We have a blast. Here’s a few BTS shots taken by Geoffrey Donne that prove that. These were taken at last month’s filming extravaganza: we shot a series of branded content episodes and two commercials. It was the culmination of months of work, and we’re excited to show them to you!
Category Archives: Filmmaking
You know, sometimes life gets so busy that you turn around and realize “Poof! There goes 3 months and no blog posts!”. PatrickOrtman, Inc. has been incredibly busy in both New York City and Los Angeles. We’ve been creating two new high-profile films for a Fortune 50, and an entire series of comedic branded content episodes. Yay, team! I’d like to tell you more, but there’s just no time to do so. Yet. Here’s a pic, though:
One of the perks of being an agency owner is getting to yap on private message boards and go to events with other agency owners. Last week, I heard a colleague say that she- personally- answers every single job application email they get.
This kind of blew my mind. Because we get about 20 unsolicited requests a day from job seekers. Even if I had a full-time HR person (we do not), it’d be a full-time job responding properly to each of them. I mean more than an autoresponder, you know? Like, actually taking the time to sit down and go through reels and consider where you might fit in on a project with us.
So how does it work for us? Well, we do save every message/application. When there’s a need for what you do and we don’t have in-house staff or long-time favorites in mind? That’s when we go through them. Not just me, but my producers too.
Yet, sometimes I’ll take the time to immediately review someone’s reel. Like when you do something I know we want to shore up in our offerings this year. It happens. It just doesn’t happen all the time.
And I know that sucks for people looking for jobs. Cold-calling and cold-emailing just sucks. When we started, I would review and respond to everyone. I can’t do it anymore. But who knows, I’m not saying stop doing the cold-email thing. Just know that if I don’t get back to you it’s zero reflection on your awesomeness.
This article first appeared in ProductionHub:
When a big part of your job is creating art for commerce, it’s really easy to get busy with the commerce side of things and forget to feed your artist side. Ten years ago, a friend of mine got a tattoo that said: “All Ways Create”. The spelling was intentional, he’s a versatile artist of many mediums. The point is, I’ve never known him not to be working on his own projects alongside his corporate and commercial work.
But it’s been harder for me to create for myself, especially as I’ve grown up. My business takes a lot of time and attention. It seems like I’m always flying off to direct and shoot for clients, working on proposals, writing scripts, or in post-production with often brutal deadlines. It’s been really hard to find the time to do something not “on the clock”. And hey, I’m grateful: it’s wonderful to be able to create for a living.
Then this November I had a big setback at work. A job I’d committed to got frozen for a month. I was out a lot of money and scrambling to reschedule and move other things around to accommodate. I knew this “dead time” was really bad for me and for my small team, who were expecting to get paid right before Christmas. Things felt pretty bleak.
So I wrote. Quickly and from the heart. A few hours later, I had a concept and a script for a very short, very heartfelt holiday film about family and being apart for the holidays. I sent it to my LA producer Jessica, who loved it and had great ideas on how to make it better- even on the non-existent budget we had. That night, we finished the script together and we put out casting notices for New York (where I was) and Los Angeles (where I would be in a week).
The only way to make this project happen was to keep things small and agile. That meant a New York crew of me, my DP friend Eric, and a PA. In LA we added a makeup artist and Jessica produced while she and I also filled in all the gaps with things like wardrobe, props, and art direction. Eric caught a free flight to LA thanks to an understanding friend who works as a flight attendant. It was total guerrilla operation, but we’re all working professionals who know how to be scrappy. It helped that we did like Robert Rodriguez says to do in his book “Rebel Without a Crew” and wrote to locations and resources I knew we could get. And we used the camera and lighting I had on hand thanks to the job that fell through, while Eric brought his anamorphic lens along for the fun.
We filmed on the streets of New York, guerilla-style in Central Park, at Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, even outside Tiffany’s. It was magical. A week later, we were in LA filming at a condo, on Hollywood Blvd., and at Runyon Canyon overlooking downtown LA. Also magical, in a completely different way.
About a week later, I finished editing and post-production and we put “A Cup of Kindness” out into the world. Just in time for the holidays.
It’s been amazing getting messages from friends old and new, telling us how much the film touched them. I love that people are enjoying it and sharing it online. It’s become the perfect “Thank You” card from us to everyone who’s made an impact in our lives this year. My soul feels truly fed, my creative batteries are recharged. I’m grateful for the once terrible setback that has turned into a chance to create.
And I’m sure that’s not the end of the story. See, another thing my friend with the tattoo taught me is when you are creating stuff that matters to you it often leads to opportunities you’d never expected. This has proven true for me in the past. About 3 years ago I did another project for love that has unexpectedly helped my company land work with large Fortune 500 companies and a few prominent ad agencies. It seems like when you put your creative energy out into the world, it usually comes back multiplied.
So downtime? Setbacks? Yeah, they suck. But I urge you to be resilient and use them to work on your own projects. To always create. You’ll definitely hone your voice and satisfy your soul. Maybe you’ll create something that resonates with an audience. You might even create something that helps you in ways you cannot yet imagine.
Posted by Filmmakingin
I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time. Here’s Danny De Lillo interviewing me about my short film “A New York Love Story”:
Five years ago I gave a short, squinty-eyed video interview to a startup called Wipster that not only makes cool tools for video agencies, they actually care about the industry.
Now, all these years later Wipster’s bigger than ever. And this week, Wipster says we’re one of six cool video agencies producing boundary-pushing content. Thanks, Wipster!
Here’s what I said about the future of video five years ago, in Austin, Texas at SXSW:
Patrick wrote an article for famous filmmaking website NoFilmSchool about the Fuji X-T3 and how it was used on the short holiday film “Cup of Kindness”. It’s at: https://nofilmschool.com/Fujifilm-XT3-Film-Review, so enjoy!
Posted by Filmmakingin
We made this micr0-short film to thank everyone we’ve worked with in 2018, and to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
“Cup of Kindness” is about family and the holidays. Sometimes we can’t be with our loved ones for the holidays, but family is always together in spirit.
Filmed in New York and Los Angeles for an insanely tiny budget and with a very small crew. Shot on a Fujifilm XT3 camera in 4K DCI (uploaded in UHD).
Starring Patrick Stoffer and Rebecca Noble
Directed, Edited, and Post-Production by Patrick Ortman
Written by Patrick Ortman and Jessica Rothert
Story by Jessica Rothert and Patrick Ortman
Produced by Jessica Rothert & Patrick Ortman
Director of Photography Eric Richardson
Makeup Artist Gabriela Banda
NY Super Production Assistant Matt P. Jones
Music by Dexter Britain
© 2018 Plucky Films, LLC For more visit http://patrickortman.com
We’ve been quite busy over here this year. And now, just two days after completing filming for a secret project, is our winter 2018-2019 commercials and brand films showreel:
Here’s our latest work for MassMutual. It’s aimed at their 10,000 or so financial advisors and is meant to help give them a more in-depth introduction to their new Coverpath insurance platform. It’s more educational than the other videos we’ve created for this series. But we worked hard to make it as entertaining as possible.
We shot this over a few days in September in New York, including some shooting at Roosevelt Island. It was a blast!