Happy Holidays! Litewave Media has been busy producing our new holiday feature film, Elfette Saves Christmas, in sunny Tampa Bay, Florida! The independent film stars award-winning actor and star of “The Blind Side,” Quinton Aaron!
Just last week Elfette Saves Christmas was released nationwide! DVDs can be found in Wal-marts all across the country. It’s also available online at iTunes, Amazon, Target, VUDU and Best Buy! Grab a copy here on Amazon.
Elfette Saves Christmas is a family feature film about Elfette, a wrapping paper designer in Santa’s workshop, who while on vacation in Florida, must travel to New York City to save Santa Claus (Quinton Aaron) from the clutches of a profit hungry Mafia boss, Little Georgie (George Vricos). With Little Georgie and Joytech, an evil toy corporation, in cahoots, Christmas and Santa’s workshop are frozen with only Elfette left to save them.
Litewave Media founder, Christian Cashmir, wrote, produced, and directed Elfette Saves Christmas, along with an amazing team of local Tampa film crew and actors from the St. Petersburg area as well. The film was shot on our ARRI Alexa Mini camera package along with our Canon CN-E prime lenses and the Fujinon Cabrio 20-120mm lens.
The Litewave Media film crew shot the majority of the film right in the heart of Pinellas County and St. Petersburg, Florida. But, Elfette’s story brought our cast and crew all over Tampa Bay and even to New York City for 3 days where the crew filmed in Central Park, the New York Library, and Times Square!
Our camera crew was battling time and weather for a sequence of interior scenes at Lake Eagle Park on our first day of production. With Quinton in costume, as Santa, the team prepared for a 15 plus hour day!
Next, on production day two, we filmed a scene with Elfette and Sparkle (Aléa Figueroa) on Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Petersburg, FL. Then, for day three, we went back to Eagle Lake Park to complete the climactic ending, and the producers through a little impromptu Christmas celebration for the cast and crew!
Even elves go on vacation! (BTS from the 2nd day of production on Pass-A-Grille Beach, FL.)
In the final days of production, the Elfette Saves Christmas team hunkered down overnight in the restaurant, De Sesto Italiano, in Pinellas Park. That night, the crew filmed multiple scenes with Elfette, Mob boss Little Georgie, and another villain, Penelope Coalbottom (played by Sheli Sanders).
Director Christian Cashmir rehearses with actors, Georgie Vricos and Sheli Sanders, (De Sesto’s in Pinellas County)
Over the course of the last few years our Tampa production company has enjoyed participating in the 48 Hour Film Project, a world-wide competition that challenges filmmakers to write, shoot, and edit their own short films in only 48 hours. It’s become a bit of a tradition for the Litewave Media crew and we’ve met some amazing people along the way. This year, our team once again dove head first into the challenge and produced a short film called “Magazine Issues.”
DP Eric Coughlin gets set up for one of the first shots of the day filming our short “Magazine Issues”
The 48 Hour competition supplies only minimal guidelines for filmmakers, providing a genre, character, prop, and a line of dialogue that must be used in every film. Each team receives their guidelines on Friday night and must turn in their fully finished film Sunday night, only 48 hours later. Our team pulled the genre of “romance,” and writers Jason Henne and Michael Garland went to work forming a cinematic story that also captured the essence of romance. With our writers working through the night on the the script, our Florida video production crew began preparing to film at dawn’s first light.
Next, we loaded up our Tampa grip truck and drove to our first location in Clearwater, Florida to begin filming. Using gear from our St Petersburg video equipment rental package like our Canon C300 MkII and Canon cinema lenses, we hit the ground running (literally) and began production! Filming took place at various locations all over Tampa Bay, including our very own Tampa green screen studio for multiple special effects-driven scenes and a wrestling ring almost an hour from the studio.
Award-winning actress Alissa Schneider plays the melodious sounds of the key-tar in our Tampa green screen studio.
With the clock ticking down, we rushed all of our footage back to our Florida post-production suite for editing. Once our special effects team hustled to compose the visuals needed for the green screen portion of the film, director and editor Christian Cashmir brought the film together with his skill and expertise, cuttin’ up footage and taking names! With the editing finished on literally zero sleep (not even a wink!), finally it was time for submitting the finished film.
Director Christian Cashmir, steadicam operator Eric Coughlin, and lead actor Chris Cavalier review footage before sending it off to our Florida post-production suite for editing.
After waiting for what seemed like the longest 2 weeks ever, it was time for the 48 Hour Film Project ‘Best Of’ screening! With so many great films to compete against, the awards ceremony was a nail biter, but all of our hard work paid off! Our team was nominated in 9 categories and were honored to win the following awards:
Best use of the line “You’re Next!” – Team Prairie Dogs featuring Uncle Henry’s Bowling Club (Us!!)
Audience Favorite – “Magazine Issues” Team Prairie Dogs featuring Uncle Henry’s Bowling Club (Us again!!)
Best Screenplay – Jason Henne and Michael Garland (Our devilishly handsome writers)
Best Supporting Actress – Alissa Schneider (Our drop dead gorgeous actress)
Best Song – “Salesperson of the Year” Music and Lyrics by Chuck Fonshell Jr, Christian Cashmir, and Chris Cavalier (Our extraordinarily talented musicians)
And, drumroll please… BEST FILM!!! – “Magazine Issues” Directed by Christian Cashmir (Our fearless director)
We won Best Film out of 34 competitors! Ignite the fireworks! Wookie yell! Rejoice!
Now that our film “Magazine Issues” has won Best Film – Tampa, we move on to the next round where we’ll compete against the winners from over 100 cities worldwide at Film-a-Palooza in Seattle, Washington next March!
As with every year, we had an amazing time working on the 48 Hour Film Project, and we look forward to competing again next year. Check out our finished film “Magazine Issues” below (Made in just 48 hours)!
The Litewave Media team celebrates after the 48 Hour Awards Screening
The one take! The scene in Goodfellas when Ray Liotta’s character walks into the club and the whole the camera never cuts… Or the opening scene in Touch of Evil? And most recently the Oscar-Winning Birdman – an entire movie filmed in a one-take style. Our Tampa video production company was excited to produce a film using the same technique for the 2016 Single-Take Challenge, with our short, Kiss Tape!
The cast and crew of “Kiss Tape” after a great night of filming.
The Single-Take Film Challenge, sponsored by ManaSota Films, challenges filmmakers to create a new and original short film. The catch is, there can be absolutely no cuts, meaning the entire film has to be one long take! To pull it off, writers Christian Cashmir and Eric Coughlin began planning a month in advance at our Florida video production studio so that every tiny detail would be ready on the day of filming.
Co-DP and Steadicam operator Eric Coughlin rehearses blocking with the talent Lexi and Chris
We gathered a cast of over 20 extremely talented actors and a crew to match in order to pull off one of the most fun and challenging films we’ve ever made: a one-shot film that weaves in and out of our video studio during an elaborate movie being made. That’s right, it’s a movie within a movie!
Our crew took about 8 takes to get the film completed. We tweaked the timing as we progressed through the night. Almost every take was usable, but the very last take was the one we used. Even though we had over 20 actors they never missed a line!
For the shoot, Christian Cashmir and Eric Coughlin directed and Co-DP’d, bringing both their skill and expertise to the project. For the shoot the Litewave Media team brought gear from our Tampa video equipment rental packages, filming on a Canon C300 MkII with the Canon 15.5-47 Cinema zoom lens. Because it was a film within a film, our St Petersburg video production crew were able to “hide” by pretending to be actors crewing the behind-the-scenes film, but actually acting as crew on the real film. It was film crew Inception: crew within crew within crew!
Director Christian Cashmir gives the cast final notes before filming the first take of “Kiss Tape” while actor Chuck preps the pooch.
Once we finished principal photography, it was time to head back to our Tampa post production studio, where Christian Cashmir mixed sound and colored the film, bringing it to it’s final form so it could be submitted to the competition. It was accepted a week later and…..
Just last week, our film Kiss Tape premiered at the 2016 Single-Take Challenge in beautiful Sarasota, where it competed against many other excellent filmmakers from all around the country. There, we took home two awards, including Best Film and Most Entertaining Film! Congratulations to all of our extraordinarily talented cast and crew for helping bring Kiss Tape to life!
Our Tampa video production company took home the Best Film and Most Entertaining awards!
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!