A tribute to our amazing crew that work so passionately behind the scenes to make our commercials stand out and our clients coming back for more. It is often the extra mile that they go, and when we bear witness to the unique talents and offerings each person provides.Continue reading
Chantel Gets The Band Together for Doc West Music Video
As you can probably tell by looking at all the different headings on the top of this page, we like to get creative at Geomedia. That means titles and organizational roles can get flexible whenever one of us is hit with a creative spark, which is what happened last month with Chantel Nasits, who made her directorial debut with the Doc West music video, “If She Wanted To,” that went on to win a Bronze at the ADDY Awards in the music video category.
The seeds of Chantel’s move from producer to producer/director were planted six years ago, when she met Jose Salazar (aka Doc West) while shooting a wedding. She shot some stills for the band and then, last year, produced a music video for him under the direction of one of our crew members.
Jose liked the video and approached Chantel again in September about producing another one for his new single. Unfortunately, the other director was unavailable and Jose needed a video fast. So, in stepped Chantel.
“I heard the song and had the idea for the visuals. It felt seamless going from producer to producer/director,” Chantel said. “For the first time I was tasked with helping design each scene, and being a decision maker in the edit, but I’m already bossy and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
Chantel produced the video in a week, and with the help of the Geomedia “film family” was able to shoot the video on a Sunday. (Despite Zach’s protestations that the time crunch was too tough.) The final edit (including color grading) was posted five days after the shoot.
While it may have been a quick turnaround, you wouldn’t know it by the final product. Chantel and the rest of the crew did an amazing job putting together a first-class video for a client in need. Jose was impressed.
“This is my second video project to work with Geomedia on, and I can’t compliment them enough on the overall satisfaction I’ve had working with them! From pre-production, shooting, to post production promptness and constant communication throughout the whole project. I’m so appreciative of their complete professionalism. I plan to collaborate with them on future projects and look forward to the creativity and the continued success we may encounter!” Jose said.
Jose wasn’t the only one pleased with the production, Joseph Rene, who starred in the video, also had a lot of kind words for Chantel and the crew.
“Shooting with Chantel and her crew was seamless and fun! Her process really catered to the actor – whether through preparing us for our next scenes, guiding us as we shot, allowing us to explore her vision on camera, etc. I’ve had limited experiences with the crew prior to the shoot, but felt right at home during our time together. I’d be more than happy to work with her time and time again in the future. Professionalism speaks volumes in this industry. Chantel and Geomedia exemplified this effortlessly,” Joseph said.
Chantel wasn’t the only one taking on a new role for the shoot. Kat Franklin, our makeup artist, took the production stills in this blog, while Jeff Chestnut, Geomedia’s senior editor, came out and helped with production and did post.
We love seeing members of our crew take on and conquer new challenges. It shows the value in having such a creative, collaborative environment and makes us happy to be a part of such a great team.
You can check out Chantel’s debut and the hard work of all of our crew in the finished video below.
Valero Gets Animated
The beautiful part about being a proven, full-service production company is the amount of creative freedom that our clients trust us with. We usually don’t work as just hired hands. Instead, we work with agencies and their clients in a creative partnership that allows everyone involved to draw on years of experience and imagination.
We recently had an opportunity to exercise our creative muscles with San Antonio advertising agency One-Eighty on a national broadcast and internet campaign for Valero Energy Corporation. The goal of the campaign was to showcase Valero’s great business accomplishments, along with its generous charitable side. One-Eighty and Valero (who we last teamed up with on a 2015 Alamo Bowl campaign) came to Geomedia with a basic idea: Valero is a big, successful company that makes wise business decisions, but it also positively impacts communities around the United States in many different ways.
Starting with that idea, we drew on our collective creative resources to build an innovative, compelling campaign.
“Tom Norman and Lisa Breshiers with One-Eighty had several great ideas to support the concept, so we worked alongside them to develop a vehicle that illustrated this information in a smart and creative way,” Geomedia executive producer Zach Nasits said. “We agreed that this campaign required a simple, sophisticated style that would communicate Valero’s impressive statistics and achievements without sounding self-serving.”
Initial concepts incorporated imagery that played with icons of “the head,” to illustrate Valero’s business side, and “the heart,” to convey Valero’s charitable side. This idea was a good starting point, but Tom and Lisa wanted to push the envelope by developing spots that had more emotional engagement for the viewer. They challenged us to use our skills to come up with something truly unique.
With further conceptual design and development, we finally unveiled the right vehicle for this collaborative campaign. We decided to go with elegantly simple, 2D basic graphic icons and add complexity by having them flow and evolve into each other.
To convey this idea to the client, we produced new concept boards, as well as a mix of animation tests. Some of the tests were a “safer match” to what we anticipated a large corporation like Valero might expect, while others developed into something a little more experimental.
Valero decided to move forward with the style from one of the tests – which we referred to as the PR Softsell. This style presented Valero’s story in a way that embraced artistic potential and flexibility with elegance and sophistication. The technique was welcoming, confident and could appeal to anyone – investors and the general public alike.
Aesthetically, we all agreed that we should keep the visuals and audio score as clean and straightforward as possible to keep the story we were telling front-and-center, without any distractions. Simple colors. Simple sound score. Confident and compassionate voice-over narration.
Animation Director, Jeff Stoyer, along with animation generalist Martin Jaeger, completed the visuals over the course of several weeks. Turnkey audio post-production was performed by Keith Harter Music.
Our involvement in this project reinforces what we’ve always believed: Nothing demonstrates value to clients better than the combination of experience, creativity, passion and execution. Lisa, One-Eighty’s creative/art director said it best, “Geomedia has been up for any challenge we’ve given them through the years. They always bring innovation to the table and partner with us creatively so we can deliver a project that surpasses anyone’s expectations.”
Check out both of these great spots below!
Geomedia and Documentarian Steve Acevedo Bring Reality to University Health System Spots
The Director Difference
We’ve enjoyed a great creative relationship with University Health System for several years and produced some beautiful, cinematic spots for them, like our “Now” campaign.
For University’s most recent broadcast and internet campaign, “The University Difference,” we captured real stories from four families who had life-changing and life-saving experiences at University Hospital. To imbue the spots with the level of emotional depth and sensitivity that they deserved, we turned to one of our favorite up-and-coming directors, Steve Acevedo. Steve came to our attention when his short, El Cocodrilo, won several short film awards. When we explored his work further, his beautifully shot documentaries and documentary shorts had our office in tears. We knew he was the perfect choice to bring the appropriate gravity to this campaign.
The University Difference
“The University Difference” campaign focuses on the differences between a University Hospital and a community hospital. Real patients and their families share how the hospital doctors and staff were able to do what other hospitals could not – save a life. Whether it was cancer, a congenital heart condition, or a car crash, each of these families was able to move past a terrible situation with the help of University doctors and staff. Steve and the Geomedia production crew brought their stories to life in an intense, emotional style.
“It was a privilege to meet these four special families and get to talk with them about their very personal experiences. What could have been tragedies for all of them turned into stories of inspiration and hope,” Acevedo said. “University and Creative Civilization wanted the spots to be totally real, so we worked hard to create conversations that emitted just that. I think the results speak for themselves. Each spot is an honest portrait of the difference University made for these families.”
While we didn’t shoot in each family’s real home, production designer Paola Cortez-Manthey (Tree of Life) ensured that each set fit each patient and each patient’s family with authentic memorabilia and set decor that represented their real homes and lifestyle.
Since we were working with real people and not actors, we needed to respect their time and be as efficient as possible. They gave us time out of their lives to share their stories, so production went above and beyond to try and create comfortable and homey worlds. To keep everything authentic, we employed two Red Dragon cameras to ensure we got the natural flow of their stories without having to do lots of repetitions.
The Finished Product
The final project turned out great. Steve gave us the emotional depth that we wanted, while our Geomedia crew came through with the usual top-notch work. In addition to the shoot, Geomedia handled the post-production editorial, color grading and finishing. Our friends at Keith Harter Music did the score and audio production.
Agency: Creative Civilization
Agency CEO: Al Aguilar
Agency President: Gisela Girard
Agency VP / Executive Creative Producer: Joseph Guerra
Agency Creative Director: Robert Sosa
Producer: Chantel Nasits
Director: Steve Acevedo
Director of Photography: Zach Nasits
Photographer: Scott Greenberg
Post Production Supervisor: Murray Breit
Post-Production Editor: Jeff Chesnut
Visual Effects: Martin Jaeger
4K Colorist: Zach Nasits
Sound Production & Score: Keith Harter Music
Geomedia’s Austin Expansion Featured in Austin Business Journal
We announced our partnership with Rock Candy Media and expansion to Austin last week and the news is already getting attention. This week, we were featured in the Austin Business Journal in a story about the new office in Austin. The story features more details on our Austin operations, as well as some insight from Zach about the thinking behind the expansion. We’re excited that this next chapter in the Geomedia story is garnering so much attention!
Geomedia Goes Green with Danny and San Antonio Solid Waste Management
Geomedia’s production team joined up with San Antonio Solid Waste Management and Spurs player Danny Green to produce a spot encouraging the folks in San Antonio to recycle. In short, “Be Green, Like Danny.”
We did all of the copywriting, creative direction, props and set design. We shot the video with an all San Antonio crew in 5k.
We built an entirely green house set from scratch. With some help from our post production geniuses, everything from the books to the popcorn is an appropriately environmentally friendly green hue.
Copenhagen San Antonio even helped us out with some tasteful green furniture.
Back home in the offices we color graded and did all of the post production in-house. It was a true turn-key production!
The finished product will be played on the big screen at Spurs games, so next time you’re at the AT&T Center, keep an eye out and remember to Be Green, like Danny!
Lobster, Artichokes and the Alamo. How Geomedia brought the coasts to San Antonio.
In a recent gig in advance of the Alamo Bowl, Valero wanted us to help them show how they provide gasoline from coast to coast. In order to do that, we had to bring Maine and California to Texas.
When you think of Maine, you obviously think of salty sea dogs and lobster. The sea dog was easy – add a hat, add gloves and drop some “r”s and you’re set. The lobster, however, was a little trickier.
Our original idea was to work with what nature gave us and just use a real lobster. Unfortunately, in order to do that, we’d need a lobster wrangler on set to make sure we weren’t mistreating or otherwise damaging the crustacean. (No word on if we would be free to eat it after the shoot.) This seemed like more trouble than it was worth, so we decided to have a prop lobster made.
The thing about lobsters is, they’re really big. When you ask for an eight pound lobster, you may be surprised when the prop you get back is the size of a fire extinguisher. It dwarfed our salty sea dog! Strike two.
Finally we decided to ditch the practical effects and let our 3D animation and visual effects team take a crack at generating a lobster for us. We shot our sea dog holding a weighted and painted candle in his hand, so that everything would look right, and sent it to post. What came back was lifelike digital lobster that not only looked real, but moved too! Fisherman and lobster were united at last, as it should be.
Invasion of the Giant Artichoke
The artichoke, on the other hand, that bad boy was all real. It actually started as a joke. During casting, someone said it would be funny if the California representative was dressed as an artichoke. A quick google search turned up a costume designer who had made one, and we were sold.
Shipping it turned out to be pretty tricky. They don’t really make boxes designed for human-scale artichokes. When it arrived in Texas, the suit was a little dinged up. Luckily, director Murray Breit and a few handy assistants were able to repair it.
Of course, the thing was awkward to wear and a pain for our actor, so we had to call in Murray again to rig up a system to suspend the costume. His genius saved the shoot and the actor’s back.
With our actors and props in place, we shot our segments and went to work turning a set in San Antonio into two coastal vistas. Such a stunt required solid planning in the pre-production stage, on-set ingenuity during video production, and some solid time in the visual effects studio. Check out the video above to see the difference once our post production crew got their mitts on it.
P.S. If you’re looking for a 5 1/2 foot artichoke costume, we have one at a very good price.
Granger Smith / Bury Me in Blue Jeans
Today marks the official launch of the latest video by Granger Smith, which we shot in Texas and edited in-house. Directed by Paul De La Cerda, Geomedia was responsible for everything from preproduction to post, including a star-studded finale with a subtle but essential VFX starscape to liven up the bonfire scene.
Throwing in that starfield required motion tracking the scene, overlaying and preserving optical flares aberration, focus and defocus, and maintaining the tree line.
Some nitty gritty details:
- 4k shoot with Red Epic
- 4k R3D raw color grade
Here are the final results for your listening and viewing pleasure:
We recently completed post production on our first feature length film. The One I Wrote For You is a wonderful, family oriented film that was shot here in San Antonio. Written and Produced by David Kauffman, the movie stars Cheyenne Jackson, Kevin Pollak, Christine Woods and Christopher Lloyd. Be sure to check the website for the movie for a complete listing of cast and crew. www.theoneiwroteforyou.com
Cheyene Jackson as Ben Cantor.
Kevin Pollak as Mickey.
Christine Woods as Alicia Cantor.
Christopher Lloyd as Pop.
All Footage was captured digitally in 4K with 2 RED Epic cameras. Drives from each days shooting were shuttled to the Geo offices for processing and back to set the next day. We immediately archived the footage to LTO-5 for safe keeping From there we ingested footage to our servers, set up audio synced multiclips for every shot and finally developed and organized a file structure for all 72 hours of footage. The film is centered around a musician and some of the performance scenes had up to 25 different camera angles to pick from!
Multitudes of multiclips!
The goal of our first cut was to deliver the actors’ best performances and to stay true to what the director shot during production. We did not make any major editorial changes at this point and the run time was around 150 minutes. Fast forward many weeks and long hours with Director Andy Lauer and we emerged with a more concise and compelling story. “I found myself overwhelmingly satisfied at the level of craftsmanship, ability and professionalism that San Antonio-based Geomedia was able to generate for our feature film,” said Lauer. “Their passion rose above anything we’d hoped for and it reflects in their work. Owning all the latest technical equipment is great, but creating cinematic art is a a skill money cannot buy.”
Geomedia Senior Editor Jeff Chesnut in his element.
Once we had our Locked Cut, our DP/Colorist Guru Zach Nasits took over, utilizing Davinci Resolve to get the most from the RAW R3D files. – “It was very exciting to have the opportunity to color grade this terrific film. Grading 5k files from the Red Epic with DaVinci Resolve enabled so much versatility and latitude in achieving DP, Phillip Roy’s vision. He shot with just about every kind of glass there is and on multiple cameras so it was sometimes challenging to match color and texture. Ultimately it all came together and looks amazing.”
Final 4K color-graded shots output from Davinci Resolve.
We sent OMF and reference files over to Harter Music. They had the mammoth task of scoring, creating foley, ADR and final mixing of the film. Plus, the movie has a sound track album that they produced as well.
ProTools Audio session in progress, courtesy of Keith Harter Music.
Effects work started before shooting even began with the development of “The Song” logo animation loops to be used on-stage during production. Post production effects work included skyline enhancements, full length 3D animated show opens for “The Song”, numerous screen replacements and even an explosion. 3D and VFX work was executed by our own Jeff Stoyer and Martin Jaeger utilizing Softimage XSI, Nuke and After Effects.
3D animated titles for “The Song” show open.
Deluxe in Los Angeles was chosen to take our digital master and create the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) that would be delivered to theaters. Our workflow resulted in a master file that was a true 2K, 2048 x 1024, ProRes 4444. Deluxe would deliver at either 2048 x 858 or 1998 x 1080. The former would crop 8% from the top and bottom of our picture. We felt this was too much so that option was out. To shrink our picture to 1998 x 1080 we could scale down 2.4%, add a little letterbox and keep the picture at the same aspect as it was shot, but instead we chose to crop off 23 pixels from the right and left sides so we would not have to re-scale and possibly lose some sharpness. We have heard horror stories about the stringent quality control process required by distributors. We are happy to say that we passed QC on the first submission and it looks amazing on the big screen!
“Geomedia’s skill set and team spirit is on par with the best Post Houses for feature films,” said Writer and Executive Producer David Kauffman. “They know their craft. And at the end of the day, they’re story tellers just like us. It was a great ride and we’ll work with them on our next film.” We are looking forward to the next one David. This one has been a blast!
America has a long history of technological firsts from the airplane to the automobile… This years Valero campaign, concepted by Tom and Lisa of 180, tells the tale of that American Ingenuity and Valero Energy Corporation’s role in maintaining their momentum of leadership as America’s largest refiner, providing the resources to keep America Moving.
The two :30 spots begin the journey with a few vintage clips illustrating a few of America’s milestone innovations and where we’ve come from before segueing into cinematic contemporary lifestyle shots of people traveling the road and enjoying the great outdoors.
Traveling shot showing camera RAW digital negative before and after color grade.
As one of the leading production facilities in Texas, Geomedia was tasked with a full turnkey assignment that included production management and production services, shooting the commercials, post production, visual effects and 3D animation.
Geomedia DP Zach Nasits and First AC extraordinaire Cal Roberts on set.
We captured the majority of the spots using Red Epic 5K outfitted with our Arri Alura Super 35mm Optics. The concepts required some specialty aerials where we geared up with pilot Glen Patterson of North Texas Helicopters and outfitted his Jet Ranger with a CineFlex nose mount, provided by Aerial Filmworks. The CineFlex provided the versatility needed to capture the dynamic end tag shot with an oil tanker and passenger vehicle.
Jet Ranger Helicopter outfitted wth the awesomc CineFlex nose camera.
Additional aerial shots were captured by our buds at helivideo with this cool remotely piloted drone.
In order to achieve the look of diverse landscapes without a lot of pre-production time, filming took place locally in San Antonio but also in remote locations in Seguin, Kerrville, Big Bend National Park, Corpus Christi, Austin, and Bastrop.
The iconic 360 bridge in Austin before and after color grade in Davinci Resolve.
The scenes encompassed driving shots as well as lifestyle shots and used over 30 vehicles in addition to a specialty petroleum tanker that was supplied, prepped, and polished by Mission Petroleum in San Antonio.
A family camping excursion portrayed in the rugged mountains of Big Bend.
One of the biggest challenges production faced was dealing with the unfortunate weather patterns that always seemed to show up in direct contrast to the reported forecasts. Like the ole saying goes, If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait 5 minutes… “DP’s call this a ‘lead sky’” commented Zach. “But we all know that the show must go on.”
And so it did. Since re-shoots were out of the question due to schedule constraints, Geomedia’s post production departments was tasked with giving the shots a warmer feel and remedy the “cold and cloudy” look.
In some instances, Zach worked with the RAW .R3D files in Davinci Resolve to create contrast and illumination in the skies via Power Windows, 3D tracking, and HSL qualification. In other instances, sky replacements were implemented by Martin Jaeger and provided the best results for the shot.
Aerial station shot before and after visual FX treatment. Can you tell what has changed?
Final color graded station shot.
In addition to sky replacements, we supervised and executed additional VFX such as adding a CG roof to the gas station pump awning and tracking other photo-real 3D generated and live-action elements into the scenes. Matchmoving the aerial footage was particularly challenging but essential in order to track Valero’s logo to the unbranded Petroleum tanker for the fly over end tag shots.
The final spot was aired on this years broadcast of the Valero Texas Open Golf Tournament. It was a terrific experience working with Valero and all the cast and crew that helped us pull of this challenging spot. We are proud to have been able to bring our own brand of “American Ingenuity” to the effort.
Client: Valero Energy Corporation
Director: Murray Breit
Production Manager: Chantel Nasits
Director of Photography/Colorist: Zach Nasits
Senior Editor: Jeff Chesnut
Visual FX: Martin Jaeger, Jeremy Kenisky, Rudy Martinez, Joseph Schaertl
Animation Director: Martin Jaeger
3D modeling/Animation: Martin Jaeger, Johnathan Nitiparsong
Technical Direction: Jeremy Kenisky
Audio Production: Keith Harter Music