Two Weeks As A Behind The Scenes Shooter For RGG EDU Photography Tutorials

I've been on the road a lot in the last 30 days. It's now Friday and I'm back in Cortez, Colorado, in desperate need of doing some laundry. I nearly spent the night in St. Louis, and then again in Denver, but I made my flights home with only moments to spare...

This all started when I was in North Carolina, producing a corporate video project that had been in development for more than six months. I was directing a crew all week long to shoot interviews and b-roll at a huge electronics repair facility. After one of our shoot days, I saw a job posting from photographer Zach Sutton and Gary Martin of RGG EDU, both of whom happen to be fellow writers with me at fstoppers.com. They needed a behind the scenes shooter in Albuquerque for about a week.

My ego almost got in the way of me applying (going from directing a crew on a large job to being an assistant and getting lunch for another crew made me question if this would be right for me to take) but I was able to secure a decent day rate and made the drive to New Mexico. I wrote all about why this was a great experience in a blog post on fstoppers, here is the link: http://fstoppers.com/bts/why-taking-pa-jobs-can-be-good-your-mental-health-and-get-you-future-work-12564

To sum the above post up, the shoot went well, and the guys I was working for were extremely impressed. So much so that they booked me on a flight to St. Louis to work on their next project– photography demonstrations and interviews with fashion photographer Michael Woloszynowicz from Toronto. I was also dubbed, "The Godfather" from then on by RGG EDU editor Sean Kirkland since I always seemed to quietly show up with exactly what you needed (or something like that.)

I arrived at the Rob Grimm Photography studio in St. Louis, and spent about 4 days total there. A huge, awesome looking studio space, I had plenty of awesome gear at my disposal, including Kessler Cranes, GoPros, two Canon 5DmIII's, and a RedRock One Man Crew. Perhaps my favorite video toy was the Glidecam that I used to shoot this MTV Cribs style piece as a sort of studio tour.

After three days of Michael W. killing it in terms of speaking to the camera and keeping cool and informative, we had all of the main footage for the photography demonstrations. On the fourth day, the RGG EDU crew were shooting simple interviews and transitional segments, and since those weren't all that glamorous, I didn't need to cover it. Instead, they wanted to see what kind of editing chops I had, and given all of the BTS video and stills I had shot on both projects, Rob and Gary challenged me to see what I could create in a single day.

In less than 8 hours (I had a flight to catch!) I had to import, preview, and manage nearly a Terabyte of data– more than a days worth of video and probably about 10,000 stills. Since I shot everything I did have an idea as to what was there, but it was still a monumental task.

I got some music to work from, then sat down and processed timelapses, found slick video clips, and cut them into a short promo for RGG EDU. This is the result:

The team was psyched to see what I was able to make in such a short window. Within minutes of completing the export, I was out the door to the airport, thanks to a ride from Sinh from F-Stop Gear.

After waiting in a long line to simply check a bag, I was informed that my flight was going to be late by an hour, and it was likely I would miss my connection. They also told me that the next flight to Durango was full, and I would have to wait until Saturday (two days later) to get booked. The Frontier staff recommended I stay in St. Louis, but I tried my luck anyway. I got on my connection with only a few minutes to spare.