Masahiro Tanaka, superstar pitcher for the New York Yankees, finally caught up with Pokemon in Orlando, Florida for a recent shoot with our friends from Quark-Tokyo, part of the AOI group of companies. Near the Yankees’ offseason training facility in Tampa, we were charged with finding a sound stage that could accommodate a large lighting setup as well as a still shoot to complement the tropical plate shots that make up Tanaka’s environment in the spot.

Shot on an Arri Alexa with Master Primes, the commercial was produced in one day utilizing local crew from the Orlando area along with select bi-lingual crew from New York and Los Angeles, we even used a maternity pillow. Though its not a powerhouse location like Los Angeles, New York or Miami, Orlando’s sound stage access is impressive as we shot at Chapman stages on a painted cyc. Due to the specialty equipment necessary, the local rental houses had to utilize their partnerships in order to accommodate the special lens requests as well as the need for several large green screens. The overall experience was one that will certainly draw us back to Florida to work with the seasoned crews in the center region of the state.

The second stop on director Phil Brown and Markenfilm’s latest world tour for Commerzebank deposited them in New York City. The long running German campaign this time featured a real New York-based bank employee running the extra (mile) kilometer for his customers.

Shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge presented a unique opportunity as well as an abundance of challenges. Since there is currently construction on the bridge, no permits are being granted for filming on the bridge. However, New York City’s permitting rules don’t require a permit for hand-held photography on public property. As this is the case, we were able to film sunrise which normally would not be permitted due to rush hour restrictions. Of course, without the ability to control the bridge, we had to be ready to seize our low-traffic opportunities.

Other stops on the New York postcard tour included the Brooklyn Promenade, its surrounding areas and then a move into Manhattan’s Central Park for some additional shots. During his stay- Phil, and his DoP Neels Feil– shot from several scouted rooftops and out the windows of SUVs to capture B-roll of the City.

The commercial was shot on Alexa and 5D with many shots taken from a steadicam operated from a rickshaw dolly, a unique homespun camera car perfect for navigating New York’s bridges, sidewalks and jogging paths.

When we opened the script for RumChata Adventures, we never could have expected what was in store for us as we helped this small brand from Chicago go global. Launching in several countries worldwide, the client was looking for a visceral way to connect with local audiences in some of their larger international markets. Global Branding Officer and Director Charlie Maas sought out the local opinions of friends and colleagues on naturally beautiful locations that would immediately place viewers in their respective countries.

Our first stop was Mexico, where we journeyed to Tulum, taking advantage of its beautiful beaches, abundant sunshine and hidden cenotes. Shot entirely from a drone, we began with a sunrise on a private beach just south of downtown Tulum. Waiting for us there was an old wooden boat who’s shipwrecked hull had blended into the scenery of the landscape, adding to its mystique. From there we went into the jungle to fly into and around a cenote, a water cave which is a natural phenomenon for that part of the country.

After Mexico, the next logical destination is… Canada, of course. The Canadian Rockies have served most recently as the backdrop for The Revenant, where crews continue to recount the uncompromising production of the Oscar nominated film. We visited the same woods to shoot more drone footage of mature coniferous forests, majestic snow-capped peaks and crystal clear lakes.

Our furthest destination was the 12 Apostles in Victoria, Australia about three hours from Melbourne. The limestone structures have been battered by the ocean for millions of years leaving a majestic setting, perfectly captured by our drone.

For certain, it was an adventure. Enjoy.

After a great run on the Lot in West Hollywood, we have moved our office to Marina del Rey in the heart of Los Angeles’ Westside where we contracted the best internet service. With an expanded space that is walking distance to shops, restaurants, hotels and many of the area’s Air BnBs, our new space is perfectly equipped to handle productions from all over the world. With room for production, a private conference room for directors, a lounge/TV area and a private changing area for fittings, the production office has it all. Did I mention that we’re a short bike ride to the beach?

Let’s shoot something in LA so that you can see it all for yourself!

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Check out the new music video for The Last Shadow Puppets’ “Everything You’ve Come to Expect” here: http://eycte.it

Shot in one day at Point Dume in Malibu, we can safely say that Alex Turner and Miles Kane are still alive. Creative director Saam Farahmand of London’s Black Sheep Studios collective came up with this concept that demanded the full participation and trust of the band. Buried up to their necks in the sand, our crew made sure that all safeties were in place so we could pull off having the waves crashing against their heads. Working within the California Coastal Commission’s parameters, we built a support structure that allowed the artists the easy ability to stay seated while also giving them the flexibility to get up if the waves came too close or they needed to vacate their performance.

Under the watchful eye of Chung-Hoon Chung, renowned Korean cinematographer famous for the film Old Boy, our steadicam operator Cedric Martin’s carefully choreographed movements created a visually stunning and poetic piece sure to call all the right attention to The Last Shadow Puppets first album since 2008. Also worth noting is the use of 16mm film to give the video clip its distinct look. Casting was provided by Shane Liem, a collaborator of CD Farahmand. Her dedication to finding the right people, notably dancer Michelle Dawley, for this project was unparalleled.

Stay tuned as this was one of two videos produced by Black Sheep Studios for the new TLSP record. The album drops on April 1, 2016.

For the better part of a month, we had an up close and personal view to the inner workings of one of the greatest athletes in the world. Working with virtual reality pioneers, Felix and Paul from Montréal, for Uninterrupted’s Facebook page, we followed LeBron James and his trainer Mike Mancias as they trained for the upcoming NBA season. 2015-2016 is LeBron’s first season back in Cleveland after four years playing in Miami, which is where we met up with him to join him for activities such as swimming, scrimmaging basketball, lifting weights, yoga, pilates and having fun on his golf cart. In addition to LeBron, many of his teammates joined in the fun as he held “voluntary” scrimmages to get the team into game shape to pursue Cleveland’s first championship in any sport since the 1950s. Working closely with such a famous athlete and his team was made easier by our Miami crew’s familiarity with him from the previous four years shooting with him as well as the comfort level the directors were able to achieve by sharing some of their other VR work. There were unique challenges working with the VR equipment since it uses proprietary technology that is constantly being tested and improved. As the shoot went forward, LeBron became more and more comfortable with the process especially because VR shooting is less invasive due to the fact that the camera gets set and then everyone that is not a subject is compelled to leave the room. Miami is an amazing city to shoot in with its diverse architecture, easy permitting rules and excellent crew. It can stand in easily for a coastal European city, a tropical paradise or stand on its own as a great location/destination.

A who’s who of YouTube celebrities lined up for New Form Digital’s launch project Oscar’s Hotel, from the infinitely creative mind of PJ Liguori. This six-part original series transports its audience to a whimsical, fantastical universe. As the characters travel through the hotel, worlds upon worlds open up leaving nary a quiet night. Taking on the challenge of making PJ’s characters come to life, the venerable Jim Henson Company dove in head-first, creating unique puppets and costumes. Shot on the Red Dragon, the show has a fluidity and intimacy that captures the viewer and draws them in as part of the experience. The EasyRig allowed for the flexibility and freedom to perform unconventional camera movements and a unique floating esthetic. Shot over 12 days on location at Castle Green in Los Angeles, CA as well as on a sound stage, Oscar’s Hotel stars Chris Kendall with an ensemble guest cast featuring Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, PewDiePie, Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina, Elliott Gould and too many to mention! Check out the teaser here and mark your calendars for September 15th for the release of the entire series on Vimeo.

Shot over 3 days with the Gumxie team from Bangkok, director Awiroot “Gong” Paiboonattakit and Dentsu Thailand, this was our first collaboration with the Production Service Network. Featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and their hit song, “Sugar,” this shoot had a little bit of everything.

Spread over three days, day one was on a sound stage in Los Angeles where we shot Adam along with some interiors of the car, I was also able to sleep with the best mongolian fur pillow. We only had him for one day and the driving shots showing him in the Toyota were actually composited from plates shot from the telescopic crane. Day two was a quick run out to Palm Springs to get some desert backdrops as well as some windmills signifying the efficiency of the Corolla. It was here that we used our drone along with the Pursuit Crane. Both are amazing pieces of equipment that can cover a car, or any shoot, unlike any other. Day three was shot entirely from the Pursuit Crane as we made our way around downtown Los Angeles capturing beauty shots of the car in both the day and the night.

Happily reuniting with director Alexis Durant-Brault and the Montreal-based team from Jet Films and Cossette, the crew braved sub-freezing temperatures and a lot of snow to bring McDonalds burgers to hockey fans in Boston. The concept was based around a new burger sold exclusively in Quebec call the Max 61 in honor of hockey star Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens. The idea is that Boston Bruins fans would not be able to resist the tastiness of the new burger despite its origin as the official burger of the their hated rivals to the north.

Shooting with an F900 and casting real hockey fans on the streets of one of America’s oldest cities proved to be a challenge with the weather being quite inhospitable. Covered with two-meter-high snowbanks, Boston had one of their most brutal winters on record. Luckily, when it came time to roll the cameras, the weather warmed and the sun came out providing the crew with enough light and warmth to make the shoot a success.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is being sold in China and in the latest campaign produced by Wasa Be, Tokyo and director Kaoru Haga, the city of San Francisco is the star of the show. Its hills and and valleys provide the perfect backdrop to show the efficiency of the multi-tasking car as it winds its way through the City and Oakland.

Beautifully shot in September on an Alexa by DoP Yoshi Yasaki, we were able to pull most of the crew locally with an incredible art department team and efficient location preparation. The permit process in San Francisco is not as swift as Los Angeles and New York but we were able to shoot in high traffic areas such as Alamo Square, the Mission and Treasure Island nonetheless. For the final driving scenes overlooking the entire bay area, we ventured to Grizzly Peak high up in the Oakland Hills. The weather cooperated perfectly with the rain stopping just in time for some openings in the clouds, giving us the perfect beams piercing the puffy white sky.

The casting was done locally, with a surprisingly proficient and diverse talent pool. At first, it was unclear if we would have to tap into Los Angeles’ vast network of actors, but we tried to cast in SF first. Encouraged by our early sessions, the thought of bringing actors from elsewhere was quickly abandoned.

This film served as a reunion for us with the director and Japanese production team from our Toyota Prius shoot from two years ago which featured C3P0 and R2D2 from Star Wars. Its always great to welcome back our friends. Enjoy the film!

Piston King Motor Oil is doing something different in their industry by selling their product online. Therefore they enlisted the services of agency Shine United out of Madison, WI to bring the funny to the crazy world of motor oil.

The online campaign certainly doesn’t hold back when portraying the fictional Piston King Headquarters. With the help of stunt driver Mike Ryan, all of the driving stunts were done in camera. The flying boat might have been CG but we will neither confirm or deny this…

The films were shot on an Arri Alexa at the Pomona Fairplex just east of Los Angeles. Enjoy!

http://www.pistonking.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/PistonKingMotorOil/videos
https://www.facebook.com/PistonKingMotorOil

Wasa Be-Tokyo, director Makoto Hirano and agency ADK called upon Fixer to put together their shoot for Toshiba at New York’s historic Grand Central Terminal. The client, together with Grand Central installed LED lights to line the great hall to better illuminate the landmark’s most notable space. Wanting to highlight this product, the commercial was commissioned at the highest levels of the venerable electronics giant, and it will be another highlight of a booster that you can review here, this product will change your performance in quality and speed.

Because of their close relationship, Grand Central allowed our crew to film from the 5th floor catwalks at the East and West ends of the building. Since 2001, no commercial or narrative production has been permitted to do so because of logistical and security concerns. Working closely with the location, we were able to successfully lobby for wider permissions.

While there are a number of challenges working at a location such as Grand Central, there are people within the Metropolitan Transit Authority who are designated liaisons that make filming, permitting and logistics much easier than one might think. Our location manager had a long-standing relationship with the film contact so with the lines of communication open, there were no surprises. There are rush hour restrictions on the weekdays so we chose to shoot on a Saturday evening into Sunday morning since we would also get 3 hours to shoot while the Terminal is closed to the public.

The commercial was shot on an Arri Alexa employing both a Fisher dolly as well as Steadicam to achieve the fluid look. The actors were all cast locally in New York. Extras were used sparingly around each of our principles to hide the general public. For the widest shots, we shot while the terminal was open with the general public walking through frame unrecognizable.

Another interesting note is that the weather in New York was brutal in the winter of 2013-2014. During our initial location scout there was a polar vortex which plunged temperatures to -10 celsius. During the days before and after the shoot there were several snowstorms challenging the infrastructure of the City. At the end of the day, New York is used to cold weather and snow so it never became a huge problem.

One of our favorite productions to date, it was certainly an amazing experience to shoot in Grand Central. Executive Producer and Line Producer Eric Brown grew up going in and out of the city through Grand Central Terminal and it was a dream realized to finally shoot there.

Shooting in the high desert north of Los Angeles, director Billy Pols, Dr Film and Belgian clothing company JBC selected Fixer to facilitate their shoot. Serving as a base for our 3 day shoot, the world famous 4 Aces was an ideal filming location with its pre-dressed motel, bar/diner and gas station. The film follows the journey of our two hero ladies in their cross country adventure putting Axelle Red’s line of clothing for JBC to the test in the American desert.

In addition to the film, we also shot 360 degree footage for a press conference announcing the clothing line. Working with Social Animal and their custom built camera, we had to shut down the road with the help of the California Highway Patrol. The 360 degree look is achieved with 8 separate camera systems with the same lenses spaced accordingly so that when they are shown on screen the environment is seamless.

Working with an Alexa as well as a Bolex, the film was shot completely handheld to achieve a loose look that resembled the relaxed feel of the clothes. The other star of the show is the car, a vintage Mercedes obtained with the cooperation of a local picture car company.

As with most commercials, the shoot was packaged together with the above-mentioned press conference shoot, a photoshoot and an interview with Axelle Red, the Belgian pop singer and now clothing designer.

Shooting in our backyard on the lot, we brought a real live black leopard to the wilds of West Hollywood for our shoot with director Yutaka Sano, AOI-Tokyo and Hakuhodo-Tokyo for UCC coffee.

Trainer Eric Weld from Hollywood Animals even brought one of the tigers used on “The Hangover,” on its way to an evening event nearby our studio, as well as a backup spotted leopard. Working with Murphy, our star, was a breeze as the trainers used commands and delicious rewards to get him to look into camera, step up on a block or move side to side.

The film was shot in one day with a pre-light and lensed with both a Phantom and an Alexa provided by Panavision.

Escaping the cold of Montréal, director Alexis Durant-Brault and the team from Jet Films found the perfect location in the South Pasadena section of Los Angeles for their shoot for BMO earlier this year. The entirety of the shoot was lensed from a thirty foot Technocrane courtesy of the guys at Cranium. This allowed for an efficient and rapid shoot day.

The French-speaking actors were cast and brought from Montreal while Fixer filled in the one non-speaking role. The street location in South Pasadena is often used as a substitute for east coast houses because of its resemblance to northeast style victorian and craftsman homes. The location search was done with a combination of file photos and boots to the ground scouting.

This commercial is a companion to an english film for the same client shot last year.

We’re very happy to announce that we have moved into our new LA office on The Lot. In the heart of Hollywood, the office is located on a historic piece of property that has been an active studio lot since 1923. With easy access to studio space, ample parking, a commissary as well as other restaurants, the lot provides us with a flexible work space that can be expanded or shrunk to accommodate any and all LA-based shoots. We look forward to welcoming you all here.

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Tesauro once again called upon Fixer to produce its States-side work, trading the streets of midtown Manhattan for a soundstage on the prestigious Paramount lot in the heart of Hollywood.

The task at hand was to duplicate a set constructed in Madrid for director Erik Morales’ shoot with footballers Iker Casillas and Andrés Iniesta. In Los Angeles- we shot two NBA players, Kevin Durant and James Harden- over the course of two days. The four athletes were demonstrating the different mobile banking features available to customers of this worldwide bank.

The challenges for the shoot were being able to complete all the material with the celebrities in the allotted time. With two build days and a pre-light, the task was made simpler by the professionalism of the crews both in the US and in Spain. In addition to the commercials, we also serviced the accompanying stills campaign.

Whether called Snoop Dog or now Snoop Lion, there is no doubt that he’s an icon and a legend. When Pulse Films, London and director Ben Newman phoned to shoot a commercial with the musician in Los Angeles, we were certainly up for the challenge. Shot on Alexa in one long shoot day, this commercial for Foot Locker and Adidas was a lot of fun to produce because of the many toys we had to procure for the penultimate scene at the famous Venice Beach basketball courts. Challenges were abound in the production from the casting of the skater to securing a location iconic enough to serve the story. Finally, the shoot was extremely smooth and this UK campaign is bound for great success, having already been recognized in Creativity.

We love when the work we do reaches a larger audience via any of the advertising trade magazines. In this case, we were given the opportunity to work with Snoop Lion via this job from Pulse Films, London and director Ben Newman. The commercial was featured online at Creativity Magazine.

We’re pleased to welcome our friends from Tesauro back to the States. This time, we’ve traded the streets of midtown Manhattan for the Paramount Studios lot in the heart of Hollywood. The global campaign for BBVA features several athletes and is being shot between Los Angeles and Madrid. We’re very proud to be a part of this shoot with Tesauro.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6qlI-JDCaM&feature

Shot in LA and Salt Lake City, the preceding takes the behind-the-scenes shoot to a new level. Directed by Anthony Austin and Charlie Inman from Mother London’s in-house production arm, we were thrown head first into the world of electronic dance music (EDM) at its highest level. Tiesto, the world famous DJ, played shows in both LA and Salt Lake City and the production of the main commercial, directed and produced by Traktor, was centered around his travels. In addition to the main BTS film, we produced social media apps, a video game, and even a Chinese version made for this truly global campaign. Check out everything Acer Aspire P3 related here: http://www.acer.com/aspirep3/en_US/

View from the helipad roofdeck…

The aptly titled commercial, “Nueva York,” was shot over the course of 3 days with director Rebéca Diaz and the team from Tesauro, Barcelona. Taking advantage of the beautiful fall light in New York, the exteriors were able to capture the kinetic energy of the city. Employing a small unit, we were able to take our actor and her cello onto the subway as well as shoot some 2nd unit shots around the city that didn’t involve the entire crew. The interiors were shot in Barcelona while the exteriors were shot entirely in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Here’s our office for the day… Not too shabby…

Shot just a few, short weeks ago in Downtown Los Angeles and Lancaster, CA over two days, we were able to tick a few boxes off of the bucket list working with Lucasfilms, C3PO and R2D2. Wasa-Be-Tokyo and director Kaoru Haga allowed us the opportunity to help them on this commercial for the Japanese market for the new Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid.

This was shot with an Alexa and then colored at Company3.

Shooting day 1 of 1 on Cordoniu with our friends from Tesauro, Barcelona.

Martini is up in Midtown…

We had some special appearances for an upcoming shoot that we can’t wait to share with you! Very exciting things are happening.

Shooting ‘Superhumans’ in Downtown LA with our friends from the BBC Scotland.

Parkour and ultra marathons to come…

Scouting for a car commercial… Or is it a spaceship commercial?

Day 2 of 2 on Credit Agricole with TRS Brussels. Today we’re in the Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp in Bastrop, Texas shooting in a burnt forest.

Scouting wheat fields in Texas.

Shot in my hometown of Rye, NY with director Bram Coppens and agency, J. Walter Thompson- New York, this public service announcement aims to raise awareness to the fact that more military veterans perish as a result of suicide than combat.

Director Paul Ruigrok from Caviar Amsterdam’s team brings us all the way around the world in this spot for ABN/AMRO Bank. Selmore’s campaign centers around the bank’s ability to extend their clients’ global reach. The bank’s clients that we highlighted in the portion of the film that we produced were Heineken, Dockwise, and Randstad.

Shot on location in New York and Houston, we were given very tight parameters with which to work so that the precise wipes and post production techniques worked as planned. Using an Arri Alexa and a helicopter, we were able to get many different looks at the New York skyline on which they were able to merge shots of boats and barges filmed in Mallorca.

In Houston, we were aided by the extremely helpful Houston Film Office and Police Department which allowed us free-reign over some of their busiest freeways in the middle of the work day. The carefully choreographed shots were completed from a Chapman-Leonard camera car and with the camera on a flight head for stabilization.

One interesting note is that we were out to dinner near our hotel with the whole team and as we entered the restaurant, George Bush Sr. was exiting. Its not every day that you get to see an ex-US President, regardless of your politics.

Shooting today in Houston, Texas with our friends from Caviar Amsterdam for ABN/AMRO.

Shot with director Keith English and Caviar Belgium, this shoot for Cappy/Minute Maid was lensed for the Eastern European market.

Enjoy!

Shot in Los Angeles for Huge out of Brooklyn, director Tobias Perse crafts a reenactment of a real ‘walk of shame’ story. Working with a tight budget, we were able to gather some of our regular crew who were happy to help with this project. Since the material was funny, there was a great mood on set and a lot of laughs.

This is the second of two commercials shot with our friends from Pulse Films, London. Directing team, Fred&Nick, apply their unique visual approach to these films about British ex-patriots, enjoying a proper cuppa.

Shot in one long day in Los Angeles (yes, we have ice rinks in sunny LA!!), this web film for Caviar Paris and Buzzman shows just how far a close shave can get you. Director Keith Schofield was just the man to pull off this crazy idea. Using a mix of actors and real curlers, Keith was able to balance the sheer wackiness of the concept with athletic authenticity.

Los Angeles was chosen as a location for its many casting options and opportunities as well as the many location options available (yes, there are MANY ice rinks in Southern California!!).

Shooting Human Curling for Bic Razors and Caviar Paris. Yes, he’s sliding on the ice. Yes, it’s cold.

Yep… That’s the White House in the background. Fixer is shooting today in Washington DC. Unfortunately, the President is too busy dealing with unrest in the Middle East to come out and enjoy a Proper Brew. Next time…

The funny thing about this video is that the car dealership is right at the end of our street. This was by far the shortest commute ever.

Yorkshire Tea makes it to Shots.

This is one of two commercials that will air in the UK for Yorkshire Tea. The commercials act as a teaser for a multi-pronged ad campaign centered around Yorkshire Tea’s Facebook Page and the companies’ mobile tea-brewing van Little Urn, which made the journey to America to bring British ex-patriots a proper brew.

With the first leg of the journey complete, Little Urn will be re-surfacing on the East Coast for a new round of video blogs, individual stories, and another TV commercial.

Stay tuned…

…more Little Urn…

Little Urn goes to Las Vegas.

This is the first film in the Little Urn series… More to come.

And so it begins…

Fixer is proud to be hosting Pulse Films, directors Fred & Nick, and the whole Yorkshire Tea family as we all help Little Urn on its journey across America, bringing British ex-patriots a proper brew. You can follow Little Urn’s whereabouts on Facebook and http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBB25C49FCDA90AC3.

Shooting Cappy with Caviar Brussels today in LA.

Here are a few set pictures from our shoot for The Rodenburgs, a popular Belgian TV series. Director Eric Wirix and his team from Brussels got the most out of New York, shooting in key locations such as Times Square, Central Park, and aboard the Staten Island Ferry.

We all look forward to next season. Thank you to the team at Skyline TV for a great shoot.

Just another day in The Park…

Today is shoot day of 1 of 2 with the Skyline TV team from Brussels. We’re shooting some scenes for The Rodenburgs. Today, we’re in Brooklyn on a beautiful tree-lined street.

Scouting Brooklyn with the team from Skyline TV, Brussels for some scenes to be inserted into future episodes of The Rodenburgs.

Shooting Mark Ronson with Channel 4 from the UK this weekend. Today we shot in a house in Beverly Hills and tomorrow we join Mark on the set of his new music video. Set pix to come…

With a big thank you to Clara, Jean-Frederic and the Location Guide, fixer’s first press release is out there in the world. See you guys in Cannes!

London!

With a big arigato gozaimasu to AOI Promotions, fixer has completed its first service job- a stills shoot for Sony and Hakuhodo with Tadanobu Asano. Shot in Santa Fe, NM, the photographer was Satoro Takayangi.

Most endeavors with motivated people fueled by caffeinated beverages…

Starting a company is exhilarating, scary, and refreshing all at the same time.  Since we are just starting out, we’re going to begin by posting about some of the many projects we’ve had the chance to work on.  Present, past, and future to come…