An Ode: “Mother + Father” by Broods

A time in life comes when you realize you’re truly standing on your own. You’ve left your parents, your family, your friends, your safety nets…all of it behind so that you can chart your own course.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve made a video, or even had the time to make a video, but this is that point in my life. It’s hella scary. It’s hella exciting. And the only thing you can think of is being successful – not just in a career or your dating life, but to simply succeed at being your own person.

Brood’s single “Mother + Father” captivates that moment in time for me. And as quite possibly the last time I’ll make a video (never say never), I wanted to send off the last 7-8 years of my YouTube life with a personal statement.

Yes, growing up is hard to do. Making your own life is hard to do. But that’s what we do, and it’s important to realize you’ll always have your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends to fall back on. Here I focused on capturing little moments of childhood at the beach, something so simply, but something that bonds familial ties so distinctly. The little moments in life are the most precious.

Mom and Dad, this one’s for you…

…since I’m never going to be able to pay you back for the clothes I wanted you to buy for me and then I only wore them once…

With that, I present:

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Trapped! But “We’ll Be Fine” by Rebecca Ferguson

It’s been quite some time since I’ve released a self-made video. I can safely say that “The Pulse of the City” video for Hothouse is to blame, as well as my entire first semester of senior year at BU.

I recently came across X-Factor UK runner-up Rebecca Ferguson, a woman who’s soulful voice is immense and entrancing. A song from her second hit studio album (“Freedom”) entitled “We’ll Be Fine” struck me – it’s an intense song, one that echoes about in your head, constantly reminding you that you’ll always be fine, no matter the situation.

With a low battery on my camera, a laziness to charge it, and a desire to create something fun for myself, I threw myself into the fresh Connecticut snow and created this vision of my character being trapped by an invisible force field. He eventually calms down and escapes – an easy depiction of being fine, but an interesting one. I took some of the same visuals from my flick for “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry, which I think has the same successful effect.

Let me know: ya feelin’ fine?

The Pulse of the City: Kenmore Square

For the past four months of this semester, I’ve been enrolled in a class entitled Hothouse Productions, which is a student-run client-driven production company based at BU.

The goal of the semester? Make the best video for your client. Or else.

Goal met. Goal met big time.

My group and I – Kellan Reck, Katie Wolosoff, and Brian Gallagher AKA Team Kenmore – took on Hotel Commonwealth, a popular Boston hotel in Kenmore Square, as our client. We met with the hotel management, who charged us with the task of creating a promotional video not for them, but for Kenmore Square.

Shooting time lapses in Kenmore Square.
Shooting time lapses in Kenmore Square.

What’s the purpose of that? The hotel wanted to promote the special area Kenmore has become for the city. Kenmore used to be quite the dodgy neighborhood, but now, thanks to the hotel and thriving businesses in the square, Kenmore has quite literally become the heart of Boston. It’s pulse.

Kenmore Square is the where you see the pulse of the city.

More time lapses!
More time lapses!

Our resulting work below represents some of the most satisfying work my Brian, Katie, Kellan, and I have ever done. From shooting on the roof of the hotel in the wee hours of the morning to staying up way past our bedtime for lil meetings that became quite the bonding moments for us, we’ve created not just a promotional video for Hotel Commonwealth to share on their website, but a tribute to Kenmore. A tribute to Boston.

Why would you need to go anywhere else?

Shooting on the roof of Hotel Commonwealth.
Shooting on the roof of Hotel Commonwealth.

BIG BIG BIG special thanks to our professor, Barry Nolan, and his wife, Garland Waller, for all of their help in making this a success.

Producer: Brian Gallagaher

Associate Producer: Katie Wolosoff

Director: Kellan Reck

Editor & Media Manager: Chris Roys

Written by: Katie Wolosoff, Chris Roys & Brian Gallagaher

Narrator: Will Keary

Executive Producer: Barry Nolan

“The Biggest Loser Australia” Opening Titles

While interning with ZSPACE in Australia in 2012, I helped the crew work on the pitch and pre-production for the new opening titles to Australia’s “The Biggest Loser: The Next Generation.”

My duties included helping the company prepare their pitch to the showrunners in order to get the job. Once we (hooray!) got the job, we had to scout locations and plan out the logistics of the actual shoot. I unfortunately had to leave the country before the shoot happened, as my study abroad program had ended, but the final product is ultimately an emotive piece of work. I’m proud of the work the company did with this, capturing the strength of Cyndi Lauper’s track to represent the strength the competitors need to discover and embody.

“The Great Australian Bake-Off” Opening Titles

While working as an intern with ZSPACE in 2012, I had a hand in the creation of the opening titles for a new show on Channel 9 in Australia, titled “The Great Australian Bake-Off.”

My roles included first editing a pre-animatic so the Creative Director could piece together the timings of the 3D animations before we actually went out and shot the footage. Once it was time to shoot, I traveled with the crew to the outskirts of Sydney (almost near the Outback!) to witness some true Aussie living, and capture some of the iconic Aussie footage that the 3D artists would then turn into food.

It was an amazing learning experience, seeing how the process of adding animations to raw footage. There was much back and forth involved with arranging the soundtrack so the animations were timed correctly and didn’t appear disjointed. It was interesting to note the differences the director and 3D artists noted, both criticisms leading to a perfect and fun polished clip.

The final product is below:

BU FYSOP 2013 Closing Ceremony Film

There’s an essential fear that almost everyone experiences in their lifetime when entering a new part of their life. You don’t know what’s happening next; you don’t know what’s going to come of what new era you’re stepping in to.

It’s all a horror movie, really. That’s the idea myself and two other BU students took into account when we were asked by BU’s Director of Development Dr. Beverly Brown to produce and star in a short film to provide new students with upperclassmen advice, tips, tricks, and warnings about entering the university.

The result was a lot of fun to create. After filming all around campus, giving insight into different programs, activities, or ways of life, I applied multiple lighting effects at every turn to turn the university into…well, that’s a spoiler alert!

Watch:

Jurlique’s ‘Purely White’ Campaign

During my time as an intern at ZSPACE as a part of my BU Study Abroad in Australia, I acted as a production assistant on a shoot for cosmetic company Jurlique’s ‘Purely White’ Campaign, aiding the creation of various Expert and How-To videos. I logged data, managed props, and filmed behind-the scenes footage, some of which can be viewed in the promo ZSPACE made for the project below.

“How To BU” | A BU Orientation Web Series

As a part of my position working for Boston University Orientation, I was asked to create a mini-web series that would detail certain logistics and information for students attending the 7th Session.

I titled the series “How To BU” as obviously a pun on the university, but because literally that’s what the series was about. Where do you go for Orientation? When? How do you move in? What do you need to live on campus? How do you move it all in? What’s living in Boston actually like?

The episodes needed to be funny enough to capture the students’ attention so they would understand the information on where to go and how to check in with the university, but also convey a sense of BU pride and excitement for the upcoming academic year. I took all of this into consideration when writing the scripts, handling the filming, and managing the post-production and other effects.

Starring a fellow Program Advisor, Teresa Langford, and guest starring Hannah Breck in Episodes #2 and #4 & Haejee Park in Episodes #5 and #6, “How To BU” is a fun insight into the serious joy Boston University has brought to myself and to everyone I know at the university.

The only question remaining is: how do you, you know, BU?

EPISODE 1: ON WEDNESDAYS, WE GO TO ORIENTATION

EPISODE 2: MOVE-IN DAY!

EPISODE 3: YOU, YOURSELF, AND BEANTOWN

EPISODE 4: GIVE ME A BREAK

EPISODE 5: CULTURE SHOCK!

EPISODE 6: I SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL PASS MY CLASSES

One Final Gift: Passenger’s “Let Her Go”

The power of love within the confines of a relationship between two human beings is a beautiful thing. It makes us do absolutely crazy things that are somehow always genuine to the millionth degree. There’s an understanding that both are in this moment together, no matter what.

This piece I created for Passenger’s hit song “Let Her Go” took that idea, and yanked away one half of that love. Death. How can love permeate death? It’s a legitimate fear to not being loved once a significant other dies.

Here, I explored that dynamic between two men in love. The partner who was left behind is still in the mourning stages, and, as the letter from his partner reads, this mourning was completely the work of an illness. His grief is illustrated through the nondisclosure of his face and most of his body. Grief is an interesting concept, as it can be triggered in the most unexpected ways – through happy moments or sad moments or anything in-between.

[RELATED: Go behind-the-scenes of the making of this video!]

But then the video his partner left behind plays, a gift created so that he never has to remember him as sick, “but as someone who is eternally grateful and happy” his partner entered his life. This was the ultimate portrayal of love permeating death. In his final days, his partner wanted to illustrate just how happy in life and the world he was all thanks to their relationship, their love. In the end, love shines through.

No matter the situation, it’s always the most difficult to let someone go. Passenger evokes this with his music and lyrics.

I simply illustrated it through the love of two human beings, and one final gift.

Behind the Scenes: “Let Her Go”

UPDATE: Watch the new, full video here!

I’m not usually one to take people behind the camera lens as I create my videos (unless I’m getting paid to!), but with my upcoming work for Passenger’s breakout hit “Let Her Go” I just had the urge to. Sometimes you just gotta roll with those urges.

“Let Her Go” is an extremely evocative song, filled with so much emotion, perfectly balancing heartbreak with happiness and a tinge of future uncertainty. I used all three in creating my vision for the song.

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While I don’t want to spoil the premise of the whole film, I will say that I structured it as a film within a film. One character finds a DVD another character left behind and plays it, watching all the heartbreak, happiness, and future uncertainty unfold before his own eyes. It’s more of a film that will illustrate an acceptance of the blending of those three.

I’m struggling, however, with the effects, as I want a nostalgic tone, but not so much so that it looks like a movie from the ’80s (which has been a bit of my mantra the past couple of films). It’s a bit of challenge to separate what’s the real film and what’s the film on the DVD, but I’ve been working out different methods on this challenge.

One thing is for sure, though, it’s all slowly but surely coming together. As it always does, I suppose.

But hey, if we can’t celebrate the coming together but only the finished product, where’s the fun in that?