Tallgrass heads to Oregon



JB and Christiaan headed North to Portlandia to hang with some of the best agencies in the US.  Chillin with the hipsters, for great coffee and of course microbrews.  



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First stop: Wieden & Kennedy.  Shouts out to Grace, Mari, and Ben for making us feel right at home.  And if you didn’t know Oregon's state animal, you’ll be greeted by it when you walk in their office door   .


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Next, more coffee. Woot! Then on to R2C: Great to connect with Sara, Kristen, and Alison in a chill setting. They are on fire. Tons of productions, multiple buildings...taking over the world.    


Saving the best for last: CMD agency! Cindy Marks, you are our hero! Thanks for taking the meeting, even on crutches.  Double order of TGP hot sauce for you.




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Tallgrass in the city of angels

Team TGP heads to the city of angels to take on 8 meetings with creative agencies in 2 days. 

Beforehand, the team prepped 40 gift boxes filled with prints, postcards and handpicked hot sauce. Our marketing rockstars also loaded up our iPads to display our latest reels, still photography and VFX projects. Then we sent JB, Katsie and Christiaan off to LA to meet with friends both new and old.

The first stop was Saatchi & Saatchi, meeting both the art buying and broadcast team. After a number of conversations on the phone, it was great to meet the Saatchi crew in person. They were impressed with JB’s work and the delicious San Diegan pastries. 

Next was a quick lunch at korean bbq ….but not too long after, Tallgrass was back on the road dropping off more gift boxes in the afternoon. Then the three hustled over for a quick meet with the talented minds at World Wide Minds. 

The last meeting of day 1 was with the awesome Innocean producers in Huntington beach. A great way to end the day - cocktails as the sun set.

Early the next morning, the 3 Tallgrassans hit the road for a meeting with Guthy-Renker for hot coffee and an introduction of our capabilities and work. Then it was off to lunch with friends from Deustch at Whiskey Red’s. After that delicious lunch was a late snack with Ignition. A short hop over and TGP was at Ignition with wraps from LYFE kitchen…yum! And to round out this group of new friends was Lenny from R&R partners….dropping off one last batch of goodies for the end of his day.

To wrap up the trip, they met up with an old friend - David Aktary - who helped connect us to our award-winning Hot Pockets project. An amazing 2 days….and we’re sure to be back soon!


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"Under My Roof" wins 3rd place!

Roll out the red carpet because “Under My Roof” was just honored with 3rd place for Best Unpublished Screenplay from the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival 2015! The award is going to the fantastic Jennifer de Poyen, screenwriter of “Under My Roof”.

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On the script itself, Jen says she was drawn to it because “It’s messy, it’s unwieldy kind of like life…but it’s so full of life.”  And this messy story of life will be Tallgrass Pictures’ first feature film; a project headed by Tallgrass Pictures founder & director Jeffrey Lamont Brown and screenwriter Jennifer de Poyen. 


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The feature tells the tale of Daniel Weinberg who protects his son Herbie the best way he knows how - he builds a nuke, hides it in a garden gnome, and secedes his suburban home from the USA to form the sovereign nation of Weinbergia.

Stay tuned for more updates on the messy adventure of the Weinbergs and production for UMR. 

Under My Roof

Under My Roof VFX Test Shoot

Here’s a sneak peek of what we’re working on for “Under My Roof” - our very first Tallgrass Pictures feature film.

It was a fine Friday night for a test shoot…which is a favorite past time of Tallgrass Pictures. A test shoot is where our director and team experiment with  shots before a production to ensure high quality work. On this particular Friday night, the scene was set for Under My Roof’s big battle scene and a VFX test shoot was under way.

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Our very own TGP boys stepped in as the war heroes going against invisible helicopters and enemies:
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Meanwhile, our production coordinators helped set the mood by creating a flickering light through some very sophisticated dance moves:

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All in all, it was a very successful night with lots of fun. But this was just the first step. The footage is now in the tender hands of our VFX artists who are adding chaos and mayhem to the scene. Spoiler alert - there will be explosions galore.

We can’t wait for the finished footage. For now, we’ve got some great BTS videos to share. Check out how Tallgrass Pictures gets down on Friday nights:

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“Under My Roof” is a Tallgrass Pictures feature production scheduled for 2015.

Keep up with all the Under My Roof news and happenings in Weinbergia by following us!

Filming into the Future with Ingram Micro

As part of a new brand video for Ingram Micro, we shot a futuristic scene of a young couple announcing an upcoming baby. How did we make the scene look like 2030 and not 2013? By shooting at a stunning, mostly glass, modern-style home at the top of Mt. Helix, a small mountain right here in San Diego.

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!

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A Proposal to Remember, Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro, a global Fortune 500 technology company, assigned us to collaborate on a brand essence video for use company wide capturing technology in life's biggest moments.


Ingram’s Dan Iorgulescu, Ewan Pidgeon and Jason Williams have been invaluable collaborators, writing a fantastic script based in human emotion and experience, being very helpful on set and in the editing bay. 

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!  

Thank you to the Japanese Friendship Garden for allowing us to film at such a fantastic location!


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Masculinity: Concept Shoot

Joselle Mariano for Masculinity Concept shoot
We love shooting so much, once a month we become our own client, concepting and assigning a Tallgrass creative shoot for our ever-expanding portfolio. For March, beards tickled our fancy. Nothing is more classic than a man’s most masculine accessories—beards and ‘staches. 

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!

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Graduating Tallgrass Style!

No more classes! No more books! No more teachers’ dirty looks! That’s right - we’re talking Grad Night at San Diego State University! And the Tallgrass Team was there to join in on the celebrations. We wanted to send the graduating class of 2014 off the funnest way we knew how, but also with something that really hit home and summarized their year.

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!

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EPIC Series

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!



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Harrah’s “See it up close”

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!”

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National Spot for San Diego State

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! 

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Harrah's Rincon Casino & Resort

Our recent shoot at Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort was like the great casino itself, big and bold. It was a nicely sized production with 30 cast & crew. We shot with a couple of RED epics, capturing both stills and video. The stills looked amazing and, at 50 MB, huge. Harrah’s also hooked us up with their amazing buffet, providing steak and lobster for everybody. (Many thanks for Ryan, Amber & Patty for that!)
 
Production base was composed of 2 of the casino’s largest suites, jacuzzis included. This housed all the wardrobe and the equipment that we couldn’t haul to our 8 shooting locations. It was certainly our first time having hair, make up & wardrobe in the same room as a jacuzzi.
 
In our assignment, we illustrated Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort's transition to a luxury resort, so we spent the day capturing several of their upgraded amenities, like Dive, their new outdoor pool area, which is complete with lazy river, swim up bar and spa. By wrap time, we had shot 10 talent in 8 places in 12 hours, and had plenty of great footage to show for it.

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Mitsubishi Rayon Golf Shafts

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. 

With the hands of “surgeons”, we were able to get all the shots we wanted with great precision. The videos, once edited & finalized, will be used in both the American and Japanese markets.

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Christmas Week Lifestyle Shoot Day 3

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. 

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Friendsgiving 2013

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! 

Hot Pockets: You Got What I Eat

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

Credits:

Animation: Tallgrass Pictures

Client: Nestle

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

 

Tallgrass hits NYC

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!

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La Jolla Cove Shoot

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.

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'American Sock' wins Best Narrative at Barrio Film Festival 2013

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!

Congratulations to Jennifer de Poyen!

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!

SDSU features our commercial in their newspaper!

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!

Sneak Peek: San Diego State's new "Mars Landing" commercial

Check out this behind the scenes video of our collaboration with San Diego State on the new “Mars Landing" commercial!

Tallgrass Pictures came out with not 1...but 8 awards

'Tis the season of award events. The Oscars, The Golden Globes, and for us… The San Diego ADDY awards. Walking the walk in both photography and broadcast, Tallgrass Pictures came out of the event with eight awards - one gold, four silvers and three bronzes.    Earning silver we had : Showreel  Snow Adventures Marie Antoinette And earning bronze we had: Legendary Napa Valley Salton Sea   Our collaboration with I.D.E.A. on the Villages of La Costa earned us a Silver and Bronze.   Although we are simply bursting to share which piece won gold, our lips have to remain sealed. Who knew production work was such top secret business?! It feels good to have our hard work recognized.

"The Sockfather"

This week we are finally filming the long anticipated short AMERICAN SOCK which means our studio is overflowing with sock puppets and very random props for the film (some which include a wholly trash can…)
 
One of our favorite props for this film (besides our star Bob, or course) is our “Sockfather” poster.  This set piece took about an hour to create and will only have about 2 seconds of screen time!
Stay tuned for more funny updates as we film this hilarious little number :)
 
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Legendary Napa Valley spot wins silver!

We were all very proud of our Napa tourism commercial, and it turns out we are not the only ones. The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International awarded our spot a silver medal at their annual Adrian Awards! This one goes out to our dear friends at Burghardt+Doré who made it all possible.

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Scouting in Wine Country

Relaxing on the job JB? Not for a second! This was one of the most productive Saturday’s we’ve had all summer. By 5am JB and Aly were on a flight to Napa to scout a weeks worth of shooting locations in one day! The scout was in preparation of a luxurious TV spot for the Visit Napa Valley that will air nationally during the America’s Cup at the end of August. By the luck of good graces, we had found all of our locations by 6pm and allowed ourselves a quick break to enjoy a nice chilled glass of white wine and soak in our surroundings. We were very grateful to be under the guide of Burghardt+Doré Advertising. Thanks for the wonderful tour Jeff & Nicole! *Cheers*

Pa Party... Fiesta... Forever

Another beautiful day of shooting San Diego tourism. Today we started off at the beautiful Fashion Valley mall, where we explored Jimmy Choo and some other amazing high end stores. Afterwards the gang hit up Taco Tuesday at the best authentic Mexican restaurant in Old Town, Cafe Coyote! We learned how to make homemade tortillas, and how many margarita’s it would take to make the mariachi band sing for free!

Early reviews of the TV spot…"awesome."

We’re in the final stages of post on a hybrid TV/Web/Print campaign for SDSU. Early reviews of the TV spot…"awesome." Here are a few scenes from the TV spot and some links to press coverage of the TV shoot. http://advancement.sdsu.edu/media/2011/August/080411_NBC_630.mpg http://www.thedailyaztec.com/2011/08/hundreds-show-aztec-pride-for-commercial/ http://advancement.sdsu.edu/media/2011/August/080411_Fox5.mpg http://advancement.sdsu.edu/media/2011/August/080411_NBC.mpg http://advancement.sdsu.edu/media/2011/August/080411_Ch8.mpg