The Banded Light Pictures team really put out a great film this time; at least we think so. Already an "Audience Choice" winner, our film "Resonance" saw some additions to the cast and crew. New to the team were Rob Lemieux as Sound Designer, Jynnifer Stine and Terri Trider as set designers, hair and makeup, and who knows what else, Kay Feely as set designer and whatever else we needed, Geneva ni Seobhan as slate operator and PA, Eran Limor as graphic designer, Richie Chisolm as boom operator, Nina Hedberg as data wrangler/PA, and new acting talent from Kayla Mackiewicz, Kyle Rezzarday, Jane Patricia Forrestal, and Chris Ferrill. Remember this name: Ellie Davis. She sang the title song for the piece, and she is sensational! Rob Lemieux and Debbie wrote the music and lyrics for the song. Jim McClure and Ben Knight returned after the last film "What's Best For You" (not yet published), and the originals were here of course, Scott Webster, Producer/Director, Adam Volkmann and Chris Preble as Producers, and myself (Gaston) as DP, Camera, Editor, and Producer.
Granite River takes home a couple Tellys!
I've always been proud of the work we did for the Boys & Girls Club 2010 Champion's Breakfast. It was a very talented team (see below), and appently the people at the Tellys' think so too. We took home a Bronze for excellence in the piece overall, and Granite River got a Silver (the highest award) for Cinematography. I couldn't be happier and more proud of a piece. The Club is doing great things and it's awesome to be a part of something great.
Kenneth H. Cohn, MD, MBA, FACS, CEO of HealthcareCollaboration.com contacted Granite River to produce a promotional video for the upcoming release of his fourth book, Getting It Done.
Dr. Cohn is a board-certified general surgeon currently splitting time between providing locum tenens surgical coverage in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and working as the CEO of HealthcareCollaboration.com, which helps doctors, nurses, hospital leaders, and board members work more interdependently to improve care for their communities.
To the best of his knowledge, Dr. Cohn is the only practicing general surgeon/MBA in the US who consults, writes, speaks, and teaches about physician-hospital relations. He has facilitated improvement efforts at community hospitals in the Yale, Banner Colorado, Santa Barbara Cottage, and Sutter Sacramento Health systems. He is also on the teaching faculty of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Estes Park Institute, Healthcare Roundtable, Governance Institute, and New England College.
The Banded Light Pictures team got together again for another fun-filled experience with 48 hour films. This round didn't disappoint, ending in disqualification, but hey, that's the nature of the film business right? The important thing is we were proud of our work, our story was strong, the actors were great, and we got to show people our film. You can't ask for more than that.
We had some additions to this crew. Lorin Gross from "Flower Power Designs" came on to help with writing, and it's a good thing. She actually came up with the story line on this one. Great job Lorin! Vinny was back on this one (from Order Up, Adam Volkmann), and it was goood to have him back. He was Co-Producer and played a banker in the film. Unfortunately, when I transferred the footage, his parts got lost, so we had to write him out; really sorry about that Vinny. Chris Prebble joined us as Co-Producer and actually played an over zealous TV Producer in the film. Scott Webster was Co-Producer and played a lawyer. I was DP, camera, and editor (yeah, I was exhausted) and I actually played the BP exec. Don't say it. Jackson Webster was back as "Death", the Boy Wonder. This time we got his brother in too, Jaimie. He was the underling.
We had a few new actors on the film who did a fantastic job: Jason Casey and Gerrica Dunning played the two main visitors. Heidi Nicolle played the politician, Douglas Goodwwin was "Death's" escort into the room, and his sister Kim Goodwin and Brandi Asselin were the "Twilight" girls in the elevator at the end.
The reason we got disqualified was simply time. We ran out. This is the first year they accepted HD content for the festival, which is a great thing, but they couldn't open my HD file for whatever reason. The SD (standard definition) file stopped playing about 5.5 minutes into the movie. Go figure. There's always next year.
A good portion of the Smoky Quartz team from the 7dayPSA contest got back together to produce this piece for the Boys & Girls Club in Concord, NH. They were able to completely blow away their projections for fund raising and rally the troops to a whopping $300 thousand dollars! I'm really proud of this one. I give all the credit to an excellent crew: Executive Producer: Carol Morse from the Boys & Girls Club in Concord, Producer: Dana Biscotti Myskowski, Director: Adam Jones, DP was myself, Editor: David Bradley, Art Director: Mary-Catherine Jones, Set Designer: Susan Tinkham, Hair and Makeup: Annette Sousa, Production Assistants: Leo and Abby Myskowski, and lighting assistance from Tom Dooley.
Boston 48 Hour Film Festival, May 2010
Yes it's that time again, to produce another 48 Hour film. This time we went bigger; Boston. The Banded Light Pictures Team, which consists of Banded Light's Scott Webster, myself from Granite River, and Jeff White from NOTSOX combined forces. We added another invaluable member to the team this year, Aaron Lussier. Him and his dad really came through for us; couldn't have done it without them actually. We had a really light crew this go around, but we turned out another great looking film with, get this, 10 minutes to spare. Huh? How's that for close?
The genre was "Heist", the character was Winston Weatherbean, the prop was a scale, and the profession was a gardener. Our film is called "The Redemption", and you'll have to wait until after the screenings before I can post it here. A good, yet very stressful time was had by all.
Agile Magnetics, formerly Regional Manufacturing Specialists, out of Concord, NH came to Granite River because they needed a creative way to show their dynamic business to the world. They had a large, rather important trade show coming up in Boston, and their goal was to be the hit of the show. Marketing Director Randy Makee had a plan, and of course it involved video. We shot for two days, and put together a great showcase of their business. They had a great looking booth, got a big movie screen, a high-res projector and a Blu-Ray player and the place was jumping! As planned, they were the hit of the show. Video works! As and when I can get some real numbers to prove that, I will put them up here.
7DayPSA Contest, February 2010
Granite River was fortunate enough to get called by Marc Dole of Hatchling to help out on this beautifully done piece of work. They were short a 2nd camera, and who could pass up an opportunity to work with Marc, who acted as editor, Dana Biscotti, the brainchild of this motley crew, and my old friend Gary Anderson, who was the DP of the shoot. I even got to work with some fine talent I didn't know before, like "The Adams" (Adam Jones, Director, and Adam Donovan, Production Coordinator), Stan Barker (Sound), and Annette Sousa (Hair & Makeup). The commercial spot, in its many forms took several awards including 1st place overall, Best Director, Best Editor, and Best Director of Photography. Read the entire article here. Congratulations guys; a job very well done.
Delta Education, October 09
Delta Education, a subsidiary of School Specialty, has hired Granite River to produce a promotional/sales piece to showcase their science kit refurbishment program. Shooting has already been completed, and we're in the final stages of the edit/approval process now. What a great bunch of people to work with.
Grappone Collision Center, October 09
Granite River has just completed a promotional piece for the Grappone Collision Center to highlight their new "lean and green" way of doing things. Amanda Grappone, the 4th generation of Grappone's in the business and Director of Operations for the Collision Center, has brought some revolutionary changes which are paving the way collision and repair businesses will operate in the future.
Check out the new trailer for "The Kingsmen's Redeemer". Peter's doing a fantastic job editing and gathering momentum for this movie. I'm proud to have been a part of it. You can find it here: kingsmensredeemer.com.
The BALSAMS, September 09
Post production of the videos on The BALSAMS website has started. Many will be going up over time, so check back often to see the progress. You can see them at www.thebalsams.com.
The Elliot, September 09
The RED workflow turned out to be a little more cumbersome than I imagined it would be, but the spots came out well. Compositing was done in After Effects, keying in Keylight, grading in Apple's Color, and the final edit and output on Final Cut 7. Due to time constraints, the third spot had to be completed by Clover Creative Group's Shawn Dixon. You can see them all on the portfolio page in the broadcast section of the site.
The Elliot, August 09
It's a wrap for shooting. We had a great crew, most of the same players we had for the movie in January; Peter Shanelaris on camera, Jen Schwab as AC, Matt Marcil on sound, Donna Cotnoir did the hair and makeup, and a handful of PAs. I acted as Producer/Director. We shot on the RED One over two days. It was a very relaxed set, and we came away with some great imagery.
The BALSAMS, July 09
Shooting has begun at The BALSAMS. Currently, everything is scheduled to go to the web, but we're shooting in HD with a Panasonic HVX200 camera, a SGblade 35mm adapter and a beautiful set of Nikon primes. It's going to be beautiful footage; appropriate for The BALSAMS I think.
Focalcast Media, July 09
The Focalcast Media Group has partnered with Granite River to produce a television commercial campaign for The Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire. We're very excited to get the opportunity to work on such a high caliber project. The campaign will be a set of :30 spots to set The Elliot apart as offering the best in children's emergency care.
Amtren Corporation, January-Present 2009
After fighting with this corporation for several months, I've decided to take things into my own hands and just report some of my experiences with this company. Hopefully, someone will read this while researching Amtren, and stay clear of any merchandise from them. Here goes.
I first got this equipment in January of 2009, a Flexwriter II CD/DVD Publisher, which is a fancy way of saying it burns and prints automatically or robotically. A personalized instruction session was offered by Amtren as a way to get new customers up to speed quickly. Good tech support; appealing. It never happened. Personally, I feel I should be able to take it out of the box, install the drivers, hook it up, and it should just work! I'm not an idiot for crying out loud! I've installed hundreds of pieces of hardware and sofware over the years, and it's not that complicated; challenging at times yes, but nothing like this thing.
I've used a first generation Primera Bravo for years, and I just wore it out. Primera couldn't get the parts to fix it anymore, and they weren't willing to work with me on the price of a new one after all my years of loyal service, so I decided to go with someone else. BIG MISTAKE!
The bottom line is this; I've had nothing but problems with my Flexwriter II from Amtren since I took it out of the box. I've opened up ticket after ticket, and left scores of phone calls to tech support. The trouble tickets go unanswered, and my phone calls are ignored. I can't actually believe the company is still in business considering the support they have for their products. It's the most horrible product support I've ever experienced in my almost 30 years of working in technology. Stay way clear of anything Amtren sells because their products don't work the way they should, and they don't support what they sell.
I hope by writing this that I'm able to help other people avoid the problems I've had.
The BALSAMS, June 09
After a hurculean effort by the crew at bobdonpaul.com, we're finally going to work on a major campaign together. We're already partners on "The Great Ice Fishing Derby" documentary (see below), but we've been hoping to land a much bigger fish. (get it; fish - fishing documentary. Nevermind.)
Bob Manley truly pulled out all the stops on this one, assembling a top-notch crew to handle all marketing and advertising for The BALSAMS Grand Resort, in Dixville Notch, NH.
Our plan is to return this beautiful resort back to the premiere travel destination that it once was. Granite River is tasked to produce small documentary style productions of long-time resident of The BALSAMS, Steve Barba. Steve is a walking history book; nobody knows more about The BALSAMS than he does.
Bobdonpaul's unique web design, combined with beautiful footage of the resort and interviews with The BALSAMS history major, Steve Barba, will create a unique viewer experience like no other in New England, and that's before you even get there!
Congratulations to Bob and crew for accomplishing such a momentous task. Now let's get busy!
The 48 Hour Film Project, June 09
Granite River joined Banded Light Pictures and NOTSOX to form a team for this years 48 Hour Film Project. If you don't know anything about the 48 Hour Film Project, you can find out here www.48HourFilm.com.
The gist of the whole thing is you have 48 hours to draw one of 12 or so genres out of a hat, write a script, find actors, locations, etc, shoot it, edit it, and submit it to the 48 Hour Film Project staff.
How did we do you ask? It was a blast! A little stressful at the end; we submitted the tape with only 5 minutes to spare. Hey, one minute after 7:30 PM, and you're out! That's a lot of no sleep to count for nothing.
We had a great crew, and I have to hand it to the producers Adam Volkmann and Scott Webster, they came into this thing prepared. I'm proud of the work we accomplished. It was shot here on my property and West Manchester in a little diner named "Chiggy's Place". Cindy Kenney, the owner, really went out of her way for us, so go in and check out her place some time. She's on 372 Kelly Street. They have a breakfast to die for!
The name of the film is "Order Up" and you can find it here after it screens at the Apple Tree Cinema in Londonderry, NH on the 22nd of June, 2009 at 6:30 PM. Courtesy of Jeff White of NOTSOX, most of what we shot was on a HVX-200 with a SGblade 35mm adapter. The pickups were shot with a DVX-100. I was the Director of Photography and Editor, with Jeff as the right hand. The film was edited on Final Cut.
The "Traveling Rose" Pilot, April 09
Jason Rose is quite a guy. He's got a great heart for God, and a truly infectuous positive outlook on life that is rare these days. Jason's quest was to produce something on television today that's worth watching; a family friendly show about cost effective weekend getaways.
The pilot was set in the Coco Key Resort in Danvers, MA. We really had a great time shooting and producing this pilot. We'll just lift it up and see what happens. You can see all three segments in the broadcast section of the video portfolio.
The Kingsmen's Redeemer Wraps Production, March 09
We started principal photography on January 20th, and with exception of a few scenes, wrapped up shooting in early March. What an experience! There were long days and big personalities, but we were well taken care of by the producers, and we came away with some awesome imagery.
My role was Assistant Director, Assistant Director of Photography, Camera Operator, Data Wrangler, and whatever else needed to be done. I really enjoyed shooting with the RED One camera. It's in a class all by itself. The footage is now off to edit for release in late fall/winter 2009. To check on the film's progress and see a trailer, go to www.hangdogsthemovie.com.
You + Action = Change, November 08
The needs of this world are many, and Mark Warren, founder of Global Benefit decided to make a difference by creating an organization with a very simple message, You + Action = Change. Find out how you can make a difference at www.GlobalBenefit.org. The solution may surprise you.
Jeff Yalden, October 08
Granite River just finished with another promotional video for the always dynamic motivational speaker, Jeff Yalden. You may recognize the name from MTV's MADE program, where Jeff was the Life Coach for a young girl failing out of high school. That episode was ranked number one by the viewers in 6 seasons of the series. You can find out more about Jeff at www.JeffYalden.com.
The Williamson program was taped in September of 2008 at Williamson, New York's Williamson High School. Jeff's unique way of blending humor with real-life situations enables him to relate to today's young people, but more importantly, young people tune into Jeff's message like no other motivational speaker before him, and probably after.
The Kingsmen's Redeemer, October 08
Granite River Studios will be working with Purple Crayon Productions, LLC, Petros Tsanlaredes to start production on the writer/director's next feature film, "The Kingsman's Redeemer". The principle photography is scheduled to begin in January of 2009 on the industry shaking RED One digital cinema camera. We're all very excited to bring this action packed feature production to New Hampshire. Check back often for updates on the entire process.
The Great Ice Fishing Derby, September 08
Granite River is selected by the creative team at bobdonpaul.com to join the crew to create their first documentary film about the Great Rotary Fishing Derby right here in New Hampshire. You can visit the new web site at The Great Rotary Fishing Derby. Check back often to get additional details.
The NH Court System Tour Video, September 08
The New Hampshire Supreme Court chooses Granite River Studios to produce a video to help 4th grade students learn about the court system in our state. The video will also be featured on the NH Court System website.
Field trips for the 4th grade students throughout the state typically include a trip to the NH Supreme Court, but with the rising costs of fuel and petroleum based products, schools have had to cut some costs. This video will provide a brief tour of many courts, without ever leaving the classroom!
Even kids who do travel to the Supreme Court don't get to see some of the places in this video, such as the judges chambers, and a Superior Court jury box.