I want to thank you for stopping by. This blog will be an outlet to show my day to day work, alongside anything else that comes up along the way. My mind is constantly thinking of all things photography. It is extremely hard for me to simply step back and take in the moment. I feel a constant need to capture each instant so that I have something to look back on. It's kind of like having a visual history of my life through the images I create. Now that i have this outlet maybe I can, finally, get some sleep at night and let my mind rest.
When I got the call to work as unit photographer on the Fox TV show called “The Chicago Code” I was very excited. I knew a number of the camera guys on this one, so it was great to see everyone again. Most of the show was filmed on location in downtown Chicago, but some of it was shot on a sound stage just outside the city. When working on set, I am always privileged to be in the presence of true artists working at their crafts. You never know what will happen on any given day, or moment for that matter. My work is never the same and is always a challenge. One minute there is room for me to work, the next maybe not, so I really have to roll with the punches. I often feel like I’m the guy in the room with a big red X painted on my back. I say that because many actors and actresses like it better when there is no still photographer on set, so I do my best to be invisible at all times. A project of this kind requires up to 150 people all working together to complete the day’s schedule… so being in tune with everyone around you is key. When everyone works in harmony, it’s like magic that unfolds in front of your eyes, but when something’s off, watch out because things can get ugly. Here are some images that I was able to capture during the show. Big thanks to Fox and the cast for all the hard work.
Here is a behind the scenes promo that I helped shoot for Fox’s tv show called The Chicago Code. This promo was shot during the publicity photo shoot for the show. The publicity shoots are usually on a separate day than actual filming. This gives the photographers ample time to capture all that is needed from the cast in order to meet all of the publicity needs, which range from billboards and posters to magazines and newspapers.
On this day, I was on location in downtown Chicago. Being on location outside, in the elements, is always fun, but I will say it adds to the craziness of things. For this shoot we were based out of an old factory and most of our set ups were in and around the building. This is just another average day in the film business. Everything that is needed arrives by truck and trailer. You name it and it is there, from grip and lighting to hair and make-up to catering. It is all packed neatly in the back of a truck and trailer ready to move to our next location. I have a few shelves and a cubby to stash gear and bags in while on location. It often feels like I’m a carny in a traveling circus. I say this because most of the crew working on these projects are on the road, away from friends and family. My office for this one was in the back of the camera truck (aka a huge 5th wheel race car trailer). This trailer has been converted to a modern day camera house that is temperature controlled and cozy. It houses all the camera equipment and personal gear, along with an espresso machine, dorm room style kitchen and fridge, dance floor, DJ booth, rope lighting, work benches and a nice big darkroom. The best part is that our truck conveniently shows up a stones throw away from all of the locations. This project had 2 sets going at once and another one that I would sneak off to to get my interviews.
I already knew most of the cast from The Chicago Code because I was also the still photographer for the show. This made my life a bit easier because most of the cast were already comfortable with me being around. For this project, I was given the task of conducting interviews and also behind-the-scenes work for the promo. I had a great team of people there for support and also to keep me on track with things.
Our day started very early with set up and preparation for the project. We had the luxury of having had a pre-light on the previous day. Because of this, we knew where the best place to start was and we had some kind of idea of what was ahead of us the following day. Being that we were using both available and supplementary lighting, things were at the mercy of the day’s weather. If you have spent anytime in the windy city then you know the weather is very unpredictable. The good thing for us was that the day was perfect and the light was great. The day flew by in a blink of an eye and nothing seemed to slow us down. It was another good day with great people doing what they love. Thanks to everyone that came out to play and the whole team that made it possible.
Special thanks for Diane C. and Liz L. for all the help.
Produced by: FOX
Several months back I got a call from FOX to work on the Glee publicity photo shoot. I have to admit, I didn’t know that much about Glee when I got the call. I did a little bit of research so I could brush up on the cast and what they were all about. Things were to take place at Smash Box Studios in Hollywood, CA. Having done several commercial jobs at Smash Box, I knew that we were in good hands. Plus, they have a great rental department on site so it’s nice to know if we needed anything, they probably had it on hand. It was also cool to see that we had the whole place which meant we had room to really do whatever we wanted. On this project, we had the main 2 stages for photos and a third one for sit down interviews. On a day like this, there is never enough time to get everything done. Somehow, though, everything seems to work itself out in the end (or get cut!).
With Glee there is a rather big cast so it seemed like there were tons of people around set. The weather was perfect and the sun was shinning. I think this added to the fun of things. A lot of the cast had been away and this was the first time they were all together again, so lot of people were hanging and catching up. Several of the cast members had their kids or family friends with them so it really felt like a close family atmosphere.
Not only was everyone amazing to work with, but the amount of work we got done was crazy. On this day there were 3 of us documenting the shoot. David Johnson covering the interviews, Dave Schwep was doing time lapse work, and I was covering the 2 main sets for behind the scenes photos and video. With 3 sets all working at the same time there was never a slow moment to the day. Things always seem to be so normal at the start of the day. All of us involved have a job that we are focusing on. The cast members where arriving one by on and getting into hair and make up. All of the photographers and assistants were getting everything ready so once things got rolling, they didn’t stop til the end of the day. There was a live DJ mixing up the music and keeping the set a fun place to be. Being the first one to arrive and the last to leave is always fun. I get to sit back and reflect on what just happened. On this particular day nothing bad went wrong and we got some great material for FOX to work their magic. Thank you to FOX and everyone involved in this project and a special thanks to Diane C. and Jenny D. for all their help.
Cinematography: Jeffery Garland, David Johnson, Dave Schwep
Produced by: FOX
When I got the call to work as Unit Photographer on the new Fox TV show called “The Chicago Code” I was very excited. I knew most of the camera guys on this one, so it was like a family reunion of sorts. The show was filmed on location in and around downtown Chicago. When working on set I am always privileged to be in the presence of true artists working at their crafts. A project of this kind requires up to 150 crew people all working together to complete the day’s schedule… so being in tune with everyone around you is key. When everyone works in harmony, it’s like magic that unfolds in front of your eyes. I’m always looking at the scene in front of me, trying to anticipate the action that is just about to happen. In this post, however, I wanted to focus on what goes on behind the lights, camera, action. More times than not, we have no idea who or what it took to make a project come together, all we remember is the finished product. I know first-hand the dedication that it takes to successfully complete a show such as this. These images reflect what really happened behind the scenes. This is my way of showing thanks to the hard working crew of “The Chicago Code”.