Screengrabs/BTS of My Tokina Demo Skate Doc Film!
During NAB 2017, I had a great meeting with the CEO of Tokina, Ryan Avery, who I become best bros with pretty quickly soon after. Ryan has a great eye for specific types of different filmmakers who can work their own unique eye with the amazing Vista line of glass. I became great friends with Rob Ruscher even pre-NAB, but bonded and partied with him at NAB. He also was picked to shoot with Tokina glass and is such a talent and great friend of mine.
I am one of a few filmmakers he hand picked to create a demo film to show off what the Vista line of lenses can do. I was totally humbled by this opportunity. Ryan actually reached out to me pre-NAB about this but what better way to meet than at the biggest film nerdfest of the year all the way in Vegas right?
Jared Abrams, of Wide Open Camera and also part of Tokina team, has been my film friend for years. It was great to hang with him there as well. I also got to meet a new homie, James Sicignano, also part of Tokina. I was so excited for this new endeavor. I was loaned the Tokina Vista Zoom 16mm-28mm, an amazing beautifully crafted lens.
But just because I wanted make this film shine extra bright, I convinced Ryan to additionally loan me their Tokina 85mm Vista Prime which I tried out at NAB. 85mm's are a magic number for me as I own a Rokinon Cine one. (I sometimes get hired just to shoot closeups with it. So that's why I felt, if I am going to go all out, why not also work with a focal length that also brings out the best in me.)
So off I went and I reached out to my best film friend and DP Daniel Frank of Viking Cinema, who not only works with me frequently on tons of video projects and is very talented, but also happens to be a very good skateboarder. And I mean genius good.
By the way, I've shot a skateboarding doc in the past, called Concrete Wave Social Club. This film was an Official Selection of NY Shorts Fest 2016 and had its theatrical screening at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side in June, 2016. I'm proud of that film. But I've grown since that film visually and more importantly, cohesively as a storyteller. I wanted to step up to the plate and take everything to the next level and this opportunity is exactly the platform for that.
So this film will be different not only for me as a filmmaker, but as a subject Daniel is both a filmmaker -and- a skater. I think to make a piece about how these two arts are combined into a portrait / sports doc piece would be a great to show off what these lenses can do. Plus, I wanted to shoot skateboarding, because fast paced action always speaks to me visually.
To top it off I already found the soundtrack for the edit, which I start next week. As you all already know, with music in my blood, music is everything so I hand picked a song that reaches sonically to match my visuals.
Before I started shooting, given the weight of these Vista Zoom and Prime lenses, I contacted my good film homie Michael Sutton of Frozen Prosperity, who happened to have a used Flycam Flowline rig for sale. So I bought it from him, which made for a perfect support rig to rock these rigs in a mobile fast paced way. So the Flycam Flowline rig, my C100 Mark I and these two lenses are the combined forces to create this demo.
I can't wait to show the film when it's completed in the edit! Tokina's beautiful 85mm Vista Prime and 16mm-28mm Vista Zoom glass are worth every penny and I hope my film will give you all a good sense of what they are capable of, with just a C100, Flycam rig and good friends/crew. Below are some screen grabs (untouched and raw straight from the camera) as well as some behind the scenes pics, and shots right off the monitor. Enjoy, as I can't wait to show you all the finished piece once it's done in post-production!