To celebrate the season of thanks, we invited our friends from Digitaria over for Friendsgiving 2013. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know the folks from this great company throughout the year and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our new friendship than with pink champagne & homemade crumble!
Each attendee arrived with their own home-cooked dish to impress. We had traditional Thanksgiving cuisine such as stuffing and green bean casserole, along with more unique dishes like Tsukuru’s nico jaga and Beau’s jambalaya. But the cherry on top, so to speak, had to be Sarah’s homemade apple pie.
After a fantastic meal and pink champagne, we headed to the main event...a slow motion booth! Earlier that day we’d built a set complete with a green screen and props, which included everything from confetti to silly string. We spent the next hour throwing glitter, blowing bubbles and dancing up a storm.
The great thing about being a one-stop production company is that our team is able to build a set in-house incredibly quickly, and then edit the work right after. Our editing team took clips from the afternoon madness and used them to make one hilarious video. For your viewing pleasure, Tallgrass Pictures & Digitaria give you... Friendsgiving 2013: slow mo style!
San Diego, CA, Oct 14, 2013 - Tallgrass Pictures just completed an ambitious 3D animation project in collaboration with Ferguson Presents for Nestle's Hot Pockets Brand Sandwiches on their latest music video titled, “You Got What I Eat”. The spot is a mouth-watering spoof starring Snoop Dogg & Kate Upton, capturing the epic battle of Team Crust vs. Team Meat.
Our task was to create 13 seconds of 3D animation that links two live action worlds. Tallgrass Pictures’ lead animator, Beau Runnels, created an 8-bit world complete with pepperoni nunchuck fights and flying bad guys. By taking frames from the live action footage and using them as a base for the animated characters, Beau was able to make a seamless transition from the dueling celebrities to the animated world and back. When the animated character, Oliver, twirls his pepperoni nunchucks, our animators made sure that the motion was identical to the live action nunchucks. These smooth transitions that the team meticulously perfected are what give the viewer the feeling of floating along in a dream sequence.
Within days of its release, the video was featured on a handful of leading news sites and reached #6 on the Ad Age Viral Video Chart with 3.3MM views. AdWeek named it one of the top ten commercials of the week. According to an AdWeek article about the video, it’s the combination of hilarious lines “and psychedelic imagery [that] produces a crispy finished product” that is being so well received.
To keep updated on our activities, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest or visit our main site at tallgrasspictures.com.
Animation: Tallgrass Pictures
Agency: Threshold Interactive
Director: John Montgomery
Copywriter: James Littlejohn
Producer: Jessica Mingo
Production Company: Ferguson Presents
Director: John Montgomery
Producer: Jesse Trott
Production Designer: Tomas Verde
Hair/Make up Designer: Stella Tzanidakis
Storyboard Artist: Rudi Liden
Editor: Cameron Rumford
Compositor: Ferguson Presents LLC
Creative Director: Michael Grgas
As a part of our ongoing efforts to meet new collaborators, our Head of Business Development, Aly Bucholz, traveled to New York last week. There she met with producers and creatives from 15 of the country's top advertising agencies, from Ogilvy to the Wall Street Journal.
These stylish New Yorkers are always busy, but they have appreciation for seeing quality work, so they were more than happy to meet with Aly. During her visit, Aly found that the offices were impressive and the pace incredibly fast, yet all of the people were laid back.
Besides making new friends and eating some great food, Aly enjoyed discussing the new and innovative projects underway at some of the world’s best ad shops. We are looking forward to working with them soon!
Once a month we concept and produce a shoot that is all our own. It gives us a chance to express our creativity and train our production team. This month it’s a water-based shoot at La Jolla Cove by our creative director, Brad Copeland. The cove is an amazing location, full of wildlife and beautiful vistas.
The greatest challenge on the shoot was managing a dozen cast and crew on paddleboards, kayaks & rafts, which was extremely demanding both technically and logistically. It was amazing to see how we kept everyone safe, had fun and kept $50,000 worth of cameras and equipment safe and dry. We got to do all of this in the company of several sea lions, some of them brushing us underwater!
Another obstacle we faced was the weather, as real world ocean conditions make for challenging shooting conditions. While paddling in these waves, JB broke a paddle. Jeni saved the day when she hooked his boat onto her paddleboard and towed him away from the cliffs.
It’s adventures like these that demonstrate how the Tallgrass team is always there for one another. We’re excited that the product of our teamwork on this shoot is a collection of fantastic photos for our ever-changing portfolio.
Over the past weekend AMERICAN SOCK was screened at the 2nd Annual Barrio Film Festival to a crowd of giggling audience members. Although the highlight of the festival was getting to meet and share our work with local filmmakers, we have admit that winning ‘Best Narrative’ was the icing on the cake!
If you haven't gotten the chance to see AMERICAN SOCK, check out the link below!
In an effort to start the month of September off right, a quartet of Tallgrassers travelled up the coast to meet, greet, and mingle with Los Angeles’ hottest creative shops. First stop on the Tallgrass express was Saatchi & Saatchi LA. There we screened our latest lifestyle and automotive work while getting to know more about their pleasant Art Production team.
For lunch we were joined the by the lovely Danixa Diaz, executive producer at iartists. Not only were our meals fantastic, but we had a wonderful time exchanging stories and sharing experiences. After we had thoroughly satisfied our hunger, we made way over Omelet LA. There we met a trio of creative celebrities and screened our very own comedy short film, American Sock.
To round out our day, we met with Kristy Davis the creative team at RAPP to discuss an upcoming shoot for Flemings Restaurants. We also took a tour of their office, and their sophisticated coffee machine, before brainstorming shoot ideas.
Nuclear attack. There is not a soul left on this earth besides me. Where am I? Trapped in this abandoned fallout shelter. If only I could get more than static on the f***ing radio. Wait. What is that? It sounds like...breathing. Who is in here with me?
Stay tuned as we move into pre-production on our new short, FALLOUT.
Tallgrass’ UNDER MY ROOF has just been selected for the 2013 Oaxaca Film Festival! Written by the lovely Jennifer de Poyen, UNDER MY ROOF is the story of a young boy who, with his father, builds a nuclear weapon in order to secede from the United States. The screenplay is based on the satirical novel of the same name written by author Nick Mamatas. Jen has created a messy dystopian future full of complex characters that will translate to the screen beautifully.
We’re so proud of what Jen has done and could not be more thrilled to have UNDER MY ROOF recognized by the Oaxaca Film Festival. As this is Tallgrass' first feature, we're looking forward to the opportunity to meet potential collaborators for the project.
Check out our ‘Meet the Screenwriter’ segment and stay tuned for more information as we continue developing UNDER MY ROOF!
DRIVER WANTED, which recently wrapped filming on July 24th, is about senatorial candidate, Kirk Wakeman and his search for a new driver; however, he comes to find out that this is no ordinary job interview.
We are happy to share the news that Alex has just finished doctoring the RED footage (the term is called one-lighting for those who are more tech savvy) and is now cutting away! This time around we used three cameras meaning we have three angles of the same take allowing our editor to flow from shot to shot seamlessly. Pretty awesome, right?
Speaking of awesome: Tom Gurnee who played the role of Kirk Wakeman in DRIVER WANTED sent us the most beautiful note about working with the Tallgrass team and we had to share it with you all!
“Thank you as well for treating the three of us with such dignity and respect. Thank you for your hospitality there at the studio and for being so gracious to set us up with accommodations and with such wonderful food... Absolute first class from the get-go.”
“If I may say, one thing that really impressed me was your team and how well all of you work together. There's an amazing and unique synergy happening with all of you there and I believe it to come from your professional leadership and obvious, excellent management skills.”
Thank you Tom, William, and Nicole for your hard-work and dedication to the story. Can’t wait to work with each of you again!
Today at Tallgrass we were honored to welcome our new Creative Director Brad Copeland. Brad comes to us hot off scintillating a career in advertising, and after 20 plus years in art direction Brad is to pumped to join the Tallgrass team. Working on accounts like California Pizza Kitchen, Asics, Oakley, Red Bull and Newcastle Brown Ale he is a welcomed addition to this passionate bunch of picture makers. Citing the creative freedom and flexibility that this position offers Brad is gladly assumes his role on this side of production.
A true creative thinker Brad notes his background art and musical appreciation as his source of inspiration. This free spirit bikes to work to clear his mind and hates being tethered to a desk, he certainly brings a lot to our team and we can’t wait for him to get his hands dirty.
Today Yoshi set up an equipped station to train the whole studio, pair by pair, on the fundamentals of capturing audio on a production. Whether a video intern or an animation artist, everybody learned how to handle the basics so that they can now step into that role on any given shoot.
Tallgrass Pictures could not be more excited to announce the release of AMERICAN SOCK, a short film of a woman looking to find love online only to fall in love with a sock puppet.
From the witty mind of writer Jason K. Allen and brought to life by the zany crew at Tallgrass Pictures, we are proud to present Angela Gulner and Sto Strouss in AMERICAN SOCK!
"I love it! Seriously, you all did fantastic work - it turned out better than I could have imagined. Very clever with the graphics, title page, closing credits, music, etc. The whole piece just has a lot of energy to it - fun and lighthearted, just what I was hoping for. Good acting, too. Yep, I'm certain I made the right decision giving the script over to you guys. Thanks for everything - it was great working with you. Who knows, maybe we'll work together again someday. In the meantime, I'll continue to be a big Tallgrass Pictures fan and I look forward to seeing what you do next."
Does a self-absorbed politician, a vendetta and a can opener sound like a recipe for disaster? Here at Tallgrass Pictures we think it sounds like a recipe for a brilliant short film!
One day, three cameras and many brilliant minds came together to produce what is known as our new short entitled, “Driver Wanted.”
Unbelievably we shot the whole thing in one day. Starting at sunrise and ending late into the night, the Tallgrass team made it appear as if the film happened within only 15 minutes. How you might ask? Although light changes throughout the day, we rigged lights into all the windows making it appear to be 5:00pm for the entire shoot. Crazy, right?!
Stay tuned for more updates as we move into post-production. You’re not going to want to miss anything!
Here at Tallgrass we love what we do. Every partner, every meeting, every project is a special experience where clients become family whose interests become our interests, whose priorities become our goals. We forge bonds and build relationships because that’s how you create great work; and thats why we’re here. We put our everything into each project. And with we are honored and humbled to share this feedback from our recent commercial shoot for the Huntington Beach Visitors Bureau:
We didn’t think it was possible to have the emotion, feel and vibe of Huntington Beach captured so beautifully on film, but Jeffrey and his incredibly hard working team at Tallgrass Pictures managed to do just that, and far beyond. They thought outside of the box for us to ensure that our video was special, unique and would stand out from a sea of other destination videos. The team over delivered on that promise and far exceeded our expectations. In addition to being creatively talented, the entire crew at Tallgrass has been so easy and enjoyable to work with, making a process (that would normally be very tedious), a fun, exciting, and incredibly seamless one.
-Steve Bone, President & CEO, Huntington Beach Marketing and Visitors Bureau
A trio of us tenacious Tallgrassers traveled to the City of Angeles today meet & share with with agency creatives, and what a day it was! Always happy to spread the good news about Tallgrass, We went all over, everywhere from Santa Monica to El Segundo.
First stop on the Tallgrass Express was Baker Brand Communications, where Senior Designer Eric Graves charmed our team with tales of projects past
We then sashayed on over to the architectural eye candy that is TBWA/Chiat/Day where we linked up with Parvin Guiv & the Art Department, as well as our digital pen pal Joe Haldeman from the Broadcast team. It was a great time getting the scoop on their current events. After lunch we a took a tour of the campus and almost started a rousing game of hoops on their indoor basketball court, which is brilliantly situated next to a facade adorned by a print of Lee Clow’s Beard!
After soaking in all the TBWA/Chiat/Day goodness we met with Sam Helphand & Diego Espana at Ignited. After a sparkling discussion of all things film & broadcast we played a mini round of golf on the in-office green near their huge waterfall; it too was a great time.
To keep the good times rolling, we caught up with Mara Serdans at Deutsch and per her suggestion were able to find the quaintest restaurant for dinner; Gjelina. Marketing team at Deutsch LA
Later while sampling the delicious appetizers at Gjelina, we sat down with Adam Bright & old friend John Carpio of SpinachLA for cocktails. The only thing that makes a great meal and good drinks grand is even better company, and we found that with these two gents!
All in all it was an eventful day! One filled with the kind of excitement and camaraderie we cherish here at Tallgrass. Until next time Los Angeles!
One of our interns, a current student at San Diego State, was power walking to class when she spotted something unexpected. It was the cover story on the front page of the Daily Aztec, the university’s newspaper. She had seen this work before, here at Tallgrass Pictures as a matter of fact!
The Mars Rover commercial featuring the alumni of SDSU was a national spot Tallgrass Pictures proudly released this year. The article says that “Our students go big places and do big things”.That was the intended message, and we’re thrilled to see the school and its students proud to air our commercial!
Last week our studio was one person short due to a case of the travel bug. Our creative marketing intern, Allison, headed off to Guatemala for spring break with a group of inspired SDSU students whose mission was to volunteer at an elementary school in a rural village.
They spent the week transforming the drab grey school into a declaration of gold and maroon, and compiling school supplies for 200 students. When they weren’t bringing color and joy to the children, Allison was exploring Guatemala, hiking ceremonial Mayan caves, zip lining through the forest and walking the cobblestoned streets of Antigua.
She came back rejuvenated from her amazing experience with the kids, sporting a tan and even more in love with guacamole!