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Totally Under Control Film

Shooting A Documentary During Covid

Back in July I got a phone call from a producer in New York at Jigsaw Productions, Alex Gibney's production company. Alex Gibney gained notoriety 20 years ago with his documentary, "Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room." He has made several documentary films and series since, often on high profile subjects. His latest project was a film about the government's response to covid-19. They wanted to include an interview from Max Kennedy Jr. (grandson of RFK), who happened to…

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A Mom And Her Daughter Water Plants At Habitat For Humanity House

Habitat For Humanity Goes Virtual

Many nonprofit organizations hold an annual in-person fundraising event where they raise the bulk of their funding for the year. Videos are often shown at these events with the goal of engaging prospective donors on an emotional level. Over the years I've created several such videos to great success. I focus on the stories of people who have benefited from my client's services. And I use a documentary and observational style to tell those stories in an authentic and humanistic…

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Crush Walls 2020

My office is in the RiNo area of Denver. Until recently, RiNo was largely a run down area littered with warehouses and manufacturing buildings. Over the six years I've been there I've witnessed it transform. Many of the warehouses have been demolished and replaced by apartment and condo buildings. Others have been transformed into market halls and offices. And walls, lots of walls, have been beautified by spray paint artists. Crush Walls was founded 11 years ago, right around the…

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Portfolio Video Cover

Getting Creative About Marketing During Covid

I recently completed a new print portfolio and was all excited about being able to present it to current and potential clients and then ... covid. Sigh. Since so many of our interactions have gone virtual, I thought, why not a portfolio presentation, too? So I enlisted the help of my girlfriend, who always has great ideas, to help me think of the best approach. I set up in her nicely decored office and asked her to direct me. She…

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Denver Teacher Sits At Her Desk Preparing For Covid School Year

Portraits for NEA Today Magazine

Rachel Sandoval is a teacher in the Denver Public School system. I met up with her last week to create photos for a story about her in an upcoming issue of NEA Today Magazine, the publication produced by the National Education Association. Like many teachers preparing for school during Covid, she is working hard preparing for the upcoming school year. When I met with her, she was busy recording videos for her virtual students. For her in-person students, she’ll need…

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Rodman Schley Editorial Portrait For Valuation Magazine At Taxi In Denver

Portraits for Valuation Magazine

If you meet Rodman Schley and ask him, "what do you do for a living," be prepared for a long answer. Rodman is a national TV host, a keynote speaker, a serial entrepreneur, real estate expert, and published author. Phew! Oh wait, I forgot to add television producer. His expertise in real estate is what caught the attention of The Appraisal Institute, which produces Valuation Magazine, a monthly publication for real estate appraisers. Rodman is based in Denver where I…

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The Action Center Nonprofit Fundraising Video

How I Put Color Back in Maureen’s Life

I've been making films in one form or another for 20 years. You would think I have seen it all. But every project I take on has something unique about it that requires thinking of a new solution or approach. I suppose that's one of the reasons I still love doing what I do so many years in. Such was the case with the latest video I created for The Action Center, a nonprofit in Lakewood, Colorado, that provides immediate…

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Is THIS the Most Interesting Man Alive?

Jim Fresquez grew up in an East LA gang, worked in the animation department of Walt Disney, then trained raced horses working with the man who was part of the team that trained Seabiscuit. Today, he still trains horses and has added vigneron to his long and varied resume. He and his wife operate Rust Ridge Ranch and Vineyard in Napa Valley.  They include an B&B, which is where I stayed after doing job in San Francisco. Their vineyard is…

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A Home For Gerardo

Jerry Caruso had a very successful business remodeling kitchens. It allowed him to have a nice house. Cars. Pay for his children's education. But it wasn't enough. Something was missing. I need to find a way to give back, he thought. One afternoon he met with with a doctor at Children's Hospital. Jerry asked him if he knew of something that needed help but is often overlooked. The doctor told him that there was a lot of assistance out there…

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Marathon in the Dark

In the spring of last year my friend Carey emailed me from her home in Maryland. "Denise and I signed up for a half marathon in Joshua Tree in November," she wrote. "Do you want to come?" My response: "Do they have an eighth?" I was not adverse to running. I'd run track and cross country in high school, but the max distance for any one of those races was 3.1 miles. In my adulthood, I prefer to run when…

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A Holistic Portfolio is Born

Apologies if you felt a breath of air come from your screen after landing on this website. That was just me blowing off some lint after rubbing in the final polish on what is a brand new website for me. I began my career in Washington, DC, where I worked primarily as a freelance director of photography. I shot a ton of VIP interviews and content for documentaries and broadcast television. It was fun and rewarding, but after 10 years…

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