With Wisconsin a key battleground state, and Milwaukee hosting the Democratic National Convention, 2020 is going to be a busy year for Wisconsin video crews, camera rental and Grip & Electric companies.
Latest estimates are that as many as 20,000 members of the media will converge on Milwaukee just for the convention alone. Networks will be sending armies of reporters, crews, and broadcast trucks. Already, parking lots and any other open area within microwave range of the Fiserv Forum are being snapped up as sites for satellite trucks.
But many international media outlets will be looking for Wisconsin-based crews, equipment and production support. And political ad agencies will be filming in the state all year to produce campaign spots for the Democratic Primary and Wisconsin’s eight US Senate, 16 State Senate, and, 99 State Assembly races.
Things to consider when planning your 2020 Wisconsin shoot:
Probably the most important thing to remember is that you’re not in New York or LA (or London). Obvious, but worth stating. Wisconsin is a relatively small market which can be good and sometimes not so good.
The good news:
Neary every Wisconsin crew person – DP, AC, Cam Op, Sound Mixer, Gaffer, Grip, AD, HMU, or PA is a top-notch professional. Only the best can survive here. The market is too small to support any slackers.
The not so good news:
Supplies are limited. While there are plenty of great crew folks in the state to handle our normal workload, 2020 is not going to be at all “normal”. Unlike in LA or New York, you won’t be able to fill all your crew positions by make a few phone calls a couple days before your shoot date. So, as they say, “Book Early”.
Also, be prepared for a little sticker shock. You’re not going to find any $100./day PA’s or $250./day grips. And this has nothing to do with the increased demand in 2020. Everything you’ve heard about “Midwestern Values” and “Work Ethic” is pretty much true. You won’t see much “price gouging” around here. Crew rates in Wisconsin are what they are simply because of the size of the market. Crew folks in Wisconsin don’t get booked 5 days a week like they can in larger markets, but they still have to pay the rent.
Wisconsin Equipment Rental Resources
Just about anything you need can be found in Wisconsin (or our Southern suburb of Chicago :-). Camera/lens package from Sony, Canon, Red, Blackmagic, Arri, Zeiss and Cooke. Lighting options ranging all the way from LED kits to 5-Ton Grip Trucks. Need a crane, a camera car, dolly or jib? A broadcast or satellite truck? Maybe a green screen studio? All of this is available, but you need to know where to look. And like with crew people, supply is limited.
This is where Fresh Coast Production Resources can help. As you begin to plan and budget for your Wisconsin shoot, send us a quick email. We’d be happy to fill you in on what we’ve learned over the past 30 + years of producing film and video in Wisconsin.
- Conor Lawrence Represents – Minneapolis
- Jamestown Associates – Washington, D.C.
- Bowstring Studios - Conshohocken, PA
- Fletcher Creates – Chicago
- The Whippet Film Company - London
- Panta Rhei Media- Turtle Creek, PA
- Berman and Company - Washington DC.
- Houzz TV - LA
- Oglivy & Mather - Chicago
- RainSoft – Chicago
- MLB Advanced Media - NYC
- World Television - London
- Boston Productions – Boston MA
- Vital Worldwide- NYC
- Time Inc. Studios - NYC
- RAW TV. Ltd - London
- MBM Productions - Chicago
- Patrick Haley – Assistant Camera
- Randy Lorenz – Assistant Camera
- Thomas Beach – Sound
- Rich Reilly – Sound
- Jed Henry - Steadicam
- Jon Kline – DP
- Tim Moder – DP/CAM OP
- Jake Demoske – CAM OP
- Nate Haban – CAM OP
- Dave McCoy – DIT
- Jhousy Leon – Hair/Makeup & Props
- Chris Marks – Gaffer
- Pierce Ellner – Grip
- Shaun Buehler - Grip
- Todd Mallasch – Grip
- Fred Graber - Teleprompter
- Laura Henderson – PA
- Jefferson Taylor – PA
- Jason Buss – PA
- Noah Demoske – PA
- Electric Sun Corporation – Lighting & Grip
- North American Camera
- MKE Production Rental
- Bodi Company – Camera Support & Grip
- Studio Gear
Bowstring sent their own DP and director. Fresh Coast provided an AC, Sound Mixer and Hair/Makeup artist for the 1-day filming at Froedtert Hospital.
In their follow-up up email, Whippet’s director asked: “Can I confirm who you have worked with before from the crew? Sound, cam assist, light were all amazing. Thank you for them.” Our answer was of course YES. We only work with a very select group of super-qualified crew people.
“Thanks for all the help. The guys you provided were great. Till next time… Conor”
In all, we provided 4 camera ops, 2 DITs, a sound mixer, 3 PA’s, 4 camera packages, a whole bunch of lenses, one really big jib (more of a crane actually), and I can’t remember how many GoPro’s.
With all the load-in logistics and secret service security checks, it turned into two very long days for everyone. But together with the folks from Jamestown, our crew made it happen.
This from our client: “I can’t thank you enough for all your help. We had a top-notch crew and couldn’t have pulled it off without you!” Thanks Rebecca. Looking forward to working with you in 2020.
Their client was ALLERGAN - a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
The project required creating a believable physical therapy setting in a rented model home. In addition to the standard stuff – gaffer, grip, AC, sound mixer, Hair/Makeup, PA, and a Sprinter G&E package, we had to come up with all the props necessary to turn the living room of this model home into an up-scale physical therapy clinic. This also involved wardrobe for both patients and medical staff.
Some of it was simple. We rented and/or purchased therapy tables, matts, exercise weights, and those big colorful balls (not sure what they’re called). Then there was a last-minute request for parallel bars. We quickly discovered that “real” parallel bars used in physical therapy facilities are
1.) Not available to rent. 2.) Crazy expensive to buy (and take weeks to deliver). And 3.) Must be bolted to the floor (not really an option in that rented model home). With only a couple days to find a solution, we got lucky on Craig’s List and found a set of parallel bars in Madison for a couple hundred bucks. With careful camera angles, it worked out fine and we donated it after the shoot.
Our thanks to Jhousy Leon and her resourceful team at Blush for helping us pull this one off.
Again, Jamestown sent their own producer, director and DP. Fresh Coast supplied everything else - crew, camera support and a grip truck. Everything went smoothly with the possible exception of the gimbal stabilizer Jamestown had shipped in. Neither their DP or our AC had ever seen one like it, and the two of them spent hours the night before the shoot figuring out how the thing worked.
As Jamestown’s Production Manager Rebecca Jacobs put it: “Thank you so much for dealing with all our craziness, never a dull moment here at Jamestown.”
This one very full day of filming included multiple locations in Glendale and downtown Milwaukee, culminating at the end of the day with a green screen studio shoot at Big Chair Studios in Waukesha. A big shout-out to all our great crew folks and equipment suppliers who made all this possible.
Gaffer - Chris Marks. Grip - Mike Schmit. Grip - Shaun Buehler. AC - Mike Krieger. Location Sound - Tom Beach. Hair & Makeup - Jhousy Leon. Prompter - Fred Graber. PA -Taran Molnar. Lighting & Grip - Electric Sun Corp.
An intensive 1-day shoot was planned to get footage for several TV spots. Jamestown sent their director, producer, and DP. We ended up providing an AD, gaffer, two grips, AC, sound, prompter, hair/makeup and wardrobe. We also put together a custom 3-Ton grip and lighting package that included a Fisher Dolly and small jib.
Jamestown was able to get all the footage they needed and left town happy.
"Ralph. Thank you so much for all your help with this! We’re so happy with how everything turned out and we couldn’t have done it without you and your team."
-- Rebecca Jacobs, Production Manager.
Fresh Coast Production Resources provides video and still photo coverage for “Bringing Small Business Back” Bus Tour.
In Milwaukee, the bus visited Bentley World Packaging where Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a featured speaker. https://www.jobcreatorsnetwork.com/events/bring-small-businesses-back-gov-scott-walker/
Fresh Coast was contracted by JCN’s ad agency, Berman and Company of Washington DC., to provide 2-camera video coverage of the event, interviews with key presenters, and still photos for JCN’s various websites and YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/JobCreatorsNetwork/featured
All Houzz videos have extremely high production values and we were honored they chose Fresh Coast Studios to film this series of 2-camera interviews with Wisconsin architects, interior designers and homebuilders. A total of nine interviews were filmed in our Milwaukee studio over a period of two days.
The technical specifications were very exacting. Houzz requested the A camera shoot 4K to allow their in-house editors to re-frame in post. We chose a Canon C300 MK II. Since only 1080p was required for the B camera, we used a Canon C100 recording Apple ProRes. The background was to be 100% white to match the look Houzz has chosen for all their interviews with “Houzz Pros” around the world.
FRESH COAST was there.
Film and music producer Jack Guilick http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1065367/ known for his television documentaries ranging from Bruce Springsteen, and Metallica, to LA street gangs saw the Milwaukee performances as an opportunity to gather material for upcoming audio CD’s and a possible television special. Guilick reached out to FRESH COAST to provide multi-track audio recording and video footage of the performances. The last 30 minutes of each show would also streamed live on http://www.lewisblack.com/live
The audio requirements were very specific. In addition to two mics on Lewis Black, Guilick requested six matching shotgun mics strategically placed around the theatre to capture audience reactions. All eight mics were to be recorded on separate channels in 24 bit/96kHz with dual 8-track recorders providing system redundancy and hardware backup. We chose Sennheiser 416’s for the audience mics and a pair of Sound Devices 8 channel recorders. Thomas Beach engineered the recording.
To insure the video footage would be suitable for any possible future uses (broadcast or theatrical release), we choose a Canon Digital Cinema camera equipped with a 150-600mm lens to give us a waist-up framing from the back of the theatre.
Lewis Black has been hugely popular in Wisconsin since the early ninety’s and both performances were sold out. The producers were happy. The audiences had a great time and so did our crew. As Lewis put it: “It’s an extraordinary state. They’ve embraced me and they’ve embraced Scott Walker”. He had a lot more to say about Wisconsin’s Republican Governor, but we’re not going to go there.
Here's the turnkey solution provided by Fresh Coast Production Resources for filming Sargento's “We’re Real Cheese People” TV spot.
For the most recent spot promoting Sargento’s new Snack Bites, producer Jon Messner and Sargento’s ad agency, Oglivy & Mather www.ogilvy.com reached out to Fresh Coast Production Resources for a turnkey solution.
At Fresh Coast, we pride ourselves on our ability to assemble just the right combination of crew, equipment, and production management to meet our client’s needs and expectations. This job was a perfect example.
We chose RDI Stages www.rdimage.com in Milwaukee for the shoot because it would be convenient for the Gentines who would be coming from Sargento’s corporate offices in Plymouth WI. RDI was also spacious enough to accommodate the large broad light sources necessary to match the overcast lighting of the barn.
We were able to source all the equipment, and most of the crew in Milwaukee. Lighting and grip came from Blue Moon Lights www.bluemoonlights.com and DP Mike Gillis www.mikegillisdp.com provided the client-specified Arri 4K camera and lens package. www.arri.com/camera/amira . Gaffer on the shoot was Ryan Brooks. Tim Moder served as swing grip and AC. Tom Beach handled the audio mix, and the makeup artist was Jhousy Leon www.blushmilwaukee.com.
Two non-Milwaukee exceptions were Director Ray Dillman who the agency brought in from New York http://rabbitcontent.com/directors/ray-dillman , and Chicago Stylist Martha Heppler because she had provided wardrobe for previous Sargento spots featuring the Gentines.
As we expected, everyone did a great job. The shoot was quick and painless, and by mid afternoon the footage was on its way to Optimus www.optimus.com in Chicago for post-production.
See the finished TV commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ginlh0ADG2E
All InControl wanted was to have their VP of Clinical Services explain the product’s features and benefits in front of a camera - the preverbal “talking head”.
To add a little more production value, while still keeping costs low, we employed a green screen technique that would allow us to film the presentation in our studio, and then make it appear that the VP was speaking in an actual corporate office setting. Pretty simple stuff actually, but that extra bit of green screen compositing added a lot of perceived production value for very little additional cost.
We filmed using our Canon Cinema EOS C100 recording to an external Blackmagic Video Assist recorder. The resulting ProRes 422 video keyed perfectly. This is one of our favorite camera solutions for great looking video on a limited budget.
On-camera talent portions were filmed on green-screen with store backgrounds added in post. When combined with in-store footage and graphics, the resulting video provided RainSoft with a highly effective, yet economical training solution.
The attendees had all come from Canada to learn about investment opportunities in the Chicago real estate market.
On the first day, they toured Chicago neighborhoods on the verge of gentrification. We got some great footage of them cautiously poking their way through dilapidated buildings destined to soon be rehabbed into $300,000 condominium units.
Days two and three were devoted to speaker presentations at the J.W. Marriott. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chijw-jw-marriott-chicago/
Normally for us this would have been a “no brainer”. Put a camera in the back of the room and try to stay awake for two days. But this one turned out to be a little more of a challenge.
Because the attendance was much larger than expected, the sessions were moved from a well-lit, video-friendly meeting room to a huge 6,000 square foot ballroom illuminated only by dim chandeliers hung from the 20 ft. high ceiling. There was no time or budget to bring in a lighting grid. We had to find a way to make it work.
Canon claims their C100 cinema cameras will make a perfectly acceptable picture at ISO 8000. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/cinema_eos_cameras/eos_c100#Features
Actually they claim even more, but ISO 8000 would be enough to allow us to pull this off, and worked!!
The footage, shot from the back of the ballroom with a Canon 100-400 L zoom looked amazing. We were able to keep our promise of “providing solutions”, not just crew and gear.
Turns out that Free Dimensional Video, or “freeD”, is technology developed by Replay Technologies Inc. http://replay-technologies.com that uses multiple cameras to capture ultra high definition footage of sporting events… And then, through a type of computer magic they call “3D Pixel Recreation”, turn it into this: https://vimeo.com/124957068 Just watch the video. I’m not going to attempt to explain it here.
So what does all this have to do with Fresh Coast? Apparently even though Replay Technologies’ systems are used at major sporting events throughout the world, Major League Baseball was not totally convinced the resulting computer generated imagery was accurate enough for the official replays viewed by umpires and coaches. They wanted to test it for themselves and reached out to Fresh Coast for help.
Three high speed Phantom Flex 4K camera packages http://www.visionresearch.com/Products/High-Speed-Cameras/Phantom-Flex4K were rented from AbelCine in L.A. and Fresh Coast’s Chicago office provided three Phantom-certified camera assistants, three PA’s, and a key grip.
The testing took place over four days at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field. Actual and simulated game action was recorded in 4K slow motion with the Phantom Flex cameras. MLB Advanced media would then compare the Phantom footage with Replay Technologies’ “3D Pixel Recreations” to confirm its accuracy.
No idea what MLB learned from the experiment, but thanks to the efforts of our crew, Tim Moder, Mike Pavisan, Shaun Fleeger, Andy Cook, Nick Turner, Ricky Rudolph, Thomas Andrejek, and Eyliece Richardson, MLB Advanced Media left Chicago with a whole lot of terabytes of high speed, 4K footage to study and analyze.
In this case, “What” our client (Emergent Order - a marketing and production company in Austin, TX) needed was not an unusual request. Providing them with a cinematographer, a Sony PXW FS7 4K camera package, a sound recordist, and an ENG audio package would not be a problem. The challenge was the “When”.
The phone call came in at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. Emergent Order had been filming in Wisconsin for documentary on farm animals. That morning the producer uncovered a new story line she wanted to follow, but her film crew had already left for their next location in another state.
Their question was: Could we provide a crew with the specified camera package for two days of filming at the Wisconsin State Fair beginning that Sunday at 7:00 AM?. Our answer was: “We’ll try”.
38 hours wasn’t a lot of time to pull this off – especially on a Friday evening. Our only option would be to locate an experienced Wisconsin DP who not only owned a FS7, but who was available on such short notice. We reached Milwaukee DP Jon Kline late Friday evening and he was available. Even later that evening we got lucky a second time. One of our go-to Wisconsin sound recordists – Thomas Beach – was also available and willing to get up very early on Sunday morning.
We got lucky (as did Emergent Order). Thanks to the great relationships we’ve developed with crew people in the Midwest, we were able to “take care of the rest” - even with only 38 hrs. notice.
Every year RainSoft holds awards banquets to honor outstanding employees from their nation-wide network of dealers. Each award winner is introduced with pre-recorded video comments from dealer management and RainSoft regional directors. Fresh Coast has produced these videos for a number of years, and in the past it has meant traveling to dozens of dealerships scattered around the U.S. and Canada to film the interviews.
Also each year, RainSoft hosts Gold Circle dealer meetings (typically in exotic locales) that bring all their dealers and regional directors together in the same place at the same time. This year it was at the Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic. So with one trip, and a little green screen magic, Fresh Coast was able to film all the interviews in a single day, and make it look like we traveled to all those dealerships.
Fresh Coast™ teams up with Polish film company PICARESQUE Maciej Pawlicki for Chicago filming of Smolensk.
In April, Fresh Coast Production Resources had the opportunity to provide U.S. production management, local crew, equipment, and location support for the Chicago filming of “Smolensk” - a Polish feature film being produced by PICARESQUE Maciej Pawlicki in Warsaw.
Directed by legendary Polish director, Antoni Krauze, the film deals with the conspiracy theories surrounding the April 2010 crash of a Polish government plane in the town of Smolensk in western Russia. All aboard died in the crash including President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other members of Poland’s political and military elite.
Smolensk DOP Michał Pakulski watches as Camera OP Marcin Gąsiorowski films a scene at the Polish Highlanders Alliance. Much of the film was shot hand-held.
The film has sparked considerable controversy inside Poland and around the world for its suggestion that the Russian government was somehow responsible for the crash. We’ve placed a number of interesting links about the film at the bottom of this posting.
Smolensk filming along the Chicago River.
While most of the film is set in Poland, the main character is a journalist who’s investigative reporting leads her to Chicago. And this is where Fresh Coast Production Resources comes in.
Pawel Mantorski, PICARESQUE’S Field Producer in Poland first contacted Fresh Coast in March seeking local production support for the Chicago filming. It was our first experience working with an Eastern European production company, and PICARESQUE’S first time filming in Chicago. It was a “learning experience” for everyone, but ultimately a rewarding one.
1st AD Bartosz Paduch (right) and camera crew wait out the rain on Columbus Dr.
Fresh Coast Production Manager Ralph Pabst went to work lining up the Chicago crew, obtaining the requested camera package and G&E support, and figuring out how to transport the 19 person Polish crew around the city.
Meanwhile, Fresh Coast’s Chicago Location Manager, Brittany Pawlowski went to work obtaining the necessary City of Chicago filming and special parking permits, arranged for catering, and worked out all the other logistical details of shooting a feature film in Chicago. Together Brittany and Ralph scouted for suitable filming locations, and periodically sent photos to the director and DOP in Poland.
Waiting out the rain again on the Norwest side.
G&E crew “making sunshine”
Filming a scene at “Nina’s father’s house”
An even a bigger challenge was obtaining production insurance. It was questionable whether PICARESQUE’s own insurance (through an underwriter in Belgium) would cover the Chicago filming. And finding a U.S. insurance company willing to write a policy to a Polish film company was not easy. With only days remaining before the scheduled filming, Ralph found Patrick Kuhnmuench at Robertson Ryan & Assoc. who came through with a policy from Philadelphia Insurance.
North American Camera in Milwaukee provided a RED Epic-Dragon 5K Ultra HD camera package with a full compliment of Cooke prime lenses and camera support. Tim Moder took responsibility for the gear, and acted as 2nd AC to the Polish camera crew.
Andrew E. Cook, Inc. of Harvard, IL supplied their 3 Ton Grip Truck (or as they like to say “almost a 5 Ton”) packed with an array of ARRI and Mole-Richardson HMI, Tungsten, and LED fixtures plus Kino-Flo’s.
All the audio gear - Sound Devices mixers & multi-track recorders, numerous Lectrosonics Radio Mics and a Denecke Smart Slate - came from Cream City Sound of Burlington, WI.
Problems in obtaining U.S. visas delayed the arrival of the Polish crew, and meant all filming had to be completed in three days! This, combined with Chicago’s unpredictable weather, made for a stressful shoot. But everyone pulled together, and we got it done. Much of the credit goes to the film’s First Assistant Director, Bartosz Paduch, who somehow managed to keep his cool throughout.
But none of it would have been possible without our great Chicago and Milwaukee crew. Many thanks to Tom Beach (audio), Tim Moder (2nd. AC), Andy Cook (Key Grip), Jeremy Christen (BB Electric), Andrew Yuncza (BB Grip), Bill Lindgren (Grip/Genny OP), Joel Labahn (Asst. Location Manager), and PA’s Jose Rivas and Dan DeSalva. And a special thanks to Location Manage Brittany Pawlowski who did an amazing job. (Now if she only spoke Polish).
Check out the following links to articles about the film. We think you’ll find them very interesting.
Director Antoni Krauze (center) with Actors Marek Probosz, Beata Fido, and Maciej Góraj (L-R)
Smolensk actors, crew, and the Fresh Coast team at wrap.
From Ireland to London to Aurora IL
Headquartered in Ireland, Glanbia Nutritionals manufactures nutritional ingredients for the food, beverage, supplement, and animal nutrition industries worldwide. http://www.glanbianutritionals.com/
When Glanbia needed video coverage of their U.S. Investors Meeting to be held in Aurora, IL, they reached out to London-based production company World Television. http://www.world-television.com/uk/
World Television called Fresh Coast.
Our task was to film the meeting multi-cam and then rough-cut the footage on-site for review by Glanbia’s head office representative at the meeting. The original Sony XDCAM ISO camera footage along with an Apple ProRes switched master would be overnighted to London. The low-res rough cuts would be uploaded to World Television as reference for their final edit. After our site survey, we learned that we would also need to provide all the stage lighting and audio support for both the video and audience PA.
Steve Pantaleo of SP Video provided the audio & lighting gear, and along with Fresh Coast Producer Ralph Pabst and Technical Director Jake Demoske, made the trip from Milwaukee to Aurora. They were joined by Camera Ops Todd Tue and Jeff Hadick from Fresh Coast’s Chicago office. http://www.film-video-production-crews-chicago-illinois.com
It was a long day (and a very cold load-in) but the Fresh Coast crew pulled it off without a hitch.
Fresh Coast’s involvement in promoting the film took place back in late September, but we decided to hold the posting and make it our Halloween Blog.
Our client, the ARENAS Entertainment Group with offices in LA, Miami, Mexico, and Spain (www.arenasgroup.com) specializes in marketing entertainment products to U.S. Latino audiences. The press event, held at the fittingly spooky looking nightclub Castle Chicago, featured one of the film’s stars Tony Amendola, LA-based Psychic Reader Salvador Gata, and one very creepy-looking doll housed in a glass case.
Our job was to film interviews for Chicago Spanish language media outlets, and hand-off the footage to the various reporters attending. To liven things up a bit, Salvador Gata offered “Psychic Cleanses” to anyone feeling the need for a little on-the-spot Exorcism due to the close proximity of the evil looking Annabelle doll. After witnessing the ritual, which involved spitting and raw eggs, our crew decided to pass.
Immediately prior to the Janesville shoot, MBM’s producer/director team Steven and Lisa Sulkin, along with DP Chip Nusbaum had been filming in Italy and the UK. Since they would arrive in Janesville only one day before filming began, Fresh Coast’s field producer handled all the on-location pre-pro coordination and location scouting.
With the shoot only a few days out, we learned that DP Nusbaum had some very specific gear requests. Bob Donnelley at North American Camera came through for us and was able to assemble an extensive camera package that included two Canon C-300’s, both Canon and Angenieux cinema zoom lenses, and a long list of camera support gear.
Jed Henry at Recon Productions in Madison was able to locate a steadicam rig with the requested wireless audio and video feeds and had it shipped in from Kentucky. Jed also worked the shoot as 2nd camera and steadicam operator.
Blue Moon Lights provided a very robust lighting & grip package that included a full complement of HMI, KinoFlo, and LED fixtures.
But even the best gear means little without the right people behind it, so a big shout out to our 10-person crew whose talents and resourcefulness made this shoot a success.
Audio Recordist Tom Beach, Gaffer Chris Marks, Grip Kenny Somerville, Grip/AC Tim Moder, 2nd Camera Jed Henry, PA/Utility Grip Jake Demoske, Makeup Artist Susin Greenberg, PA Ben Ramsdele, Data Manager Jeff Taylor, and Field Producer Ralph Pabst.
Our thanks to all the Fresh Coast crew and equipment suppliers whose talents and resourcefulness made this shoot a success.
But then we learned that Professor Kang’s support visuals were not PowerPoint, Keynote, or anything else we had ever heard of. He was using a touch screen, interactive program called “Mind Manager” which allowed Kang to move through the visuals and link to a variety of different media more or less at will. There was no way we could re-create this presentation in post.
We needed to find a way to capture the Mind Manager visuals live in high definition during the presentation. After assessing Katten’s in-house AV system, we realized we would need to tap into their 5 BNC / VGA system. This would require scaling the image to 1920X1080 using our TV One Universal Scaler (http://www.tvone.com/video-scalers), convert the signal to HDSDI with a Black Magic Design Terranex 2D Broadcast Converter (https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/teranex), and then send it to an AJA KiPro hard disk video recorder (https://www.aja.com/en/products/ki-pro).
We ended up hauling in a little more gear than the IT people at Katten had probably expected, but everything worked and the finished video looked great.
Fresh Coast has shot a lot of assignments for Discovery Channel programs over the years, but for whatever reason, recently the assignments have been coming from producers in the UK. In March we shot an interview in Milwaukee for RAW TV. Ltd of London (http://www.raw.co.uk), and in April we provided production support for another Discover Channel program being produced by BriteSpark Films (http://www.britesparkfilms.com), also based in London.
We can’t discuss the details of either of these jobs because both program are still in development. But I can tell you a little about the BriteSpark job. BriteSpark would be sending their own camera crew from London and needed our help in facilitating what was to be a 7-day shoot at multiple locations in Wisconsin. What they required, to use their term, was a “Fixer”- typically a “local” in a third world country that facilitates the movements of a foreign film crew. I suppose to a London producer, Wisconsin may very well qualify as a third world country.
The first person that came to mind to fill this role of “fixer” was Edward Johns. Technically Ed works for us as a PA, but he’s a lot more than that. He did an amazing job making sure the London crew got the footage they needed, and even delivered them to O’Hare for their flight home. Thanks Ed for the great job.
Another successful project from “across the pond”.
In June, Fresh Coast had the opportunity to help PraeMedica Digital (http://praemedica.com/index.html), a medical marketing company based in Northern Ireland, negotiate the baffling rules of unionized Chicago hotels. Our task was to film physician interviews in a small meeting room at the Chicago Hyatt. Each was to be an on-camera interviewer and two interview subjects – all shot with 3-cameras against green screen.
Early in the conversation, PraeMedica inquired why the hotel was charging them $138.00 per circuit for electrical power. “Is there something special about the electricity in the US? About all we could say was “Welcome to Chicago”. We didn’t even want to bring up the potential of having to pay Teamsters to load-in and load-out our gear. The shoot was on a Saturday so at overtime rates, we could have been looking at as much as $1500.
The only answer was to “keep it simple”. We bought 30ft of Chroma -Green fabric to hang from seamless background stands. We used small cameras (Sony EX-1’s) and low-power KinoFlo Divas and LED fixtures. Still it was a lot of stuff (they also requested a teleprompter.)
We managed to fit all the gear and our 4-person crew into two SUV’s, pulled up to the hotel’s main entrance and generously rewarded two bellmen to haul all the stuff to the room. At the end of the day we generously rewarded two more bellman to get us out of there. Estimated savings to our client - $1400.
Fresh Coast Production Resources pulls off last minute filming of Sing-Off Live Milwaukee concert.
Every now we get the question: “Just what does Fresh Coast Production Resources do?” Well, we do a lot of different things, but foremost is we find ways to “make it happen” for our clients. Here’s an interesting example from last week.
11:00 pm: First email arrives.
“Subject: Sing-Off Live!
Hello, I am in charge of Video for the Sing-Off Live tour. We have 2 shows at the Pabst Theater on 3/20 (yes in 3 days) and I am looking for a crew to shoot the live show multicam (4-6 cameras) with the possibility of 1 jib and 2 steady cams. Please let me know ASAP if you have these capabilities.”
A quick Google search revealed that the Pabst Theater performance was part of a 32-city tour featuring groups from the popular NBC a cappella singing competition TV show “Sing-Off”, produced by Sony Pictures Television.
The touring groups included the 2013 season winner “Home Free” http://www.homefreevocalband.com/ along with “VoicePlay”, http://thevoiceplay.com/ and The Filharmonic. http://www.thefilharmonic.com/
11:41 pm. Fresh Coast’s reply email:
“We just might be able to pull this off but I will need to speak with you no later than tomorrow morning to discuss the details. Call my cell. 414-405-5850”.
9:00 am - Phone call from the client:
The client initially wanted to shoot all Canon dslrs. Providing 6 dslr camera packages wouldn’t be a problem for us, but we suggested it would be a good idea to have a couple traditional HD video cameras in the mix. After clarifying the client’s expectations, we explained that getting a “real jib” into the Pabst Theater was probably not an option at this late date. We said we would try to convince the theater to let us bring in a smaller 10ft. Intel-A-Jib that would at least give them some dynamic camera moves. We also explained that finding two steadicam rigs and operators on this short notice was iffy.
10:00 am. We put the word out:
Phone calls, texts and emails went out to Fresh Coast’s Milwaukee crew resources with the hope we could somehow line up the needed people and gear on such short notice. The shoot was now only 48 hrs. out!
4:00 pm – We got lucky
OK. So we could only confirm one steadicam & operator (Carl Whitney). But all the crew positions were locked in by late afternoon. Jeff Thomas and Rich Clifford would be shooting Sony XDCAM from the house – hopefully one of them with the jib. Tom Caldardt, along with Carl and his steadicam would be on the stage with their 5D’s. Tim Moder was managing data backstage and shooting pick-up shots with his 5D. Fresh Coast producer Ralph Pabst also did double duty – roaming the house shooting performance and audience B-roll.
9:00 am – Phone call from the client:
Question: Could we get them 4 Crown PCC mics?
Studio Gear came through.
1:00 pm – Site Survey
We met with the theater’s technical director and house manager to finalize camera positions. Turns out both performances were sold out. No place for camera platforms and any hope for even a small jib went out the window. We broke the news to the client.
Thurs. 3/20/14 – Shoot Day
We arrived at the theater; delivered the Crown mics; and finalized camera positions and scheduling with the client. Crew call was noon.
1:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Rehearsals, lighting & sound checks began at 1:30 with the first show at 4:00 pm. Over the next 8 1/2 hours, we filmed two performances, shot some special footage for a music video, and did fan interviews before and after each performance.
11:00 pm – We were done – sort of.
As the Sing-Off Live folks began their strike and load-out, Tim Moder was still off-loading cards and organizing the 350 plus gigs data. Everything was backed up over-night and FedEx’d to the client the next day.
The whole project was a little crazy and last minute. But thanks to our great crew, we made it happen – and “making it happen” is what Fresh Coast is all about.
But as we packed up and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done, the Sing-Off Live performers and crew were getting on their tour busses and hitting the road to Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, Salem, OR , San Francisco, Riverside and Los Angeles. 8 performances. 8 cities. 8 consecutive days. Ahh ....the world of show biz!!
The Kenosha Museum, nationally known for its Civil War exhibits, is one of the few museums in the country to offer this high-tech 360-degree digital film experience. http://www.kenosha.org/wp-civilwar. The film’s trailer can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JhWMNqe7hz8
Produced by Boston Productions, the 10-minute film focuses on the personal experiences and historical accounts of Civil War soldiers. “Seeing the Elephant” was the term used by these citizen soldiers to describe their first battle experience. More than a hundred Civil War reenactors from throughout the Midwest participated in the filming.
Filming took place last June at Old World Wisconsin – a 600-acre open-air museum in Eagle WI operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. http://oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org Special 360 degree camera rigs and pyrotechnics were brought in from California. Fresh Coast provided Key Grips, AC, SFX Makeup, Wardrobe, Script Supervision, Craft Services, and a small army of PA’s. In all, seventeen Fresh Coast crew people were on the shoot, and all of them from SE Wisconsin. Milwaukee’s Bodi Company and Electric Sun Corp. provided camera support and lighting.
Filming was accomplished in five very long (and often hot) days, sometimes under difficult conditions, but our Fresh Coast crew rose to the challenge. All agreed that working on “Seeing the Elephant” was a unique experience they will not soon forget. Great job everyone!
On August 2nd. Fresh Coast™ Production Resources’ Chicago office supplied production support to Time Inc.’s new video unit, Time Inc. Studios. http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/time-inc-ready-launch-its-ambitious-new-video-strategy-152446 .
The project was a Chase Business Ink “Inspirationists” small business profile featuring entrepreneur Shawn Smith, founder of “Shawnimals” http://www.shawnimals.com/ .
Time Studios sent their director and DP, and we provided the two Canon C-300 packages, 2nd camera OP, lighting, audio, and makeup. The video profile originally aired on CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/, but you can watch it now at http://vimeo.com/82052120
Produced by Boston Productions and featuring nearly 200 Civil War reenactors, along with a cast of professional actors, the 10 minute film will focus on the personal experiences and historical accounts of Civil War soldiers and their families.
Filming took place over 5 days at Old World Wisconsin – the open air museum in Eagle WI operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. http://oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org
The special 360 degree camera rigs and pyrotechnics were brought in from out of state, but Fresh Coast was privileged to provided Key Grips, AC, SFX Makeup, Wardrobe, Script Supervision, Craft Services, and a small army of PA’s. In all, seventeen Fresh Coast crew people were on the shoot, and all of them from SE Wisconsin. Milwaukee’s Bodi Company and Electric Sun Corp. provided camera support and lighting.
Our client was the NYC office of Vital Worldwide http://www.vitalww.com
In addition to three Canon C-300 camera packages and lighting, we provided a DP, two camera ops, audio tech, gaffer, makeup, and data management. You can watch one of the interviews at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ1JgxCH4Vs
Nearly 200 Civil War reenactors from throughout the Midwest will converge on Old World Wisconsin http://oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org// to recreate battle scenes that will be filmed with special 360 degree camera rigs being brought in from California. But most of the crew and other production gear will be sourced here in Wisconsin.
The film’s producer contracted with Fresh Coast Production Resources to provide all the local crew and production support. We’re happy to report that we’ve been able to fill every crew position they’ve requested, from Key Grips to SFX makeup, all from right here in SE Wisconsin. And with the help of Bodi Co. and Electric Sun Corp, we’ve been able to provide all the required camera support, grip and electric.
Filming is scheduled to begin on June 14. We’ll have an update in our next post.