No Ordinary Hero

I am thrilled to announce that NO ORDINARY HERO starring John Maucere with Oscar winner Marlee Matlin is having its world première at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis! I am the cinematographer for this feature film which was directed by Troy Kotsur who is also deaf. We  made the film under an extremely challenging budget, in a very short timeframe, and with cast and crew working through language barriers, but it all came together very smoothly and we created a very beautiful film that will première in Indianapolis Oct 19.

NOH-posterNO ORDINARY HERO: THE SUPERDEAFY MOVIE is a family drama about a deaf actor who plays a superhero on a TV show but must look beyond his own struggles to inspire a deaf boy to believe in himself. Based on the real internationally known SuperDeafy character created by John Maucere, NO ORDINARY HERO is a story about being different and finding the one thing that makes the ordinary, Super.

Crossing Language Barriers to Produce a Film

No Ordinary Hero was conceived by the film’s star John Maucere and Director Troy Kotsur who are both deaf. Executive Producers Liz Tannenbaum and Paul Maucere are deaf, as are about half of the cast. The relationship between DP and Director is normally a close one with a lot of collaboration, and going into this project, I have to admit I was a bit concerned about communicating with Troy. But as it turned out, my concern was unfounded. Continue reading “No Ordinary Hero”

Day For Night shooting

[vimeo 35448689 w=500 h=281]

Day For Night shooting from Jeff Gatesman on Vimeo.

Day for night is a classic way of shooting a night scene without expensive and huge lighting setups. Instead you shoot during the day and use various techniques to create night in post. I made this image as a test for a short film I am planning to shoot soon. It is best viewed in full frame mode.

Still from original footage

Here is a still of what the original footage looked like before processing. The cool thing about using post techniques to create night is the virtually limitless palette you have to play with: you can create any kind of night look you want, from zombie apocalypse to warm and romantic.

Baby Shower – The Doritos Spot

Baby Shower from Jeff Gatesman on Vimeo.

This is the 30-second spot I made for Doritos’ Crash The Super Bowl competition. It did not make it into the top 5.

Now, I’m not going to say that whoever makes the choices over at Doritos has no sense of humor, or that they lack taste or vision, or that they are just down right terrible at making decisions. No, I’m not going to say any those things. I’m going to take the high road, and just say congratulations to the well-deserving filmmakers who produced the five spots chosen by those “decidors” over at Doritos.

I would also like to mention Jennifer Cobb and Laya Portillos who came up with the concept and wrote “Baby Shower”, and who are the two lovely stars of the spot. Without them I would probably have just done something with dogs.

Even if you’ve seen this on the Doritos site–it was highly compressed and the audio suffered from it. Here it is in High Def with a better sounding mix.

Shreveport, LA. Part One

Pre-production for the latest feature film I am working on has begun in and around Shreveport, LA, a city built on oil money which seems to be fairly wet, with lush green landscapes and some of the prettiest sunsets I have seen in awhile. Hopefully I will find an interesting point of view of this place over the next 2 months and, through my lens, bring it to you.

Scott "Scooter" Hillman
Scott "Scooter" Hillman, Key Grip and former trapeze artist

A lot of the buildings seem to be crumbling well before their time in this part of the country, as if they get saturated with all the humidity and rain, and then the real storms come through and just tear open the already weakened structures.

The last curtain has fallen on this theater
The last curtain has fallen on this theater
Ken Ballantine, the Best Boy, and his mosquito protection
Ken Ballantine, Lighting Best Boy, and his mosquito protection

And then there are the mosquitos. This Pump Jack is deep in some woods near Oil City, LA and apparently the center of all things Mosquito. In this photo Ken Ballantine, our Best Boy, models the latest in personal Mosquito attire. They are so thick in this wood that they practically create a haze in the air, in fact they are so dense that you cannot eliminate their bites, you can only minimize them.

More Shreveport to come…