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.

  • 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.

  • Portland Cyclocross

    I shot this footage last December at the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross in Portland, Oregon. My buddy Chris was racing and I figured this would be a great way to try out the new Birger mount. After shooting for about a year with only the Red 18-50mm, it was pretty liberating to start shooting with some different focal lengths via Birger and EOS glass. This footage has been sitting on my hard drive for the last 8 months and I finally got around to editing some clips together. This is not meant to be anything more than a camera test so don’t look too closely for a theme or story.

    I started this project with the Color workflow in mind, but ended up getting much better results out of the new color science in Red Alert. The final tint was done inside FCP with Magic Bullet Looks. Enjoy!

  • Cart – A Short Film

    Ever wonder how abandoned shopping carts end up where they do?  Me too.

    Written & Directed by Jesse Rosten
    Music by Peter Lance

    The idea for this film was hatched a few years ago.  Lyn and I were driving through town and had Radiohead’s OK Computer on the CD player.  As we drove by an empty parking lot, we happened to notice a shopping cart looking rather lost and disheveled.  This visual, combined with Yorke’s longing melodies, had us both feeling like we were experiencing something dramatic and cinematic.  So, naturally, we started laughing.  The next few minutes were spent joking about “the little cart that could.”   “Wouldn’t that be funny if…” “He’s got the heart of a champion.”  Fast forward a few years and we hadn’t forgotten about the cart.  When I learned that my hometown was hosting a film festival to showcase local talent, the idea of the shopping cart resurfaced. Can’t get shown up on your home court, right?  A few beers with friends and many script revisions later and we had a story.

    The film was shot with no budget, over a few weeks.  The question I get asked the most is, “how did you get the cart to move?”  Simple.  String.  Ugly Braid 40lbs test fishing line to be exact.  We went through several brands before we found one that didn’t show too much on screen.  Even so, when shooting at 4k it’s hard to hide anything and I ended up having to comp the string out of a few of the shots.  Big thanks to Derek and Lyn for all their hard work on the production.  Also, this film wouldn’t be what it is without the beautiful music composed by Peter Lance.

    Please enjoy the film and don’t hesitate to ask (in the comments section) if you have any questions.  For the tech-heads, this was shot on a Red One with Canon EOS lenses via the Birger lens mount.

  • Motorcycle – Priceless

    Many, many months ago, I shot some test footage of Dad riding his motorcycle. Finally got around to pulling the footage together – just for fun. Enjoy.