All posts tagged Red

  • Smart Phone PSA

    Smartphone PSA from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

    The Setup

    Sometimes you just need a quickie project to stay sharp. That’s what this was. A few weeks ago, my bud and long time Internet boyfriend Matt Jeppsen announced:

    “Hey, I’m coming to town and I’ll have these new Schneider Xenon lenses with me. Want to shoot something?”

    I said, “Sure!”

    And then proceeded to pitch an idea that involved 20 actors, a closed street, choreography, a 20-ft panda bear puppet, and an f14 flyover.

    Jeppsen replied, “How about something we can shoot in half a day? We’re on vacation after all.”

    I assume this response was due to his hatred of pandas (true, ask him), but I felt he had a point. I took the elaborate concept, boiled it down to the essential idea, and came up with this. PhoneGuy vs sidewalk.

    I must admit there have been times I’ve wanted to slap the phone out of someone’s hand while they meandered across my path on the sidewalk. Dude, just, duuuude, put it down for like, thirty seconds while you walk from the gym to your car. I bemoan these slow-walking iDolts and their enslavement to The Cloud, and then, without the faintest whiff of irony, I’m on my phone tweeting about it. So yeah, this guy is me. Consider this spot a note-to-self. Apparently, this is an actual public safety issue and distracted-pedestrian injuries are on the rise. Smart phones, dumb people.

    Director’s Commentary
    The great thing about slapstick is that even when you know it’s coming, it’s still kinda funny. When you see someone hurt themselves those little mirror neurons in your brain fire and scream, “OMG, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU! TICKLE TICKLE!” Slapstick seemed like an easy way to make this point and fit within our requirement of being done shooting by lunch.
    We shot everything on steadicam. Well, a janky old Glidecam V8 actually. Camera movement was important for the “pole reveal” moment and was obvious for the other walking shots. For the pole I got some 1″ pipe insulator from Ace Hardware and spray painted it silver. This made it easier possible for our actor (Adam) to give the pole a good whack with his face. In his spare time, Adam drops massive waterfalls in his kayak so walking into a pole foamie was a no brainer for him (or maybe that’s the other way around, haha).
    We were shooting geurilla style and didn’t have resources to support the army that comes along with massive HMI lighting. So a few days before the shoot, I wandered around the city looking for places where the sun bounced off glass high-rises and made pools of light along the sidewalk. Found one. Bingo. 18k of beautiful, diffused-but-sharp key light. I’m seriously obsessed with this kind of city light now. It happens all throughout the day here in downtown Portland. Only challenge is you have to shoot your scene before sun moves on and drags your light with it. And it moves pretty fast in the summer.

    For the filmmaker, the moral of this story is: shoot MORE of the stuff you want to get hired for. I want to shoot more commercials like this and now instead of telling an agency what I can do, I can SHOW them. Show, don’t tell. The end. Thanks for watching/reading.

    (Also thanks to Isaac Koval, and Liam Gillies for helping out, Adam Chechire Edwards for face smashing, Matt Jeppsen the DP, and Andy Askren and Kallie Baker for their brainstorming. )

  • Pure Intensity Training

    Wow is this really my first post of 2013? For shame, Jesse. In my defense, I’ve been a bit busy – with projects like this! (OMG best segue ever)

    The snippet I’m sharing here is the opener to a longer video about a fitness class called Pure Intensity Training. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the decisions I made (lighting, framerates, editing, music) that lead to this particular look and feel.

    Overall Direction: The class is aptly named. Pure Intensity Training IS intense. While it can accommodate anyone from beginner to elite athlete, there’s no escaping the fact that this class will kick your butt. My goal was to capture that “intensity” with the opener. I wanted to create something high-energy, aggressive, dynamic, and sweaty (but not TOO gritty.)

    Content: So what am I going to shoot?  The class itself is chocked full of movement. It seemed like a no-brainer to showcase those moves with actual people from the class rather than try to illustrate “high-energy” with some other visual (ninjas? monster trucks? no.) And let’s be honest, budget and time is a huge factor here. We only had an hour to shoot this.

    Style/Art Direction: Another differentiating element of the PIT class is the way they use “pure” movements – there’s no special training or gym equipment required. This is why I chose to keep the frame clean and clear, pure and simple. No backwall, no mirrors, no slowly rotating gym fans. Just bodies and movement.

    photo-2(Red Epic with 24-70mm. Convenient and terrible lens)

    Lighting: There was no key light in this shoot, just two kickers in the back. Any front light came from the kickers reflecting off the gym floor and bouncing back into the talent’s face. This type of lighting served the piece in a few ways.

    1. This is a showcase of movement and sweat, not specific people. Lighting the edges meant the viewer’s eye is drawn more to the outline of the body rather than people’s faces.

    2. Using hard lights, and putting them at such an oblique angle created shadows and texture that really helped highlight muscles and lines. Wanna look extra buff? Take off your shirt in front of the bathroom mirror and use your iPhone to light yourself 90 degrees from one side (or above). Every little bump is now defined with a shadow. Now put your shirt back on, please. And maybe eat a salad.

    3. Lastly, don’t over estimate the “it looks cool” factor. Edge light is edgy, duh.

    I used two 400 watt jokers in the back, both at about 45˚ from the subject. I was shooting at 110fps with 180˚ shutter so needed a lot of light. Ultimately I would have preferred a couple of 800 watt jokers and a little more diffusion back there to help the light spread across the talent more evenly.

    photo-1(400 Watt Joker Pars in the back)

    Music and editing: Dub step seemed like a good mix between rock and dance. Fitness and fashion seems to lean more toward dance/house music. And when I think of “pumping iron” I think of aggressive rock music. This dubstep track sat right in the middle. As for editing, I try so hard to avoid speed-ramps but felt it was necessary with this edit. It seemed to “ramp” up the intensity and was a good transition between furious realtime and poetic slow-motion.

    Ok, thanks for reading. For the record, when approaching a new project I don’t necessarily start with categories like this. I start with “you know what might be cool” then work backwards to make sure the idea fits within the project goals.

    Jesse out.

  • Rock Stars of Gastroenterology

    There’s nothing sexy about gastroenterology, until now.

    Wanted to share a lil’ project I created under the guidance of agency hotness Grady Britton from Portland, Oregon. Grady is chocked full of good people and good ideas. Their copywriting is so sharp (crowd: How sharp is it?) I had to wear protective goggles while editing.

    March is colon cancer awareness month and this video is part of the microsite Check it out. Get screened. Be alive.

    Here’s the FAQ for the technical stuff.
    Camera: Red One MX for easier overcranking.
    Lighting: 2 Kino 4banks and a few fresnels.
    Crew: Myself, Lyn, Keaten Abbott, and Patrick Eggert (thanks, guys)
    Post: 1080p masters from Redcine edited in FCP. Color correction done with MB Looks and Colorista II.
    Graphics: After Effects. Flash pops done with Optical Flares from

  • Growing is Forever

    I have a deep affection for the Redwood forests of Northern California. This is my best attempt to capture the reverence I feel when in the presence of these slumbering giants. My friend Kallie wrote this after our group’s annual camping trip to the coast. The words were too beautiful to ignore.

  • iPad Shopping

    I wish I could say I was writing this post on an iPad. Alas, the Apple Fairy has yet to bequeath unto me the “ultimate mobile multimedia device” (Job’s words, not mine). But instead of sitting around pining over my iPadlessness, I’ve decided to mock up another iPad “experience.” I’m not going to say much about this one since it’s pretty self explanatory. Combine the convenience of shopping online with the familiartiy of a print layout. Sprinkle in a dash of novelty in the form of “living portraits” and wrap the whole thing up in a sleek, hand held device. I think this could be an interesting way to shop.

    The footage for this demo came from a stock footage fashion shoot we did a couple weeks ago. Here’s a little bit of randomness from the day:

    And just because the ladies did such a great job, here’s a few more clips of them posing.

  • Going Vertical

    27094_420274630168_640670168_5355934_3284545_nThe iPad is on its way and the HP Slate is not far behind. I am equal parts excited and terrified to see how these devices will change the way we consume media (hint: revolution). Already we’re seeing publishers and advertisers flock to the iPad. Many magazines that have been print-only since their existence now have the opportunity to immerse their readers in interactive video, sound, and motion. So, if you shoot video, how can you prepare for this brave new world? Get yourself an L-bracket.

    I’ll explain. Traditionally, books and magazines are in a portrait orientation and film and TV are landscape. You don’t read books on your TV and you don’t watch movies in a magazine, until now. With the advent of the iPad (and other handheld computing devices), the lines between print and motion media are being blurred. Books AND movies can now be consumed on the same device. A device you hold in your hand and flip any way you wish.

    With the iPad, there’s really no longer a landscape limitation for video. Maybe you want your vid to appear full screen in portrait mode? Maybe you need a long, tall video banner-ad on the side of a digital magazine page? I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more vertically shot video soon. The simplest way to get a portrait orientation out of your video camera is to flip it. Flip it good. So get yourself an L-bracket and get shooting (if you shoot with a fixed monitor you might want to also get yourself a neck brace and a chiropractor).

    Last weekend I shot some vertical beach scenes. These were shot on Red with a Canon 10-22mm.

    Beach Verticals from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

    All this vertical footy got me wondering what some of this might look like as an iPad magazine cover. So I did a little Sunset Magazine mock up. Sunset Mag, if you’re reading this, call me. We’ll talk.

  • Redwood Raptor

    I’m working on a personal project right now about the costal Redwoods. After spending two days deep in the jurassic mists I started to get a little stir crazy. You ever feel like raptors are watching your every move?

    In addition to almost twisting my ankle falling off this tree, I think I really scared two old ladies that were walking up the trail behind the camera. There, now no one can say I take myself too seriously. Enjoy the buffoonary.

  • Rolling Hills Casino – Bored Room

    Last spot in the Better to Play series. I just watched all four back-to-back and I must say I’m pleased with their consistency. Yay for branding. This spot was shot on Red and posted in FCP with some help from Magic Bullet and After Effects (for the motion graphics). I’m pretty sure the idea for this spot came from an episode of Arrested Development. RIP Arrested Development. We’ll always have the banana stand.

  • Levi Leipheimer’s Gran Fondo


    Last month Lyn and I jumped down to Santa Rosa to film Levi Leipheimer’s Gran Fondo. I know what you’re thinking, “What the heck is a gran fondo?” Well, according to, it is a “long distance, mass-participation cycling event – not a race.” There, now you know. I must say it was a grand gran fondo. The course wound its way through deep, dark forests and across golden hillsides.

    The standard practice for covering cycling events is from the back of a motorcycle, or from a helicopter. Luckily, we had both. Carl Burchfiel, our fearless leader, wrestled a fully-kitted Red inside a tiny chopper while Lyn and I took the motos. I rode behind Bill and Lyn rode behind Val Kilmer Chad on his BMW 1200GS (For the record, I can neither confirm or deny the possibility of me being obsessed with this particular motorcycle).

    As I was building out my camera the night before, I discovered I was missing the top handle – probably left it in the rental car in Cleavland. Operating a Red One without a top handle is like trying to cut a steak without thumbs. It’s awkward, and makes you look stupid. Hanging onto the back of a speeding motorcycle made it all the more challenging. I still managed to get some decent moving shots from the back of the bike. The rest of the time we’d try to leapfrog Levi, pull over, and film as he passed. Lyn carried the tripod on her back and our motos rode together. We were a motorcycle gang of two.

    It was great meeting Levi. He’s a really nice guy and put together this ride as a fundraiser for the city of Santa Rosa and Forget Me Not Farm.

    What I learned on this shoot:
    * Size matters – can’t wait until Red comes out with some smaller cameras for this type of work. I hear the Scarlet should be out by 2015 [sarcasm].
    * Story, story, story – I was reminded that gorgeous vistas and cycling celebrities do not an interesting video make. It always has, and always will be about the story. Even though we had rough audio and limited time with The Levi, I think I managed to eek out a subtle story line here. Enjoy.

  • Spider on White – Macro


    Canon 100mm Macro + Red One. Yes, I hate these things too, but I love to hate them. Working with this guy for about an hour emptied my adrenal glands. Definitely will need a spider wrangler next time. The spider was either sitting completely motionless, or scampering away off the table. That made me think that a subject like this would work really well for a “living photograph.” Click the pic to see what I mean.