Crossfit Hype Keala Foundation Fundraiser

I do tons of work for Nicole, the CEO and founder of The Chestee, but lately I have been helping her outside the realm of corporate video work centralized on her company. Not only is Nicole a CEO and founder, but she is also an influencer. She is using her influence to do good in the community. She has paired up with RomWod and The Keala Foundation to raise money for The Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run;  a fundraiser to support programs for young people struggling with substance abuse on the island of Kauai.

As with most shoots that I partner with Nicole on, they are kind of last minute. I never take this negatively but as more of a challenge. This shoot was a bit different though. It didn’t require me to direct anyone or prep a space and it was very run and gun. I do well in these situations, adapting quickly to my subjects and surroundings, so the shoot itself was pretty easy. A total of three hours for setup, shooting, and breakdown came and went. The harder part was the edit. 

When you have time to plan, idiate, spitball, and storyboard, an edit can just flow. Even if that doesn’t happen, you can plan shots as you are doing them, seeing how they will interlace together seamlessly. This was a different beast altogether. Sure, I saw my timeline in my head as I was shooting, thinking about my in-camera transitions and audio queues. Even thinking about rhythmic syncing. But the thing that was more ambiguous was the story. 

After the shoot, I asked Nicole for a few things:

  • Specifics she wanted included

  • Expected length

  • Number of cuts

  • Branding

  • Any other direction

I was provided with all I asked for except for real direction. So I transcoded my footage, found a song, cleaned up the garbled gym audio, and went to work. After looking through the footage there were tons of ‘cool’ shots but also a feeling of community, teamwork, and friendship. I took these feelings/looks and melded them into each other. The pace ramped up slowly, building into the workout, and rolled back down with the same values I started with. 

The next part was to clean up the edit, confirm timing of every jump and transition, add sound architecture, add branding, and export variants. This is the part where a creator is proud. They made something, something that embodied the vision, the idea. I uploaded this film to Google Drive, added Nicole, and waited for a response. 

She liked it but it wasn’t exactly what she was going for…

This is the moment where the creator crumbles. Sure, changes are fine and expected in some form or another but when the feeling you were trying to evoke is not received that is where the let down happens. So I waited for more concrete feedback and went back to the drawing board.

Mainly, the pace needed to start and finish at a high tempo, and it needed to look cool. All the emotion and build up was out. So, four hours later I buttoned up my edit, exported, and delivered.

She loved it. Done. 

This has happened a few times to me, mainly because of lack of knowing what the customer needed or wanted. I always go back and think though. Was it my fault? Could I have done better the first time? I think the answer is yes, and no. Yes, I could have waited longer, drilled for more direction, maybe written up my idea(s) before editing. But, at the same time, I know I did my best. I know the result was good just not the goal of the end product. 

The moral of the story here is:
Create, make, and inspire. But first make what the customer wants/needs. Then make what you need. 

Below is my version of the video, hope you like it! 

Run/Film with Purpose

Waking up before the sun rises is always hard, but knowing that you'll be flying your drone down a beach shore while catching the days first rays makes it way better. I usually work with Nicole for her company, The Chestee, but occasionally she has some work for me relating to her personal brand or humanitarian efforts. This early morning was for a bit of both.

Looking at my phone to see that it was already 85 degrees and humid at 5 am was not encouraging, but I knew that I had a vision, and this was the best way to make it happen. See, on September 15, 2018, Nicole will be running a charity race in Hawaii. This video will be for collecting donations for this race. My goal was to emulate the environment, emotion, and color palette for the event. I did this by flexing the beaches of Florida (which is as sandy as it is swampy) so there was a nice balance of sand, mangroves, and seaweed to build that environment. I then used a mixture of 120fps, 60fps, and 30fps footage to dial in the tempo and match that to music that was meticulously scavenged for. Matching the music and speed is key, but the thing that transports you to the moment is the background sound. This was not captured during filming, but right after with my Rode NTG4+ shotgun mic and my H4N audio recorder. I have no doubt I looked like a gold hunter with a metal detector as I pointed my mic at the waves. The last part was the color, which is mainly dialed in during editing. I had the flexibility to do so by shooting in SLog 2 on my A7rii and DLog on my Phantom 4. I then dialed in the hue and saturation levels, leaning heavily on deep oranges and cool blues.

I am very happy with the final result of this film. The total shoot was about two hours, then a few more hours editing, but it started in my head from the moment I heard of the gig. The film plays there first, then I reverse engineer it to make it into something memorable.

Crossfit Games Regionals 2018 - Chestee Promo

Working with Nicole Biscuiti from The Chestee is always fun. I get to cover her and her high energy team, as they connect with hundreds of people in a day. Their booth is always slammed and fun. The energy of these Crossfit events are always high, but The Chestee's products and culture only add to it. 

Hope you like the finished piece. 

Wodapalooza 2018

Said to Client 1: “Sure, I’ll shoot sick photos and video of our own athletes!”

Said to Client 2: “Sure, I’ll shoot video of your product and athletes, plus deliver a film daily!”

This was me accepting two jobs to be produced simultaneously. I was accepting to shoot the Wodapalooza Fitness Festival for both CrossFit Delray Beach (CFDRB) and The Chestee. This took place January 12 - 13 from dawn till way past dusk. For CFDRB there was no immediate deadline but for The Chestee there was a daily delivery expectation. I love a challenge but damn, that was exhausting. 

My wife / assistant / manager / life-organizer, and I got there at 7 am that Saturday. We started shooting CFDRB athletes thinking we would ease into the day. Not so much. We flipped from athlete event to Chestee product booth, then back again. This repeated for about ten hours with breaks only for sustenance. Mind you the venue, Bayfront Miami, was over an hour south of our place. Saturday night I got home, ingested tons of footage, showered then edited until my eyes were bleary. I sent off the video and crawled my tired ass to bed. (Wife and cat were already long gone). 

Day two was about the same, but worse. Sunday’s goal was to capture a ton more athletes in action wearing The Chestee and less vendor booth while still getting the CFDRB athletes. This meant my wife was constantly checking changing online schedules and directing me where to go. We would change locations every 20-30 minutes while hunting athletes and brand ambassadors on the routes in between. Sunday was much longer as we needed to stay for the awards ceremony. That night, my eyes wouldn’t stay open long enough to edit a full length video. I was only able to knock out half of the video before dozing off on my keyboard. So I slept, woke up super early and crushed it first thing. 

I am super happy with the results! Even though those days were long and exhausting, I will probably be back next year. Hopefully next time I will have a true press pass, so my footage is even better! 😏

Road to the 2017 CrossFit Games with Mayra Brandt

Going to the CrossFit Games is a big deal. Don’t let Mayra downplay it for you. The CrossFit Games is like the Olympics of the sport. CrossFit Delray Beach and all its members were ecstatic for Mayra, their coach and fellow CrossFitter, to qualify for the Games. Those that couldn’t travel with her to Madison, Wisconsin were watching her workouts live at work, home, and even in the midst of their own workout at the box. I am honored to have been able to capture her prepping for the Games. Mayra allowed me a behind the scenes view of her family, training and businesses. Mayra is an incredible athlete and human being. Anyone can obviously see her love of life and being active. Mayra is officially the 5th fittest woman in the world in her age category. Everyone looks forward to seeing her dominate the CrossFit Games again in 2018! Congrats Mayra, and cheers!  

Find Mayra on Facebook and Instagram

CrossFit Saves Lives

“We have to show people how I saved a woman’s life because of CrossFit.”

These were the words Phil approached me with one afternoon along with a string of photos from the accident he witnessed.
The photos spoke for themselves about the severity of the accident and Phil wanted to share his story of how he used his CrossFit training and coaching to help flip a car to save a woman trapped inside.
Here is Phil’s encounter taking us through the immediate post-accident scene and the effects of his life-changing CrossFit training.

CrossFit Delray Beach Grand Re-Opening

As you've probably already guessed, CrossFit Delray Beach is my local box. They recently went through some very exciting changes which included two head coaches becoming co-owners. I was bummed to miss participating in this fun workout but I had a blast capturing the Grand Re-Opening celebration. In CrossFit, celebration = a workout of some kind. Throw in a raffle and some food and we were all set!

Sofi Cala 2017 Miami Marathon

My wife overheard Sofi saying she was training for her first half-marathon since a major injury. She told Sofi we HAD to capture her journey. I couldn’t disagree, this was a major comeback for a previously regular marathon runner. We ate with Sofi, rode along for those thirteen-mile training runs and have an epic forever moment between us three of me hanging out of the back of my wife’s Beetle with Sofi running alongside. Anything for the shot! We made it to Miami on D-Day AKA Miami Marathon day at 3 am and spent the next 22 hours awake and capturing Sofi’s big comeback. It was a blast and Sofi made amazing time despite the ice cold rainy temps!

CrossFit Delray Beach Charity WOD

It's always beautiful to see a local community band together to provide aid to those in need. After the devastating hurricane in Haiti, we got together to provide much-needed items like water, diapers, and batteries (just to name a few) for shipment to Haiti. This Charity WOD had a great energy that I loved capturing.