Tampa Film Studio Shoots Next Short Film: The Skyship Chronicles

Tampa Film Studio Shoots Next Short Film: The Skyship Chronicles

As the full moon rose on October 29th, our Tampa video production company shot the first scene from our next short film, The Skyship Chronicles, a Steampunk action-adventure. “This film is a complete story in its own right,” shares Director and Litewave Media founder, Christian Schwier. “We also hope to gain enough interest in the idea to produce a full-length feature film of the concept.”

Don Knight (left) operates boom as actors Jeff and Mick traverse through a dense fog.

Pre-production began in early October when our Tampa video crew traveled to Tommie Turvey’s Equine Extremist Liberty Horse Ranch in Brooksville, Florida. Tommie and his stunt horse, Blade, have worked on numerous films and TV shows, including The Walking Dead, Jonah Hex, and 3:10 to Yuma.

Jeffrey Gross (left) and Devin Keebler (right) set up the RED camera.

Jeff Zampino (writer/producer) with actor Jeff Shepperd at the horse ranch.

While at the ranch, our Tampa filmmakers scouted locations, filmed test shots with the actors in full Steampunk costumes, and rehearsed the riding stunts with Tommie and Blade. After making some minor modifications to the shooting script, nearly two dozen cast and crew took their places to shoot the first scene.

Actors Jeffrey Shepperd and Mick Ellis played the two guards being hunted by the film’s villain Gustav (Ed Olson). Tommie rode Blade and performed several challenging stunts including the horse rearing up and chasing the actors. “We even shot some of the chase scenes from the back of an ATV Mule!” says the Tampa film director.

Jeffery Shepperd (left) and Mick Ellis (right) let their guard down.

Co-Directors of Photography, Steve Allen and Ryan Grosjean, were behind the RED Scarlet Camera (filming in 4k) and the Canon 5D Mark III (Camera B). The camera crew (see complete list below) used a jib and dolly for action shots.

Steve Allen (co-DP) operating the jib and RED camera (shooting in 4K)

Our costume designer, Bridget, with stunt double and expert horseman, Tommie Turvey.

The intense chases required the actors to move swiftly over rough terrain while dodging trees and low hanging branches. “We were on a horse ranch in the middle of the woods, so there was no light aside from the moon and the lights we brought,” explains Schwier.  “Since there was no power, we had to bring our own generator. It was quite a task hauling a multi-thousand watt generator out into the woods!”

Ryan GrosJean (Co-DP) and Andrew Ortoski (Gaffer) discuss lighting.

Thankfully Andrew Ortoski, our gaffer and movie lighting master, provided the film crew with a condor, or lighting lift, that projected moon-like rays from almost 100 feet in the air.  “We’re so happy with how the chase scenes turned out,” says Schwier. “We’re looking forward to the post production process and editing the scene in our Tampa post production studio.

Ryan Grosjean (co-DP), Jeffrey Gross (AC) and Devin Keebler (AC) make some camera adjustments.

To add texture and dimension to the scenes, the crew brought in an industrial-grade fog machine. “Getting the right amount of fog in each scene for continuity was definitely the biggest hurdle of the night,” says Schwier. “In some shots the wind would blow all the fog away, and in others there would be too much and we had to disperse it.”  But by the end of the night, Jeff Zampino, our Producer/Writer, was a master at wielding the fog machine.

Mike Barnitt, our sound mixer, and some of the film crew.

Later in the night the temperature dropped into the low 40’s but our cast and crew soldiered on, and the last shot was taken as the sun began to rise. “We were all tired,” says Schwier, “but our sense of accomplishment kept our spirits up through the night. We were all definitely glad to be home in warm beds later that morning though!”

Ryan Grosjean (co-DP), Christian Schwier (director), and Steve Allen (co-DP) pause for a photo.

If you’ve got a film script that you’d like to shoot, give us a call for a free consultation. And be sure to like our Facebook page to keep up with all of our filmmaking adventures.

The Skyship Chronicles CREW


Seth Jones – Grip
Jeffrey Gross – Assistant Camera
David Bergvik – Production Assistant
Evan Zissimopulous – Camera Department
Ryan Grosjean – Co-Director of Photography
Steve Allen – Co-Director of Photography
Andrew Ortoski – Gaffer
Harold Hood – Production Assistant
David Lasky – Grip
Taylor Girard – Grip
Jeff Zampino – Producer
Bridget Desjarlais – Costumes
Rachel Lappe – Production Assistant and Craft Service
TJ Maynes – Set Photographer
Christian Schwier – Director
Devin Keebler – Assistant Camera
Tommie Turvey – Location Services
Don Knight – Boom Operation
Mike Barnitt – Sound Engineer

The Skyship Chronicles CAST


Jeffrey Shepperd – Guard 1
Mick Ellis – Guard 2
Ed Olson – Gustav
Tommie Turvey – Stunt Horse Rider
Blade – “Gustav’s Horse” & Stunt Horse

Tampa Video Production Studio Films ABC’s Shark Tank

Tampa Video Production Studio Films ABC’s Shark Tank

Our Tampa video production company was hired by ABC to film the back story package for two local contestants appearing on the new season of the hit show Shark Tank.

ABC producers flew from Los Angeles before the show to film the story of David Mealey, an unemployed golf equipment salesman, and his pregnant wife Nique. Footage was shot on a North Tampa golf course and inside the clubhouse.  Their product, Back 9 chicken dip, was presented to the Sharks on October 5.

The Shark Tank crew was eager to partner with Litewave Media, a veteran reality show production company, and was thrilled with how smoothly the day went. The Tampa video crew included camera operator Christian Schwier, sound technician Mike Barnitt, and production assistant, Harold Hood.

Litewave Media founder, Christian Schwier, on the Shark Tank set.

“It was a fantastic experience to work with the Shark Tank producers,” says Schwier. “We shot on the Sony XDCAM PDW-700 and used a variety of sound gear to get great audio for the different shots.”

The Mealeys pitched their dips, which include Bubba’s Chicken Wing dip, then stayed poised during an interrogation from Shark Lori Greiner. After some negotiating, the couple secured $150,000 in a partnership deal from Greiner and fellow Shark Robert Herjavec. The money will be used to fund production and distribution.

If you have a back story package or reality show project our Tampa video production company can help you with, please give us a call!. To keep up with all of the latest Litewave Media happenings, be sure to like our page on Facebook.

Tampa Film Studio Shoots Video of Champion Wakeboarder Shota Tezuka

Tampa Film Studio Shoots Video of Champion Wakeboarder Shota Tezuka

Our Tampa video production company recently traveled to Orlando, Florida to shoot a series of TV commercials with world champion wakeboarder, Shota Tezuka.

Wakeboarding, slotted to be a trial sport in the 2016 Olympics, involves riding a fiberglass board over water while being towed by a boat. The sport uses a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques. Shota, 19, held the Junior Pro Men’s title before accepting a position on the coveted MasterCraft team this year.

“We were hired by Espritline, a company that teaches Japanese people to speak English,” explains Litewave Media founder Christian Schwier. “For the last two years, we’ve filmed the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with them and champion Japanese race car driver Takuma Sato. When they came to Florida to film Shota this summer, we were excited to be able to partner with them again for another video production.”

Christian and Makiura “Macky” Takaharu get ready to film.

The shoot took place at Shota’s house, which sits on a private lake outside Orlando. The property also serves as his training course, with two boats on the lake and a team of wakeboarders in residence. Both the TV commercials and videos are designed to show how Shota has used English to become a successful athlete. “The videos show how he uses the English language in his daily life as well as when he competes,” says Schwier.

Schwier was the only Tampa film crew member. The team included three other video production members from Japan, including Litewave Media friend Makiura Takaharu, affectionately known as Macky. The shoot required a wide range of equipment, including the Canon EOS 5D, Canon EOS 7D, the GoPro HD Hero2 for stunt shots on the wakeboard, and a Sony EX3 for video interview footage.

Christian with the crew the day of the shoot.

“We filmed a variety of different scenarios,” says Schwier, a Tampa video production professional for seven years. “One of the most interesting shots was filming Shota from one boat while he was wakeboarding off the back of another boat.” The video crew got some great footage of flips and other tricks. Splashing water was a challenge at times, but everyone was pleased with the footage, which went back to Japan to be edited.

“Shota was great to work with and made the filming easy. We were able to capture some amazing shots of him,” says Schwier, who really enjoys working with his Japanese friends. “We’re excited to include this in our Tampa video production company’s demo reel and hope to see them again soon the next time they come to Florida!”

Christian and Takaki Katano put safety first before filming on the lake.

If you have a challenging outdoor video project, let us make it easy for you. Give us a call for a free consultation and be sure to “like” our fan page on Facebook.

Tampa Production Company Shoots Warped Tour for UK’s Scuzz TV

Tampa Production Company Shoots Warped Tour for UK’s Scuzz TV

Scuzz TV, the UK’s most popular rock and metal TV station, hired our Tampa film studio to interview and film three of the bands participating in the Warped Tour this year. The international music festival with over 100 bands ranging from punk and metal to reggae and alternative stopped at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, FL this July.

Directory of Photography, Christian Schwier, spent a day in the Florida sun with sound engineer Mike Barnitt and production assistant Harold Hood. Together, they captured the stories and music of the bands and the energy of the fans.

Filming interviews at Warped Tour with band: Miss May I

Ronnie Radke, the lead singer from Falling in Reverse, was one of the musicians interviewed by the Tampa video crew. Part of the conversation focused on how Radke’s life-changing experience of how going to prison affected his music and has contributed to the band’s success. Litewave Media also talked to Of Mice and Men lead singer Austin Carlile and members of the band Miss May I.

“Two of the bands invited us onto their official tour buses,” says Schwier. “Ronnnie Radke actually played us an unreleased track off the band’s new record. It was an incredible experience.” The other interview was conducted in Vinoy Park with the beautiful St. Petersburg Pier as a back drop.

Christian with Beez – Channel manager at England’s Scuzz TV

Schwier and his team used two cameras to catch the essence of the bands and the tour: a Panasonic HPX-170 and a Panasonic HVX-200, both 1080p high definition video cameras capable of broadcast quality video acquisition.

Scuzz TV will use the footage in two of their brand new shows, one highlighting the diverse tattoos inked on rock stars and musicians, and the other offering intimate interviews with musicians about their journeys as artists and stars. All footage was transferred to hard drive at our Tampa production studio and express mailed to the UK, where Scuzz TV immediately began editing. Both shows will premier in September.

If your organization has a film or video project that could benefit from our Tampa video company’s expertise, please contact us for a free consultation.