Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Human Slingshot Slip and Slide - Vooray

Our latest YouTube video involves a human sling shot. Now I know you’re interested :)

Honestly, this was one of the most fun YouTube videos we have made thus far! I worked together with the awesome clothing company "Vooray" to make it possible. We had talked about working together for the longest time, with the problem being that I was based in Hawaii and they were based in Utah...however, last month I moved to Utah so it finally became a reality. 

We filmed this video on Saturday, August 27th and after some marathon editing, I released it 3 days later on Monday, August 30th! I was just really stoked to get it out to you guys, haha!

My friend Jace LeRoy was a huge part of the filming of this video. He and I both ran cameras; I ran my Canon 5D Mark II and he ran his Canon T2i.

For the actual slip and slide, the 8 foot tall jump itself was built by Vooray. They originally used a regular bungie to sling people out, but a week before we filmed it snapped during testing. It ended up whiplashing a couple people, so for safety’s sake, they bought a 250 dollar bungie online to make sure no one got hurt when we filmed.

The pond itself was on private property in Paradise, Utah. From the jump to the opposite end, the water was 150 feet long. Several people were launched 120 feet from the jump...not to bad, right? :) In fact, the first person that flew the 120 feet actually got knocked out once he hit the water! Fortunately, everyone ran in to help him right away. This actually happened to 3 people...but even then it still didn't stop them!

Everyone wore helmets and life jackets, trying to make sure we were as safe as possible. Just for the record though, I didn't do it; I'm not that brave (or stupid), depending on how you look at it. :)

Last October, we filmed a similar video to this, but it was about a bike jump into a lake. You can check that video out below.

Once again, this Slingshot Slip and Slide video would have never happened had it not been for Vooray putting it on! So make sure to check out their website and if you use the following promo code, it will give you 15 percent off.

Promo Code: devinsuperslide


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Haka

Just as a heads up, I took down this video right after I released it to make a couple of changes to it; it will be released in a once I’m satisfied with its quality. Sorry for the delay.

Until then, here’s all the info that went into the making of it.

As far as the individuals in the video, half of them were Maori people (New Zealand natives) and the other half were Hawaiians. The performers are part of a team that competes in Haka competitions; their team name is ‘Te Kohao!’.

My Hawaiian mom, Nikki Mozo, hooked me up with team ‘Te Kohao!’; the members that appear in the video are:
Mauri Ora, Shannon, Tama, Alex, Ricky, Moko, Tema, Ahe, James, and Hailama.

Additionally, I had a lot of help from my friends to film this video:
Melinda Kendall, James Choi, Jase LeRoy, Aaron Nelsen, Kuuleipualani Akina, and me :)

In the video, the Haka was performed. According to Wikipedia, Haka is “…a traditional dance form of the South Pacific islander mostly known from the Māori of New Zealand through their rugby team display. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.” For more info on the Haka, feel free to check Wikipedia!

As far as the location of this video, we filmed it at Kualoa, which is also one of my favorite places in Hawaii. Here is a link to their website.

The Haka performers also perform at the Polynesian Cultural Center which is the number one tourist attraction in Hawaii. It's like Disneyland, but Hawaii style, where guests learn and experience the full Polynesian culture. If you want more info on this place where you can see the Haka performed live, check out the link below (p.s. no one is paying me to say these things, I just think they’re awesome). :)

The Haka that was performed in this video is called "Te Oranga o te Matauranga". The words were written by the other male leader of the group, Iraia Bailey. He now lives in Hong Kong with his family doing fireknife for Disney's Lion King show. The actions and rhythm of the Haka were choreographed by Tama who was the man leading the chant.

As far as the English translation of the chant, here it is:

The call is sent out to all the land
What is happening to the miro (education) that the birds of Tāne (children) are starving for? That will provide sustenance in this world.
And where are the strong branches (teachers) that provide support for my nest
Please extend your help for you are the safe haven (for our children)
However the great Totara (Government) stands bare for Tāwhirimātea has stripped all her leaves (funding) and carried them beyond the horizon and there is no more protection for our children there is no miro (education) for them to feed.
The branches are weak and flimsy there is no hope at this moment for the body is putrid (referring to the furlough Fridays and options taken to save money)
Soon you will see. Soon you will hear
Of the weakness of the Tōtara (the government)
By what means shall miro (Education) be obtained to fill the belly of our malnourished children
What paths will our youth take to fill the void of education?
They will turn to other pathways. They will seek other food
Food that will destroy the spirit because of the frail and feeble actions of our government.
Give us the power. Give us the strength
So our minds will be invigorated. So our bodies will be strong. So our hearts may be uplifted
Why? So that we can think of what is best for our children who are getting beaten by the lack of an education, lack of miro, alas the hopeless educational system of Hawaii.
Let us provide support for our teachers and help teach our children for that is where we will find our solution.

As far as the making of this video, it was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II, two Canon 7D's, and two Canon T3i's. We used a Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 L series lens for all the wide angle shots and a Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 L series lens for all of the tight shots; additional lenses were used for accompanying shots.

As far as making the camera look like it was "flying", I used a Glidecam 2000 HD for all those shots. You can check out the exact model on their official website below. Once again, I don't get paid to suggest any equipment, I just try and let you know what works well for me! :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Filming for Nike :)

After the company Nike saw my youtube video on my youtube channel, that I made with a bunch of my friends, "The Dirty Dash", they contacted me to shoot a similar style of video for them.

They were doing a promotional video with one of there Nike athletes who was gonna compete in the event. So Nike flew me down from Hawaii to Billings Montana to shoot the video for them. The video I shot for them is right below. Just as a reminder, I only shot the video, I had nothing to do with the editing, music, or anything else, so here it is :) Here it is.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Filming in Iceland!

I had an opportunity of a life time all last week filming a cell phone commercial in Iceland! Once again, this opportunity came about ONLY because of my youtube channel. My Youtube channel has really opened up SO many doors for me, it has made me go from a local filmmaker, to an international film maker, in the 9 months that I have been pursuing youtube, it has given me the awesome opportunity to travel all around the world to shoot for other companies, of all kinds of projects from Jetpacks in Miami, to dogsledding at the top of glaciers in Iceland. I have loved every minute of this, and there is nothing better being able to travel the world to awesome locations at other peoples expense, and to get paid for it as well :)

Jumping back to the Iceland commercial, and how it all came about…. One of the biggest production companies in Israel called Ronit Mulla Production ran across my Youtube channel, and they loved my Glidecam shots that I often do in most of my videos.. that is when they contacted me by email saying they would love to work with me. They gave me a call, and they asked if I really got those shots without any other device, but myself, they asked if I could get the same shots in any kind of difficult terrain. Gil, the guy that called me, told me then that they were doing a television commercial for a cell phone company in Israel and that they would love to have me involved. They would be shooting it in Iceland for a week. I accepted… and that's kinda how it all went down.

The great thing about the whole experience is I was able to bid it out and get what I wanted, travel to a part of the world I would have never gotten to see, and I got the opportunity to work with some other amazing filmmakers from around the world. The film crew was around 25 total, consisting of crew members from Israel, Iceland, England, and me being the only one from the US. It was my first time working with people from a completely different culture as well, and that learning experience on its own was worth it.

The commercial itself was being shot on 35mm film, which the main DP shot on, and then I was shooting.covering all the Glidecam shots with my Canon 5D Mark II.

We had three solid days of shooting in Iceland, where we started filming on there black sandy beaches, and then on the 3rd day we ended up filming on one of there biggest glaciers.

As far as my initial impression of Iceland….. It is unlike anything I could have ever dreamed about, There is only 300,000 people on the island… and with an island as big as it is, that is hardly anyone. The whole place almost looked desolate, and the whole island looked like something from "Lord of the Rings". Everyone there speaks Icelandic, however most people also can speak English if you start speaking it to them. They are also super friendly people. And the country itself is probably the cleanest I have ever seen. They burn no oil in the country for energy, unlike anywhere else in the world. They have found away, since the island is built on a volcano essentially, to use that energy and convert it into electricity.

Also, Iceland itself has no enemies with any country, and because of that it is super safe where it seems like they don't have to take any safety precautions, unlike the US. For example, one of the days we were there, we had to film at the opposite side of the island, so we had to jump on an airplane to fly to the other side, since it was gonna be a 6 hour drive. When we flew on that airplane, we paid for the ticket.. just like you would pay for a bus ticket, and then we just jumped on the airplane with our luggage… this without ANY kind of screening of us or the bags, they didn't even need to see our I.D. We just jumped on like it was a bus, walking up to it without any security whatsoever.

Also, my stereotype of Iceland was that it was going to be totally freezing…. not the case, yes, it was cold, but not to bad… When the Vikings originally discovered Iceland, they also discovered Greenland as well… but they loved Iceland, and didn't want it to become populated… so they gave Iceland it's name to turn people off from it to make them think it was cold, when in reality it is Greenland that is the freezing island. There's your fun fact for the day :)

So my final conclusion is this… I LOVED Iceland, I would love to go back there and film some youtube videos one of these days :) And I would love to film a feature film there as well :) The area is totally diverse, and the whole time it felt like something from Lord of the Rings, all the way to the little villages, to the houses built into the grass as they were in Lord of the Rings with the hobbits homes.

Also, they flew me First class to Iceland, both ways, which was the first time I have ever been treated like a celebrity :)

I'll be posting the final commercial here once it goes up online :)


Here's a music video I just ran across that was entirely shot in Iceland, I think it gives an awesome perspective of what Iceland looks like for those who have never been. Many of the locations used in the video were the same ones we used as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Modern Warfare - Epic Tower Jump

Here's the latest youtube video :) I'm starting to explore different generes of videos on my youtube channel, it first started with the special effects with the firework video, and now this one, which is caterored more to the "video game" audience. So we will see how it does, but I would love to do a lot more videos like this.

I did break a lot of my rules though, as far as generally when I film I try and keep the camera as smooth as possible, that was the opposite of this video though, the whole purpose to make the audience feel like they were a part of it, that we were "breaking and entering" with the person in the video... It gave it a more"documentary style", so it was shot all handheld until we get to the tower. So without any further ado, here it is.

Also, for those who have asked, I bought the ghillie suit off of amazon, here is a link to the exact model I bought.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Epic Violin Girl - Lindsey Stirling

The ideas for my youtube videos always come from the strangest of places, and in this videos case, it actually came straight from the source, YouTube :)

I saw Lindsey Stirling originally a year or so ago when my friend was showing me cool youtube videos. The video was on a hip hop violinist who was a finalist on America's Got Talent. I had never seen anything like this girl, she was amazing :) I have the original video that I saw Lindsey on right below.

I had never seen anything like Lindsey's talent, so I tried to contact her shortly after that video to see if we could make a youtube video together. The funny thing about it all, is Lindsey also just so happened to be going to the exact same college that I was attending, BYU Utah. I was in the film program, and she was studying Therapeutic Recreation.

I contacted Lindsey on facebook, and told her I would love to do a video with her... At that time though, it was right after her success with Americas Got Talent, so she was getting offers all around the world for other projects, so she was actually to busy for me at that time :) And she hadn't written any music of her own yet either which was a setback as well.

Four or five months after that, Lindsey contacted me back via facebook and told me she had put together some original songs. The only problem though was I was now living in Hawaii (Oahu), and she was in Utah... However, I had just gotten hired to film another video for another company that exact same time in Utah,... so when I flew to Utah we made the video happen together. We had crazy schedules that whole shoot as well. My main priority was the other video which I was getting paid for, so we made Lindsey's video on the side. The first time we filmed together was early sunset, and I had been filming all night and day prioir to that on the other video.. with no sleep... So yeah, I was kinda out of it, ha. The outcome of that video can be found here though.

From working with Lindsey on that project, we ended up keeping in touch super well, and we have become best of friends... and that's all because of youtube! Actually the best deal out of the whole project is that Lindsey and I are now dating, haha, and just for the record that was never the intention of making a video with Lindsey, but I'm TOTALLY glad it worked out :) It's kinda like a Hollywood story, right? :)

My initial impressions of working with Lindsey, on a professional level are these.. Lindsey is honestly one of the hardest workers that I have ever met, super fun, kind, and also with that one of the most talented people I have ever worked with as well. I had an awesome experience with her, and are goals and passions are very similar, so I think that was one of the many reasons why we clicked so well.

With my background as a "youtuber"Lindsey also got her big start from youtube as well a couple years back when one of her youtube videos went "viral". I will post that video right below. It was through that video, and several others on her youtube channel that America's Got Talent contacted her, because of her success online.

Lindsey just released an awesome new music video for one of her songs as well right below, so make sure to check that out, and her rocking youtube channel :)

So what's the moral of this story/blogpost? Perhaps it's the idea that Youtube isn't just for putting out videos, perhaps it's much deeper then that... That youtube is the new online dating website ;)

Also make sure to check out Lindsey's Facebook fan page in this link below.
Lindsey's Facebook Fan Page

And here is here awesome original music on iTunes :)
Lindsey Stirling's iTunes music

p.s. If you couldn't tell, I really like this girl, and I think she has an amazing future ahead of her with her career! You heard it from me first :)