I started my career in the film business in 1987. That was almost 35 years ago and since that time I have learned many aspects of what it takes to make a creative beautiful shot through the lens. I originally started as a grip and was a Best Boy with some the best and great Key Grips through the 90s. Cranes, process trailers, helicopters, dollies, If you wanted a camera on it we'd make it work.
During the late 90s I started shooting photography and was shooting for outdoor sports magazines and equipment companies like Dagger and Wave Sport kayaks. I carried my passion of sports and photography into the motorsports world with clients like Corvette Racing, Road Atlanta, and Panoz Auto Developement. I shot commercially for about 10 years while still working in the film, TV, commercial world. This is when i learned and perfected knowledge about cameras, how light works through the lens whether its a flash or continuous lighting.
I started Gaffing for some Directors and DPs in the early 2000s and was offered a Lighting Director job with SPEED Channel (which is now FOX Sports 1) and NASCAR. The network had a large marketing and TV stage that traveled to every race all season long. The set was very similar to ESPN's college game day but we shot shows all weekend long. I was in charge of the light designing phase and then the building and operating of our shows. We shot Friday through Sunday nights with multiple locations and simultaneously all weekend long. I did this for 42 weeks a year for 7 years which was approximately 3000 TV shows. This ended at the end of the 2013 race season.
The last two years I have been working as a Key Grip to some and Gaffer to others. Key Grip work comes natural to me, its like riding a bike and built into my DNA. I always like the challenge of lighting and creating something that shouldn't really be noticed as "lit".
1987 was the year I found this career. I started as a Grip, its in my blood.
35 Years in the film and TV world.
I have worked on @ 15 feature films from Driving Miss Daisey up to Road Trip and Sweet Home Alabama.
30+ Music Videos with MTV's TOP Music Video Directors
Joseph Kahn, Dave Meyers, Chris Robinson
100s of TV Shows.. 300 live WCW Wrestling Shows, "Dinner and a Movie", "Cartoon Fridays", TV series like "Savannah" and"Heat of the Night"
1000s of commercials - Coke, Home Depot, NASCAR, Target, Delta
Key Grip for Crazy Legs Productions: "Swamp Murders" @20 episodes "Your Worst Nightmare" @10 episodes: Discovery Channel
Key Grip: commercials - Ga Power, State Farm, The Weather Channel, NASCAR, Fancy Rhino, Quaker State, Nathan Deal, Pillsbury TLC, Cartoon Network, TNT "Dallas", Airheads candy
The behind the scenes shots:
June of 2010, DJ Roller of Liquid Pictures hires me to build a camera lifting device to go on the back of a 55' Hatteras fishing yacht. The 3D iMax camera that we are using weighs almost 600lbs with the housing. To make things even MORE of a challenge, ALL the gear has to be flown to a remote island in the Bahamas. ABSOLUTELY NO stores or equipment on the island so everything has to be built to spec, assembled in Atlanta, trouble shot for all foresight issues, shipped and flown by cargo plane to the island..
The Rig worked flawlessly !!
1994 - I started light for Turner Studios with their networks TNT, TCM, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Turner South. "Dinner and a Movie", "TCM w Robert Osborn", "NBA on TNT", "MLB on TBS", "Cartoon Fridays" are just to name a few that ran for years inside Turner Studios.
2004 - I started LD and Gaff'ing for shows and clients such as "Cartoon Fridays" on Cartoon Network, commercials, and music videos. Discovery Channel, Discovery ID, HBO, Animal Planet. Music Videos with: John Mellencamp, The Constellations, Monika Leigh Spense 100s of commercials: NASCAR, Raygun Films, TNT Sports, HBO
2007 - SPEED Channel and FOX Sports 1 with NASCAR asked me to be the Network Lighting Director for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series. This was a great opportunity for me to take all of the knowledge I had learned the previous years and run with it. We had bad weather, day to night transitions, and multiple simultaneous shows as working hurdles. I had that stage dialed in to a GREAT look that rivaled anything that's on air then or today. I had a great lighting team, TV crew, and the BEST TV Talent ever.
WHAT WAS IT ? : The TV stage is a BIG marketing area that sets up outside the race track where SPEED would shoot Network racing shows and bumps throughout the race week. The Network and Staging company would give me diagrams of "looks" and I would turn that into a lighting and working plan.
We would shoot multiple locations and simultaneously throughout the week. We had a mobile 3 person mobile desk, a two person stand up, and broadcast booth where our announcers would call a race. I traveled with NASCAR for 7 years and the show travel math was crazy. I was gone 42weeks a year and 5 days a week. We shot approximately 10 shows a week around 2 race series. That totals = 1500 travel days, 600+ NASCAR races, and 3000 TV shows..... I'm tired
I made some wonderful friends and great working colleagues through out that series. I am TOTALLY great full for the people that took a chance on me.
2014 - I have worked my way back into local Atlanta market. The NASCAR experience was 85% technical and 15% creative. I miss the "creative" part of making images and I'm enjoying the nice change. My recent client list consists of Apple, NFL on FOX, The Justice Network, "Salon Wars", NBA on TNT, NBC Sports - NASCAR, "Swamp Murders". I'm always looking for lighting challenges and ways to make images better