Ryan Ross and I have been trying to collaborate on projects for roughly 2 years. Many times, a Line Producer does many, many bids and estimates for clients before even putting a face to the name. In this case, I was grateful that Buck Ross Productions hit me up again, to put together numbers for 3 x :30 spots that will air during the 2017 NCAA March Madness Tournament. The creative was fantastic, funny and fresh, created by Sterling Rice Group out of Boulder, Colorado. I'd been on the road for several projects prior to this, so it was a great opportunity to once again work with our talented Colorado production crew, helmed by both Ryan and Director of Photography Kevin Emmons. Shot at various locations around the city of Denver, I expect these national spots to get some laughs and will definitely sell some almonds!
California Almonds | March Madness | SpaceDebris (30s:4K)
California Almonds | March Madness | Doppelganger (30s:4K)
California Almonds | March Madness | Supermodel (30s:4K)
California Almonds BTS
Grocery store chain. Simple, clean green stools on a white cyc stage. Seems easy. Then add 15 spots, 20 talent, 2 languages over 3 days and things get a wee bit more complex! Publix and 22squared awarded the project to Leslie Allen and Walk The Line Films and I was enthused to take on the lead as Line Producer. Casting alone was 3 days and more than 180 possible talent speaking English and multiple dialects of Spanish. The spots were to appear in Florida, but with casting in Los Angeles, we had to find a way to keep accents realistic for the Latino market in that region. We filmed at the wonderful stages of Quixote and with the precise direction of Liz Hinlein, Director. A great LA crew made for a great 3 day shoot on one of my first bilingual projects. And I got to eat SUGARFISH every day. Lucky guy.
"On The Fly" Director Liz Hinlein
"BOGO" Director Liz Hinlein
"ThePerfectTeam" Director Liz Hinlein
"Coupon Man" Director Liz Hinlein
This was a doozy. While I didn't produce this, I did choose to AD the gig and I will admit that while I can wear many hats, I'm not the best AD in the biz. However, when Tyler Stableford asked for my assistance, I just had to dive in. With Tyler directing and Russell Carpenter DPing (Titanic, True Lies, Shallow Hal. . . list goes on and on) I did my best to make sure the wheels didn't fall off, the kittens were herded and I think I'll stick to producing.
The Calling 4K
Behind The Scenes Of "The Calling," a 4k Canon EOS C700 Short Film
It's not everyday that you get an extra chilly December helicopter ride over Manhattan and get to consider it work. . . but in this case, I was so lucky and in addition sat atop the highest point in the Empire State Building at sunrise the day before. Renan Ozturk and I were chasing Sasha DiGiulian (http://www.sasha-digiulian.com) during a couple of days in the life as a Columbia University senior and busy Manhattanite. The adventure continued at the King of Pain spire in Indian Creek, Utah for more chilly weather and sand stone towers that compare to even the tallest New York skyscrapers; all for Camp4 Collective, GoPro & Ford Motors. The adventure continued in New Jersey and then Vancouver Island with Professional Mountain Biker, Aaron Chase. Hired locals built a major jump with some set construction money laying around in the budget and magic happened. Major props to the GoPro ninjas, Shon Bollock & Ben Williams, for taking the adventure with us and countless hours of rigging cameras, charging batteries and swapping memory cards.
GoPro x Unstoppable: Climbing Towers
GoPro x Unstoppable: Chase Me
From 100 degree temps in Arizona to -30 degrees in Alaska, this project for Yeti's new Rambler Bottle (http://yeti.com/rambler-bottle-36-oz/) had us flying all over the USA from desert landscapes near Scottsdale, Arizona to the great Ruth Gorge in Denali, Alaska. Following Wild Cow Catchers and a Search and Rescue team, the temperatures and characters along the way could not have varied more. Adrenaline was flowing throughout this journey with Renan Ozturk at the helm, dodging rattlesnakes and getting caught in a week long spring storm in Denali. In the end we learned that the product could live up to all conditions and what a great time with Camp4 Collective, McGarrah Jesse and the always fantastic clients from Yeti.
Rambler Bottles: Wild Cow Catcher
YETI Rambler Bottles - Search and Rescue
I'm not the kind of Producer who gets star struck easily. I was at East High School in Denver when the Denver Broncos won back to back Super Bowls with John Elway. And I was able to relive that high when the Broncos again won Super Bowl 50 with Peyton Manning at Quarterback. So even though I normally keep my cool and maintain a level of professionalism with athletes and stars, I have to admit I was more nervous with Peyton than anything. As his car pulled up to the entrance of a new UCHealth facility, I hurriedly walked through the sliding glass doors to be the first to greet him. I extended my hand and said, "Hi, Danny Taff, Producer." Peyton looked me dead in the eye and replied, "Hi, Peyton Manning." Of course he is. This was a fun one with Daniel Junge directing for his LA based production house Collector Media Works and with the famously effective advertising giant Grey.
Peyton Manning: When the game changes for you, UCHealth helps you to be your best.
Tyler Stableford's been creating beautiful pictures for a while and the style he learned early with still photography shines through when translated to motion. The budgets for these spots weren't huge, but the stories and images are. Horses, kids, fathers, rodeo heroes. It's all here and set at the yearly 4th of July events held in Ellensburg, Washington. Kudos to Ryan Johnson, Creative Director and Tyler Stableford for creating and bringing to fruition these lovely spots for Cinch Jeans.
Wow, Cabela's, wow. What a run we had. . . The World's Foremost Outfitter. Based in Sydney, Nebraska, I had the extreme pleasure of working on every National and Retail spot for Cabela's from 2012 through the end of 2016. You never know who might be on the other end of the line when the phone rings and you don't recognize the number from previous gigs. One of the exciting parts of being a freelance Producer. In this specific case, it was Tyler Stableford, a Carbondale based Owner/Director of Tyler Stableford Photography & Films (http://www.tylerstableford.com). Tyler had heard of me through various channels and I was humbled to hear that my name kept popping up when he'd inquire about Denver based Producers. Long story short, we travelled the US and produced close to 20 spots over the years on behalf of Cabela's. These shoots were known for long 17 hour days, remote locations, heat, cold, bugs, swamps, you name it. Often I'd find myself on the phone looking for live fish, horses, turkeys, deer; wrangling local contacts in many far out locations, begging for someone who could make breakfast burritos and coffee for our 3:30 AM call times in places like Uncertain, Texas. What exciting times and I'm very proud of what we created over the years.
Cabela's Anthem - It's In Your Nature
It's In Your Nature - Cabela's Anthem II
It's In Your Nature - Women's Anthem
Cabela's Anthem | It's in Our Nature, Is It In Yours?
Tractor porn. We travelled to El Centro in California's Imperial Valley, where most of the veggies come from for US consumption. Working hand in hand with local farmers, this project pushed the boundaries of what an agricultural equipment commercial could be. Anson Fogel of Camp4 Collective crafted some very cool spots with a great crew from Los Angeles. Tim Kemple, also of Camp4 ran the stills potion of the shoot. It wasn't an easy gig and I hate to admit going a tad over budget (with fair warning of course), but over the course of a week we made some fantastic images and made the New Holland client extremely happy. I also have to admit, Keith Rose from Mullen Lowe is one funny fucking guy.
New Holland - Equipped For A New World 2016 Commercial
Public Service Announcements are abundant in every market and while we don't usually have the biggest budgets for these ads and web pieces, we do what we can with what we have and make the most of it for the message we're trying to get out there to the masses. Produced with Leslie Allen for Walk The Line Films, there was lots of kiddos and extras on this one; the proverbial herding cats. . . but in the end, a great message was created and hopefully we can get Colorado to the front of the pack with regards to childhood obesity. Kids, get your bottoms out there and play!!!
No More 24 - I'm On It
No More 24!
Imagine a time when Knowshon Moreno was still playing in the NFL, Aly Raisman hadn't won a bunch of Olympic Gold Medals and Johny Hendricks was peaking in the world of mixed martial arts. . . well if you can imagine all of that, then imagine what fun I had filming this commercial for Reebok ZQUICK shoes, around the US. Perhaps the most exciting part of this shoot was driving my own vehicle towards Knowshon, as he avoided the hood to demonstrate the performance of this shoe. That and driving the Lamborghini around the block. Sheesh, talk about some drama.
Knowshon Moreno, Aly Raisman and Johny Hendricks for Reebok ZQUICK