Monday, July 30, 2012

Travel to Africa

I'm assigned to a job in Mozambique where I'll be filming a lion hunt. I packed pretty light with mainly camera gear and some clothes. My carry on is basically my laptop, camera and some lenses and everything else is put into one large pelican case. So I leave missoula and fly to SLC where I then connect to Atlanta.  Before departing they decide to kick everyone off the plane, so they can check some loose bolts (literally). They just kept delaying the flight, which was going to cause me to miss my flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. If I missed that flight then I would miss the connecting flight to Pemba, Mozambique, which only flies once every five days. Oh, the fun of traveling ; )
So, I was able to get on a different flight to Atlanta and had to run to make my connecting flight. I was that guy in the airport, where people look at you and go, "man chill out". At least that's what I do.
The Atlanta airport is huge (I think the busiest in the world) and now I was just worried that my bag would make it.  A cameraman is not much use without camera gear. 15 hours later we arrived in J-burg and there was no pelican case waiting for me.
We stayed the night at a fancy place called "Africa Sky Luxury Guest House." They had a pool, beautiful rooms, great food, open bar... Probably one of the nicer places I've stayed and it's only $250 a night. Ha-crazy.  But it is all inclusive.

Next day we went back to the airport and caught our flight to Pema.  It sucked having to leave without my luggage.  Once in Pempa we paid $80 for our visa and then got rushed to our next plane.  This was a little plane that just barely fit all of us and our stuff.  The flight was awesome because we got to see all the terrain we would be hunting in, wild-fires, beautiful coastlines, and then landed on a dirt runway in the middle of nowhere. It kind of reminded me of growing up in Papua New Guinea and landing at our village.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Every year, for a little under 50 years, Montanans pile into flotation devices, whether that consists of a barrel, an inflatable couch, or a raft, and bob down the Yellowstone River. They start in Livingston and retrace the Lewis and Clark Expedition to Columbus. The name of this event, "Boat Float", echoes down the river for three days. These marathon floaters stop in Big Timber and at Reed Point for rowdy nights dedicated to living it up on the river. And for many of them, a drink or two or ten is involved, on and off the river. Which is why the river is patrolled by Fish and Game personnel in motorized rescue boats for the entire float.

Yesterday, Jesse and I travelled to Big Timber to film for a television show called Wardens. This specific episode involved filming the floaters of Boat Float pass through an especially tricky rapid. The Fish and Gamer personnel, aka the Wardens,  idled their motors on the bank, waiting for girls to slip through their tubes and guys to drop their oars. Which is exactly what happened. Rafts got stuck on rocks, dumping their occupants into the churning river. People bounced out of their water crafts at the violent rapids. The Wardens set into action, scooping up the swimmers as they scrambled to stay afloat, grabbing escaped tubes and lifejackets. They helped many people safely to shore, the rumble of their engines announcing their presence throughout the day. And all the while, Jesse and I hovered the Cinestar over the action, catching it from above. We think it will add a really cool perspective to the show.

Watching the floaters pop out of their crafts and then be rescued by the wardens was pretty cool and entertaining. The wardens and other videographers were also so nice. The wardens seemed to truly love their jobs, driving motor boats and rescuing the drunken floaters. The fellow videographers were super easy to work with, as well. Jesse and I enjoyed spending the day with them. We both conclude that aerial gigs are pretty much the best and we can't wait until the next one!
Check out the Wardens TV show!

Friday, July 6, 2012

SIC Art!

Today at Draught Works Brewery in Missoula Jesse and I are having an art show. It's First Friday, so come over and enjoy some SIC art by local Missoulians. I convinced the owners of the brewery to let us mount a 36" TV on one of the walls so that we can display a video loop of our time-lapse and aerials shots. We are also putting up some of Jesse's photography. It's going to be pretty cool. We put one photo up yesterday and already customers were intrigued.

We will be providing some snacks and there will be a live painter. The deck and great beer are some of the best parts about Draught Works. Also, for those of you who frequent Draught Works, don't forget to thank the lovely bar tenders for their hard work! ;)

Hope to see you there!


Since the road trip and after the wedding we filmed, Jesse and I have been getting back into the routine of things. Working on little projects here and there, looking for funding for our bigger projects, and paying the bills with our "regular" jobs. Jesse has gotten a few aerial gigs. He's helped film an advertisement for storage units and gotten aerial photos of property out by Seeley Lake.
Jesse and I have also updated our equipment. Jesse constructed new landing gear for the Cinestar so that we can now get a 360 degree pan without any legs or landing gear in the shot.
Flying together, with Jesse controlling the Cinestar and me manning the camera mount, has allowed us to get more accurate and artistic views of our subjects. And it's been fun! Here is a photo of the landing gear that helps us "nerd out" together:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

New SIC Wedding!

Jesse and I just finished editing a wedding we filmed in the Chicago area. It was my cousin's wedding and so Jesse got to meet almost all my family on my mom's side. The filming and editing process just confirmed what we already knew: that we work really well together, even in the fast-paced, crucial moments type of situations of filming a wedding and when creating and editing the compilation montage. I definitely learned a lot of filming and editing techniques. Editing allowed me to critique my own shots and expand my eye for artistic and well-planned shots for next time.
Rachel and David were such a great couple to film. They were both easy to work with and photogenic. That made picking which shot to use difficult because they looked good in every one of them! Their wedding was also beautiful, with the touches of fun, romance, and familial inclusivity that makes weddings so great. The wedding was also kind of a cultural experience for Jesse and I since they had a traditional Jewish wedding with the signing of the Ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract), breaking of the glass (with hearty shouts of "Mazel Tov!"), and the hora dance to the traditional "Hava Nagila" song (where the newly wedded couple is raised up on chairs). What a lively bunch of people!
Both Jesse and I felt lucky to have filmed this wedding. Take a peek at the video montage we put together:

And remember, if you're interested in a wedding video, or a video for any other event, we'd be happy to send you package and pricing information. 
Happy 4th!

And Congratulations to David and Rachel Kosoff!