Wade Yamaguchi

Hit the Ground Running

This isn't really the place where I give you all of the up-to-the-second news about my life, but I still need to do a better job of keeping my website up to date. As I had mentioned before, I took off to South America for the better part of January and February and just returned about a week ago, so there has been a small amount of re-acclimation, but this seemed like a good time to dedicate myself to getting the website back up and running at full steam.

So. The news. I was sorting through the internet trying to dig up completed versions of some of the videos I had worked on in the past, and I was able to find quite a few good ones which weren't up before. First off is the video that I had the privilege to film at the MLS All-Star game last summer. It centers around Kei Kamara, who tied for "The Golden Boot Award", which is awarded to the highest goal-scorer in the MLS each year, only to lose to Sebastian Giovinco on an assist tie-breaker. Either way, it was an incredible year for Kei and it has been an even more incredible life. Not all of it has been good, but it's a great story to listen to, and that's why he was chosen for an MLS Insider piece which ran on the MLS network channels, the MLS website, and subsequently got picked up by CNN and other news networks. You don't have to be a soccer fan to appreciate everything he has been through, so check it out here!

Next, we have a political ad campaign for Republican Robert Blaha, who is running for Senate out of Colorado Springs. It was a pleasure to work with the entire Blaha family, who didn't blink an eye when it came to inviting an entire film crew into their house. It was also nice to be able to meet a politician in person, when they're just being themselves. In an increasingly erratic political world, it's sometimes hard to say who is telling the truth and who is lying through their teeth, and what they would actually be like when they're relaxing at home, so this gave me a little bit of a glimpse into Robert's life. Now I can safely say: Not all politicians are robots! Haha. 

The next video I found was filmed up in South Dakota with my good friend Wade Yamaguchi of YamoFilms, and it was with an organization that he had been working with a lot: Love, Light and Melody. The video centered around Scott Norby, who won the Stu Wolfer Award from Thomson Reuters, a company which awards the honor to one of their employees, so they can in turn give it back to an organization which they have been working with in the community. Years ago, Scott began working with the Lakota Nation, a native tribe in southern South Dakota, so he returned there with the grant to help spread a little joy by giving the kids gifts, as well as teaching them music, photography and art. It was humbling to head onto the reservation and see how little they had there, yet how happy some of them could be. However, there are still myriad issues that they face every day, and alcoholism and suicide are two shadows which loom large over their land. That's why it was nice to be able to help bring them a little bit of happiness. I was also grateful that Wade allowed me to shoot some second cam on this project so I wasn't always just the guy hidden behind the boompole who had to keep his mouth shut!

That's about it for now. Meanwhile, I've been looking for updates on the 30 For 30 that I worked on a while back, as well as the new season of Tiny House Nation, so I will post any news about those as it comes about.

PLUS! I will be posting pictures that I took in South America as I get done processing them, but it's really quite a grind. It's amazing how many pictures a person can take in a month and a half. But I'll post updates on those as soon as they go online.

Hi-di-ho I-da-ho

As much as I love traveling for work, it's always a strange experience coming home again after a long time away. It feels as though you've set aside your life, and put it on a shelf, only to check back in sometime later to find that the clock continues to tick without you there. The eggs in the nest on the back porch have now hatched into birds. The grass and weeds in the yard haven't stopped their march to the sky. People have come and gone. But everything remains largely as you've left it.

I recently got back from a two-week stint on a documentary feature film in Idaho called American Creation: Cowboy Preacher. The film centered around Tri Robinson, an evangelical pastor near Boise who was one of the first to start preaching "Creation Care"; an idea that it should no longer be considered taboo for conservative Christians to talk about environmentalism. A novel idea, and one that (I feel) makes more and more sense the more you think about it. It's a case where people have become so comfortable in the lines that have been drawn in society, that they fail to realize that some lines can be crossed. Or that some lines only exist in our minds, as preconceived notions of the labels that have been put on certain cultural groups.

The film was a total blast to work on, and it was a pleasure to spend time with Tri's family and the crew up at Tri's ranch: the Timber Butte Farmstead. It was a good hour away from Boise, and the nighttime offered a silence that you can only get when you're that deep into the wilderness. No traffic. No planes. It's a sound guy's dream. And, better yet, there's no cell service, so it offered a nice reprieve from every day life.

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Principal photography wrapped up nicely, and it offered a couple thrills: castrating calves, slaughtered lambs, dancing sheep and run-ins with rattlesnakes. It's a different kind of living out there.

Another positive to the whole experience was the fact that I chose to drive up there, rather than flying. On the way up, I stopped for the night in Moab and camped out. It might feel a little tourist-y to go to Arches National Park, but I had never been there before so I felt like I would have to make a stop. I'm glad I did, too. It was a beautiful day and I feel like I got some pretty nice photos while walking around. If you'd like to see them, check out my Flickr album

Things will calm down a little now before they ramp back up next week, so it will be nice to have a few days to acclimate again to everyday life.

Spring Clean

It's a wonderful feeling as winter clears from Colorado and everyone starts to come out of their long hibernation. The grass is growing, the birds are chirping and the cameras are rolling! Things always slow down a little bit during the cold months here, but production is ramping back up, and it looks to be a busy month ahead. 

First, here's a quick teaser for Traveling Light with Max Lucado, a series that we shot for TBN last year is starting to trickle online.

The video is also embedded in my video section, along with a clip from Brainstormers, in case you missed its run on TV. Just like that, the first season has come and passed, and overall the buzz around the show is high, so everyone is starting to talk about a Season 2. 

Then, I'm looking forward to everything that's coming up in the next 30 or so days: Two more projects with Leftfield Entertainment out of New York later this month, then at the end of the month I'll be going to Boise, Idaho to film a feature documentary with my good friend Wade Yamaguchi and Fugue State Films out of London. When I get back, I'll have a quick breather before I head up to the mountains to work on an adventure reality series with Switch 10 Productions, a faith-based production company out of Littleton. I'll have more updates and information on all of those sets when I return. 

For now, thanks for checking in and enjoy the beautiful weather that has finally arrived!

Wagner Equipment Co. & Runner's World

For several months last year we worked with Wagner Equipment Co. in Aurora to help them create a new industrial video; one that would work as an introductory video to new recruits, but could also be shown around the facilities that the employees could be proud of and show their friends. Wagner has always been family owned and operated, and they take great care of the people that work for them and with them.

It was a pleasure working with the Wagners and their entire company, and it's always good to see a company whose main focus is giving local workers long-term jobs.

I also noticed that another video I worked on is online now. Kayleen McCabe, the host of the DIY Network's Rescue Renovation was featured in the "I'm A Runner" section of Runner's World Magazine, and I joined James Drake and Wade Yamaguchi to grab some b-roll of the photo shoot and to do a behind-the-scenes interview.

I can't embed the video on the site, but feel free to follow the link here to check it out on their site.

Demolition Man

A while back, I helped out on a timelapse project for CDOT  and Ames Construction Company while they installed girders for the new Wadsworth bridge over US36. Wade Yamaguchi of YamoFilms did the timelapse and I compiled the footage for them to distribute to news stations and to the internet. I was a little bummed out that he got to do all of the field work, and I just had to sit at the computer and do the grunt work, so I was happy when this last week I had a chance to head out for a different project they had. Since the new bridge was now in place, they had to take the old one down, so I went out and took stills of the demolition.

What was originally scheduled to be a three-night event was over in one night, however, as the demolition crews used their machines like toys and quickly disassembled the bridge in massive chunks. Starting at 9:30 PM, it was all said and done by about 3:00 AM so the road could be reopened for morning traffic. Pretty impressive. If only the rest of the road work in the Denver area moved as quickly and smooth as this.  

Below are some select (bite-size) stills from that night.