I just found out that a short film I shot will be in the Tres Court International Film Festival. It’s called “Wax Wiggles” and it’s part of a series I’m shooting and co-directing with writer Casey Dunn called “One Shameful Day.”

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I’m not sure what happened, but I put aside my printer dread to print my own book. My printed portfolio has always been a screw-post design. I used to print on pre-drilled and scored paper by Moab with frustrating results. Color would be off. I’d waste so much ink and expensive paper with re-prints. I couldn’t make borderless prints without using larger paper and trimming. I gave up and opted for photo prints in plastic sleeves which might be cheaper, but no less frustrating. [click to continue…]

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Here’s how I make masks in photoshop now. It works great when trying to mask around hair. AND you don’t have to use the pen tool! Watch the video above, then use the cheat sheet below. Let me know how this works out for you. [click to continue…]

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It certainly was hot off the presses earlier this month. There’s a lot of time to cool off enroute from the printer in Texas. My photo comic book Hellgate is finally in printed form and looks pretty hot to me.

I’ve wanted to produce a photo comic book for some time now. I once tried to take an existing project and cram it into comic book form. It looked good but lacked a cohesive storyline. It didn’t quite fill the page like real comic books do.

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On set with my stick figure storyboards. (photo by Bryan Pace)
For Hellgate idea and inspiration only got me so far. I honestly owe the success of this project to meticulous pre production. I did lots of research on comic book cell structure and storytelling progressions. I sketched each shot in cells on storyboard spreads. 
(photo by Bryan Pace)
I planned the shoot days like we were filming a movie. I ordered the shots for efficiency. I made detailed notes on the emotion and story that would be conveyed in each shot.
Shots with little or no sky in the frame could be shot day-for-night. This helped us keep a reasonable shoot schedule. It was also easier to set up complicated shots in the daylight.
I cast actors Erin Singleton and Matthew Love as my leads. They both have proven improv skills so I trusted them to take the concept as far as it needed to go. 
Nicole Moody did costume design and helped out with last looks on set. I had some solid ideas on color and style for wardrobe, but deferred to Nicole’s expertise when it came down to designing and dressing the models.
Graphic designer Amber Luke worked on the overall look of the project. She took mood and intentions of the photos and turned them into a real comic book.
Brett Wean pulled double-duty as a supporting character model and copywriter for the comic book. I had a storyline and ideas about what the characters were saying. Brett took the layouts and made the story come alive.
See the full spreads here.

Hellgate flip-through from Jeremy Bales on Vimeo.

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When I was in Atlanta recently I made a point to schedule some shooting time with Blake Dalton. Blake is an old friend and Artistic Director of dance company Crossover Movement Arts. 
He’s developed a dance style called Freestyle Poling which in his words, “Blends martial arts traditions from the world over with contemporary dance and parkour sensibility.” Its’ wild stuff.
Check them out in Atlanta. crossovermovementarts.com.

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I knew that brand was important because I had read and heard it at least a hundred times. I had certain vague ideas about what my business’s identity should be. But, that usually landed me in a convoluted mess of symbolism and impossible-to-get metaphor.

I would love it if my office was in a converted Airstream pulled by a restored ’77 El Camino to assignments where I’d shoot with an old range finder and file with carrier pigeons. I’m not there yet, but more importantly, neither is the work.

I decided to work with a designer. Crazy, huh? Amber Luke took my nutty visions and the actual work that I’m doing and gave me something that I wasn’t expecting. The type was big and bold with a colorful icon. We revised to simplify the icon (I’m still a fan of symbolism). And that was it: a logo that looked like it belonged on my work. Like a fiery brand. 

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Chris Griggs

So The Baldwins are a hilarious improv team in NYC. They do long long form: 30 minute shows with multiple scenes and characters all from a single suggestion from the audience. I’ve worked with them before on their promotions. This time we collaborated on something different.

photo by Bryan Pace

They had the idea to shoot each member in pieces, like tiles. Sounded to me like an excellent opportunity to drag out a medium format SLR and Polaroid back. We needed an extension tube for the lens to get in really close, so the camera looked like a beast.

We cranked through at least 15 packs of film. I considered shooting a “digital Polaroid” to test the light for the actual Polaroid (ironic, since the Polaroid back’s intended use is to test light for film).

The Baldwins are pros in every sense of the word. Plus, they bring the “yes, and” attitude that they use in improv to the shoot. They consider ANY idea to be valid and build on it resulting in the best kind of collaboration. So when we ended up with these wild cubist-like portrait collages, they flipped and loved it.

Patrick Shepherd

We’re planning on a fine-art exhibition of the individual portraits to go along with the printed and digital campaign.

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A big part of our recent shoots have been been pre-production: the stuff that clients don’t always see, but end up making the shoot day move like clockwork.

One of my favorite pre-pro steps is the tech scout. This is where we take the camera to the location to see what the light is going to look like. We get to dream big here. Picking the perfect time of day to pull off the ideal shot. Sometimes we’re looking for that dreamy back light that the sun gives us as it lowers toward the horizon.

I’ll often circle around to our ideal locations several times during the day and shoot the best landscape I can get. We’re able to flip through them later, noting the time stamps, when we’re making our schedule.

This tree will probably be somewhere in the background of a shoot that’s happening this week. Though It won’t be nearly as prominent as it is in this scouting photo, it’s fun to break away from shooting people for a moment and give the spotlight to a cool old tree.

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Matt Palmerlee is a chef with the Four Coursemen in Athens, Ga. The Coursemen throw dinner parties in a shotgun house on Pulaski Street. More on that here.

He’s generally pretty soft-spoken unless you get him talking about carving up a pig’s head.

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While in Athens, GA this summer I was invited to a (literally) underground dance party at Secret Squirrel. I’d tell you where it was, but I think it really is secret.

 

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