A few weeks back, our Tampa video production company had the chance to write, shoot, and edit a Star Wars fan film for the official competition sponsored by Lucasfilm and Disney! The challenge, put on yearly, encourages filmmakers to write, produce, and edit their very own fan film set in the Star Wars universe. There are various categories in which filmmakers can garner recognition: best visual effects, filmmaker select, audience choice, and more. When our Tampa video production company heard about the competition, we just had to throw our lightsabers into the mix!
Our Tampa film crew getting a low angle shot of young actress Lennon Brock (just 5 years old!).
We started out with an idea from Litewave Media founder Christian Cashmir and developed it into a short story with the help of writers Mike Garland, Mario Graniello and Steffen Thiel. We wrote in a bit of mystery, intrigue, sprinkled in some tragedy, and of course an epic lightsaber battle (what Star Wars fan film is complete without one?)!
An professional team of stunt choreographers and performers helped to plan out the intricate battle scenes. After a few days of choreographing in detail, our Tampa video production crew were ready to capture our fight scenes on film.
Director Christian Cashmir, actress Mary McDonnell, and camera operator Jake Jalbert review footage on the set of our Star Wars fan film. (Photo: Courtesy of Anthony and Estelle Brock)
With scripts in hand, prosthetics and makeup on, and fight choreography fresh in our minds, the Litewave Media team drove our Tampa grip truck to our first location in Dead River, part of the Hillsborough Wilderness Reserve. Using our Tampa video equipment rental package, our fearless crew hauled gear through the dense woods to our filming location. Miles out, in the middle of a swamp, not unlike Dagobah, our crew setup camp for the first day of principle photography.
Working alongside park rangers, our Tampa independent film production went off without a hitch. Working around the clock, we were able to successfully film all scenes and finish the production on time despite the many challenges presented by the location.
Steffen Thiel, in his (potentially award-winning?) American film debut, as Stormtrooper TH-137.
Director Christian Cashmir and Cinematographer Eric Coughlin worked together using gear from our Tampa video equipment rental package including the Canon C300, and C300 mkII, SteadiCam, MoVi M5 with Sony A7s mkII, and plenty of lighting to give the film a cinematic look. We even brought out our portable generator to the forrest so we didn’t have to stop at Tosche Station to pick up more power converters!
Actor/Stuntmen M. Joshua Todd and TJ McDonnell ready themselves for battle during our Star Wars fan film shoot. (Photo: Courtesy of Anthony and Estelle Brock)
After a successful shoot, it was time to head back to our Tampa post production suites to start the editing process. We had a ton of excellent footage, but we needed to add in lightsaber effects and, of course, the epic sound design and music that makes every Star Wars film so unique. We utilized our Tampa recording studio to record ADR for the main characters, replacing their dialogue with studio quality recordings of their voices – much like the original Star Wars did.
Next, we reached out to our friend Angelo from Panetta Studios to partner with us on the sound design for the film; He and his team created soundscapes, brought the lightsaber battles to life, and transformed the swamp into a character in its own right. They gave our antagonist a unique voice effect as well! Our editors and visual effects team put in a few sleepless nights to make the deadline, and with the hard work of our dedicated team, our film was ready to compete!
Our editing and special effects teams work to finish our Star Wars fan film.
Finally, we submitted our completed film to LucasFilm and Disney for the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, and it was time to celebrate! aarrragghuuhw! That was Wookie for “Partaaaaay!”(seriously, we looked it up). We had the whole team over for a cast/crew screening of the finished film, which we projected on the large white cyc in our Tampa video production studio. What a blast!
Two young padawans (Zack with actress, Lennon) practice lightsaber skills during the cast/crew screening of our Star Wars fan film.
Just a few weeks ago our Tampa Video Production Company, Litewave Media, filmed Carlos Beruff as he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Litewave Media director of photography Christian Cashmir and our Florida video production crew drove down to Sarasota, Florida to film the senate hopeful announce his candidacy. The beautiful lake backdrop behind Beruff’s business was the perfect place to film his announcement ceremony. With the large crowd of Beruff’s friends, family, and business associates eagerly anticipating his arrival, our video team was ready to capture this historic moment as he vowed to “Put America First”.
Litewave Media’s Tampa camera crew captures Senate hopeful Carlos Beruff during an interview with press
We drove down to Sarasota, FL with our Tampa Grip Truck to catch Mr. Beruff on his final stop in Florida during his tour of the state. Litewave Media was the first to arrive on the scene to prepare for the press conference. Our Tampa video production company showed up early to set up amongst the bustling crowd of reporters to secure prime filming locations.
Our Canon C300 Ready to Capture Mr. Beruff’s Speech.
Our Tampa video equipment included our Canon C300 HD camera, Sachtler DV10SB tripod, as well as a lavalier mic for Mr. Beruff himself. We filmed the entire announcement ceremony and the small get-together afterwards for Beruff’s closest family and friends.
Our Tampa video production crew was all set up and ready to capture cinematic footage of Carlos Beruff announcing his candidacy for the Senate.
With director of photography Christian Cashmir behind the Canon C300, our Florida production company filmed the entire press conference and banquet with cinematic flair. Using our broadcast quality cameras and microphones from our Tampa video equipment rental packages, we captured Mr. Beruff as he fielded questions from the press, handled a meet and greet, and delivered an impressive speech for the large crowd.
Our Tampa video production company captures Senate hopeful Carlos Beruff announce his Candidacy.
Do you need a Tampa video production company, or have a Florida corporate video you would like filmed? Contact us to schedule a free consultation today. Our production company looks forward to helping you grow your business! Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow the Litewave Media blog to stay up to date on current projects and Tampa video production news!
Our Tampa video production studio had the unique opportunity to work alongside Sims Crane & Equipment Co. to produce their reality show “Heavy Lifting” which gives viewers an inside look at the crane industry. Sims Crane is Florida’s premier Crane and Equipment provider and partnered with Litewave Media to make their vision a reality. Litewave Media also produced a series of training videos at their Tampa location. The entire project spanned a total of over 20 videos.
With a number of reality shows under their production belts, including ABC’s Shark Tank, TLC’s Extreme Couponing, and the Cayman Island’s Paradise Pawn, the award-winning Litewave Media film crew brought their expertise to the “Heavy Lifting” film set. The crew explored the daily trials of Sims’ crane operators, from erecting entire buildings to lifting whales at a theme park.
When Sims Crane first contacted our Tampa video production company, we set up a series of meetings to plan the logistics of the shoot. Director and cinematographer Christian Cashmir alongside producer Andrew Ortoski collaborated with Sims Crane’s director of marketing, Dean Sims on the creative direction for the show.
The Crane Yard at Sims Crane in Tampa, FL
With the use of GoPro Hero 3, the Litewave Media camera crew was able to film stunning overhead shots of the crane’s movements. Other video production equipment including the Canon C100, 2 Panasonic HVX200’s, 1 Panasonic HPX-170, and a Canon 5D Mark III were used for filming.
Sims Crane Crew with Litewave Media’s Andrew Ortoski (Producer/Camera) and Mike Barnitt (Audio)
Camera operators Christian Cashmir, Taylor Girard, John Jones, and Andrew Ortoski captured all of the action, while Jeff Zampino scripted the show along with Dean Sims. Mike Barnitt and Tom Hurxthal handled audio and Jamie Parslow served as grip. Christian Cashmir and Andrew Ortoski edited and tackled post-production work at Litewave Media’s Tampa post-production company.
Sims Crane also teamed up with our Tampa video crew in creating a number of training videos on crane safety called “Sims Crane Minutes”. These educational videos inform viewers on how cranes function and the potential dangers of operating a crane. Several of the videos were even selected by O.S.H.A. as official crane safety and training videos.
Candace LeRae with Litewave Media’s Tampa Film Crew
These safety videos were a unique opportunity for Litewave Media to get creative with Sims Crane. One video had the distinct style of “Film Noir”, beginning the video in black and white, as if it were an old-style detective movie. Andrew Ortoski created dramatic lighting and even simulated a thunderstorm in the rain. Candace LeRae was the beautiful femme fatale actress who brought the scene to life along with Sims Crane’s very own Safety Director, Bob Berry. The scene was shot in the Sims Crane headquarters in Tampa, Florida.
Litewave Media also produced another training video for Sims in the style of ABC’s hit TV series “Lost”. The video makes an homage to the Dharma Initiative videos within the series and was filmed as if they were found on an old film reel.
Litewave Media’s Video Crew Sets up for the Dharma Initiative-style Training Video
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 Amazon.com DVD and Bluray release this summer!
Jules Dongu made its official Florida premier at Gasparilla Film Festival
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.
Thanks to our amazing team who helped make our film possible! We pulled “musical” as our genre for the contest this year. We had so many talented cast & crew that made it possible! Our awards included: best choreography, best director, best musical score, best use of dialogue, and the coveted audience choice award! We also were nominated for best film of 2009 in Tampa. Go team! Check out the film on ourIndependent Film page.