When Pikes Peak APEX first reached out to us to produce high energy recaps and promo material for their inaugural bike race, it was perfect timing and a great change of pace for our team. The schedules were busy and the hours were long but it was a rewarding product in the end. The excitement was to be on the cutting edge of telling these athlete’s stories beyond statistics and performances.
For many of the riders, it was their first race in 2020 due to shut downs and cancellations. What made the APEX different is that the 4 day stage race took precautions seriously and worked hard to maintain regulations. This was especially because there were professional bike racers from around the world including Xterra world champions, some of the best athletes alive in crosstrek and enduro riding, along with local legends. The beauty of the race is that all bikers were able to enter. That beauty of the race is that all bikers were able to enter. That meant hobbyists and amateurs alike got to ride alongside their heroes in the sport.
Overall, our work included daily recap videos at the end of each of the four days. On average, it required six shoulder rig camera buildouts, a cable cam and three drones in the sky, totaling about 30 hours of sports coverage and interviews. The most rewarding part was that we got to stretch our legs in some of the more beautiful areas of the front range. Garden of the Gods, Palmer Park, Rampart Range, and Gold Camp Road just to name a few.
Some of the advantages of being competitive and flexible in production are the variety of locations and clients we get to work for. Steve Moraco is the TEDx project organizer in our local area of Colorado Springs and the front range of Southern Colorado. This last year has been a combination of hearing his ideas and vision, then inspiring action through the guest speakers that Steve lined up. However, achieving TEDx Colorado Springs this year was not easy due to pandemic precautions and limitations.
At the end of the day, creativity helped us in this variety shooting. It allowed us to fully customize the feel for those who attended the online event and provided interesting insight on the reach of livestreams in this COVID-19 age. The ideas that were shared remained paramount, and the scenery ultimately made it more interesting for the people at home. It is rewarding for us to experience the diversity that comes through exploring the voices in our community.
Luckily, being a production company in Colorado Springs means we have access to some of the greatest views in the USA. Our shots worked out to be even more interesting with gorgeous backdrops in Memorial Park, Garden of the Gods, and controlled studio setups in Windstar Studios.
Every year, Jared Anderson hosts a Christmas stage production honoring and benefiting kids with down syndrome. This event has become a tradition for many and a special hallmark of the holidays for the community. With the impact felt by COVID-19, our team alongside Jared have continued the momentum of the show by creating a Christmas streamed special. Despite working within the new challenges of our global pandemic, we found that we were still able to reach out and capture interesting stories of families and individuals that down syndrome affects directly.
Similarly to the trend set by this last year, we were able to create something awesome that was virtual but also impactful. We were able to utilize most of our grip and electric equipment and work in various locations in the Colorado Springs area over the course of a couple months. One interesting location we utilized that we’ve actually shot at before is The Piano Warehouse. It offers such a hole in the wall, piano mechanic shack vibe that cannot be found anywhere else.
Truthfully, it is hard to slow down and understand and relate with humanities daily struggles. 2020 felt like just what we needed to slow down and gain perspective on the marginalized and the forgotten in the down syndrome community and beyond. Access Media Group, Inc. is about telling stories of diversity and we took the same approach with Christmas This Year. Although it is not the same as previous years, we were able to put together a show that still harbored celebration and its true meaning for all of us.
Oftentimes in the Grip and Electric world, it takes a fair amount of effort to achieve a captivating high key look. Especially being greeted by light levels that are unusually low. Be it hard to believe by the final snapshot seen here, that is precisely what happened to us with this beautiful bookshelf backdrop. The house was surrounded by trees and small windows encircled the small room. A low key in a location like this would be easy; provide a single source and create a darker background so the eye has no doubt in its focus.
After prelight, in total, we used nearly every fixture we owned on this setup. Keying with a 1200 hmi booklight and another in the kitchen, even that wasn’t enough. The ambient levels were next, with over 10 quasar tubes. To top it off, the incredibly useful Sufa bullet was just outside the window to brighten our background and bring interest to the bookshelf. Overall, a spacious feel with a high key breezy look.
This is the control and consistency we needed for our first setup. The truly interesting part of the day happened while rolling some handheld b-roll in the front yard, as a sudden realization set in; sometimes, natural conditions call for exquisite lighting without having to do a thing. In this particular shot Molly exited the house with the backlight being enough to cut down the power of the sun and create an interesting variance as she walked through the shadows. Our key was addressed by the soft bounce of the white minivan parked in the driveway.
Finding a reliable source for online renewal courses and continuing education for electricians can be difficult despite the accessibility of information today. Pete Larsen, a local electrical professional in Colorado Springs posed this exact problem to us this last year. After exploring what material should be covered, we got to work creating a full online course that can serve both as a great asset to electricians but also a great resource for employers as well. Pete’s invaluable knowledge of the industry inspired the structure and legitimacy of the scenes.
A big topic of the course was safety. Because of that, there were many heart wrenching, hard stories that were covered. When you see the consequences of negligence as an electrician, it’s much easier to think twice when complacency arises. That is what this curriculum was designed to do. Creating stories with impact happens on the ground level, where people experience their day to day life, so we ended up producing this course right in a local electricians warehouse.
Our involvement included an A+B camera setup, along with complicated setups with our grip truck, diffusing and adding light to the warehouse for a commercial ‘soft’ look. We took this project from video, to graphic design, and finally into a long form edit that we can look back on and be proud of. This course serves as 4 hours of continued education for electricians that can be achieved in the comfort of their own home. Check out the website to see our work.
It’s truly always a pleasure to take on fresh new ideas with Wicked Think Marketing (WT) up at the highest casino in the world. Kim, the director at Wicked Think always has a big vision that he pushes towards. It shows in the final cut. Over the past couple of years, we have carried out principle photography for Wicked Think and several Wildwood Casino commercials. Some of the shots, one can only dream about, like $300,000 in cash within arms reach, or sitting in a bathtub full of cash. Believe it or not, no fake cash was used during the process.
Wildwood is the only single floor Vegas style casino in Cripple Creek. Their large floor plan offers an impressive diversity of games and entertainment which allows us to promote a good variety of content, every time we roll. Depending on the shoot we have mobilized our RED cameras on anything from thirty feet of dolly track to a twenty foot matthews jib straight off of a balcony. Being so highly grip intensive also means a lot of light is required to fully capture the space.
This held true for our latest commercial, where the grip truck was very helpful, especially due to the travel time to shoot on location. Some of the highlights this time around included their brand new automated blackjack machine, sports gambling, and massive prize giveaway of 2 million dollars. Wildwood has also done a lot of work to maintain their standard of cleanliness and precautions which works well with our own standards of clean set protocol.