The Promise 2nd Unit

I’m in Oxford, enjoying a short break after wrapping 2nd unit on “The Promise”, a documentary on Israel. While Jim van Dijk (Director) and Todd Williams (DP) ran main unit, I had the fun job. Four people and a van loaded with gear ran around Israel capturing unique and hidden images of the place.

Each night as I reviewed the day’s footage, I rendered out my favourite shot or two along with some stills. I threw them into Final Cut to give you a quick sample of some of what we shot. Click the image above to view the reel.

Josh Garrels: Jacaranda

Jacaranda

Though we never ended up meeting, I had the pleasure of working with Josh Garrels last year, creating visuals for a concert in Vancouver. His music has a haunting, soulful quality that I really enjoy. His new album, “Jacaranda”, has just been released.

Check out some samples on his site, JoshGarrels.com. Then head on over to the store or to iTunes and pick yourself up a copy.

Composing Israel

Week One in Israel has been a great experience. I’m directing 2nd Unit on a 3-camera RED shoot, with Todd Williams as DP and Jim van Dijk directing. The first few days after the crew arrived, I stuck with Main Unit while everyone got settled. Then Jim cut my leash and let me travel, picking up a long list of cover shots all over Israel. It’s been a blast.

The “Twunit” van usually carries me and two others, a RED, sticks, dolly, overkeeper and a nice set of lenses. Each day is usually a combo of specific destinations and “targets of opportunity” – shots along the way that add to the story.

Even though we’re working hard, the long days are a nice change of pace from directing my own show. The hard decisions lie with Jim, Todd & the producers. I get to do the fun stuff. I’m really loving shooting with the RED and the sweet set of glass we have with us: 15-40 and 28-76 Angenieux Optimo zooms and a full set of Zeiss T1.3 primes, along with the RED 50-150.

In many ways, directing 2nd unit for this show has been a lot like shooting stills photography – looking for images that layer into the story. I’ve grabbed a bunch of still frames from what I’ve shot so far on the RED. Click the image above for a quick gallery of Israel so far…

Bulembu to Tel Aviv

I seem to be a fan of these double-ender trips. This spring I went to Rwanda filming a documentary, then travelled on to Swaziland for a photo assignment. This time around, filming in Bulembu wrapped two days ago and I’m now in Tel Aviv ready to shoot another documentary.

The shoot in Bulembu was fantastic. Many memorable moments with the Tenors, and I feel like I was able to capture the beauty, memory and emotion of the place. It’ll be a fun edit – 2TB worth of footage – and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.

I’m now on to directing 2nd unit for a doc here in Israel. Main unit arrives in a couple days; I’ll be spending the first few days collecting “GV’s” (as the Brits say – General Views) around Tel Aviv.