Earthships and Todo Mundo

Todo Mundo is hot.  I mean, really -- they're all so good looking!  Their music is fun, danceable, meaningful, and rich all at the same time.  The trio that played here offers an intimate and stripped down version of the full-band latin pop rock reggae awesomeness which is currently storming around Colorado.  Hailing from San Diego, Todo Mundo's songwriting and lyrics send a message of unity, diversity, equality, and most of all, celebrates love.  I love filming these KVNF Field Sessions for so many reasons, and when the music, musicianship, message, and looks are as good as they are with Todo Mundo, well hey -- all we have to do is stand back and capture that. The location was Eric Darby's house -- an Earthship up on the mesa outside Paonia.  If you don't know what an Earthship is, it's an off-the-grid house made of natural, recycled and renewable materials....

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Affordable Housing for Seniors in Sudbury, Massachusetts

It is my pleasure for the 3rd year in a row now to be working for B'nai B'rith Housing, a non-profit in Boston that focuses on developing high-quality affordable housing in high-cost communities of Massachusetts.  Their most recent success story is the Coolidge at Sudbury, an all-affordable condominium complex for seniors in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  This is a prime example of the documentary non-fiction form being effective for promotional material.  B'nai B'rith's mission is unique, their work is stellar, and their impact is significant.  These videos are simply a matter of communicating their success, and the stories of the residents who inhabit their buildings. This year's video focuses on the stories of the new residents at the Coolidge at Sudbury, as well as the voice of Karen Fish-Will of Peabody Properties, who was in charge of marketing and leasing the Coolidge apartments.  Karen is also B'nai B'rith's honoree for this year's...

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Zach Deputy Performing For an Audience of Goats

Zach Deputy rolled into town last month with his van and his hair and his humor and his cracked and worn guitar and his arsenal of things with buttons on them, and most of all, his talent.  Zach's power as a one-man show is colossal.  His guitar playing is virtuosic and classical at times.  His beats are infections and limb-jostling.  His voice is soulful and his range is staggering. So what audience is most deserving of this level of performance?  Goats, obviously. Avalanche Cheese Company let us film Zach's show before a lucky group of young goats.  We set him up on a stage of pallets and plywood facing the goats' pen.  They (the goats) were pretty into it, I think, although they were a little wary of Todd's (of Hutman Media) jib arm.  The highlight of the shoot for me was definitely when Ali (of KVNF) asked Zach to sign...

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Reggae Music in a Greenhouse

If a reggae band from Jamaica came out to the mountains of Colorado on a crisp February afternoon, where would you film a session? Our first thought was, well, in a greenhouse at least it's warm. Thus the second installment of the KVNF Field Sessions, featuring the Mighty Diamonds, were filmed in a greenhouse on the Living Farm in Paonia, CO.  Fortunately for us, plant propagation hadn't begun yet, so the greenhouse was available for an impromptu concert. Formed in 1969 in the Trenchtown area of Kingston, The Mighty Diamonds are a significant part of Reggae history.  Their vocals are precise and well blended, and here they created their quintessential Roots Reggae experience in a new setting. Joining us for this session, Todd Sheets and Hutman Media brought a jib arm and Ronin handheld stabilizer, which added some new and exciting options for visuals and camera movement.

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Back-to-Back State Champs

I had the pleasure of teaming up with Hutman Media to film the high school championship game: Paonia vs. Buena Vista.  For such a small town, people take high school football pretty seriously here.  Watching the game, I could see why.  The Paonia football team was unstoppable, tromping Buena Vista 21-7 to win the state championship for the 2nd year in a row. Although I'm not much of a sports videographer, the FS700 makes it easy to pose as one.  I hooked my Canon 70-200 f2.8 is ii to a 2x extender, and had an absolute blast shooting these football players from the sideline at 240 fps.  Thanks to Todd Sheets for bringing me in on the shoot, and to Adam Smith for editing this fun highlights video.

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Concert on top of a haystack

The "KVNF Field Sessions" began with the idea to film visiting and local bands in a unique setting around Paonia, Colorado and the North Fork Valley.  Having just recently moved to Paonia from Boston, I am perhaps overly excited by the scenery out here.  The possibilities for unique and beautiful settings are endless.  I met up with Ali Lightfoot, program director at the local radio station KVNF, to scout some locations for our first shoot with Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer.  Their old-timey country sound, the soulfullness of Cahalen's voice, and the songs that sound so natural they could have been penned in any decade of the last century, hit a sweet spot in country music for me.  We were trying to find a location suitable for that sound. This old barn down Stewart Mesa Rd, near Zephyros Farm, was perfect.  We did not expect, however, that when we showed...

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A Wild Toy

In Nov/Dec 2013, I travelled to Tajikistan with John Gioia for the film, Crosshairs Conservation: Can Shooting Animals Protect Wildlife?, now in production. This Kyrgyz boy is the son of the family in charge of taking care of the camp where trophy hunters come and stay for Marco Polo sheep hunts. I couldn't stop filming him playing with these enormous horns that were lying in the valley--probably from a winter kill or wolf predation years ago--and he didn't grow tired of his wild toy for some time. The long, curved horns of the Marco Polo sheep are what draws hunters from around the world to these remote mountains. There was something mesmerizing about this boy--his family employed by the company that sells Marco Polo sheep hunts--so engrossed in the lifeless artifact of this majestic animal.

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Teaching a Young Draft Horse

This is some footage I shot of my brother Nate working in a round pen with a young horse, Polly.  It was filmed in the middle of March, after more than a foot of snow fell and the subzero temperatures made Spring seem an awful long way off.  When the growing season does arrive, Reber Rock Farm will be preparing the fields for crops using horses, instead of tractors. Farming with horses is beautiful, challenging, and much friendlier to the environment than tractors.  It is also time consuming and labor intensive--it is difficult to make as much money farming with horses as one could with tractors.  In the video, Nate explains how raising, breeding, and training horses for sale will hopefully offset the lower revenue of working the land with horses instead of tractors.  But for now, Polly must learn to trust and understand the instructions of a teamster, if...

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music, visuals, and video with Anna Rae

I recently had the pleasure of working with bass-wielding singer-songwriter indie folk-rock-pop musician extraordinaire Anna Rae on an album release video for her upcoming EP, "High Stakes."  'Album release video' is a loose term -- the video is an exploration into the purpose and meaning of album art, inspired by Anna's own process of commissioning her album art from local Cambridge artist Christiana Celli.  This is a great example of a new and creative approach to promotion and advertising.  Instead of making a video that just said 'hey I'm Anna and this is my music', she found a story and a question to pursue and made a film about it.  Her music and her style still come through, and it's much more interesting and watchable to we who view it.  I wish everyone would approach advertising in this way. It was also interesting to step inside the music recording world...

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Combining the Sunflowers: The Inaugural Run

It was a pleasure to witness the first run of Nate's combine--as much a learning experience as, well, the rest of their first year on the farm.  I feel like Nate had been tinkering with the machine for weeks.  The first run was not without problems, and I myself enjoyed watching the team in problem-solving mode. Filmed of course at Reber Rock Farm.  Thanks to Mace Chasm Farm for the loaner "parts combine," and to Bradley French for the use of his tractor.  Enjoy the video.

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