Friday, December 7, 2012

Target C9 - San Francisco Video


We're excited to officially launch the director's cut of the Target C9 Active Apparel video.  Shot this past summer on the streets of San Francisco, the video was produced by JCP in collaboration with Minneapolis based Knock Inc.  This version of the edit is a cut-down from the original 9 minute spot currently playing inside the San Francisco's recently opened City Target. Be sure to check out the Video Preview post which offers additional insight into the storyline as well as how the project came together. 

For the director's cut, we worked closely with Chadwick and the team at Splice to pull some select shots and sequences and shorten the overall edit by about 3 minutes. It's a bit longer than our typical spots, however, the "day in the life" storyline requires a longer edit to tell the full narrative of multiple activities taking place throughout an active day of living on the streets of San Francisco. Our project tapped a broad palette of crew from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Minneapolis.  San Francisco based Panlicker Productions coordinated all aspects of talent, locations, permits, and logistics. The crew shot below highlights our finish line smiles. A big thanks to everyone involved at all levels including the Steadicam expertise of StillMotion as well as camera support by Eric Schleicher. Sam Serbus' internspective blog posts (day 1-3, day 4) offer a nice behind the scenes glimpse of how things unfolded during this quick paced production amid the streets of San Francisco.  Thanks of course to John Fontana as well as Paula, Mark, and Melissa of The Gren Group Inc. for their tireless energy and behind the scenes support of all projects.

It's been quite a year including recent travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2012 is nearly wrapped and we're already looking forward to a what's in-store for 2013.  On the horizon are many updates to the portfolio, website and director's reel, as well as new projects in the works… 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

On the farm for Winfield...

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field. - Dwight D. Eisenhower 

While summer is in the rear-view mirror it's nice to revisit long days and our time amid farm and field; taking in life first hand alongside modern day farmers.  It's always great to partner with Colle+McVoy and this was another fine experience collaborating for Winfield.  

We've been on a number of agricultural shoots over the years and it never ceases to inspire and amaze us with the overall process; it's a true "get your hands dirty," experience.  Blue skies, fresh air, and rolling hills gently woven into a seemingly endless landscape of Wisconsin farmland has a way of regenerating the senses and opening up a new perspective on what is right in front of us.  A number of the images were created from unique angles, whether climbing up on top of a grain elevator or getting down to the level of the roots, we were able to capture several different options to help tell the Winfield story.  This production was unique in that we spent time capturing visuals of a crop duster.  There is a true art and level of aerodynamics that these pilots possess.  We heard him coming from miles away, the sound of the blades gave away any chance of sneaking up on our crew.  Near the end of our time shooting this part of the project the chopper did a fly-over only a few feet from our heads, and no doubt laughed as we all hit the dirt in surprise and fear for our lives.

It's never dull and always new- farm, ocean, rural or urban.  What an opportunity the camera provides looking behind the scenes, revealing everyday life in visually interesting and engaging ways.

The Director's cut of the Target C9 project is coming along nicely.  We'll have a final version to share soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Target C9 - San Francisco Video Preview

The C9 Active Apparel line of clothing from Target is being featured for the first time in a store of its own in San Francisco's recently opened City Target.  The debut of this flagship location is unique in that it is one of a kind and features a 9 minute looping video created by the JCP team. The video concept was created by the Minneapolis based agency Knock who approached us earlier this year to collaborate and produce a montage of active, athletic based visuals. The purpose of the video is to highlight C9 apparel as well as captivate store patrons with an engaging array of athletic activities including yoga, running, walking, gym exercise, soccer and bicycling interweaving amongst one another throughout the city of San Francisco.  With the focus on the athletes and clothing, we were tasked to create a seamless piece that would take the viewer on a journey throughout all of the activities within the city. It was a challenge to shoot in an icon rich setting and not just show all of the well known landmarks.  We worked with a San Francisco based production crew to uncover and shoot amid lesser known landmarks, places that would appeal to the city inhabitants stating "this is my city, my San Francisco."

With the help of two members from the California based Still Motion we had a solid crew with a total of 4 cameras rolling at any given time in each scenario.  Ray and Paul from Still Motion fit the style and speed of our crew well and with the addition of a Stedicam, operated by Ray, we had another way of telling the story from a first person point of view.  The smooth shots provided by the Stedicam whether running, spinning around yogi's in warrior pose, or  keeping up with bicyclists in mid pedal gave an authentic sense of being there with the athletes and raised our overall production value.

The team at Knock were great to partner with from start to finish and San Francisco was a perfect host and backdrop for this production.  We had the privilege to see many aspects of the city and couldn't have asked for a better front row seat for working and taking in the diverse sections of the city that comprise San Francisco.  Enjoy a glimpse into the project through the still images and as a precursor to the debut of the C9 Director's Cut coming soon...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

TDK / Memorex

“It takes a long time to become young.” - Pablo Picasso

The latest technology is often times synonymous with youth culture.  What is cutting edge?  What makes a statement about who we are and what we use?  Form and function overall lead everyday lifestyles and may eventually land the stamp of approval for the cool factor.  Products seem to be adopted at an ever increasing rate as advances in technology continue to improve.  There is a hunger for new, functional products that have the ability to keep pace with the energy and demands of a youthful lifestyle.

This is where we were brought in.  A two day shoot to help capture a look that portrays the latest in a new lineup of products from TDK and Memorex.  Our talent was full of surprises taking up the latest set of headphones, ear buds and other music delivery devices.  As the two tag lines for each brand suggest TDK "Life on Record" and Memorex "Turn Life Up" they each have their own unique approach branching off from the common "Life" theme which led us to several diverse locations to capture a few lifestyle moments over the course of the shoot.  Thanks to Bobbi Peacock and crew for another fun couple of days.  We're always up to something different and that's what keeps us all feeling young and excited for the road ahead...


Friday, October 5, 2012

Emma Berg - Before and Afters

In our last post we debuted the final Emma Berg fashion piece.  With any video project there are always a number of steps along the way to reach the final finished motion piece.  One of the last is the color work or grading, which takes place after the edit or picture has been locked down.  Color and the creation of custom palettes for our imagery is something we spend a great deal of time finessing.  As we merged into the world of motion and film we quickly learned that color is a major step in the process, one that was much more complex than the workflow we've established for our still imagery.  Through collaboration and much conversation with people on the film side of the business we've worked to connect with "colorists," people who specialize in the color correction of film.  We've met some great people, many of which have spent years refining their craft.

The grading for the Emma Berg piece was masterfully done by colorist Sue Lakso of Crash+Sues here in Minneapolis.  During a working session with Sue, she was able to match the raw edited footage to the colored still photos we provided.  As you will see, the difference between the colored and uncolored footage is quite dramatic and emphasizes how important this final step of the process is for any motion project.

We appreciate the expertise of Sue Lakso and the collaborative spirit of everyone at Crash+Sues to help us realize the full potential of the final color work for our project.  It's one more example of how much broader and deeper the pool of collaboration exists when working in the realm of motion and film.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Emma Berg - F/W 2012 Video Premiere

While new lines are rolling out in New York, London, and Milan, it's also a big week for fashion here in Minneapolis with an ever-growing buzz amid creatives and designers alike.  MN Fashion's "The Shows" gets underway tomorrow, showcasing Spring/Summer 2013 collections from a number of local designers.

We are always on the lookout to partner and broaden our visual experiences in both the world of stills and video.  While we at JCP aren't typically riding along the front lines of the world of fashion, our latest video collaboration provided an opportunity to work closely with one of the city's most active, respected, and influential designers, Emma Berg.
Premiering online via the JCP Blog, the video will officially debut on the big screen this Thursday evening as a part of Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week and MN Fashion's "The Shows,"  just before Emma and her Spring / Summer 2013 line hit the runway.  Shot this past Spring, the video highlights Emma's Fall / Winter 2012 line.  A common theme in her design work is the use of color or the lack thereof depending on the season and her overall vision for the collection.  The juxtapositions of her bright whimsical Fall / Winter 2012 line paired with the mute, stark backgrounds in the video emphasize Emma's creative design sense creating a playful, yet sophisticated darkness evident in many of her collections.

As stated in the preview post, this was an idea brought to life through the collaborative efforts of the JCP team, Grant Whittaker and Emma Berg.  Eric Schleicher / Filmerkid joined as assistant camera and JoLynn Garnes handled the edit paring our visuals with a haunting audio track by Marijuana Deathsquads. Sue Lakso, of Crash & Sues, came on board as the colorist and Danny Schmidt created the graphics closing the video.

Described as a "style-savvy art maven," Emma Berg has carved out a unique niche in not only the realm of fashion, but also works closely in the promotion and introduction of emerging artists through her website MPLS Art.  Like all of our creative endeavors we are excited and proud to have a wealth of talent so close to home to reach out to as we ourselves work to further evolve and grow.    

MN Fashion Week runs from Sept. 23rd – 30th.  Once again, be sure to check out the latest from Emma Berg this Thursday, Sept. 27th.  Events to be held at the Grain Belt Bottling House in Northeast Minneapolis.  Doors open at 6:30.

Produced & Directed  - Jonathan Chapman

Art Direction & Styling  - Whittaker Style
Editing – JoLynn Garnes
Assistant Camera – Eric Schleicher
Production – John Fontana
Talent – Arquette / Vision
Music – Marijuana Deathsquads
Graphic Animation – Danny Schmidt
Colorist – Sue Lakso / CrashnSues
Special Thanks to the Ritz Theatre


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Emma Berg - F/W 2012 Video Preview

My ideal as a designer is to appeal to the woman who is driven by the creative side of life or at least has a strong appreciation for it. -Emma Berg

This past spring we had the privilege to work with fashion designer Emma Berg on a motion piece showcasing her Fall / Winter 2012 creative collection.  The still imagery featured offers an early glimpse into the visuals we came away with.  The project came about through discussions with Grant Whittaker who describes himself as a “Fashion and Creative Catalyst.”  We had been in talks with Grant for a few months about possible opportunities to join efforts. Our backgrounds in the creative community are somewhat different, however we embraced this aspect with mutual respect for the work we’ve both created as well as the relationships and network we are always working to expand.  Partnering with Grant, and eventually Emma, opened the door to something refreshingly foreign, as our experiences have been somewhat limited in the world of fashion.  It was a great opportunity with unique challenges; the type of project we are always on the lookout for as we work to refine and expand upon our visual experiences.

We paired up Emma’s fashions with two models amid various Minneapolis locations ranging from the Ritz Theater to Harriet Island.  The stark, muted environments provided a welcome contrast to the vibrant colors of Emma’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection.  The backgrounds also highlight her sense of “sophisticated whimsy with dark undertones” - a common theme in Emma’s fashion work.  This juxtaposition of bright colors against the neutral textures may seem counter-intuitive, but works nicely with her style and is a thread that runs through her upcoming collection as well.

We are excited that our video will be hitting the big screen at MN Fashion’s “The Shows” on the evening of September 27th.  The video will introduce Emma as part of her upcoming Spring/Summer 2013 runway show.  In Emma’s new line for Spring/Summer 2013, which may have people thinking about radiant colors, Emma has moved in the opposite direction working in a more monochromatic palette reflective of her personal interpretations of current affairs in the domestic political arena.

We’ll be debuting the video on September 24th, here on the JCP Blog.  There’s a fine list of contributor’s that we look forward to recognizing and thanking.  Just like a show, this video and the collaboration around it is another opportunity for Emma, Grant, and ourselves to influence an audience, further introduce our work, and exhibit how we all continue to evolve in the creative community.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Prairie House

My family and I have an annual trip, four years running, to a friend's cabin near the Hayward Lakes area of Wisconsin.  Time away from the city, gathered with friends and family at the lake is a welcome addition to summer.  We're certainly happy to have friends who generously extend invites, as this is something I have memories of and feel fortunate to share with my own kids.  One year ago this past Labor Day weekend had us cabin bound with a slight detour in our accommodation plans.  During this visit we would spend the weekend at "The Prairie House," an adjacent property near our friend's cabin that is described in the following words:

"The Prairie House, circa 1800, is located among ponds, streams, small waterfalls, and butterfly gardens.  This natural animal and bird sanctuary is surrounded by 16 acres of wavering prairie grass and wildflowers, located in the quiet isolated center of 360 acres of northern Wisconsin pine forest.  Created for solitude, harmony, history, and romance." 

This property is owned by our friend's brother Jim, who is not only a kind and generous man, but also has fine taste in design and building.  The Prairie House is a retreat of sorts, a place that invites you to take a step back, a place where time seems frozen in an era where simplicity was less about fashion and more a product of making the most of what your immediate environment had to offer.  Bearskin rugs, oil lamps, fur traps and pelts on the walls; we spent the first few hours as if in a museum--amazed at the time and thought that went into recreating the past.  

While our kids spent their time chasing through grasses, dipping toes in the front porch pond, and wrestling vintage candies from each other, my wife and I relaxed and enjoyed this little voyage to the past.  The images above capture a little slice of our time in the early 1800's and were passed along as a thank you gift.  A gift of visuals I happily spent time shooting.


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Pines: "All The While"

This past Saturday the latest JCP motion collaboration took flight premiering on the big screen at the Square Lake Film and Music Festival amid an intimate backdrop of musicians and filmmakers alike.  We were fortunate to have the opportunity to debut the video at the festival as The Pines were on site and closed out the festival as the headlining musical act.

As highlighted in the preview post the project was concepted and produced in partnership with Eric Schleicher / FilmerKid and Tony Franklin + T.C. Worley of Royal Antler

A big thanks to David and Benson of The Pines, Red House Records, and Paul Creager of The Square Lake Film and Music Festival.  We would also like to thank Moore Creative as well as martinpatrick3.

In collaboration with The Pines, we are excited to share the official video for "All The While," from their latest album Dark So Gold. 

Watch via The Pines YouTube channel here ->

Produced and Directed - Jonathan Chapman
Editing / Second Camera - Eric Schleicher
Location Sound / Production - John Fontana
Story development / Camera - Tony Franklin, TC Worley / Royal Antler
Male Talent - Jon Walburg / Moore Creative
Props & Wardrobe - martinpatrick3


Friday, August 3, 2012

Schwinn: Life's A Ride...


Bicycling and all aspects of it seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts including riders, places to ride, and how people enjoy their time on two wheels, not to mention the vast options of brands, builds, accessories and apparel.  The bicycle is definitely on the list of things we seem to take for granted since it has had such a presence in our everyday lives.  It's hard to imagine a time when it was a fairly new invention and everyone was interested in having one.

Our involvement with Schwinn Bicycles came early in 2012 through a request by the agency Boom Island to shoot lifestyle based stills and motion imagery on location in San Diego, CA.  The project encompassed settings in the urban heart of the city, residential areas, country touring and off road trails in the foothills with a variety of talent portraying the range of Schwinn riders and bicycles available to the public.  The week of production went by quickly capturing both stills and video of each proposed scenario.  Our DP, Alex Horner was brought on to capture motion visuals, doing his best to mirror and augment what was being directed for the still portion of the shoot.  Together as a team we covered off on a lot of scenes building a substantial pool of assets to build on the Schwinn library.  

The brand and name Schwinn has an interesting backstory.  One of the early leaders and standouts of the time, Ignaz Schwinn created a dynasty with his namesake, which remains a popular brand to this day.  Ignaz was a German immigrant with a background in mechanical engineering who happened to settle in Chicago before the turn of the century.  With additional financial backing from a fellow German immigrant, the Schwinn Bicycle company was founded in 1895 on the cusp of the great bicycle boom in the US.  At one point Schwinn was one of 30 factories building bicycles in Chicago trying to capitalize on the growing demand.  The opportunity to become an institution was within reach and they made it happen creating a lasting legacy which has endured to this day.  

We've been staying busy near and far shooting both still and motion based projects.  Last week we were out in San Francisco working on a video project for Target involving their C9 line of active wear.  This week we have been dividing our time between domestic animals and their owners for Purina and an agricultural project in the fields of rural Wisconsin in collaboration with Colle + McVoy.  Keep an eye out for future posts revolving around these shoots and more.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Traditional & Tactile Pt. II - Cold Side Silkscreen Printing

The second half of our two part series "Traditional & Tactile" takes us to the North Loop of Minneapolis.  We were greeted by a penguin graphic logo and a handshake from Paul our contact as we entered Cold Side Silkscreen Printing.  Paul led us into his office where we discussed his involvement in the business and walked us through the silkscreen process we were about to witness. 

Descending an ancient wooden staircase, our feet landed in the basement where the screens were ready and waiting for further inspection and preparation before making the first test run.  Shimmering and translucent the screens floated by as they made their way upstairs for the operator to begin the process.  He taped off the sides and locked them down into position on one of several octopus-like arms jutting out from the center core.  With the screen in place, and palette knife loaded with thick titanium white ink, the first part of the t-shirt making process was ready to begin with the inking of the JCP badge logo.

An earlier conversation with graphic designer Jason Braun led to re-purposing the JCP badge logo and a few other existing graphic elements to devise an original t-shirt.  What better way to complement our first traditional & tactile letterpress experience with that of a custom silk-screened t-shirt bearing the logo and graphic elements of the JCP brand.

Cold Side has been in business since the mid seventies.  The environment has a laid back vibe which is a welcome nod to the era in which they began.  They always seem like they are up to something interesting and can accommodate just about any silk screen request for custom t-shirts.  

We'll be on the road next week, hitting the streets of San Francisco for Target.  The project is motion based and will have us running multiple cameras: chasing bikers, runners and walkers as well as dropping in on a staged soccer game and outdoor yoga session amid a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It'll no doubt be a fun hustle and another interesting collaboration.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

United Way

TV Spot:

Behind the Scenes Video: -->
The name has changed several times since 1887, but the idea of fundraising and giving has remained the same all along for the United Way of America.  Through these efforts, they have been able to focus on select issues in diverse communities reaching into the areas of education, income, and health to name a few.

Earlier this Spring we were brought in on a still and motion project by Campbell Mithun to help create visuals for the 2012 United Way campaign "Live United."  We worked closely with the agency to refine the approach involving the talented performers at Circus Juventas in partnership with the United Way.  From the beginning the concepts were very literal in representing the ways in which the United Way helps out in the community.  The instructors at Circus Juventas provided us with their flexibility and strength to form and hold the shapes of the "A, B, C's," an outline of a house and even a ramp to help illustrate their commitment and involvement.  The final creative utilized the stills and video we created to help promote the collaborative nature of  the United Way and the great work they continue to do in the community. 

This was an exciting project on a number of levels.  Shooting took place over two days, one week apart.  This added some challenges as far as time required to build and strike our set.  Lighting the scene, on location at Circus Juventas, required the combining of two 12' seamless backdrops as well as an elaborate lighting rigging, designed and engineered by local gaffer, Dave Underhill.  As this was a still + motion based shoot we used continuous lighting vs. strobe.  Motion visuals were shot on the Canon C300 which proved an amazing camera for it's low light shooting abilities for both standard + slow motion capture.
Above are the outdoor, billboard visuals, the finished :30 tv spot, and be sure to check out a behind the scenes video of the production created by the internal video team at Campbell Mithun. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

"I'm Lovin' It" - Shanghai, China Vol. 2

Following up on last month's still image post, we are excited to debut the motion edit "Smile."   Produced for McDonald's in Shanghai, China, "Smile" offers a glimpse into the broad palette of sights, sounds, people and places at the second of four international cities during last November's 2 1/2 week tour.

Our 6 day visit had us traveling to a wide variety of restaurants, both inner city or central to Shanghai as well as on the outskirts of what seemed like suburban settings.  The pace and schedule left little time to ponder feeling jet-lagged.  Our two bilingual production assistants kept us moving and were invaluable when negotiating transportation and more importantly, interacting with employees and customers.  We did our best to learn a few essential words and phrases such as thank-you "謝謝," pronounced 'sheh she."  When speaking, we found a fast mumbled approach proved more effective and easier for natives to understand than belaboring perfect enunciation.   This quick phrase method also seemed to match and keep pace with the energy of the people and our surroundings. 

With a population of over 23 million people and nearly three times the size of New York City, Shanghai proved time and again to be a metropolis of great depth, in which we only scratched the surface of during our short time there.  Even now, months after our visit we still talk about the experiences we had there and the lasting impression it has made upon us.  We welcome the opportunity to return and explore more of the city someday.

Edited by our close partners at Coelement, this project took a new turn at the final stage in terms of color correction.  The color / contrast treatment of all visuals, whether stills or motion is a big part of the final product we deliver.  Adobe recently launched Lightroom 4 and one of the more interesting upgrades is the ability to color correct motion clips in a fashion similar to our workflow when finessing the look and feel of the still images.  The ability to work on and affect specific colors, highlights and shadows, as well as provide a uniform, custom color palette is something we've grown to rely on from this software.  While there are still a few bugs to work out and the process needs some refining, having these color enhancing tools available for motion clips is really quite amazing.  Visit this link to see a side by side, before and after comparison.

Enjoy the final edit.  We've been keeping busy on several fronts with recent travel to Las Vegas as well as a few projects that could have us hitting several stops on the west coast in days ahead.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Genesis10 - The Next Level...

Design & branding agency Very Inc. reached out earlier this year to commission a custom library of imagery; a brand refresh they were working on for New York based Genesis10.  Established in 1999 and growing at a rate of over 30% each year, Genesis10 has established itself as one of the country's premiere management consulting companies. 

 Soon after the initial call, we began discussing the desired look and feel; how we could set our visuals apart from stock imagery that often accompanies the branding of businesses such as this.  The shoot comprised of talent taking the role of Genesis10 consultants interacting in a variety of office settings.

The creatives at Very were great to partner with at every step.  On the day of production they were collaborative and really trusted our instincts and suggestions to shape the look and feel of each scene.  It's always a refreshing challenge to build a library from scratch; an entirely different experience than shooting a few images to add to a preexisting body of work.  Having the freedom to roam amid a space with great lines, light, and talent that requires a subtle direction provided all the elements necessary to tie together another successful production.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

St. Elizabeth Healthcare - Director's Cut

While it seems like just a few months back it was just over a year ago that we were in full production mode collaborating with Intrinzic shooting five unique broadcast spots for St. Elizabeth Healthcare.  The project was one of our first forays into the world of shooting motion for broadcast.  The week long shoot had us juggling numerous indoor, outdoor, urban and rural locations in and around the greater Cincinnati area.

Cincinnati based Red Echo Post handled all the editing and finishing for the project crafting each of the five spots from the footage captured.  For televised air time, each of the five spots was limited to thirty seconds, which left many of our shots / sequences "on the cutting room floor," as they say.

After the project wrapped Tate Webb, the project's main editor at Red Echo, approached us with an offer to cut a longer director's cut that would highlight many of the shots that didn't make the .30 edits.  This was an exciting call to get as it meant we'd now have a chance to see a version that wasn't as confined in terms of time as well as the client's need to hear / see specific shots.

Enjoy the final St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Director's Cut.  A little slice of our favorite visuals from this broadcast production.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Pines - Music Video Preview

All the waves crash over me
I was lost but I was free
All the while
- The Pines

The visuals above offer an early glimpse into one of our latest motion collaborations.  We're stoked to be partnering with The Pines, producing the official video for All The While, a track from their latest album Dark So Gold.  

Discussions began with The Pines while they were touring the east coast this past spring.  When we first made contact they were actually in New York City opening for Mason Jennings.  The Pines are described by RollingStone senior writer David Fricke as,"quietly gripping" stark-country. 

All The While and it's dreamlike narration felt like a logical track to accompany the storyline and visuals we captured along the shores of Lake Superior earlier this spring.  With insightful suggestions from The Pines' frontmen Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt, we are quickly approaching final picture lock with color grading to follow in the very near future.    

Keeping true to all of our projects, this has been a very collaborative piece.  Eric Schleicher FilmerKid has been at the helm as our editor; tailoring the visuals with the pacing of the song.  Eric collaborated closely both at the project inception as well as shooting as our second camera on our day of production.  Tony Franklin and T.C. Worley of Royal Antler were close partners in story development from the early stages as well as offering production support, and camera work the day of our shoot.  John Fontana captured location audio as well as sourced additional clothing and accessories from the men's boutique Martin Patrick 3 MP3.  

There were many layers of partnership with creatives and businesses.  This collaboration always proves to be fruitful and rewarding on many levels, often inspiring additional project ideas and future collaboration.

Check in with us soon for the launch of the music video "All The While," by The Pines.  For now take a moment to enjoy a few still images that offer a little hint of what's to come...


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"I'm Lovin' It" - Shanghai, China Vol. 1

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

While the necessities of international travel such as passports, visas, and carnet forms, seem long behind us the images resulting from our week long shoot in Shanghai, China continue to stir in our minds and circulate some unforgettable memories.  Getting a call to produce a project of this size, scope, and distance away from home couldn't have been more exciting.

The 2 1/2 week tour began in Montreal, Canada and then routed us to Chicago where we boarded a direct flight to Shanghai, China.  Nearly fifteen hours later we arrived in a place just a month before we had no idea we would be venturing to.  Exhaustion from travel turned to elation upon boarding our taxi with all our gear having safely made the voyage.  Inside our taxi, a late model Buick with white gloved driver, we slowly crept into this legendary city with a population of over 23 million. 

Shanghai is a complicated mix of old and new happening simultaneously.  The skyline along the Bund is well known and even more impressive in person than reading or seeing it in printed form.  The modern skyscrapers shooting up to dizzying heights are visible evidence of the progress happening in Shanghai while the older iconic sections of the city seem a little more hidden and understated, although no less important.  This shift from old to new is happening at a very fast rate in China as a whole with the continued progress and success of Shanghai as a shining star at center stage.

Although our time was brief, we did have a chance to familiarize ourselves with a little of the old and the new in the largest city in the world.  The project for McDonald's involved capturing stills and motion, working with real people in fully operational restaurants.  Shooting took us to the hustle and bustle of the inner city as well as to the suburbs nearly two hours outside of central Shanghai.  Working with the support of two local bilingual PA's we were fully immersed and felt graciously welcomed at every location.  Much to their credit our in market PA's are essential to the success of a shoot so far away from home.  In a short time they become part of our temporary traveling circus like family and in the end we are sad to see our time come to an end. With their help we came away with a library of visuals that offer a truly authentic look at McDonald's in China from both the employee and customer point of view.

Upon departing Shanghai our travels took us onward through Singapore and into Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.  Our return flight from Sydney to Minneapolis had us traveling backwards in time.  We left on a Monday at 3 p.m. and returned some 20+ hours later on the same Monday at 7 p.m.  It took nearly a full week to mentally and physically recover, yet the experience felt like a true "once in a lifetime" opportunity.  Big thanks to producer Matthew Slimmer for working on the ground in Minneapolis, helping negotiate the web of visas, carnets, and nuances of connecting flights.

It's our pleasure to present some of our favorite still images from our time in Shanghai.  Keep an eye out for an accompanying motion piece that will be coming out soon.  


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

JCP Newspaper - Spring 2012

The second edition, Spring issue, of the JCP newspaper promotion is making it's way near and far to local, national, and international mailboxes.  Feedback is once again positive; validating the time and resources committed to our four part promotional endeavor.  The call last winter from Holly Stuart Hughes, editor at Photo District News, to inquire and feature our first edition, Fall issue, was a pleasant surprise not to mention a very nice write up in the March 2012 issue. 

With the first newspaper under our belt, we approached this latest edition in a similar fashion implementing a few adjustments at the outset before the initial proof came back.  The slight tweaks resolved a few obstacles, mainly around color, resulting in a more refined product right from the start; streamlining the process all around.  Two proofs later, followed by a visit for the press check, we crossed our fingers awaiting initial emails and calls to confirm mailboxes and creatives were receiving this visual summary of our past 4+ months of shooting.

Once again ECM of Princeton, MN was the company that handled the printing.  As the local printer of the New York Times we felt a level of comfort that they were a likely solid route to collaborate with.  While our projects are much heavier on photographs than they typically work with, they worked to the best of their abilities to match the proofs that we had approved.  Chasing color isn't easy on press, especially when working with newsprint.  At the outset, the somewhat challenging issues of color and contrast were something we embraced.  The slight shifts in color seem to work nicely with the overall look and feel of a promotion of this type.

We brought a camera to the press check and shot a short video sequence of the project running at full steam.  It's a pretty amazing process to witness four to five guys running around, grabbing papers off the line, pushing buttons, checking color / density of ink placement, as well as print registration.  The short video below gives a sense of how things came together on the big day for the Spring edition.

Special thanks to Eight Hour Day for their involvement with the design and layout as well as Eric Schleicher for his work on the behind the scenes video edit.  We hope you will take a few moments to share the excitement as it comes alive and hot off the press…


Friday, April 20, 2012

ARTCRANK Minneapolis - 2012

"ARTCRANK uses creativity to change the way people think about bicycles and grow the cycling community."  - Charles Youel - ARTCRANK Founder

In recent years, Minneapolis has become nationally known as one of — if not the — most bike friendly cities in the U.S. So it’s fitting that Minneapolis is also home to ARTCRANK, a show of bike-inspired poster art that’s making it its own bid for fame in the states and beyond.

The sixth annual ARTCRANK opened at the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts this past Saturday in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The crowds attending the show have grown bigger with each passing year, and Saturday was no exception. Attendance was measured in the thousands, as people filled the first-floor gallery in the historic warehouse for a chance to see and buy handmade posters created by 40 local artists.

Founder Charles Youel stopped by our office to share a few stories and perspectives on this now globally recognized event he started in 2007 at One On One bike shop here in Minneapolis. You wouldn’t know it today, but the first few years it was a challenge to find enough contributing artists to comprise a full exhibit. The most current show saw over a hundred submissions from artists all over the Twin Cities, which were painstakingly narrowed down to 40 finalists who created posters for this year’s show. It’s no easy task to accomplish, but each year ARTCRANK strives to have new artists make up half the roster to keep things fresh and continue the passion for contributing and being one of the chosen few.

The amount of preparation and time involved for setting up each of the ARTCRANK venues across the nine domestic locations and one international is truly mind-boggling. This year in addition to the established venues, the show will be making its way to Austin, LA, and NYC. Three additional cities will require that much more work, but there is a base of physical activity that carries through each show. The simple display system used in all ARTCRANK events was a product of necessity, since Youel needed to be able to fit everything he was going to need in a single suitcase.

Minneapolis is unique in that it’s home base and allows for a little more time to prep and arrange a few special extras like the presence of local food trucks this year outside the show and the documentation efforts of the Jonathan Chapman Photography crew working on various photo time-lapses and stills during the course of the event.  Our support both at the show as well as on the post side of production warrants a big thank you to Justin Meredith, Rachel Roddy, Andrew Cross, Bruce Christianson, Chris Worlow, Jason Braun, Ramon Moreno, Janelle Olson, Eric Schleicher, and Unearthed Music.

After having attended several ARTCRANK shows over the years, it never fails to impress upon me the incomparable combination of bikes and posters. It’s as much a feeling of community, art, the tactile nature of the ink on paper as it is about the pure and simple beauty of the bicycle that is so hard to pinpoint and explain to someone who has never been in attendance.
Charles spoke to this simple beauty: “Riding a bike is a creative expression and an art form that changes every time you throw a leg over the frame. We can ride the same path every day, but it’s always a different experience.”
At some level we all identify with and acknowledge our experiences in life related to other things and people. Maybe it’s somewhere in here that we find a particular piece of art that speaks to us more than others because it relates to what we are and resonates with our own personal history, allowing us to identify, for just a moment, with other like minded folks our innermost life experiences.
No matter how it comes to be, bikes and art connect all of us for at least one evening each year, thanks to ARTCRANK. 

Next week will be a follow up post with a selection of stills captured at the ARTCRANK show.  Until then, enjoy the time-lapse video.     


Monday, April 9, 2012

Target - Jason Wu

We had the honor and pleasure to capture behind the scenes production and set stills for Target via Little & Company last fall in Brooklyn, NY.  The project entailed working closely around the production of a broadcast spot for the 2012 launch of the Jason Wu line of clothing for Target.

You may already know him from the world of fashion design, but the 26 year old's name was brought to the forefront after providing the First Lady, Michelle Obama with an original dress for the inauguration of President Obama.  Jason Wu's designs are one of the latest acquisitions for Target's clothing line and will be providing fashionable styles for purchase this Spring.
Film director Ellen Kuras and animation director Mark Gustafson were both on set for the project.  Their combined talents are very finely exhibited in the final spot which can be viewed via Target's YouTube Channel under "Jason Wu for Target."

Keep your eye out at Target for the latest trend setting designs by Jason Wu.  Thanks as always to Little & Company for bringing us on board for another exciting collaboration.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Earnestine & Hazels - Wait For Me...

Looking back at our blog post from last November we introduced a new series of stills taken in Memphis, TN at the infamous locale, Earnestine & Hazel's.  We are proud to announce the second half of the project; a motion companion piece. 

We were introduced to Earnestine & Hazel's during a previous visit to Memphis and within minutes of crossing the threshold knew this was a place to keep in mind for a future shoot.  Like many of our personal projects, a simple idea, a subject or two, and an interesting backdrop are often all that's needed to create interesting visuals as well as help in the refinement of our craft.  This is one of the first motion shoots where most of the footage was shot in a handheld fashion, more in the vein of our still work.  We also experimented with the refraction or shaping of light by holding small translucent items in front of the lens.  It's hard to predict the outcome, but in some instances it added an additional layer of interest.

The post / finishing work came together in collaboration with Minneapolis based Eric Schleicher "FilmerKid."  We are always working to experiment with both shooting and editing.  Eric brought a fresh approach to our motion clips, blending many of the subjects and scenes in a way that seemed almost natural to what we had shot. 

The music track "Wait for me" was sourced from Moby Gratis: a site inspired by variations of existing and unreleased tracks by Moby for use in personal projects.  This site has intrigued us for quite some time and has always been in the back of our minds as a possibility for an upcoming test or personal motion project.  The Earnestine and Hazels project seemed a likely candidate for a song by the electronic music legend.  After several plays it's uncanny how well the pacing of the visuals meld with the music and vice-versa.  The opening title graphics and ending credits were designed by Minneapolis based graphic designer Laura Foster.  We are quite pleased with how it all came together and invite you to experience Earnestine & Hazel's - Wait For Me. 

This past month we have begun shooting on both of Canon's latest cameras- the C300 and the 5DMark III.  We look forward to sharing what we've been working on and are excited with the innovations in both capture and workflow that have evolved.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Capella University

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." ― Plutarch

From an early age we are learning from each other and our environment; a life long process that never stops.  As with any project, we are always gaining new knowledge and furthering our professional education in the field.  How fitting it was that our final shoot of the 2011 calendar year was for Capella University, an institution here in downtown Minneapolis focused on formal higher education.  

We spent the better part of two days crafting images for their online and print collateral within an actual school we sourced as our base for the shoot location.  With the addition of talent, both adults and children, the environment quickly took shape as a living, breathing school setting.  The interaction between teachers and students couldn't have been better to create a little slice of the education process allowing us to capture some truly great "Aha!" moments.   The two days flew by and we walked away with new knowledge, and a great library of images.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Traditional & Tactile Pt. I - Angel Bomb Letterpress

In our ever increasing world of advanced technology, we have become more and more intrigued by non-digitally based techniques and trades.  In the same vein as the JCP Newsprint promo, we have been exploring the idea of creating a few short run promotional items that allow for collaboration with local artisans and craftsmen here in the greater Minneapolis area.  Our search along this path led us to a small shop rooted in the Northeast side of town called Angel Bomb Design & Letterpress.

Todd Thyberg, the owner and operator of Angel Bomb showed us around his warehouse based work space and introduced us to the Heidelberg letterpress machine.  This press dates back to the first half of the 20th century and has been a workhorse of German engineering ever since its inception.  

As a designer, Todd has been working in the industry for the past 15 years and made his way into the world of letterpress about 5 years ago with a press given to him by his father.  He's always been a fan of this historic printing process and explained to us that it's about "making something with your hands."  In a time when our lives are increasingly becoming "digitally consumed" there is something "refreshing" about taking time away from the computer screen and using a different part of our brains to problem solve, get our hands dirty, and create something tactile that appeals to several of our senses and is ultimately "made by hand."  He went on to comment that there seems to be a shift in society towards a return to the things we once produced in an artisan or craft manner.

During our time with Todd, we discussed having a set of limited run beverage coasters produced on the Heidelberg.  In 2011 we partnered with Eight Hour Day to refresh the JCP brand.  Minneapolis based Jason Braun worked with these new JCP design elements to concept the design and look of the coasters.  It only seemed appropriate to document the experience of our day "on press."  It was great spending time with Todd, and seeing the Heidelberg in action as our coasters came to life.  We hope you will enjoy a small visual slice of the operation including an exclusive audio clip of the press in action.  


Friday, March 2, 2012

Perennial Wood Decking + Lowe's

In the world of decking there are a variety of options for choosing the materials to be used for construction.  Perennial Wood is the latest addition from the Eastman Company which is sure to be a game changer.  The Perennial line will have all the attributes of real wood without all the natural pitfalls that can potentially create problems for the owner down the road.  The idea behind it is to have a great looking product that will ensure years of use and beauty in spite of aging, weather conditions, and everyday use by the owners.

Shine Advertising brought us on for this collaboration, under the art direction of Audelino Moreno.  Over a period of two days last summer we worked in a remote location north of Minneapolis to photograph one of the first decks made from this new product. The goal was to capture beauty shots of the deck with and without people in various forms of activity or rest depending upon the scene.

The product release is slated for the first quarter of 2012 with availability through various retailers in the northeastern part of the U.S.  The print ads above are currently running in northeastern markets in such publications as Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living and more.  In addition to the print ads above, a brochure was created for the home improvement retailer Lowe's who will be carrying the Perennial Line of decking.

Thanks again to everyone at Shine as well as our production support and talent.  It was a great project and perfect time of year to spend a couple of days out under the sun, on the deck...


Friday, February 24, 2012

Salomon - Motion Debut

Marking the start of the American Birkebeiner Ski Race, we are pleased to present the final edit of "Salomon" the latest in motion from JC|P.

The "Birkie," the largest cross country ski marathon in North America officially kicks off today.  Celebrating 39 years, the race features a variety of course lengths with the longest race at 54 kilometers.

Many of you will be ensconced in the fast action of the Birkebeiner race, but we hope you will take a few moments to view our take on the classic winter sport featuring skate skier Karl Herber donning the latest gear and apparel from Salomon kindly provided by Gear West.  Thanks go out to Elemental Motion Media for their work on the edit, sound, grading, and graphics.

Without further ado, let's ski!


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Nordic or "cross country" skiing is a sport many enjoy amid the winter season in this part of the U.S.  It's no surprise we have one of the largest ski races happening just a few hours east of Minneapolis.  The annual Birkebeiner ski race kicks off next week and seemed the perfect time to debut the still imagery from our latest motion production.  This project is an homage to the Salomon brand and their line of cross country skis, boots, and apparel. 

With origins in France, Francois Salomon started the company by opening a wood saw workshop in 1947, making ski edges in downtown Annecy, France.  With over 50 years of innovation behind the brand, Salomon products have extended their reach well beyond France and Europe with products currently available in over 160 countries.

Shot nearly one year ago on the heels of the final snowfall of the spring of 2011, we didn't have to travel far for our production.  Minneapolis based Theodore Wirth Park provided the perfect backdrop and terrain for our well seasoned model / skier.  Karl Herber a veteran skate ski racer and former "Birkie" participant was the logical choice to glide across the freshly groomed, corduroy patterned snow.  His expertise along with the latest in Salomon ski equipment and apparel, generously provided by Gear West, assured a professional and accurate portrayal of the beauty and ruggedness of this winter sport. 

For the better part of the morning we crafted our skiing scenes, filming a variety of angles and ideas.  Our skier was great to work with taking on the hills, flats, and curves all along the circuit loop.

We hope you enjoy these stills as a preview of next week's Salomon motion launch to coincide with the 39th annual Birkebeiner race. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

XtremeMac in Motion - Imation

Version A:

Version B:

Following up on the previous post featuring the still imagery shot for XtremeMac, the final two motion edits are now complete.  Thanks to our DP Alex Horner as well as Elemental Motion Media for their work on the audio, editing, and motion graphics.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marvin Windows - Integrity

We were excited when Martin Williams approached us to create a series of images to tell the story for the Integrity line of window products.  The history of Marvin Windows dates back to the first quarter of the 20th century as a family owned and operated company located in Warroad, MN.

We worked closely with MW creatives at to bring the production to life late last fall.  After prepping the various scenes with the correct products, our talent fit seamlessly and often passed for the real workmen on the job site that our location scout had sourced.  We managed to avoid all the 2x4's, carpentry tools, and even a fresh concrete pour to carry out our scenes without disturbing the work being performed.

This week we are on the road in San Diego, CA creating some inspiring new still + motion work for Schwinn Bicycles.  It's always nice to venture south to California, especially this time of year.  Couldn't be a better project, agency, and brand to be working on.