October 16, 2015 - No Comments!

Oh My, My Montana Mind

A Montana Travelogue

Day 1: 7a Depart from Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, Arrive in Bozeman 12p. Burgers/beers at Stacey's in Bozeman, visit with Mom, fly fishing on Gallatin River outside Yellowstone National Park, beers/salad at Montana Ale Works in Bozeman, sleep in Uncle Gary's room in cousin's house.

Day 2: 5am Wake up, fuel up, coffee. Head west. Stop on side of road often, stop at Big Sky Brewing for a Moose Drool, arrive in Polson, visit Glacier Brewing with Uncle Gary, beers in Polson, visit Grinde Bay Winery. See a deer at Uncle Gary's house on Flathead Lake, 11:30p sleep.

Day 3: 8a Head north to Kalispell, White Fish Hop Farm, Glacier National Park. Touristy things, gifts for fam. Five Guys Burgers in Kalispell, Kalispell Brewing Company, back to Polson, see a black bear at Uncle Gary's, 11p sleep.

Day 4: 5a Wake up, leave Polson. Drive 4 hours to Bozeman, breakfast at Western Grill in Bozeman, shop local. Board plane in Bozeman, 4-hour layover in MLPS, eat Chick-Fil-A, arrive in Kalamazoo 10:30p.

Music from Marmoset

Filmed & Edited by Kevin Romeo
Color by Tyler Appel

SONY FS700 | CANON 5D MK3

August 4, 2015 - No Comments!

A Damn Handsome story

 

We get fired up about a good small business success story, especially when it's in our hometown of Kalamazoo.

The crew at Damn Handsome Grooming Co have quickly become some of our best buds and we were excited to have the opportunity to produce a cinematic video that showcases the what, why, when and how of their growing business. They are in stores all over the country including Banana Republic, Martha Stewart Online and Urban Outfitters and have been featured in Men's Health, Forbes, Grayson Home and TONS more...

Our goal for this video was to capture beautiful and fun imagery that helps shape the Damn Handsome brand, without making it about any one person, but capture the feeling of the “Damn Handsome lifestyle”.

Lots of friends play cameo in the video including: Angel Arnold, Molly Combs, Nick Benitez, Cynthia Hernandez, Kristi Breisach, Jordan Hoke, Jared Barraco, Bisera Urdaverik, and Emily Plucinak.

Major ups to Tyler Appel, who Directed, DP’d and Edited and basically carried the team on his back.

Credits:
 Director/DP/Edit: Tyler Appel
 Camera: Tyler Appel, Nick Benitez
 Audio: Kevin Romeo
 Grip: Jordan Hoke
 Music: Jarrett Blackmon, Matty Allison
 Audio Mastering: Ben Lau

 

July 27, 2015 - No Comments!

Helping our friends in Nepal

In March, I had the extreme joy and honor of traveling to Kathmandu, Nepal with our friends from DharmaShop.com to capture the stories of the artisans who create incredible handmade products. I slept under the stars only a few miles from the Himalayan mountain range, filmed fabulously talented artisans, met wonderful friends and experienced first-hand the beautiful Nepalese culture (and probably said "Namaste" 5,000 times).

My heart ached when we all learned of the massive earthquake that struck Nepal, leaving the region—and many of the friends I had made on the trip—devastated. The 7.8 magnitude quake on April 25 killed almost 9,000 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and left thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter.

It’s hard for us to envision the full scope of this, because in America, we have infrastructure for disaster. We have the means and abilities to quickly clean the rubble, sort out the wreckage and search for the lost souls. In Kathmandu, it’s a totally different situation. Most people don’t even have access to garbage pickup—trash just accumulates on the side of the road and rubble from abandoned projects is omnipresent.

Already one of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal's economy relies heavily on tourism and the products they export. Peak tourist season is from late-September through November and typically brings in $1.6 bln annually.

Following the earthquakes, however, the FCO is still advising against all but essential travel to several regions across the country, which means bookings are down for adventure travel companies and hotels remain empty. A recently published post-disaster report commissioned by the government shows tourist numbers fell by 90% after the quake.

Despite all of this, our friends remain in good spirits and hopeful there will be a recovery.

I sent my friend Prajwol (Prashwall) a message on Facebook recently and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He told me the best thing I can do is to share the videos that we’ve created for DharmaShop and encourage people to buy Nepalese products, as this gives them a much needed cashflow and maybe more importantly, a job to do.

So that's why I'm sharing this. Check out DharmaShop.com, a Michigan-based, values-driven online retailer of Nepalese goods that you can shop confidently knowing they have a direct line in supporting Nepalese and Tibetan artists.

Thanks and "Namaste" (Nah-mah-stay),

Kevin

Prajwol buying a banana from a street vendor:

July 10, 2015 - No Comments!

Tampa, FL

2015BTS-348Recently we traveled to Tampa, Fl for 30 hours to pick up additional footage for a Western Michigan University Cooley Law School commercial. Our goal was to get relevant shots of Tampa, where the school has an enormous campus.

After landing at 9 a.m., we immediately found Cigar City Brewing and finally enjoyed a Jai Alai IPA.

We filmed everything on a Sony A7S on a MOVI M5 and sometimes out the roof of a rented GMC Terrain (as much as we would have liked to rent a Corvette).

When we weren’t working, we ate BBQ buffet at New World Brewery and burgers at Daily Eats; we drank beers at Cigar City Brewing, Tampa Bay Brewing Company and New World Brewing; and we slept (briefly) at City Flats.

Rhino. Will travel for beer work.

Here's what we made:

July 9, 2015 - No Comments!

America

2015-7-3-RHINO_4th-93

Our annual fourth of July party is the stuff of legends. We respect our country and we love each other. This year we celebrated at Dan's house and played badminton, bags and banjos.

We drank Greenbush Brother Benjamin (Double IPA brewed with honey), Greenbush 1825 (Belgian Strong Ale), Goose Island Honker's Ale, Paw Paw Brewing Company Citra Melōn (Session IPA brewed with Citra and Melōn hops) and Founders Brewing All Day IPA.

We ate brats, chicken breasts, Hebrew National All Beef Franks and Jonny's famous Mexican-style corn with mayo & cilantro.

The vintage 13x9 American Flag is from The Heritage Company in Kalamazoo.

June 12, 2015 - No Comments!

Considering the “win”

JJBasketball-(4-of-5)
Communicative clarity is incredibly important when it comes to creative labor.

You have to have a clear picture of what winning looks like. We made this mistake often in the early years of running a storytelling company.

Then, like a lightning bolt of old-man-infused wisdom, came our learning moment.

We were contracted to film a college basketball game. We were so focused on getting great shots with great camera work and beautiful compositions, that when we submitted the footage to our client, their response was, "We don't have enough shots of the ball going in the hoop."

As basic as it sounds, we had overlooked the entire point of the sport, putting the ball in the hoop more often than the other team.

From then on, we've become fond of the phrase. So we ask ourselves, what is the "ball going in the hoop" for this project? What is the one thing that will most effectively tell this story in one shot, it's so obvious that we may overlook it? Now every time we begin a new project, we define just exactly what "the ball going in the hoop" is.

For our new website, the ball going in the hoop is that we come across as relationship-driven, quirky and fun.

Next time you have a creative project, ask yourself, "What is the ball going in the hoop on this?"

- Kevin

June 12, 2015 - No Comments!

We are Rhino. We have a softball team.


Our team spends A LOT of time together, and we get along really well, but we realized that something was missing in our lives. We are constantly expending creative energy in an effort to create meaningful, connected art for our clients.

So we were super excited when the idea to have a Rhino company softball team came about. We don't win very often, but we are having tons of fun, and have the coolest team name of all…
"Go Rhino Team"

February 3, 2015 - No Comments!

How to high five

So here's the thing... we're all people.

And people get excited sometimes. What do you do when you want to share that excitement with another human being?

You high-five, of course!

Unfortunately, over the past several decades, the high-five has lost it's gusto. So grab a partner, because we are going to give you some practical ways to spice up your high-fives...

(As seen at Catalyst University 2015)

January 22, 2015 - No Comments!

That time we made a music video

Combine seven musicians with pine desert soul, funk, hip hop, psychedelic, rap, pop, and yucca fire blues, and you might end up with something like Maraj. This Kalamazoo based group has somehow managed to craft a dynamic, coherent sound and style out of a wide range of influences and elements - and it’s LEGIT.

Here’s how we went about creating their first music video:

PRE-PRODUCTION:

When Ben and Andy (from Maraj) first approached us with “Pointers,” they envisioned it set in a true house party, and wanted ,above all else, for this to be a true hip-hop music video. From this alone, we planned to shoot our rappers at low, wide angles, and in multiple locations. Also - shoot the heck out of crammed, high energy, living room jamming/dancing.

Stylistically, we wanted to visually embody what we felt when listening to the song. Dramatic red lighting was inspired from the darker, serious sounds and driving bass. The still profile close ups and slow motion draw from the abstract, psychedelic shift when the female vocals take over on the choruses.

After a location scout, we drew up a shot list that was prioritized from the crucial shots on down to ‘well, that’d be nice if by some miracle we still have time to get it.’ We only had one day, but really, about 6 hours to film the ENTIRE music video. This is where a shot list is our best friend - even if we forego 30% of what’s written down, it gives us a constant tangible goal and keeps us organized and sharp on set.

PRODUCTION:

One last team briefing at the office. Pack up the cars. Buy winter gloves, gum, granola bars and RedBulls on the way. Arrive to the house around 5pm. Maraj is showing up at 6pm, and 20 extras are coming at 7pm. Order pizza immediately. Unload the gear. Find a safe place to keep our gear. Put the lights on stands, lenses on cameras, and take one last look at the shot list and locations. Lights, camera, music video.

Maraj and all their friends were really great to work with. Some people needed more persuading to join the action than others, but all in all, the vibe on set was great. Everyone kept great energy going all night despite performing and dancing to the same song 20 times in a row.

The majority of the music video was filmed on a Canon C100 mounted to a Freefly Movi M5 stabilizer with a 16-35mm lens. This was our workhorse, allowing us to get smooth, beautiful shots without the hassle of a clunky jib or slider setup in tight quarters. Slow motion was filmed handheld at 120 fps on our Sony FS700. For lighting we used 3 LED panels and 2 small Lowell minis with color gel combos.

POST-PRODUCTION:

The first thing we did in post was create a rough edit to see what we were working with. What drove the edit at this stage was nailing the transition to slow motion during the chorus, and making sure our cuts made sense and felt right with the music. We don’t use too many fades, but slowing the party down, and layering clips on top of each other ending up creating a really effective, almost dizzying party feel.

The kaleidoscope effect was inspired by Maraj’s cover art, and added the perfect flavor to the psychedelic choruses and middle-eastern samples. We created these in After Effects using footage from the shoot composed with 3D geometric shapes using the Element 3D plugin. The shapes and some of the kaleidoscopic backgrounds were programmed to pulse and spin with the beat of the drums.

We color graded everything dark and cinematic to really throttle the eerie, dramatic feel of the song. After one small round of revisions with Maraj, presto bango - we had ourselves a finished music video.

CLOSING!

The people from Maraj were great to collaborate with. They take their art seriously, and brought a lot of passion to this project. At the same time, they put they a lot of trust in us - which we’re always honored by. It’s really cool to partner with a client whose art we have high regard for, and who feels the same about ours.

- Jeremy Angeletti, Project Lead and Director
Official music video for Pointers by Maraj maraj.bandcamp.com/