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Selected as Zeiss Cinema Lens Ambassador

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 9.56.22 PMI’ve been invited to be one of six filmmakers and photographers worldwide to be a “Zeiss Ambassador”, a highly selective featured artist program by one of the biggest names in camera lenses.

Zeiss (Carl Zeiss) is perhaps the leading cinema lens company — a renowned designer and manufacturer of many of the worlds best camera lenses for cinema and still photography.

I’m super excited to be a part of this program. I’ve used Ziess lenses extensively, and in fact grew up watching my mom shoot in her studio with Zeiss lenses on her Hasselbald camera.

So it’s a thrill to work closely now with the people at Zeiss both in terms of providing feedback and frontline insight into product development as well as creating new showcase work to demonstrate why I’m such a huge fan of Zeiss lenses.

I’m looking forward to sharing this new work as soon as possible.

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Film Shoot in Uganda

Spent the past few weeks shooting a film and portrait series for an NGO orphanage in Uganda. My first trip to Africa, though have done a lot of adventure work and travel in South America and Asia.

Afirica, however, was very different and an amazing experience. Met a lot of remarkable people doing extraordinary things.

Also had the privilege to work with some fantastic up and coming Ugandan filmmakers, I really enjoyed talking craft and working with them.

We’ll post more once the project moves through post production, but in the meantime here are some peaks behind the scenes in photos and short video clips…

MZ0A9110Shooting at the water well.

IMG_1508My Camera assistant. Half the height, twice the curiosity.

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MZ0A8988Working with my awesome production team in Kampala, Uganda. Shooting at the  orphanage.

Wato-PortraitsWorking on the portrait series now. Had everyone write what they most want to do in the future as a caption for the portraits. Hers says “I want to go to school”. Some of them just make you melt.

MZ0A8951Working here with project mastermind Richard Daniels.


GoPro Action Video With the Kids in Uganda.


Shooting with 30 extras ages 4-9 is a bit of a logistical challange.


Super techno crane Uganda-style…

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“Zoetrope Optika” Concept Film for Zeiss

With over 35,000 plays in the first few days, the launch of “Zoetrope Optika” has been well received. This is the first short film shot on the Zeiss Otus lens, an extraordinary piece of “no compromises” engineering. It’s the best 35mm photography lens made.

The short has received a good deal of attention on industry blogs, and I’m very appreciative of the generous articles by Planet 5D (which premiered the video), and other prominent blogs such as No Film SchoolPetaPixel, The Photblographer, The Digital Picture, and FredMiranda.com.

Below the video is a description of the project and then Behind-the-Scenes photos…

 

Zoetrope Optika (click to go to video).

We had early access to the new and innovative Zeiss Otus lens and wanted to work with it on a short concept film. This is the first short film shot on the new lens (it was shot shortly before the lens was released).

The ideas in this film are based on my experience at Zeiss Cine Lens Day, where invited cinematographers from around the world toured the Zeiss lens manufacturing facility in Jena, Germany. In addition to manufacturing a wide range of lenses (a process that is both highly mechanized and also involves a significant hands-on human touch), Zeiss makes planetarium projectors and watching the stars in the Zeiss Power Dome had an impact on this short piece as well.

When I approached artist David Lovejoy about building a scene with his elaborate fantasy lens machines and planetary sculptures for a Zeiss-inspired project, he was excited and explained the coincidence that it was the Zeiss planetarium projector at Griffith Observatory that inspired him in the first place to create these pieces of sculpture.

This project was created by team of people with a lot of talent and passion — they are credited at the end of the piece. Our entire creative team was exceptional, it was a privilege to work with all of them.

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Tom Sizemore Portrait Shoot

From a recent portrait shoot of actor Tom Sizemore (Heat, Blackhawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, Natural Born Killers) for a new film project. Below is a behind-the-scenes video as well as the photo series.

Used two lights for each image — a key light through medium sized diffusion about 40 degrees off-center, and a soft edge light (at least soft by edge-light standards). On top of that did a lot of light shaping with flags and negative fill. Then optimized color tones, curves, and textures in post.

Shot on Hasselblad H4D-40 medium format digital with Hasselblad lenses.

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KORN Music Video

The August Bradley Media team recently shot and color graded the latest music video for the legendary nu metal band KORN, working with Director and VFX guru Giovanni Bucci, record label Prospct Park, producer Christopher Salzgeber, and production company Draw Pictures.

Both the music video and a behind-the-scenes look at the cinematography approach are embedded below.

It was an intense full-day production in which we had to work extremely quickly to get the coverage needed in a single day. Then we did a series of macro and pickup shots in the following week for cutaways.

We shot the band and the contortionist on the Epic (our Sony F5 had not yet arrived), then the pickup shots on the F5 (I will post soon on recent changes in our preferred camera package). We were also trying out a the new Redrock Micro Microremote wireless follow focus unit, which enabled a wider range of shots and greater freedom in the camera movement.

We wanted a constant sense of motion in the camera work to complement the frenetic, chaotic tone of the video — with a combination of handheld, jib, and fast-moving slider runs.

As the internal and physical collapse occurs in the storyline, the camera work gets rougher and deteriorates along with our lead character.

Color grading brought rich vibrant reds out while pushing the shadows cooler for contrast and a greater sense of depth. A lot of mood can be created with color tones; we apply a deep understanding of color theory to each project to enhance the story and increase the visual impact.

KORN (Music Video) from August Bradley on Vimeo.

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KORN Music Video Behind-the-Scenes from August Bradley on Vimeo.
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Fisker Karma ‘Brand Film’

Earlier this year the team worked on a two minute “brand film” for the Fisker Karma, the stunningly designed eco hybrid luxury sports car from Fisker Automotive. The spot is called “The Deal”.

Beyond promoting the Karma, the leading film industry software developer Avid saw the footage we were shooting of the car night driving scenes, and joined us in the effort by supporting the production in order to use the footage and final spot to promote their industry-leading video and audio editing software.

Our Karma spot was featured in promoting the new version releases of Avid’s Media Composer and Pro Tools, as well as at the industry mega-show NAB. Here’s an example (link), more at Avid’s website.

Below you can see “The Deal”, as well as a short behind-the-scenes documentary of the production (thanks to Robert Buchanan at HDProFilms for making such a great BTS piece). The second half of the BTS doc focusing on post-production is being created now and coming soon.

This spot was a particularly fun project both because we could document it more thoroughly (and more publicly) than usual, and share the process. And it was great to work on because our team was responsible for a wide range of aspects of the production including writing, directing, cinematography, post-production, sound & music, and color grading.

These kinds of “brand films” have become our specialty, more on this trend soon.

Making “The Deal” (Behind the Scenes) from August Bradley on Vimeo.

Fisker Karma “The Deal” from August Bradley on Vimeo.

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ABC Family & Klutch Creative

My first jump into motion from still photography many years ago was with the production company Klutch Creative and the end-client ABC Family. Executive Producer and Director George Kenyon liked the lighting and cinematic style of my still photography and gave me a chance as DP — we’ve been close collaborators ever since. Klutch and ABC Family have been my longest running motion clients.

It was initially an exciting and daunting opportunity, jumping from still photography print campaigns straight to shooting tv commercials for a well known network such as ABC Family. George and I did a series of test shoots to develop a concept of what eventually became the “ABC Family Moments”. We pitched it and became the exclusive production team of these co-branded 30 second commercials promoting a series of products from one of ABC Family’s advertisers in a stylized “ABC Family” themed environment.

What made it possible to jump straight in to tv commercials from still photography was a combination of knowing exactly the kind of lighting we wanted to end up with and finding a phenomenal camera and lighting team to help implement it. As a DP, you don’t have to know everything, but you do need to offer effective solutions and options to the director, and clearly articulate to your team of specialists what you want to achieve. Then the AC’s, Gaffers, Grips and the rest help you execute. As a team we refine, and settle in on the optimal look.

When I discuss new cinematography projects with clients, I’m never presenting just myself, but rather this hand-picked team of specialists. At this point I’m well versed in motion content production, but it’s still always a team effort.

We’ve done 8 to 10 of these ABC Family productions a year for many years now, plus countless others together. They’re always fun to shoot, and the production team has become like a family.

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Speaking at AbelCine on “Stills to Motion Production”

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 3.55.26 PMI’ll be speaking at the cinema production hub AbelCine on the move from still photography to motion content shooting on July 11th. It’s free, all are welcome — though RSVP is required.

The event is sponsored by Digital Photo Pro Magazine and Canon.

I’ll be screening new work including a sneak peak at the Fisker Karma brand film, a BTS video on shoot, and an hybrid brand film/art installation video.

I’m also speaking about how to go from being a still photographer to Directing and DPing commercials and short films — the pitfalls and challenges as well as the creative and professional opportunities.

In addition, Andy Shipsides of AbelCine and top people from Canon will be there with me to go into detail on new technology in the motion content area. Should be a lot of fun, please join us.

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Film Project Shooting in Athens, Greece

IMG_3332-190It’s been a very busy year so far, and I’ve been negligent in posting here. Adding a layer of quality behind-the-scenes production to a shoot is sometimes a hurdle and in many instances clients don’t want things shared outside of their channels (which I think is a mistake, social media and blog coverage is an asset to most any media project IMHO, but of course I respect their decisions).

I can’t post details yet about this project, but can share some BTS glimpses of an interesting shoot I did last week in Athens, Greece doing second unit for a film.

We spent some time in the air shooting Athens from a helicopter with a gyrostabilizer, then conducted a more narrative shoot in a busy flea market with a lead actor and fourteen extras. Crowd control was complex and handled superbly by the stellar local production company (APS). With a steadicam chasing our lead actor all over the market, it was a hihg-speed, dynamic shoot.

Some BTS video clips and photos of the helicopter and steadicam below…

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Pinterest “Inspiration Board”

Temp-ThumbI’ve put up a Pinterest presence as an “Inspiration Board” to share the work that impresses and inspires me across a variety of categories.

Link: Pinterest “Inspiration Board”

And for those who want to keep in touch via Google+, I’ve just established an outpost there as well:
Google+

And for the Art & Design Crowd, projects will be posted as a whole on the Behance.net portfolio.
Behance Portfolio

Stop by and say “hi”.

 

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Portraiture

In October of 2011 I shot the 99 Faces of Occupy Wall St. portrait project, which took on a life of its own as it spread virally first through social media and then through the mainstream media. My intention was to start shooting portraits as a balance to the elaborate and complex logistical shoots I had been doing. The relative simplicity and low-production aspect of a simple portrait was appealing.

I could not have imagined the reach that the OWS portraits achieved, nor that the project would have so quickly opened up so many interesting portrait opportunities. But as a result, 2012 has been the year of portrait photography for me.

While there are too many to cover here, I wanted to share a sampling. I just updated the portrait section of the portfolio with five new shoots — it would overwhelm the website to post them all, but I’ve decided to feature more to give a sense of the broad range of subjects I’ve been working with.

Being based in Los Angeles, I’ve been doing a lot of editorial portrait work with actors. The energy of the “young Hollywood” set is always fun to be a part of, so it has been great to work with Twilight star Jackson Rathbone and the co-stars of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” — Megan Park and Francia Raisa. Sports has been another big area this year, featured here are images from my shoot with NBA superstar Chris Webber and yoga master Rodney Yee. And of course music is always a source of inspiration and creative energy, and my shoot with trumpet virtuoso Gabriel Johnson was among the most exciting.

We have many more in the pipeline; these projects are often quarantined for long periods afterward timed around their planned public release dates. Others come with requests for a low profile from the subjets and their management. But wanted to share a sampling here.

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Rangefinder Magazine Cover Story

We had a nice cover story in Rangefinder magazine this month, on newsstands now (April issue).

For their lighting issue they did a story on the mobile studio I used to shoot 99 Occupy Wall St. Portraits in one day. And they ran 28 images from the series on the cover. You can see the entire story and layout in the digital edition (here). Layout photos below.

The OWS project just doesn’t seem to stop kicking.

That project was intended to be the kick-off to my move into portraiture of prominent and influential people. I’ve continued building in that direction with a steady stream of portrait shoots that I’m looking forward to sharing more of soon.

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Exhibition at Station Museum for Houston Fotofest

The first of a few exhibitions of the OWS portrait series was held by The Station Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Houston Fotofest.

It was a big success generating a lot of interest and feedback. Working with the museum curator, Tim Gonzalaz, was a pleasure. The Station Muesum in Houston is a fantastic organization with a creative take on art and society.

The next exhibition will be in New York produced by Shoot 4 Change (www.shoot4change.net), a non-profit organization I’m now a member of that features photography that documents or inspires change.

Also working on a number of art projects with exhibitions in mind… much happening.

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Cover & Feature In “Digital Photo Pro” Magazine

Digital Photo Pro magazine did a feature story and ran our work on the cover of this month’s issue.

Story text here, images with the print magazine layout below (I always prefer the print mag layouts to the more utilitarian website layouts)

The story is one of the more thoughtful one’s I’ve seen, with a lot of attention on the OWS portrait series.

We have a ton of stuff in the pipeline right now, so will have a lot of press and media projects coming out of the studio soon.

It’s a great time, ramping up quickly this year on both the photography and the motion content side. It’s an amazing time to be creating art and media content.

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Portraits of Jesse Campbell from NBC’s “The Voice”

I have been working on a series of promotional images with Jesse Campbell, the powerhouse vocalist and leading performer with Christina Aguilera’s team on the NBC tv show “The Voice”.

If you haven’t seen Jesse yet (both of his performances so far on The Voice have been viral hits), you should check these out: Battle Round performance and Audition performance.

I’ve also been working with Jesse’s design team for his web site www.JesseCampbell.com, so that will have a lot of familiar images. Jesse asked them to build his website around the work we shot together (layouts, color tones, etc…). Nice to have the work find a home so well designed for it.

We shot most of these at the design studio of Thomas Schoos, another creative collaborator I’ve been brainstorming with and a huge talent in his own right (he has done some of the most high profile interior designs of restaurants and hotels in LA and around the world).

Images below.

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