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.


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

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!

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.

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.