I got there I found out we were shooting Taylor Swift in the historic Ryman Auditorium. Continue reading “Taylor Swift Sony Commercial”
Here is the new music video “One More Night” from Maroon 5 that I got to camera operate on. Peter Berg was the director and he wanted some raw gym footage from the Wildcard Gym. Freddie Roach wasn’t available at the time so we got his protégé Shane Langford to train Adam Levine. Shane is a pretty rough character, he doesn’t have many teeth and one eye doesn’t open anymore.. he didn’t take it easy on Adam. John Schwartzman was the director of photography and this was the first project he used a Canon 5D for. Here is the video, it has over 350 650 million views on youtube now.
I’m pretty into this band The Joy Formidable right now. I guess you could say they have a heavy indie rock sound. They are a 3 piece band from North Wales. Besides having great weather, living in Los Angeles has the added benefit of being a stop for almost every band on tour. Continue reading “The Joy Formidable”
I can finally say that I’ve been to all 50 U.S. States now. I got a call from Brendan Malloy a little over a week ago to camera operate on an interesting job in Alaska that him and his brother Emmett were directing for Taco Bell. I just had to keep it under wraps until now. Continue reading “Taco Bell: Operation Alaska”
I was happy to get the call for this job. We shot primarily on 2 RED Epics but they sent me off on my own with my Canon 5D at times to capture b-roll at some other locations and and that footage seems to have cut in just fine with the RED footage. We shot it in a documentary style, mostly handheld and I set up a few time lapse shots and did a few slider moves. Here is the 30 second spot.
The Salton Sea, I’ve been fascinated with it since I first heard about it. Created in 1905 by a flood of the Colorado River, it is the largest body of water in California and more salty than the Pacific Ocean. With no outflow the salinity rises by one percent each year which results in massive fish die offs. A briefly booming tourist industry lies rotting in the sun like the fish that line the shores. Continue reading “A Study of Light and Death”
An annular solar eclipse took place on May 20, 2012. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun. It was the first annular eclipse in the continental U.S. since the solar eclipse of May 10, 1994 and there won’t be another one of this magnitude visible in California until Sept. 23, 2071.
When I heard there was going to be an eclipse I was excited to try to capture it in a time-lapse. Having just returned from shooting a Best Buy commercial in Philadelphia all my gear had been shipped to my camera assistant’s house and to complicate things further my truck was in the shop getting the engine rebuilt. I managed to get a lift to pick up my equipment but by the time I retrieved everything I had missed the first part of the eclipse.