Here’s a post to say that I haven’t updated this in about 5 years and my whole site is getting an overhaul. Thanks for visiting!!

Lets shoot something!

Directors Notes features ‘Translating Furniture’

The film blog DIRECTORS NOTES features an in-depth article on ‘Translating Furniture’. The text is based on an interview with Adam Hobbs and Nils Clauss about the project and collaboration with Kwangho Lee, winner of the YÉOL Young Craftsman Award in 2013.

View the full article here.

The film was a collaboration with myself and fellow filmmaker Nils Clauss. Commissioned as a reflection of Kwangho’s talented work, this film provides a unique experience of a young boy discovering art and design.


Zaha Hadid – Dongdaemun Design Plaza Seoul

March 15

Zaha Hadid is a Iraqi/British architect, the spaces she designs are truly breathtaking… Spectracom Films in the UK contacted me to shoot the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza before its official opening to the public in March.  If you have a chance to see Hadid’s work its imperative to experience her architecture in person not through photographs. If you find yourself in the Dongdaemun area make it a point to visit this location. Simply Beautiful.


Dokdo Protests

The Dokdo islands (or Takeshima for Japan) symbolize the lingering historical grievances between South Korea and neighboring Japan, which have their roots in Japan’s lengthy colonization of South Korea.

On Feb. 22 Japan hosted a so-called Takeshima Day event in order to strengthen its claims to the islets in the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
Myself and a group of filmmakers shot the Korean protest held the same day (Feb. 22nd) in front of Seoul’s Japanese Embassy as part of a future U.S. based documentary.
Click here to learn more about the conflict.
Below is an ungraded still frame from the shoot… More to come.


Savouring Korea – The Taste of Home

At the end of last year I began working with Joo Lee, a British Korean, and owner of Korrito with a idea to create a mini doc series on Korean food in Korea and the UK. Joo runs Korrito UK a Korean BBQ/Burrito street food business based in the heart of London.

There was a ton of freedom on this project and I took it upon myself to develop a more stylized approach to the series. As the director and cinematographer on this project I was also able to work with a handful of talented individuals as well. I’ll post the final videos once they are released toward the end of April.

You can find a bit more about the project here

Below is a short trailer for the upcoming series. Thanks for watching.


CHOA Featured on The Atlantic

Big thanks to the The Atlantic for featuring Nils Clauss and I’s short documentary on female ice hockey player CHOA.
Click here to view on The Atlantic


CHOA Documentary Wins Vimeo Staff Pick Award

In collaboration Nils Clauss and I co-directed CHOA, a short documentary featuring female Korean ice hockey player Choa Choi. The project was shot in association with UIC/Yonsei University. You can view the project here.

Nils and I are very thankful for the Vimeo Staff Pick award and are planning a few more collaborations throughout 2014.


John Mark McMillan’s “Future / Past” Live Performance Video

Just a few days ago John Mark Mcmillan released his first single, “Future / Past” from his upcoming independent release, “Borderland”. I collaborated with the Calnin Bros to shoot a live performance video that premieres today on Relevant TV in conjunction with the Itunes single release.

“Borderland speaks to the idea of the ‘place between places,’” says McMillan, “which is where I feel I’ve been living as a person, as an artist, and as a believer for a couple of years. While few things describe the Christian experience more than the ‘place between places,’ it is also a concept everyone can relate to. We all walk lines between work and family, love and responsibility, art and commerce, passion and business and so on. Many of these songs are my commentary from a life between the crevices and on the verge.”

Please click here to view the live performance video of Future/Past.  To view on Relevant TV click here. To purchase the track on Itunes please click here.

We shot this piece with two RED cameras using 24-70 zooms. Some of the close ups of John Mark were shot using a 35mm 1.4 Zeiss ZF lens. For lighting we wanted a simple approach and with quick falloff into the crowd so that the sense of space was larger and to give it an intimate feel.

Lighting List:

– (1) Skirted 20×20 Silk Overhead
– (4) Studio 2k Thru The Silk
– (7) Diffused Source Fours Overhead
– (3) Floor mounted Par Cans for Backlight


Director | Calnin Bros
Director of Photography | Adam Hobbs
Camera Operators | Adam Hobbs, Chris Calnin
Lighting Techinican | Rodney & Co.
DIT | Jacob Lewis
PA | Matt Clum, Scott Jones

*Still frames from the video below


Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014! The Year Of The Horse.

Here’s a list of highlights from 2013. This year was full of surprises and I’m very thankful for all the opportunities and collaborations that happened throughout last year. 2014 is going to be awesome!

Highlights from 2013:

– Seeing Hong Kong and volunteering in Thailand with Katie.
– Finishing a 20 episode tv show in Seoul called Semipermanent.
– Collaborating with the Calnin Bros stateside.
– Beautiful Cambodia and seeing Angkor Wat for the first time.
– Shooting my first feature (before 30! a past goal of mine) which is titled Finders Keepers: Stranger Than Fiction.
– Katie and I finding a church that we attend in Seoul.
– Traveling back to the southern U.S. for summer and seeing friends.
– Losing my Iphone three times in Korea and having it returned back to me every time!
– Working with Pioneers in Nepal
– Australia! I lost my Iphone here for good.
– Hugging a Koala Bear and hiking the Blue Mountains.
– Meeting with other creatives in Seoul.
– Collaborating with Nils Clauss
– Visiting Fiji with the HUMAN crew.
– Experiencing more of Korea through a food documentary project I’m currently working on.
– Feeling like Seoul is becoming Katie and I’s home.
– Long chat with cinematographer Stephen Murphy in London.
– Seeing family, friends, and Moses over Christmas 2013.

Goals for 2014:

– Regular excercise (Production is a physical job… I’d like to do this for a long time).
– New Reel in 2014.
– Shoot more with a light meter*
– Communicate goals and aspirations more.
– Edit less.
– Be “present” more with family and friends.


Flagship // Break The Sky Behind the Scenes

The Calnin Bros and I teamed up again for Flagship’s latest single “Break the Sky” which is off their new record.  I’m grateful for the level of trust and working relationship that directors Chris, Nathaniel and I have been able to build.   We set out from the beginning knowing that we wanted a more free handheld look while playing with different color hues both in a natural space and with  additional lighting.

Here are some low rez screen grabs.

Living in Seoul you constantly see how the harsh neon and color light plays off the pale skin of Korean faces at night.  That inspiration along with long chats with Eric Hurtgen and many references from the Calnin’s was what lead to the color palette of “Break the Sky”.  The Calnin Bros have a great eye for locations and together we were able to find great spots with existing light that we could add just a little bit here or there to encourage or motivate a feeling with hues of red, green, or blue.  It was a very organic experience… driving around to places that I have previously seen only now with other influences I felt like I was seeing these locations with a new approach.

The performance part of the video was more traditionally lit with various sources.  Color was used to give a visual link to locations during the narrative part of the video.

Flagship / Break The Sky from Chris Calnin & Nathaniel Calnin on Vimeo.

DIRECTOR | Calnin Bros
DP | Adam Hobbs
ART DIRECTOR | Eric Hurtgen
COOR PRO | Misty Arnold
MAKE-UP | Renee Goodwin Heroy
STYLIST | Cigi Guz
COLOR | Jacob Lewis
GIRL | Megan Scott
AC | Zach Whiteside
STEADICAM | Collin Scouten
GAFFER | Alan Pickelsimer
PHOTOGRAPHER | Anna Naphtali
PA | Mat Clum, Scott Jones, Angie Synan, Kendra Sands
CLIENT | Bright Antenna Records

// Technical //
Camera – RED
Lenses – Cooke S4 and Zeiss ZF
*Handheld and Steadicam operation

You can purchase Flagship’s new album directly through there label Bright Antenna.

All Behind the Scenes photography by Anna Naphtali

April Was Fun // Feature Docs/Music Videos/Shorts

A few years ago I shot some exploratory footage for an unknown documentary… fast forward three years and I get the chance to DP a feature doc set to release sometime in 2014. The documentary follows a strange southern freud set deep in North Carolina’s heartland. I can’t say much now but the project is directed by Bryan Carberry and produced in association with the makers of “Undefeated” and “King of Kong”. If you have not seen these docs please watch them. Great friend Tim Grant is on board exercising his awesome producing skills. Jeremy Ball ( was on hand as well as AC, DIT, and all around hustler. The first phase of shooting is in the can and we are set to pick things back up this summer… who knows maybe my crazy goal of shooting a feature before thirty might actually happen. We will see.

Photo by Jeremy Ball.

The month of April also brought another music video for Flagship. I teamed up with the Calnin Bros once again for another production. Love those guys! They selected some amazing locations for this one and we added a set of Cooke primes from Carolina Cinema Tools into the mix as well. More on this soon…

Photo by Drake.

Lastly, I switched roles for a Director Thomas Torrey led production titled “Old Henry”. Chris Calnin DP’d and I was AC which I really enjoy. Pulling focus is a stressful job, great 1st AC’s are seriously one the the most important assets to a production… I do not claim to be the best but I love pulling and it was super fun to assist Chris for four days on this gig. We shot RED Scarlet with Cooke Primes and a wireless Paralinx system. Talent was Rachel Hendrix (October Baby) and Ralph Waite (Walton’s). Super fun getting back to my AC roots and spending time with an awesome crew of friends.

Photo by Rebekah Petrino

Flagship // What It’s All About Music Video

Directors Chris Calnin and Nathaniel Calnin (calninbros) graciously invited me to shoot there music video with Flagship, an extremely talented band from Charlotte NC.  Production was set over three nights using available sodium vapor lighting in the street and window motivated light in an old house.  Extremely fun shoot with a very talented crew including art director Eric Hurtgen, gaffer Brent Christy, and Jeremy Ball among many talented others.  We pushed the limits of the RED Scarlet in a variety of low light situations and lensed the majority of the scenes with a set of Zeiss ZF primes and a Nikon 24-70 zoom.  Lighting mainly consisted of an Arri 2k fresnel through the window along with two LED Arri LoCasters bounced or open faced.  Lookout for another music video with Flagship this summer.


Photos below by Jon Muedder

Orphans and Widows

Last July Katie and I traveled to Africa to help document the work that our dear friend Sara Beth is doing with 127. This video is meant to help the already successful efforts that 127 has had in Kenya and Uganda. 127 connects people to the needs of orphans and widows around the globe through education, advocacy, and sponsorship.

King And The Shan People

A few still frames from our trip to Thailand. Katie and I met up with a group of missionaries to capture the story of “King” an elderly Shan woman living in Chiang Mai. Here she is pictured below praying before dinner.

I was welcomed with open arms into there village after we visited (without cameras) just to laugh and get to know each other. King first heard the gospel on the radio and has been reading her bible, building her faith ever since. Her relationship with Christ is super challenging due to her husband being the villages spirit doctor.

For this project I spent two half days in the village documenting King’s story. All shooting was done with the Sony F3, Atomos Samurai, and Zeiss primes.

The majority of the Shan are buddhists and originally from Burma (Shan state), that said lots of the Shan have left Burma for work or a more stable political environment. Life is difficult as a Shan. Originally rice cultivators and artisans the Shan now work heavily in the construction industry for very low wages. Shooting here was extremely humbling and beautiful. More on this project as editing begins.

Happy New Year

2012 was great year full of new adventures and fun projects. Very excited about new partnerships and future projects on the horizon for 2013. Thankful for awesome friends, family, and especially my amazing wife Katie.  Let’s make 2013 awesome.  Happy New Year from Hong Kong!


Very fun time shooting with the “Semi Permanent” crew at the 2013 Seoul Fashion Week.  Took the opportunity to break out my Sony F3 even though we are shooting the show on the 5dmk3.  Fashion shows are really fun to shoot… tons of handheld, different lighting temps, and crazy designer outfits.  Here are just a few still frames from the show.

Co.Mission Content + MISFIT Wearables

I was hired by NYC based Co.MISSION Content to shoot a new product being developed by Misfit Wearables.  Not many details can be shared about the product itself because development is still in progress. Here is some further info on Misfit team and ideology posted by Tech Crunch earlier this year.  Watch out for these guys… super cool stuff.

ARIRANG NETWORK – Semi Permanent

Very excited to be shooting with Pudding Pop Media and Minimize Productions for a new tv show titled “Semi Permanent” for the Arirang Network.  The show is in its first season here in Seoul and stars two super fun hosts that lead audiences across Korea discovering unique expats living and working in Seoul.  For production we are shooting (3) 5dmk3 cameras with a series of canon L series lenses.  Shooting is set for September through March of 2013.

We Moved To Seoul, South Korea

Feels crazy to say it but my wife and I now live in Seoul.  We have talked about living abroad for a few years so after my wife got a job offer with an international school based in Seoul we took the plunge.  I will continue to freelance and have already shot a few things as well as received a longer gig with Korea’s Arirang Network for a new show “Semi Permanent”. It’s amazing how meeting other creatives transcends language and culture. Katie my wife is loving her new job and work environment. Although we miss our friends and family dearly we are really enjoying our time here so far!  What an amazing city filled with amazing people.

Bauer Hockey – RE-AKT Helmet Campaign

Thanks to MODE Advertising I got the opportunity to work with Bauer Hockey.  Mode is a talented design/interactive shop based in Charlotte, NC.  Below are still frames from the completed site for the new Bauer RE-AKT launch.  MODE contacted me to help produce and edit 10 vignettes surrounding the new technologies included in the RE-AKT’s revolutionary helmet design.

The RE-AKT is the first of its kind and is part of an effort to reduce concussions in the sport of hockey.    This job was purely editorial after some shifts in the schedule.  All footage was shoot by Bauer’s production outfit on 5Dmk2 and transferred to Apple pro-res and colored in Resolve.  I edited a total of ten vignettes that profile the technology and inner working of Bauer’s revolutionary new helmet design.  Working with MODE’s design team was awesome and I was happy to be apart of the campaign to launch Bauer’s new helmet the RE-AKT.

Visit the full site to view MODE’s RE-AKT campaign and see an excellent opening animation done by Alma Mater, enjoy! –

Below is “Behind the Design”, one of the vignettes created for the launch.

Bad Romance – Women’s Suffrage

Working with Soomo Publishing is always a good time.  Director and very close friend Tim Grant pulled me in to shoot the latest satirical video piece titled Bad Romance – Women’s Suffrage.  This video is the follow up to our previous collaboration Too Late to Apologize – A Declaration.  Both videos are used as marketing material for Soomo and with close to 4 million views on Too Late Apologize I’d say they have been successful.

Production for Bad Romance – Women’s Suffrage was smooth and fast. We shot over two days in The Broadcast Group studios.  Although the budget was nowhere close to Lady Gaga’s 2 million, Tim and Production Designer Jeffery Barrows did an amazing job creating the look.  They transformed a 20,000 sq studio space into numerous different sets.

Here are a few lo-rez still frames.

Camera wise we shot on the Sony F3 with Sound Devices Pix240 recorder and Leica Cine-Mod lenses.  The camera package and lenses were provided through Edit at Joes.  Although the Leica primes/zoom were cine-modded still lenses they worked flawlessly throughout the shoot.

Sony F3 w/Leica R 80-200, Pix240 Recorder, and DP6 monitor from SmallHD.

The Leica R 80-170 2.8 zoom is extremely sharp and helped us with speed.  Tim and I work almost without talking and that was good considering the 60 or so setups we had per day.  The shoots pace was crazy fast, but I couldn’t have done it without 1st AC Greg Hudgins and Gaffer Bob Schaner… major props to those guys.  Overall it was an excellent shoot and Soomo is a pleasure to work with.

Here is the final piece.

Photo Rewind – Barcelona

In May of 2011 Katie and I travelled to Barcelona, Spain for a week.  I just recently developed some porta400 from the trip.

John Mark McMillan/Sheet of Night

It’s pretty rare when you get to shoot a music video of a band you listen to while working with friends… but that was exactly what happened. Kudos to Jacob Lewis and Jon Muedder for bringing me in to shoot and produce along side them. Looking forward to more collaborations in the new future.