Category

Charlotte Video Production

Prism Supply Co.

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Prism Supply Co.

Nowsay recently had the opportunity to provide aerial cinematography on a branded content shoot for Prism Supply Co. A custom bike, parts, and accessories company based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a two day shoot with locations spreading across North Carolina.

Location, Location, Location

Video Production Agency, Remedy, spent extensive time digging for perfect locations.  “We were trying to land on as much of a variety of actions, textures, and palettes as we could – all while still living in a very rural southern sort of tone.” – said the team.  Everything had to be done in 2 days. We had to play heavily into available light, planning when we’d be at each location to maximize sunlight. The DJI Inspire 2 was the ideal aerial tool for this job. Allowing high speed tracking, it paired seamlessly with the color grade of the Alexa Mini.

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Vulcan Quarry

One of the coolest locations was Vulcan Quarry, located in Pineville, North Carolina. Only a few minutes away from uptown Charlotte, this place was drone pilot heaven. A perfect location for aerials, with wide open spaces for flying. The  environment was ideal for pushing drone speeds as we tracked bikes up, down, and around the vast landscape. The shoot did call for some specific shots, but the director gave us full creative control with the available talent, allowing us to do what we do best in the air.

Hickory Motor Speedway

Our last location was Hickory Motor Speedway. This old racetrack had an old rustic feel. Similar to the quarry, this location was great to push the drone to its limits with no obstacles other than the stadium lighting. We were able to capture a ton of great footage in a small amount of time, adding some very dynamic footage to the final video.

We had a great time on set with everyone, and are thrilled that our aerial footage was able to add to this dynamic film. Big thanks to Director of Photography, Rob Russell, and everyone for bringing us on this shoot. Enjoy!

Here’s To 50

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Here’s to 50

Sugar Mountain Resort, a ski destination in the mountains of North Carolina, turned fifty years old this year!

Kim Jochl, Marketing Director and Owner of Sugar Mountain Resort, asked Nowsay to create a documentary film that would not only showcase the history of Sugar Mountain, but also share a side of the resort that no one had ever seen before.

Pre-Production

The team spent significant time on the front end of this project, developing the true story of Sugar Mountain. Just like any documentary, it was important for us to learn who made the mountain what it is today. This included a list of individuals that poured their hearts into building Sugar in the 70s, people who grew up skiing the mountain, as well as others from around the United States. Developing these characters was vital to building an emotional connection with the viewer. After hours of phone conversations and pre-interviews, we felt that we had found the right cast for the film.

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Interviews

Owners Gunther and Kim Jochl are two very special people with a unique advantage to running this ski resort. Having these two in North Carolina, at this ski resort, is what has made Sugar the magical place it is today. Others including: Jon Rucker, Head Skis/Tryolia Winter Sports Division President; Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Champion; Michael Berry, President of the North America Ski Association; Joe O’Donnell, one of Boston’s most influential men; and Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina; were just some of the many that brought this story to life.

Production

The Nowsay team conducted interviews all around the country, gathering as much history from each contributor as possible. Learning about their story & experiences with the Resort, and what made Sugar Mountain such a special place that each interviewee holds close to their heart. We noticed a key theme continued to surface.

Sugar Mountain Owners

Gunther grew up in Austria and visited Sugar as a young adult for professional ski racing. He was in awe of the newly invented snow-making ability that was here in the United States. Kim, a United States Olympic Ski Team member, also visited Sugar for racing, and holds a deep love for the ski industry. Throughout the years they have not only operated the ski resort, but also run the ski distribution in North America for Volkl skis. These life experiences gave them both a unique perspective on the ski industry as a whole.

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Nowsay’s History with the Ski Mountains of NC

Nowsay has been creating content for the North Carolina ski resorts since we opened our doors in 2013, making us the perfect fit for this project. We had the advantage of our vast archives with years of footage from the area. This, coupled with an incredible collection of old film photos and archival footage from various contributors allowed us to piece the story together and captivate viewers.

Naming the Documentary

“Here’s to 50”, A new documentary aptly named as a tribute and cheers to the many people that have made this mountain what it is today, is a film that documents the highs, lows, and the reasons why so many people call Sugar Mountain home, all while celebrating the Resorts 50th birthday.

Go Ski NC

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Go Ski NC

When you think of North Carolina, winter sports is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Most people around the country aren’t aware that North Carolina has snow, ski resorts, or even mountains for that matter. Here at Nowsay, skiing and snowboarding has been built into our roots from the beginning. Bringing the North Carolina ski industry into the spotlight is not only important regionally, but for the entire ski industry.

The Project

Nowsay was contracted by the North Carolina Ski Area Association to conceptualize & produce a video campaign. This would include a series of commercials to be shown regionally. Its purpose? Highlighting the winter sports and the ski industry present in the Carolina’s. We knew this project would present a lot of challenges and variables, many out of our control. Constantly watching the weather for perfect conditions. Finding the right available talent when the weather was in our favor. Flying down steep slopes with camera gear. Dealing with freezing cameras & drone batteries. Not to mention the constant feeling that our frozen fingers might fall off as we operate our equipment. We had to work closely with the talent’s schedules, since most were families. This was challenging, yet rewarding once it all came together. A fun bonus was having Luke Winklemann on the project. Luke is a professional snowboarder sponsored by Burton Snowboards and Red Bull. Dominic, co-founder of Nowsay, and Luke met snowboarding in the mountains of N.C. nearly 10 years ago. It’s projects like these that bring Nowsay full circle, back to our roots, and back to what our team loves.

Camera Setups

We decided fast & nimble was the approach that would work best for this project. Hauling large rigs across the mountains and slopes would take up too much vital time. Schedules were tight and the weather can drastically change in an instant. We took the approach of using our RED cinema camera, knowing it would work well with such fast paced filming. This, paired with our Easyrig for stability, and on camera follow focus system, was the perfect setup for the job. We also utilized gimbal setups for follow cam action, chasing our talent down the mountain at high speeds. This style of shooting is tough to master. Luckily our gimbal and camera operator, Dominic, has been snowboarding since he was six, and has filmed on snow for over 10 seasons. Simultaneously snowboarding and filming at rapid speeds down a mountain has become natural to Dominic over the years. This skill set is unique, and invaluable in our arsenal for projects like these.

Aerial Cinematography

The DJI Inspire 2 was a vital tool for this project. Our clients made it clear that aerial images were important to them. They wanted the audience to see the vast beauty of the North Carolina mountains. Flying the drone also allowed us to follow talent quickly down the mountain from a birds eye view. Our clients were thrilled, and our team was very happy with the footage captured from the sky.

Video Campaign Deliverables

The final video campaign consisted of a variety of content. Two fifteen second spots, two thirty second spots, one sixty second commercial, and a highlight reel combining all of the best shots. We exported and delivered each video in 4k resolution. Video formatting included 16×9 versions of each spot, as well as 9×16 & 4×5 for vertical televisions used for advertising in various locations, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Vestique: Love Valley Collection

The Love Valley Collection

Nowsay partnered with Vestique, a well known boutique clothing brand with stores across the Southeast, to create an attractive video lookbook to showcase their highly anticipated new clothing collection release titled “Love Valley”. The goal of the video content was to show off their new collection in a fun, retro, yet original way. A style that would bring back memories of making home videos as kids, while still keeping the content visually stunning and high end. 

Location

Adair, Brand Director for Vestique, found the perfect location for the shoot. “Love Valley”. An old town located about one hour north of Charlotte, North Carolina. A town with more horses than cars, and a history that dates back to the 1950’s. This was the perfect location, full of ideal backdrops to set the look and feel the project called for. 

Pre-Production

This project called for a lot of pre-production on our end.  Every shot was determined and planned prior to filming through several in house camera tests. With our clients vision in mind, we determined the project was to be filmed utilizing a mixture of frame rates. This included a non-traditional 16fps, 24fps, and 48fps (24fps being standard). 16fps allowed us to achieve the vintage look and feel we wanted. Coupling that with film grain, light leaks, and fast paced editing, we were able to create beautiful images that matched perfectly with Vestique’s vision. We even included vintage yellow text, a throw back to the closed caption text on old VHS tapes.

Camera Setup

Our camera operator, Zach, ran our Red Helium 8k camera on the EasyRig support system. This allows for high agility for a variety of shots, at a fast pace. We had precise control of focus while being mobile by utilizing the follow focus system from Tilta. Wireless video was run to Nowsay Director, Dominic’s, viewing monitor. This allowed him and our client to view, and hence direct, each shot in live time.

Shooting for Instagram

The project and it’s content were strictly for Instagram. With this in mind, we planned for the viewing ratio most prevalent in today’s social media world, a tall crop of 9×16. Instead of shooting 16×9 (horizontal image), we opted to use custom crop marks on the Red to help our client visualize where we would be cropping later in the editing room. Utilizing the 8k sensor, we were able to capture a full 4000+ pixels tall, while maintaining our 9×16 aspect ratio. This allowed for ample re-framing and cropping options. It also gave us the ability to pull full 35 megapixel 16×9 still frames, or “photos”, from the same footage. 8k resolution has so many great benefits, and we continue to use it as much as possible.

Formatting for Delivery

Vestique wanted to be able to share across the Instagram platform on their story, posts, and IGTV. We formatted and delivered the videos for each specific format. For example, Instagram posts use a wider 4×5 aspect ratio, whereas the story and IGTV are 9×16. We also created a short teaser, that Vestique shared on their Instagram story to create hype around the new clothing line – including a countdown timer to the release. Their audience could not wait!

Upon completion, Vestique and their marketing team were extremely happy with the content we delivered. A wide variety of projects such as this, are what keep the creative juices flowing for the Nowsay team. We enjoyed every aspect of this project!

Coca-Cola and the Carolina Panthers

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Bringing Coca Cola to Bank of America Stadium

On our latest project with Coca Cola Consolidated, we headed to the Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. Nowsay was hired to conceptualize and produce multiple videos to spread the word of their new partnership with the Carolina Panthers. For over 10 years Pepsi has been the main beverage vendor inside Bank of America Stadium; therefore, this new partnership announcement was extremely important to our clients at Coca Cola Consolidated.

2 Projects 1 Day

This fast paced project commanded two different goals. First, we were asked to film and create a “behind the scenes” video of a photo shoot that took place with Defensive Tackle, Kawaan Short, and Coach, Ron Rivera. These were to be used for multiple marketing purposes. The second task was to create a 30 second teaser to be shared on all social platforms for the Panthers & Coca Cola Consolidated. The concept included the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and the Carolina Panthers, Sir Purr, in a suspenseful yet comical passing of the ‘torch’. With four different film locations and limited access to certain parts of the stadium, this was not an easy task. Our team had to work swiftly, and most importantly, effectively. 

Aerials

The spot called for two different aerial shots (tight & wide) with a Coca-Cola delivery truck that we had reserved for two hours. These particular shots took planning and coordination to make sure our drone system, the DJI Inspire 2, was in the correct place. We wanted to capture the Coca Cola truck as it drove past Bank Of America stadium, on highway 277. We nailed these shots quickly and were able to move on ahead of schedule. 

Panther Locker Room

After capturing the delivery truck, it was time to get into the Panthers locker room for our next shot. If you haven’t been in a NFL locker room before, they are massive in size. We were able to light our subject with Arri Skypanels at one end, while making sure not to intrude on Coach’s photoshoot happening down at the other end. Working with public figures can be a little nerve racking for some. Our goal is to treat them just like any other client – with warmth, respect, and friendliness. This good rapport benefits everyone involved, ultimately resulting in a greater final product.

Camera Setup

Since we were moving quickly from location to location, we made the decision to run our RED Helium 8k on the EasyRig support system for most of the day. This system allowed our camera operator to move quickly and freely while achieving a multitude of different shots. We also ran our wireless video monitoring system so our director, Zach, and clients from Coca Cola, always had eyes on the action as takes were being captured. This ensured everyone was pleased.

Fast Paced Project

Oh, and one thing we haven’t mentioned.. We learned about the project less than one week from the official shoot day! The ball needed to start rolling and rolling fast. From learning about the shoot the week of, pulling all the moving pieces together, and then turning around the edits as fast as possible for the announcement deadline, we are proud to say that we pulled it off – start to finish in less than two weeks! 

Congratulations to Coca Cola and their new partnership with the Carolina Panthers. Cheers!