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Sometimes life picks up speed and all you can do is buckle down and hold on. The past year definitely embodies that sentiment. Since joining the team at Southern Reel back in November 2012, life has been a non-stop adventure. Chock-filled with photoshoots, video shoots, editing, designing motion graphics, touring 25 cities with the band, and everything in between… I feel like describing it all as “non-stop” is a massive understatement.

The best part about doing what you love is that it doesn’t feel like work. Working with amazing, talented people that are equally as happy to be doing what they do makes the whole package even better. In all honesty, it is totally unreal!

That being said, I wanted to update this site with a touch of what we’ve been up to. This is really just the tip of the iceberg, but a few of the bigger projects under our belt since my last update.

Starting things off… is a music video that is easily the hardest I’ve ever worked on anything ever. I got to design all the props (including the giant wooden signs outside the bar), dressed the sets, had my hand in shooting, editing, and post-production. This was the most physically/mentally demanding project I have ever worked on. While a fair share of my hand was involved, this was truly a team effort. Everyone at Southern Reel came together and worked immensely hard on this video. I am crazy proud of our team for pulling it all off… especially Cole Cassell, who directed this video.

BTS:

Back in March, Mike Williams and I spent a few days at the Southern Ground Studio in Nashville to shoot this BTS of The Wood Brothers recording their new record: The Muse.

Then in July as their record was being released, we shot/edited this music video for The Wood Brothers on location at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville.

In August I got to edit this video for one of my favorite bands, Blackberry Smoke.

At the end of September we shot another music video for the Zac Brown Band at Coy Bowles’ wedding.

And lastly, a video that I did not shoot/edit… but one that I just finished the motion graphics for on the plane late last night… and a collaboration I am really excited about!!!

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Every once in a while, a body of work comes along that makes me re-evaluate myself as an artist. Renan Ozturk’s 2013 reel is one of those works. I can’t quite decide which he is stronger at… getting himself to the insane locations to shoot these shots, or actually shooting the shots themselves. It has to be a tie. That being said, once tied together… they make for a breathtaking three minutes and eleven seconds.

Read more about Renan over at National Geographic.

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Showcasing the last several years of my motion design and compositing, this reel… to me… is unreal. As an artist, I can rarely step back from my own work and say “Wow… I made that?”. A proud feeling for sure.

This reel is without a doubt a quick rabbit-punch to the throat that will leave you yearning for a second viewing.

Special thanks to everyone I’ve worked with along the way that has helped me to learn, grow, and develop my craft in ways I never thought possible. For a full breakdown of my roles in all of these clips, click here.

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It is no secret that I love documentaries. I’ve watched a ton of them, even ventured out and made one myself. So it is without reservation that I say… “Searching for Sugar Man” is the best documentary I have ever seen. It took me a few weeks to really warm up to that statement because of the magnitude of such words. But I can no longer deny it. The documentary itself is superb. The animated bits were done by hand by the director himself. He shot parts of it with his iPhone. He went broke and nearly didn’t finish the film. But what gets me the most is the story of Rodriguez. This has to be one of the greatest stories ever told. EVER.

I simply cannot get over that it is real. It is a fairy-tale; simply unbelievable.Not only am I obsessed… but now I am a fan. Not only of Rodriguez himself, but especially of his music, and Malik Bendjelloul for telling this unreal (but totally real) story. This film won the Sundance Film Festival’s coveted “Special Jury Prize” and “World Cinema Audience Award”, and has been nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature”. Obviously I am not alone in my praise.

Special thanks to Charlie Smith for turning me onto this film. It is going to be a tough act for all documentaries to follow.

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