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About Me

Lucent Productions is an freelance video production company focused in action sports but with additional experience in a wide range of video production from commercial to wedding videography.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Love is in the air.

I like to think, or at least hope, that people know that Lucent isn't so one sided with just shooting commercial and sports content year round. But for those not in the know, we also shoot weddings!! A big part of my summer this year has been either attending or filming weddings. I think the total so far has topped 15 between the two!

So if you have happened to stumble upon our blog from a friend's recommendation, a link from a blog, or I ran out of Lucent business cards and gave you a wedding one....check out our separate wedding business: Lucent Weddings

And while you're here, check out a few videos!

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Windham World Cup - Better Late Than Never

As most people know, summer is typically the busiest time of year for anyone. Summer bbq's, parties, plenty of biking, and various activities that keep everyone pinned for 3 months of the year. By the time September rolls around you feel like you'd blinked in Spring and woke up Fall. My summer was no different, except I didn't get much biking in at all. Shooting for Highland Mountain Bike Park, filming weddings, and projects for other clients has kept me busy. Not to mention I have a full time 40hr/week job to squeeze in as well!

I hadn't been to a World Cup in over a year and a half, but when I checked my calendar and realized that the Windham World Cup fell on one of my free weekends, I knew I had to be there. I had no teams to shoot for, no clients on my list that needed rider footage, so I knew that it would be somewhat of a relaxed weekend. I packed the gear and hopped in my buddies car Friday after work. After a quick stop to pick up some supplies from e.13 to deliver to the guy's running support at the event, we were on our way!

This was my first time shooting a DH race with my Canon 7D. I'll be the first to tell anyone that filming races falls low on my list of favorites, mainly because the ENTIRE time you are shooting, it's run-and-gun and 'hope for the best'. Not much time to set up shots because you rarely know who is coming (unless you're lucky to have a second shooter up the course giving you radio calls).
*sidenote* I have a curse of setting up a shot, waiting for a few minutes but no one will ride down. I'll pick up my tripod and start walking down the hill and then the likes of Minaar, Gee, or Gwin would ride by. This was the case that weekend as well*
95% of the shots in the video were done handheld, with a few steadicam shots thrown in as well. The toughest part I found was trying to keep the rider in frame but also look where I was running. At one point I was jumping from rock to rock down the hill and almost ate sh!t pretty badly, thankfully the camera was not harmed in the filming of this video!
Slomo - I know most people will critique and say "OMG TOO MUCH SLOMO!" I felt that in order to really appreciate the amazing and uncanny bike handling of a World Cup downhiller, it would require it to be slowed down. I still wanted to toss in some high speed stuff for good measure as well though! I only shot for two days and prob have another 3-4 minutes of banger footage.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Daze

My summers are typically pretty busy, but never THIS busy!! Catching up on some updates with since the last blog post:

CLAYMORE!! Claymore was a big blast for me this year. Spent the whole week up at Claymore hanging out with the riders and trying to make the best of rain storms that mother nature decided to drop on the east coast.

When you can't ride outside, just ride inside! Highland's HTC was a huge savior for most of the riders earlier in the week as they dialed in their tricks and kept things fresh:

Once the skies cleared the riders were able to throw down on Saturday with Brandon Semenuk taking home the coveted Claymore sword!

On Sunday, Highland held the first (of hopefully many) Battle of Hellion races. 6 riders at a time racing down Highland's infamous Hellion jump trail made for some epic racing and an exciting time for all riders involved

A few weeks later I was back up Highland for the first Ayr Academy session of the year. Here is some of the action that went down during the week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Everything but the kitchen sink

I hate packing. Hate it. Mostly because I am paranoid EVERY time that I pack that I am forgetting something crucial to my trip, regardless if it's vacation, an overnight stay, or leaving for a shoot.

This week I'll be spending 7 days at Highland Mountain Bike Park for the Claymore Challenge working on my farmer's tan, enjoying countless breakfast burritos and smoothies, and not to mention seeing some friends from all over the globe. I brought my full face helmet so if I'm lucky I'll actually get some riding in too!

I recently picked up two Fstop bags in the past month, the first up is my Tilopa BC bag which is now my regular camera bag (and it ROCKS), and the newly release Guru which I'm really pumped on purchasing. I love that I now have a bag where I can just toss in my camera and a few lenses and still have room for some clothes/other gear. This isn't a review on either of these (that will come later), just want to show how much gear I would typically bring to a shoot like Claymore, and how much of it I can fit in two bags!

So first up, here's all my camera/computer related gear I'm bringing (click for larger image):

A big list of items (From top to bottom):
8' Camera crane
40" Slider Dolly
Manfrotto Tripod
Timbuk2 hip bag (it's NOT a fanny pack folks!)
Flycam Nano
18-135mm lens
50mm lens
11-16mm lens (not pictured)
Canon 7D (not pictured)
Batteries & Charger
15" Macbook Pro
4 Hard drives/cords/chargers
Bag of AA and 9V batteries
Eyecup Viewfinder
64Gb of Compact flash cards
CF card reader
Bug Net/Suntan Lotion
2 Shotgun mics & cords
Wireless Microphones
Air Blower
Gorilla Pod
Mini USB Mouse

And here's what it looks like all loaded up into two bags! I have the Medium ICU in the Tilopa BC and the Small ICU in the Guru. Fstop makes a large ICU as well which fits inside the Tilopa BC (not Guru though).

Breakdown of gear in each: The only items in the Guru are my hard drives, Macbook, and macbook related accessories. I still have the top half of the bag to fill with food/snacks/etc. EVERYTHING else (minus the camera crane)fits in the Tilopa BC. Lenses, camera, batteries, chargers....EVERYTHING. I can technically strap the tripod, slider, and steadicam to the Tilopa BC if I was using them all in the field.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


In the world of video production, there are countless numbers of crazy/expensive tools and equipment that can give the viewer a different perspective to view the subject. In the sports industry, there has been a huge increase in the past 5 or 6 years with the number of videographers taking advantage of Dollies, cranes, and more recently with the advent of the DSLR, portable camera sliders. These are all great tools that really increase the production value of a video if used properly. I have used (and still use) ALL of the aforementioned tools, but have recently been itching to have something different to give my videos that added variety and unique perspective.

I have been researching Steadicams, stabilizers, flycams...whatever you want to call them. With many of the larger HD cameras, you would need a steadicam with a large bottom arm, hefty weights, and some arms the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger...unless you had a vest which is big $$

Now that I shoot mostly on a Canon 7D, I could now fall into the range of the smaller steadicams that could be properly balanced and operated hand-held without a vest. I usually have to do a lot of hiking to shoot, so the less weight I have to carry around, the better! I stumbled upon the Flycam Nano via the website www.cheesycam.com <---- if you are a DSLR shooter, BOOKMARK THAT SITE!

I purchased the steadicam off eBay and within a few weeks the badboy showed up! The only seller is in India as far as I know, but they will ship international. I think I paid $150 total after shipping to the US....way cheaper than a Merlin Steadicam that sells for over $600.

Here are the pros and cons of the Flycam Nano:
- Small in size and can be taken apart for travel.
- Cheap
- Build seems to be of pretty good quality. Mostly anodized parts, and they include extra weights and random screws (always key cause I lose stuff ALL the time)

- Weight limitation - With the 7D w/no micrphone and no batter grip, the steadicam is pretty maxed out with an 18-135mm lens. I borrowed a 14mm Canon lens and it was much better. Keep this in mind when purchasing a small steadicam. Cameras like the T2i & 60D would fly much easier since they have less weight to balance.
- Calibration/Adjustment - There are knobs to slide the top carriage back and forth and side-to-side, but the balance really has to be perfect to get it fly smoothly. In my video I didnt have time to perfectly balance the rig and it tells. The first hr and a half you buy one, you will spend balancing it, unless you buy a more expensive steadicam that has micro adjustments on it.

Overall, for the price and size, I think the Flycam Nano is a great tool to add some different shots to your videos. Just be prepared to pull your hair out balancing it (and re-balancing it OFTEN)

Check out the video from my first attempt at using the Flycam Nano at Highland Mountain Bike Park!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Highland Mountain Bike Park mega update

I am SUPER stoked to be back working at Highland Mountain Bike Park in 2011 as their in-house videographer. You won't find another mountain in the country that has their level of dedication to the sport, and I can't be more proud to be a part of their team. Our biggest goal this year is to pump out more video content than we did last year (and still deliver a quality product), and we are already on track to blow that goal out of the water!

If you've been under a rock the past few months, here's what you've been missing at Highland!

April is the big ramp up of people and action at the mountain, with current trails being buffed out from a harsh winter, to new trails being cut and developed for the season. I made the trip up twice in April to get the low down on what Mark and the rest of the team were up to in preparation for the 2011 season.

Highland opened it's doors two weekends ago to the public and had a great turnout of riders and sponsors to celebrate the start of what should be a epic season

And last weekend, Highland hosted the second stop on the ProGRT series. Smutok was gracious enough to give us a little preview of what the course had to offer!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lincoln Tool and Machine Corp

The owner at Lincoln Tool and Machine Corp. contacted me a few weeks back about producing some promotional material for the c. They were referred to me by a friend in the bike industry (referrals really ARE your best friend) since Lincoln Tool used to machine a lot of the amazing backplates for the e.13 chainguide systems.
I met with the owner not really knowing what to expect as far as their machinery and what I could possibly be filming, but I was in for a huge surprise.

Owner Scott Ferrecchia gave me a tour of their entire facility, leading me last into the room that houses their INSANE automated system. I would try to explain it but video REALLY is worth a thousand words. Bob and Dave, the guys that run the system, were great in helping out with whatever I needed like removing panels, programing machining tool paths, to helping me get some AWESOME GoPro shots.

Here's a few BTS pics of how we mounted the GoPro using a suction mount for some of the POV shots!

And now the video!

Thanks again to the entire team at Lincoln Tool and Machine. You guys made this feel like play and not one bit work!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow my god!

I love winter. I love snow. I love walking down a street right after a snowfall before the plow trucks or cars have disrupted a fresh blanket of new snow.
To say we've had a white winter in the Northeast is an understatement of epic proportions!

The winter time is usually my 'off season' for filming, but I've luckily had a few things to keep me busy during these frigid months.

First up was a shoot with the guys over at Green Wax at Crotched Mountain. It's awesome seeing more and more mountains come on board with Green Wax for all their tuning and rental waxing needs!

I've shot many outdoor events in the past, but never any in the cold of winter. I made the trip up to Bretton Woods with the Bean Snowboards crew to shoot the first stop in the Main Event series. It was definitely a learning experience as far as battery life goes! I think I went through about 5 hand warmers just to keep batteries somewhat above freezing.

Now that I've had the 7D for a solid 6 months, I finally decided to test out the slow motion 60fps shooting mode. So on a day I had 'early release' due to Old Man Winter, I decided to have some backyard fun and shoot a self-filmed video. Overly dramatic slomo FTW!

Last up is a fun little test video. My grubby fingers got themselves a GoPro in the mail so I tested out the Time lapse photo function while my fiance and I shoveled for the ten millionth time this winter!