Ever wonder what a year is like in the life of a production company?
As we head into the new year, we can’t help but spend a little time reminiscing on what 2014 held. From traveling the US to muddy productions, we’ve had a blast in 2014. We asked the Tallgrass team to share their favorite TGP moments from the year and here’s what they said….
Laurelena, our glowing graphic design intern ninja said:
“My favorite memory is decorating christmas stockings and seeing the surprises inside.”
“1. My favorite moment would have to be the time I had to shoot down a pretend helicopter with a super soaker. It was the first time being out with the crew shooting test shots for “Under my Roof”.
2. Surprise Bday up stairs. Was definitely surprised, took shots, and ate cake.
"My favorite time at Tallgrass so far in my 1 3/4 months working here would have to be the Under My Roof test shoot. It was a Friday so everyone was in good spirits and we got to get pretty creative with production because it was ours. My favorite part of the night was when we had to tie a rope around Josh and pull him to the ground as if he got shot. Or having Jordan and Katsie dance in front of the Kino lights to simulate fire. Also when Jordan sweetalked security because we didn't have a permit. Or when JB, Keith and I we re blinded because Michael had to point the 1600 watt joker at the camera for a shot."
“Definitely flying out to Dallas, then coming back to JB’s street to find my car was parked in the middle of a destroyed street, perfectly on a tiny piece of pavement they had left. Erik and I had to drive through the rubble to get out. Haha."
Jordan, our champion production coordinator said:
*Grip Olympics was a friendly production competition on setting up and breaking down shoot equipment.*
“For me, it was Coordinated Health because it was close to home.”
“The Addy Raid - we hosted the Addy Raid at the studio with a live green screen…helped with the Addy Awards promotional pieces, watched them play on the big screen in front of all the Addy Awards participants and cut the video announcing the new SDX.”
It’s a bird, it’s plane…no it’s new filmmaking technology in action, right in the heart of Palm Springs Motors!
In fact, it’s our director JLB using FPV (first person view) goggles for a production with Palm Springs Motors. With these goggles, JB was able to see live footage transmitted from a helicopter mounted GoPro that he controlled.
What’s it like, you ask? Imagine taking a ride on a roller coaster and that feeling you get over that 1st big drop - a truly amazing experience! And the shots? Well, take a look for yourself. We were able to capture great aerial footage of the expansive Palm Springs Motors facility!
The latest news at Tallgrass Pictures this week is that Jeni, Jennifer, JB, and casting director Gabrielle Schary are heading to Studios West in Santa Monica to cast the leads in Under My Roof. With hundreds of submissions our team is sure to have an action packed a couple of days. Over the next that week couple weeks the team will be casting in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York. For more information about this casting find us on IMDB.
Big things are happening at Youtube as 4K, or Ultra HD video becomes available on the prolific service. An article by Mashable’s Pete Pachal stated earlier this year that 4k, or Ultra HD footage will come in a new format called VP9, a royalty-free codec that will also reportedly offer a better experience with Google Hangouts, according to GigaOm. Pachal also states that the VP9 codec consumes considerably less data than other commercial codecs (such as H.265), letting the service stream higher-quality streams with less bandwidth.
For us at Tallgrass Pictures this is fantastic news! As a commercial production company, we produce everything from high speed motion capture, to aerial helicopter footage, computer generated graphics, and feature films all in High Definition.
For Gavin, TGP senior Editor, his interest in UHD started at NAB last year when he got to screen video on an 8K tv. “It was like looking out a window” Gavin remembers while explaining the differences between 4k and 1080p mastering. According to Gavin, there are not many differences in mastering 4k versus 1080p, except for increased render times and larger files; but beyond that 4k monitors are not household items, at least not yet. For us this had meant that the Ultra HD footage we’ve been shooting for 5 years can now finally be realized in online video, creating a richer viewing experience for our clients.
In the past with sites like Youtube our crisp, surreal imagery would lose and great deal of its luster when compressed to for web, it simply did not do it justice. Today that is a thing of the past, now with this new codec TGP and creators of all sorts are able to more easily share beautifully crafted content online!
This is exciting news to our team, and we’d like celebrate by sharing one of our Award Winning comedy shorts American Sock.
UNDER MY ROOF, A TALLGRASS PRODUCTION
Production begins this November!
Herbert Weinberg’s father is striking a blow for freedom. Implanting a nuclear device within a garden gnome in the front yard of their Southern California home, he’s declared independence from the U.S. The household is understandably is an uproar. Mother’s gone, the local weatherman has moved in, and 13-year-old Herbert is simultaneously a hostage and the Minister of Information. Even while troops surround the belligerent house-state of Weinbergia, the call to freedom has been sounded. The house is rapidly filling up with American refuseniks. Can the refrigerator hold out? Will Herbert’s and Daniel defeat imperialism and reunite the family? Based on Aristophanes’s Archanians, Under My Roof is funny, ambitious film.
We'd like to formally introduce a couple of the newest faces at Tallgrass. Please join us in welcoming Marvin, Keith and Josh to the Tallgrass Pictures team.
Day one focused on the Roloxin Lift brand video showcasing various women’s bathrooms. This shoot took place in Mission Viejo, CA at The Bath Company, a bathroom fixture superstore featuring several bathroom vignettes making it the perfect location for this shoot. After a little prop styling and strategic camera angling we had four beautiful bathrooms and you’d never know that we were in an operational store with looky-loo customers surrounding our set!
On day two, we were back at Tallgrass Pictures studio where Tsukuru built a working sink in the middle of the studio for the Roloxin tutorial! The natural light from our open studio made for beautiful imagery with light reflecting off each drop of water as our talent splashed water on her face.
The only thing more breathtaking than the shots were the instant results our talent got from Roloxin Lift itself. It left all of the women (and men) asking where they can get themselves some Roloxin!
We got amazing time lapse footage in front of the building and captivating shots of the Guild Mortgage staff hard at work; all narrated by their President and CEO Mary Ann McGarry. We loved spending the day at such a beautiful location and working with everyone from Guild Mortgage who, we must say, are naturals in front the camera.
We captured the soon-to-be grandfather video chatting with the expecting couple on a 2D holographic image projected on glass. Since it’s still 2014, we used blue lighting to create the visual effect of a hologram shining on the actor’s face. In post-production, our very talented Beau Runnells worked his magic with the footage, making the couple look as if they are the ones in the hologram!
We had a blast capturing the essence of a precious family moment and highlighting the role of Ingram Micro’s technology in creating it. All while getting to pretend it was high-tech 2030!
We shot footage from 3 continents including India and Africa, but one of our favorites? The Japanese Friendship Garden, where friendships grow! Set in the lovely Balboa park, this venue captured the perfect mood for the ultimate Geo Cache adventure.
With two talent and one GPS, you’ll see a couple hunting for treasure with nothing but a set of coordinates. The prize you ask? A wedding proposal! Recording one of life’s biggest moments, and highlighting how GPS technology was able to help make this memorable moment come to life? Mission accomplished!
There’s plenty of discussion on the ideal definition of femininity. But what about the men?! A beard or mustache can range from rugged and unruly to clean and defined. What an extraordinary range of expression that is displayed through facial hair. Here was a fun, creative shoot that had us glorifying not just our own studio of bearded men, but the diverse local talent that came in to help.
Check out our wicked bewhiskered final images!
At the studio we compiled the graduates’ pictures, memories and current events that defined this year, everything from the viral hit “What Does the Fox Say” to the election of Pope Francis. But we didn’t stop there. On campus we set up our Slow-Mo booth and armed graduates with silly-string, confetti and a bumpin’ beat to get down and party to! It was a joy to watch friends and classmates uniting, laughing, and celebrating over their grand accomplishment.
Everybody was super stoked…“Thank you so much JB. I knew you guys would pull it off but this truly exceeded my expectations. You guys are amazing” said Melissa Henss, the Assistant Director of Presidential Events at San Diego Staten University.
Congratulations Class of 2014, and good luck from all of us here at Tallgrass!
Who was elated for the Season Premiere of Game of Thrones?
Spoiler Alert: the Tallgrass Pictures Team! And who could cast blame upon us?! In honor of the upcoming premiere, we held this TV show inspired shoot. With the help of some local talent and a fantastic makeup artist - we were ready to get our Game of Thrones on!
Our quest: To create portraits that mimicked the creative lighting effects found in the third season’s promo-posters. It was an entirely experimental shoot. A chance for us to have fun, get creative and practice with some new technology and different effects.
Our holy grail? These final images!
Please join us in welcoming our newest interns for Summer 2014.
On the marketing team, we have: Kendra, Angellyne, Jordan and Greice.
Supporting the production team are Chloe and David.
Assisting with editing and production is Steffen.
We have a ton of fresh faces at Tallgrass Pictures and we’re thrilled to have such wonderful talent on our team this summer.
Tallgrass Pictures got a crash course in what it means to be EPIC this past weekend, at the EPIC Series Fitness Challenge Course. Athletes of all levels gathered Saturday & Sunday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to compete in a workout like no other. No mud, no long runs - just intense plyometric, strongman inspired, challenge course fun!
Our goal: To capture the EPIC adventure for all future participants. Alex, Rachel, Gavin and Nico were appropriately decked-out with our RedEpic cameras to capture every moment that unfolded throughout the day. While Tsukuru and our pilot Russell, strapped a Go-Pro to our Heli to seize a truly EPIC view.
We didn’t even compete yet the course left us exhausted and exhilarated by the end of the day.
Check out the tractor pulling, tire flipping, even wall climbing insanity!
Here’s to new friends and old! Ten meetings. Two days. Aly and Allison rocked their way through San Francisco, ’wining and dining’ with SF’s top ad agencies and mastering its public transport.
By BART, bus, trolley and foot, these ladies made it everywhere from the beautiful shorelines of the Embarcadero to the historical docks of Fisherman's Wharf! Our friend, Angus at Dolby, welcomed us by taking us back to school. Wait, we mean Skool - a delightful lunch spot in SF where the menus were appropriately printed on binder paper! While our new friends at First Person were introduced to us over cocktails at a hip speakeasy bar named Local Edition.
We also had the opportunity to meet with Doremus, Eleven Inc., and OneWorld…just to name a few. Everyone is so busy! So it was a great time for our team to see what these agencies are working on, and share our own work as well.
Filming at Harrah's Resort, Southern California what a blast! A strong collaboration between I.D.E.A. creatives Ryan Berman and Joe Nafziger, Harrah’s Ryan Thompson and Jeffrey Lamont Brown. With 9 setups in one day, we were lucky to have the incredible Nicole Miller, Amy Lorenzen and Harrah’s very own Patty Olvera making everything flow as smooth as the lazy river.
The concept: “See it up close” opens with extreme closeups of guests enjoying the key amenities of the property. Massage, juicy steak, beautiful hotel room, lazy river and a win in the casino. We cover a lot of ground in 30 seconds with this spot. And oh yeah, we shot some cool slow-mo helicopter footage of the new hotel tower for the end card!
Look out for this television commercial; it’s enough to make you say, “DAMN!”
Bigger, Better, Faster! Tallgrass
Over here at Tallgrass not only are we picture people, but every once in a while we build a computer! A spiffy new animation workstation at that…
Stay tuned for more about our graphics and animation capabilities!
Tsukuru has been shooting a ton of beautiful time lapses around San Diego with our new Kessler Crane.
Check out this sample of the awesome results he is getting!
It was a great time last night at the first ever San Diego Film Awards, and we're happy to announce that Tallgrass short American Sock took home an award for Best Writing! So we'd like to send out a big thanks to screenwriter Jason K. Allen, the Film Consortium of San Diego, and our wonderful team!
The 86th Academy Awards are tomorrow so we at Tallgrass figured it be fun do Oscar Vine Parodies with a few of our new interns.
Enjoy these behind the scenes photos and be sure to mark your calendar for March 2, 2014 because we'll be live tweeting the Oscars at @TallgrassFilms and you don’t want to miss our Best Picture Vine Parodies!
Check out our :30 version on Youtube!
Tallgrass Pictures shoots it’s fourth national spot for San Diego State University. The assignment: To highlight the research and science opportunities the school has to offer. Boring you say? Not! We open the spot to a lab full of students making bionic limbs; then walk directly onto the deck of a 100ft boat doing cutting-edge virus research, launch the Mars Rover, and end with an ensemble cast at Hepner Hall, all in one continuous shot. Cheers to our CGI team for all their hard work to make those transitions flawless!
Shooting at sea can be rough and even seasick we didn’t fall overboard. The team stayed strong and got incredible footage. Great job! It was a combination of every team members’ individual efforts that let us get so many shots that appeared effortless.
We also couldn’t have accomplished getting that warm atmosphere of campus without the Aztec students who volunteered as extras. We’re excited to premier the SDSU spot; look out for it this coming spring!
We were thrilled when our friends at Simpler & Simpler asked us to do another video shoot for Mitsubishi Rayon Golf Shafts. Last year we found and executed a unique way to capture this company’s premium and super-premium golf shafts golf shafts, and we were ready to step up to the challenge once again.
For this shoot we took a normal-sized production and made it miniature. We shot the golf clubs with macro lenses, which let us make the products appear far bigger than their actual size. This made the shots very dramatic because of the great level of detail these cameras capture. Making slight lighting adjustments or moving the camera a mere 1 mm would change the composition.
On our last day of our lifestyle shoot Christmas week, we headed to the cliffs of Torrey Pines, where we had 2 cameras right at the cliff’s edge. Our talent were champions, running up narrow goat trails and posing in stretching positions above the legendary Black's Beach.
We ended the week of shooting in the chic offices of Digitaria. We capture amazing views of both our talent and "aerials" down into PETCO park baseball stadium at sunset. To get so many great images in such a variety of places took complete commitment from everyone involved, and, wrapping that day, everyone felt extremely proud to be a part of this dedicated team.
Day 2: Downtown San Diego. We were immersed in San Diego’s downtown Gaslamp quarter. The weather was sunny and beautiful for shooting, but so warm that it posed a threat to the "Ice Cream" scene. APC Britney, literally ran from the ice cream shop to our set to keep the tub of cones from melting!
By the time the sun was setting that same day, we decided to capture some extra shots at our final location: Goorin Brothers, a stylish downtown hat shop loaded with Fedoras, Boaters and many other cool hats. To get enough light in the store’s second floor terrace, G+E stood in the street with shiny boards to capture the remaining sunlight. Inside, JB shot above from a bird’s eye view, while Gavin rolled low angle "B" camera. By the time the sun had gone down, we knew our clients were going to be spoiled.
With 3 days notice, we pulled together a rocking 3 day lifestyle shoot the week of Christmas. From the Torrey Pines cliffs to downtown, our crew of 13 shot 14 talent in 8 locations in 3 days.
The first day we shot at beautiful home in Bay Ho, a cool neighborhood overlooking Mission Bay, where our team had fun assembling our largest prop to date, a 14 ft trampoline. It was a great team building exercise to build it "on the day" with agency/client in the house. Our "boss" set dec team took the house from Christmas to "Season Agnostic" and back to it's festive state. JB and the A + B camera teams rocked it, keeping 4 kids (and "Parents") happy throughout the day. One 5 year old had so much fun her mom sent this email. "Alana had such a great day today! In the car she told me that she wishes she could wake up "at night" and do this every single day.
Say hello to our new nuggets Monica, Alex, & Lauren! We’re so happy to have these wonderful ladies in the studio.
All SDSU students, Lauren joins our marketing team, and Monica & Alex come on in production. Welcome Ladies!