May, 2012

jamie kripke shoots stills and motion for visa

Visa hired Jamie Kripke for an international travel campaign that took him to Vancouver, Toronto, Paris and London to shoot both stills and motion for ads that ran on global travel websites.The purpose of the campaign, developed by AKQA San Francisco, was to encourage people to use their ATM cards when traveling.

The stills were shot for interactive panoramic images that viewers could pan over to reveal ATM locations in popular tourist destinations. The videos were interviews with unique local business owners where people would likely need cash to make a purchase including a calligraphy supply store in Paris and a food truck in Vancouver. I asked photography blogger Alison McCreery to sit down with Jamie to give some background on the shoot.

London panoramic


“It was a super unique, technically challenging project and the travel was amazing,” added Jamie. “We traveled with a large team: the art buyer, art director, creative director, account executive, client and editor for Paris and Vancouver. We hired the video crews locally. The ads were successful and the client loved it. It was great to be a part of a successful project that was also a lot of fun.”


Team Toronto


You shot stills and video in four cities and three countries. The production must have been challenging.

Through Art Buyer Heather Morton I found an executive producer, Courtney Boyd, who was absolutely amazing. Courtney is based in Toronto and oversaw all the other producers. Marianne and I had been in touch with Heather through her blog. It speaks to the value of these online relationships. We chose Courtney as our executive producer because she is based in Toronto, conveniently located between Paris and Vancouver. She worked some pretty long days, getting up early to connect with our Paris and London crews, then staying up late to work with our Vancouver crew.

We had one producer in each of four cities. They were responsible for scheduling the shoot, the location scouts, video interviews, and the crews. We talked with over 75 different businesses in Paris and Vancouver looking for the right elements. Coordinating the scouting and the interviewing internationally and with large time zone differences was a huge part of the job. The pre-pro took over three weeks with many, many rounds of reviews and revisions.


La Cremerie in Paris


We narrowed our video subjects down to three food trucks in Vancouver, three businesses in Paris, shot at all six and then shot the panoramas. We couldn’t cast for the stills because the locations were much too large and public. So we ended up building composites of frames including people who were turned away from us, slightly blurred, or too far away to be recognizable. It was technically tricky and I used a special panoramic tripod head that pans and locks into position at incremental positions. Each image included over 100 layers, days of compositing, but ultimately ran online at around 900 pixels wide x 300 tall. I actually sent them the final images via email.

How hard was it to find consistently good crews that could support both still and video in multiple locations?

On shoots like these, I have to put complete faith in our local producers that they can find a good crew. So really it goes back to getting the absolute best producer you can find. A good one is well worth his/her high rate.

Having a good crew is important for all shoots, whether they are stills or motion. But for a still photographer that is transitioning into motion, having a good crew is crucial. There are many more moving parts in a motion production and it’s impossible for a director to do a good job directing/DPing and keep tabs on what everyone else is doing.


Toronto Panoramic


Our crew in Vancouver was so dialed that it really freed me up to think only about framing things nicely and directing our subjects. Having a tight crew also freed me up to have clear lines of communication with the CD and AD throughout the shoot, making it a very collaborative effort that stayed focused on the goals of the agency and client. I was relaxed and it was actually fun. Everyone knew their role and how to do it really well which made my job a blast.

The shoot in Paris presented its own challenges in working internationally – differences in permitting and local laws, styles of working, language barriers that can change the nuances of communication on set, and the way that producers and scouts need to approach businesses about working together. Culturally and legally, it’s very different than shooting at home. Fortunately we had an excellent producer (and photographer) Sidney Kapuskar, a German born Parisian, who was able to make the production go very smoothly.

The shoot in Paris was especially exciting, as the three locations the client approved were not only visually beautiful, with compelling stories, but had the most amazing available light. Throughout the location approval process, I pushed hard for locations that had nice light. As a result, our gaffer didn’t have much to do on set, we were able to work quickly, get more shots, and all of our video shoot stayed right on schedule.

It also helped that we wrapped our last shoot in an amazing little wine bar in Paris.

Team Paris at La Cremerie

michael lamotte in salon des sens at barndiva

Michael Lamotte’s From the Source project will be featured in the Salon des Sens show at Healdsburg’s barndiva.

Salon des Sens opens on June 2nd and runs through June 12th. It is a food art show “engaging the senses from compost to carrot cremeux,” a curated collection from 15 artists working across media – hotography, video, acrylics, wire sculpture, watercolor, soil and food.

The opening will feature edible art by Barndiva’s Chef Ryan Fancher and cocktails by St. George Spirits.

To see the ongoing From the Source project, click here.

Hope to see you there!

Porchetta di Testa from Boccalone Salumeria in Oakland, California

rj muna film screening at dance camera west

RJ Muna’s short film “Origami” will screen as part of the 11th Annual Dance Camera West Film Festival at LACMA and the Hammer Museum on June 28 – 30th. “Origami” is a three-minute short film conceived and directed by RJ and made in collaboration with dancers Kate Fisher and Jaime Verizan. I asked RJ for his inspiration and details. In his inimitable style, he wrote such a nice piece about the film that I decided to post his quote.

“Kate Fisher and I go way, way back. Almost 7 years—which in “dancer years” is a long time. I first met her when she was with ODC for a couple of those years. I’m lucky to have great friendships with all the ODC dancers and Kate was no exception. After she moved back to New York to continue her dancing career (with Lucinda Childs) and start her choreography career, I got a call from her asking if I would like to direct a “small” dance film she was working on. She had seen a couple of my conceptual movement films I’d made with San Francisco dancers and thought her film would be a good match. It sounded like fun and another opportunity to work with Kate. The 40 minute (yes, that’s right, 40 minute) film we made in New York was called “Finite and Infinite Games” which premiered at Art Basel, Switzerland.

In the painful process of making “Games” we’d often joke about how the simple photo-shoots we used to do seemed like the “good ol’ days.” So when Kate called and said she was coming out to the West Coast with Jaime Verazin (one of the star dancers in” Games”) and how great it would be to make another film, I thought she was kidding. She wasn’t. So we did. This time three minutes long, and we called it “Origami.” The film premiered at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and the upcoming Dance Camera West Festival in LA. So if you’re anywhere near the LACMA and the Hammer Museum on June 28-30th you can see our film along with all the others in this year’s festival. Or, you can watch it here, by yourself, without the free wine and a crowd of people wearing black casual chic clothes.”