St Petersburg Video Production Company Produces Local Web Series

St Petersburg Video Production Company Produces Local Web Series

From the studio that brought you the award-winning Tampa web series The Skyship Chronicles, the feature film Jules Dongu Saves the World, and the award-winning short Magazine Issues, comes another series based on the real-life adventures of our own St Petersburg video production company! Ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes of a major production company? Well, we just wrapped principal photography on an 8 episode web series that is doing just that.

st petersburg video production company beach

Our Tampa video production crew finishes a night shoot at one of St. Petersburg’s many gorgeous beaches!

“BTS” (short for behind-the-scenes) utilizes documentary style cinematography to follow a ragtag group of filmmakers as they produce a “big” budget film, along with all the crazy actors, executives, and characters that follow suit. The series takes a satirical look behind the filmmaking curtains to capture the absurd daily life of those working at a film studio as they attempt to produce a sci-fi space opera, combining the adventure of “Star Wars” with the music of “Les Miserables”.

st petersburg independent film at sunset

It’s a duel at sunset! Filming BTS on St. Pete’s Gandy beach… Or is it an other worldly planet?

Litewave Media founder Christian Cashmir initially came up with the idea for the series years ago after experiencing a crazy day on set where everything that happened behind-the-scenes seemed more interesting than the project they were actually filming. In summer of 2016, that idea began to come to fruition when he and co-creator Jason Henne finished mapping out the entire series and sat down with our team of writers to being working on season 1. We approached the St Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission (FilmSPC) about partnering, and they offered the project a generous grant… From there, it was off to the races!

tampa video production studio outside

The cast of BTS filming outstide Litewave Studios

Once our writers had penned their last drafts, it was time to begin pre-production. Series creator and director Christian Cashmir brought in co-producers Briston George and Alissa Schneider, directors of photography Eric Coughlin, Daryn Murphy, and Scott Sullivan, key grip and gaffer Sasha Sebesta, and assistant director Lynne Hansen to helm the series. For the cast, we brought on actors Chris Cavalier from the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures, Lucius Baston (Stranger Things, Bad Leiutenant), Owen Harn (The Walking Dead, True Detective), Vivian Alvarez (12 Years a Slave), Chris Jackson (The Inbetweeners), and Alison Burns Jackson, who was a lead in the national tour of the hit musical Rent, as well as a plethora of extremely talented local actors to accompany them!

st petersburg video production studio scene

Everyone’s excited for the new arrival. Who could it be??

Production was a hurricane of fun as we filmed the entire series in just under 2 weeks! To film the series, we brought our St Petersburg grip truck to some of the city’s most gorgeous beaches and exotic locales. Much of the series we filmed in-house, on both our St. Petersburg white cyc studio and Tampa green screen studio (needless to say, our Tampa video production crew was thankful for the easy load-outs!). Key grip Sasha Sebesta also outfitted the overhead lighting in the entire office-area of the studio with Kino Flo daylight balanced bulbs to make lighting for the office scenes quick, soft, and easy (our studio actually decided to keep these in place for any other types of future shoots – or maybe season 2…)

st petersburg video production crew beach

Director Christian Cashmir giving dance lessons to the BTS cast while filming on the beach. Just look at that footwork, baby!

From our equipment package, we filmed the entire first season on our Canon C300 Mk II and C300 Mk I cameras, some Canon L zoom lenses and Canon CN-E cinema prime lenses. We even brought out camera operator Eric Coughlin’s Steadicam to get some more cinematic footage for the “movie-within-a-movie” scenes.

filming on tampa white cyc studio

Director of photography Eric Coughlin using the Canon C300 MkII camera on our Tampa white cyc studio.

With principal photography finished, we’ve now taken all of the footage we have to our Tampa post-production company, where our editors will cut together each of the 8 episodes. Looking forward, we’ll bring in the talented actors to our St. Petersburg recording studio, in which we’ll produce all of the songs for the series’ musical numbers. We’ve got a ton of work left and our team hasn’t stopped yet!

st petersburg video production crew beach

It’s ninja beach! Cast and crew sandy, yet happy after a fun day of filming fight scenes on the beach!

Watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at “Behind The Scenes”:

Stay tuned for more updates as “BTS” progresses. Remember to like our Facebook page for behind the scenes photos and videos as we continue working on the series! In the meantime, check out some of the other work we’ve done, like music videos  and commercials!

Do you have a St. Petersburg independent film you’d like us to produce? Contact us today for a consultation. Be sure to like us on Facebook. Stay up to date on all St Petersburg video production company news by heading over to our blog.

Our Tampa Video Company Doubles Down at Gasparilla Film Festival

Our Tampa Video Company Doubles Down at Gasparilla Film Festival

What a weekend for Litewave Media! The Gasparilla Film Festival took over Tampa on March 19-24, launching a celebration of independent film with a focus on local Florida talent. Two films by our production company in Tampa FL screened back to back on Friday night: our feature length anime-action adventure comedy Jules Dongu Saves the World and our award-winning short film “F.”

This was the official Florida premier for Jules Dongu, which made its world debut at The Gotham Screen International Film Festival in New York City in October 2012. Our Tampa film crew started working on the movie seven years ago, and with many of the local cast and crewmembers in attendance at the Florida premier it felt like a real reunion. We are proud to say that many of us are still working together as colleagues and friends!

The Jules Dongu crew seven years after beginning work on the film

Jules Dongu garnered a very warm response from our hometown crowd. “People said they appreciated seeing a funny, feel-good movie at the festival,” said Litewave Media founder Christian Schwier. “Festival goers typically see three or four movies a day, and most deal with some pretty heavy subject matter. We were glad to lighten the mood.” Dongu is slated for a full festival circuit this year – and look out for the DVD and Bluray release this summer!

Jules Dongu made its official Florida premier at Gasparilla Film Festival

“F,” which won Best Film, among many other awards at Tampa’s 48 Hour Film Project and competed in Los Angeles at Filmapolooza, was shown as part of Gasparilla’s Shorts Program to a packed house. After the screening, we relived our hectic but thrilling 48-hour filmmaking process in a panel discussion. “There’s so much adrenaline going over the course of the weekend, everybody feels it,” said Schwier, a veteran of the guerilla filmmaking scene.

There was also some star power circulating in our midst. Surprise guest Colin Farrell came out in support of emerging artists, and actor Thomas Jane from the “The Punisher” franchise (filmed right here in Tampa Bay, FL) received the festival’s 2013 Career Achievement Award. “Gasparilla is a great platform, and it shows that we can produce Hollywood-quality film here in Florida,” said Schwier.

Christian Schwier and Thomas Jane with Gasparilla festival coordinator

After our big night, we spent the rest of the festival connecting with local and visiting filmmakers and attending some great industry panels. It was also an honor to support Litewave Media alum Jamie Parslow’s music video for the song “Waiting For Summer” by A Call From The Coast.

Christian and Taylor connect with new friends at the festival

To top it all off, ABC’s show The List did a news story on the festival and featured our film in the segment.  Check it out here:

We’re looking forward to sharing even more great independent film with you this year. Follow the blog and like us on Facebook to keep up with all Litewave Media’s projects. Do you have a video project coming up? Contact our Tampa video production company today for a free consultation.