Filmmaking

11Sep

“A New York Love Story” Official Selection of New Filmmakers LA 2017

Film A New York Love Story by Patrick Ortman
I’m especially happy that one of the final film festivals for “A New York Love Story” is to be the New Filmmakers LA festival in October. We started our festival run with a screening at the New Filmmakers New York festival, which gives it a nice symmetry. But also, NFLA has a reputation for being a solid festival where indie films can get the exposure they deserve. And I’ll be interviewed by MovieMaker magazine at the festival, and we’ll get a real Q&A session. That’s pretty cool.

The other big news is, thanks to this festival we’ve been invited to license our film to TV Network ShortsHD.

Not bad for a little film we shot in two days with the tiniest of crew and equipment (we had one light!).

I’d like to thank Joanne for trusting me and being a heck of a collaborator. Sean for the same. And my talented but tiny crew Chad, Jason, and Lani, plus our day players Pat and Marilia. And our post team of Kathi, Martin, Moritz, and Brandon.

 

1Aug

Producing a Danny Trejo Project for my friend Eric

Crew Photo in West Hollywood

Crew Photo in West Hollywood

I’ve been working on a nice side project lately, producing a Danny Trejo thing. But you’re probably reading this and really  wondering: “Is Danny Trejo as cool as he seems?”. So to cut to the chase: yeah, he really is! Plus, he is one heck of a good guy. I’m glad we got to hang out, and I hope you all go down to Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Donuts. You can’t miss the latter- it’s a pink building with a familiar face on the wall. And after you do that, head on over to my company site to check out the other (mostly more commercial-y) work we’ve been doing this summer!

20Jun

How to Spend Money on Gear Wisely in 2017 (Skip the Camera!)

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This one’s for my fellow video production nerds.

Smart people realize that cameras have been solved. This might be why RED’s new product is a phone. Not a camera. Cameras are done. They’re great. Today. And semi-affordable. The huge gap between “great” and what the average DP can afford is pretty much gone, and if you’re still selling yourself based on your camera instead of your work, you are way behind the times.

Put simply, the most important thing is your talent in using the gear. The gear alone doesn’t differentiate you, anymore. Pros can Read More »

20Apr

On the Importance of Personal Projects for Creatives

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I keep relearning the lesson of how important it is for us creatives to always be working on personal projects. First, they’re fun to do! Second, they let you hone new skills. And third, sometimes they show clients a side of you that they didn’t know about. This can pay huge dividends.

For instance, about a year and a half ago I was in New York more than I wasn’t. I live and work in both LA and New York, and I’m not sure why LA wasn’t clicking for me at that time, but I was grateful that New York was. New York was keeping Read More »

19Jan

2016 in Review: Thank You!

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2017 has begun with a bang for us. I’m thrilled and grateful for that. But this post, even though it’s the middle of January already, is for last year. 2016, I thank you for everything you gave to us. The many excellent projects, the happy clients, and even the occasional stumbling blocks- thank you. It’s all a learning experience, and I am grateful to everyone who was a part of our year.

In 2016 we laid the groundwork for some Read More »

26Dec

New TV Commercial Productions for Westside Rentals

I’m really excited about the work we did for this Los Angeles client, the TV commercials turned out great in every way. And what’s best is, they’re being seen and they are working for the client’s business. Yay! They’ll be playing all over Southern California through 2017.

One thing new directors and filmmakers don’t often understand is the amount of work it takes to get something that looks and feels natural and easy. The truth is, “easy” take a lot of work to get right. And I’m super-proud that we got it right.

We shot these on SONY, and colored in DaVinci. For more TV and web commercials, plus our corporate work, check out our website.

22Jul

Finally, a 4K Deliverable


I’ve been shooting in 4K+ since 2007/2008. But the truth is, outside of film festival stuff, it’s been too unwieldy to deliver 4K masters to clients. I’m happy to say, that’s changed. Here’s our latest, a UHD agency cut of a spot we did in New York last month. It’s not 100% UHD- we have to redo the VFX in a couple of shots, and tweak a couple of things before it’s final. But wow, the detail’s awesome! In fact, for trademark reasons we’ll need to now add a couple of other VFX shots to this spot to obscure now-visible-in-4K details.

Over the next few months, I’ll be re-uploading more from our catalog in 4K/UHD.

25Apr

Reflections on Video Production: Los Angeles vs New York

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I just finished a Los Angeles video production for a client. It was a blast, as usual, but I can’t talk about it just yet. Instead, today I’ve been reflecting on the differences and similarities between making a film or commercial in New York versus Los Angeles.

What I love about making videos in Los Angeles:

  • The weather, it’s almost always sunnyish.
  • I like getting in my truck and being able to pick up stuff from the rental house easily. I tend to rent “big stuff” in LA. But then, I have to, because it’s almost always sunny in LA (it’s a pro and a con).
  • The actors and crew are fantastic, in Los Angeles.
  • LA can look like almost anywhere in the world, for locations.

What I love about doing it in New York:

  • You can shoot on the street without being arrested or needing a permit, unless you bring big stuff and stop traffic.
  • New York looks… well, it looks amazing. There is no other place that looks like New York, and it is glorious (that’s a pro and a con).
  • The actors and crew are fantastic, in New York.
  • The subways are really efficient if you can be super-light. This doesn’t work for many jobs, but sometimes- especially for corporate videos- it can.

I work and live in both places. LA is Hollywood, and New York is Madison Avenue and Wall Street. Both are relevant. I think the nature of the industry is such that if you want to be successful you need to be in both places, depending on your craft. Certainly being solidly on both coasts has helped my business.

Yet, I still end up on planes to other places frequently. Because clients come from all over the world, and you must go where the work is. But that’s a story for another day.

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