September, 2018

chicago roadshow

We are just back from a wonderful week in Chicago with the #mcaroadshow. We feel a special affection for our friends in Chicago, as that is where the Roadshow started, back in 2012. Until next time windy city.



randal ford’s animal kingdom

Lions, tigers, and bears — in the studio? That’s just another day behind the camera for Austin photographer Randal Ford and the subject of his first book, The Animal Kingdom: A Collection of Portraits (Rizzoli).

It started a decade ago with an assignment to photograph a series of portraits of cows for the re-designed cover of Dairy Today. These pictures really became portraits of the cows, showing their personality and coming to life, in a way. I figured that if I could show the personality of a cow, I could also do it with other animals,” Randal told Texas Monthly.

Over the years, Randal has developed a network of animal lovers who have helped him to tick off a dream list of species, from a cheetah called Yohan to Walter, the great horned owl. He photographs most of his subjects against a clean white background using fine art lighting and careful composition (and a sometimes a bucket of raw chicken) to show off an individual’s personality and profile.

Creating portraits of animals has its own interesting aspects and challenges. The lack of control when shooting animals is freeing but is also a good exercise to balance out the control I have when creating portraits of people,said Randal.

The book features portraits of 150 species, from a male lion cub with a mohawk to a chimpanzee channeling Rodin, not to mention an African crane, a cockatoo, a flamingo, several roosters, Arabian horses, bulls, Longhorn sheep, and a pride of big cats.

The beautiful organisms that have graced Mr. Ford’s lens give us a glimpse into a world in which creatures that are often marginalized stand proudly before us,” wrote photographer Dan Winters in the book’s forward.

The Animal Kingdom: A Collection of Portraits is available now from Amazon and booksellers everywhere. Proceeds for the sales of the book benefit Project Survival’s Cat Haven.

Thank you to Nick Cabrera for the images of the book.

the power of community, celebrating our los angeles art producers

Quinci and I get down to Los Angeles to show portfolios fairly often, but we were long overdue for a visit just to hang out with our beloved Art Producer community. Turns out our timing was perfect as the community was much in need of the power of the group. Over pizza and wine we got caught up, shared information, traded stories, encouragement and laughter. It was a perfect night and we already cannot wait for the next one.

randal ford brings the zing for innovage

Randal Ford’s second video spot for InnovAge is a lighthearted spoof on the beloved Cheers theme song, Everybody Knows Your Name. The video shows 10 talent and a dog singing the song while highlighting the many services InnovAge offers seniors: transportation, medical and dental facilities, food, entertainment, and the opportunity for social interaction.

This video has a slightly different feel than the last one. It’s a little more fun, more relatable. It’s got a little more zing,” said Randal.

The piece features 10 talent and a dog and opens with a bus driver and an InnovAge community member riding the bus to the center. Along the way, they pick up a few more riders and then cut to the various activities available at the facility. It was produced in partnership with Tango, a Dallas production company where Randal is on the roster.

We were basically doing a music video with older talent who aren’t necessarily music performers. The first thing we had to do was create our own 30-second sample track for Everybody Knows Your Name. We played the track at the casting, and the talent had to lip sync—50 to 80-year-olds singing that song. There were some absolutely hilarious moments!” laughed Randal.

They shot the video on location at the InnovAge center in San Bernardino. Randal used a one-camera set-up and the scratch track. Each scene was pegged to a section of track. By the time they were done shooting, they’d heard the song a few hundred times.

Back in the studio, each of the actors’ voices was matched with a professional singer, and then the video and audio were put together in post. “It was hard to find older talent who could sing the way we needed. On the day of the shoot, we wanted the actors to focus on the acting performance rather than on their voice,” Randal explained.

As a director, this project was a challenge, but it was also a really gratifying experience. I loved learning to shoot the music video, and working with all the talent was a blast.