Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jason Farrand Directs New "Chelsea Lately" Spots

Understatement: Chelsea Handler is one funny lady. She's edgy, she's saucy and she's crude. (Do you know about her affinity for Little Nuggets?  DO YOU?) Since 2007, Chelsea has helmed her own brand of late night talk show on E! Entertainment Television, creating almost 1000 episodes in the past 5 years. And to celebrate, E! moved Chelsea Lately to a new stage this past October 15th. And guys,this was a big deal. So they called upon Aero director, Jason Farrand, to shoot 16 new spots advertising the show's move. And we have 4 here for you! If you're good, we'll show you the other 12.

With deep roots in improv comedy (Headcase with Alexandra Wentworth and Hipster Shore for Funny Or Die), Jason had a blast with Chelsea and the entire premise of the spots, which is Chelsea hanging out with kids in the employees' day care center, pitching jokes and talking about her... assets.  Ahem....
"Listen up, nuggets...."

Ginger Chair

Jail... even worse than the Ginger Chair

You can see the spots HERE and you can catch more episodes of Chelsea Lately at 11pm on E! Entertainment Television.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Austin Smithard's Film "Sea to Shining Sea" Premieres October 13th

"Like dogs, bicycles are social catalysts
that attract a superior category of people."
--Chip Brown
I remember learning to ride a bike. My grandfather taught me on the sidewalks of a small town in upstate New York. When he let go and I could sail down the street on my own, I felt free. I felt like I was doing something important and had suddenly become independent for the first time in my young life (even if it was for just a whole block). So when I saw Austin Smithard's finished documentary, Sea to Shining Sea, I was overcome.

For Sea to Shining Sea Austin and his Canon 5D got on the back of a bike and followed 18 vets in 2010 as they pedaled 4000 miles across the United States, starting in San Francisco and ending in Virginia Beach. All of these vets suffered from disabilities that ranged from lost limbs to PTSD. Austin started the project thinking that he’d follow in a van, but quickly learned that the only way to capture this story was to be in the thick of it. For many of them, this was the hardest thing they've done and the most rewarding.

Their story will be premiering at southern California's Inland Empire Biking Film Fest, Saturday October 13th at 6pm, with a second showing Sunday, October 14th at 3pm. You can buy tickets here and see the trailer below.

Austin has become an inspiration to us all but especially with an elite crew at Aero LA who have taken up biking quite seriously! You can now see our team biking through LA together, complete with team shirts! (At Aero we believe in great art direction at all times…)

Team Aero! Lance O'Connor, Austin Smithard & Patrick Knight
So please take a few minutes to watch Austin's trailer and head out to the Redland's to support such a great project!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sam O'Hare Tilt-Shifts Alaska

When Alaska was purchased it was jokingly called, "Seward’s Folly." Well, I’m sure if William H. Seward was alive today he would say, “Folly? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Have you even seen my Instagram posts?!”  Yes, Alaska is possibly one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and I see no reason why Mr. Seward wouldn’t have been posting vista after vista in between snaps of “I’m totally eating this amazing plate of sockeye salmon with frissé salad right now!”

@sewardsfolly1867: "Best purchase ever. JEAH!'
Sam O’Hare just returned from shooting in Alaska with the agency Vitro for Alaska Communications. Not only was he thrilled to be working with a great agency, but getting to go to Alaska was a dream. (Especially when it’s 103 degrees with 99% humidity in NY…) 

The first spot in the campaign launched Wednesday and the visuals speak for themselves. You can view the 60 second commercial HERE.

Much of it was shot from a helicopter- a technique he’d been anxious to try out for his tilt-shift style work. It also proved to be a handy tool in getting around the islands and fjords that make up a lot of the area around Anchorage and Juneau where the production was based. 


As well as directing and shooting the spot, Sam edited the spot at Aero Studios in NY. He and his team (Andy Gilbert, Jesse Holmes, John McLoughlin and Hannelore Williams) applied the post VFX work to make the tilt-shift miniature look come to life. Being able to be a one stop shop for live-action through post is what made this job do-able. With a tight turnaround, being able to coordinate the shoot with post together to make everything move like clockwork was imperative. 

During the next heatwave, Sam is seeking out boards for Antarctica. I kid! Well, maybe not actually...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Indrani Takes La Jolla Fashion Film Festival by Storm!

Please note that when I say, "by storm," I am not referring to the derecho that swept thru the east coast last week.  I'm talking about how at this year's La Jolla Fashion Film Festival Aero director Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri, swept 4 of the 8 award categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Fashion, and Best Special Effects for her short film, The Legend of Lady White Snake!
Indrani... and her 4 awards, including a Red Epic Camera!
The the film is a post-postmodern fable, inspired by China's beloved ancient romance /horror story, starring the Honorable Daphne Guinness as a snake demoness who has transformed herself into an enchanting maiden, in order to experience love. The story of The Legend of Lady White Snake includes the poem, "The Hidden Chamber" © 2005 by Neil Gaiman (Academy Award nominated Coraline) with the screenplay by Indrani.
You can watch the trailer HERE.
The Legend of Lady White Snake was produced along with Indrani, Markus Klinko, and GK Reid. GK Reid also served as the art director and costume designer. DP for the shoot was Pergrin Jung, with post production by Manic, Jump, Company 3, Color and Double Exposure Studios. The film was shot in New York and features dramatic imagery, mystical elements and stunning fashion pieces. 

GK Reid, Indrani and Pergrin Jung
Indrani also earned the RED Camera Award which awarded her with a brand new Red Epic Camera, which was given to her at the Awards Ceremony by RED Camera representative, Brent Carter. RED was one of the major sponsors of the Festival.
The La Jolla Fashion Film Festival is the worlds larger fashion film award. 75 films were screened, placing Indrani's work in competition with the top 1% of fashion films.  Other directors in the festival include Bruno Aveillan, Jonas Akerlund, Rankin, Karl Lagerfeld, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Bruce Weber, etc. with multi-million dollar commercials for Cartier, Chanel, and Rodarte starring Elle Fanning.

Indrani is thrilled with the success of The Legend of Lady White Snake, saying, "I was very honored that my first short film won so many awards, among all the amazing commercials and films selected… The film was a self-financed labor of love, produced by Markus Klinko, GK Reid, Daphne Guinness and myself, including poetry by Neil Gaiman, editing by Terence Ziegler of Jump, special effects by Manic and Double Exposure, color by Company 3, audio mix by Color NY, and production design and fashion by GK Reid for Genghis Khan."

Daphne Guinness as Lady White Snake
We at Aero want to thank everyone who donated their time and efforts who made this film a success (Manic, Jump, Company 3, Color). The film will continue to make its rounds in the festival circuit while Indrani works on additional commercial endeavors and new film ideas.

Monday, July 23, 2012

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival

Attention LA blog readers! If you have the time, please make your way down to the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival and check out Indrani's film, The Legend of Lady White Snake!

Click HERE for LJFFF info!

The Legend of Lady White Snake, starring fashion icon, Daphne Guinness, is slated as the finale film for the festival on July 28th at 10pm. You can purchase tickets HERE.

Fred Sweet, producer of the festival, explained about the positioning of Indrani's film, "I would say it is generally perceived that the last film of a film festival is considered the most prestigious. The reason is, that film will be the last impression of the Festival on the film goers. An impression the producer like myself want their audience to leave with. Therefore it must a film that really represents what the Festival is all about, and Indrani's, like many other films that were in contention, certainly fits the bill."

A special thank you to Jump, Manic and Company3 for their work and support of the film.

If you are in Southern California, we hope that you'll make it out to this festival and support Indrani as well as all the other artists!

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Update from the Aero News Desk...

When did it become July?!  If you're a smart aleck and said, "9 days ago," yeah, thanks for that. This year is whizzing by like Maverkick and Goose around a control tower. (I love a good Top Gun reference.) I have made it my July resolution to put my blogging hat on more often so let's get this blog started!

First up: AICP! It rained. That was crappy. Our pre-show shindig at the Peninsula Hotel was a bit damp, but a great turn out. Thanks to all of you who made it and here's hoping we get to use the whole roof next year and not just a sliver. (Thankfully it was the sliver where the drinks are poured…) At the actual show, we are so honored that Ken Arlidge's spot for AMC won in the Spec Spot category. Ken had this idea in his head while shooting his TV show Cajun Justice. He took 2 of the deputies from the show out for an afternoon and shot this gem. 

Click HERE to see the full spot!

Four days before this win, Cajun Justice premiered on A&E (runs every Thursday at 10pm). You can follow the whole crew from Terrebonne Parish  and see past episodes on the Cajun Justice page on AMCs site. This is Ken's first series, but not the last. Aero Film's development arm is hopping. I'd tell you more, but I don't have enough NDAs to go around. So stay tuned!

Next up: Click here to see our new work! (You may want to pop some corn for your viewing as we have a lot of it!) Austin Smithard has been on fire shooting gorgeous docu-style spots for The Australian Modern Art Museum and Alitalia. Klaus Obermeyer shot a stunning all-americana campaign for Go Rving. Gary McKendry captured what it's like to teach your teenager daughter to drive with Chevy. Ken Arlidge paired up with McGarry Bowen in NY to showcase real stories of businesses benefitting from loans given to them by JP Morgan Chase.  And last on the reel is Indrani's moving work for Girl Epidemic. (Please read all about the Girl Epidemic campaign and Indrani's involvement HERE.)
Accolades! Sam O'Hare's short film Coachelletta was featured at the Vimeo Film Festival in NY. Meanwhile, his film The Sandpit is also still going strong on the Film Festival circuit having screened at the Newport Film Festival as a lead in to the premiere of Gary Hustwit's film Urbanized, the third film in his design trilogy. The Sandpit was also chosen to be part of the permanent collection at MOMA in NYC. Screenings start this summer!

And last but not least, Indrani! Her film "The Legend of Lady White Snake" starring Daphne Guinness is headlining the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. She joins the company of fellow commercial directors Bruno Aveillan and Jonas Akerlund. This is the 3rd annual film festival and is the largest gathering of fashion film makers in the world. Festival runs July 26-28th.

I promise more blogs to come this summer! Big news is brewing! How's that for a cliffhanger? DUM DUM DUUUUUUM. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Girl Epidemic

Aero Film director/photographer, Indranihad a very rare experience to go back to her native country of India and shoot a PSA for a cause very near to her heart—providing education for females in India. This doesn’t just mean that girls learn to read and write, this is a pathway to becoming a valued part of society, which can be the difference between life and death in India.

Sheetal Mehta, the director of Nanhi Kali, the organization behind the film stated, "The StrawberryFrog and Aero Film teams traveled to India earlier this year to shoot on location. Through the tenacity and passion of Indrani they were able to capture their extraordinary story on film. The Girl Epidemic must be seen and shared, there's never been anything like it."

And that’s saying something, as Nanhi Kali's past work with agency StrawberryFrog was extremely provocative as well. The award winning "A Girl Story" was the worlds first donation based online film series. It was followed up with  The Girl Store, an opportunity to bring e-commerce and creativity together in an innovative campaign and where you can buy a girl her life back-- through education and school supplies-- before someone else takes it. These campaigns have won Gold Lions in Cannes and recognized by the TED conference.

Indrani and production designer/producer GK Reid traveled to Mumbai India and shot for 7 days. With a shoestring budget, they proved that moxie and cultural understanding can go a long way. From sourcing the actors for free, to location scouting, their tiny production team made many miracles happen... Including shooting around the Mumbai slums and finding a 2 week old baby to feature in the crucial birthing scene. 

Indrani was the also the cinematographer of the film, shooting it all on the Canon 5D Mark II. It was the perfect camera for the hand held, documentary/news-reel-footage look they wanted to capture.

Sonejuhi Sinha from Final Cut NY cut this piece—the second project that she and Indrani have collaborated on.  Terressa “T” Tate was the sound mixer, with sound design and score by Human.  The Aero family was able to help out as well, with the color correct, conform and VFX work completed by Sam O’Hare and Jesse Holmes at Aero Studios in NY.

Stay tuned for a behind the scenes video that’s being cut as I type. Till then, please watch, share and donate if you can to this worthy cause. Learn more at....


Complete credits:

Client: Nanhi Kali
Production: Aero Film
Director/Cinematographer: Indrani
Production Designer/Costumes/Sets: GK Reid
EP: Sara Eolin
Lead VFX Artist: Sam O'Hare
VFX Artist: Jesse Holmes
Conform Asst: Hannelore Williams
Assistant Director: Yash Verma
2nd Camera: Ashish Virola
Casting:Yoshika Verma
Logistics: Adil Billimoria
Location: Anil Parmer
Production Assistant: Ashok Babaria
Production Assistant: Stacey Thiel
Production Assistant: Youngkyu Park
Special Thanks: Scheimpflug
Music and Sound Design: Human
EP: Kit Winter
Edit & Mix: Final Cut
Editor: Sonejuhi Sinha
Mix: T. Teressa Tate
Producer: Lauren Cancelosi
EP: Lauren Bleiweiss
President:Stephanie Apt
Chief Creative Officer: Kevin McKeon
ECD: Corinna Falusi
ACD: Justin Via
Interactive Producer: Wilder Wells
Design Director: David Orton
ACD/Designer: Mari Keeler
Developer: Mat Kur
Logo Design: Stephanie Krivitzky
Independent Agency Production Dept: Driver Media
EP: Becky Razzall
Managing Director: Linda Rafoss

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Aero News Desk

Holy smokes, it's been ages. Hi, there. How are you? You're good? I'm glad to hear it! How am I doing? Oh, I'm so glad you asked. I'll tell you in a word-- BUSY!

First up, we just found out that Sam O'Hare's short film, Coachelletta, has been shortlisted in the Vimeo Festival + Awards!  The category its shortlisted in, Lyrical, was curated by judges Philip Bloom, Maria Popova (@Brainpicker), and VP of Creative Development at Vimeo, Blake Whitman.  The winner of each category wins a $5000 grant and the grand prize is a $25,000 grant to produce new work.

And now the voting is now open to the general public!  Wooo!  That's where you can get in on the action.  Go HERE and click on Coachelletta to vote.  You'll need a Vimeo username/ passcode to vote, and you can vote once a day.  Check out the other categories too as there is so much good work in every category. Thank you to Vimeo for giving directors a showcase for their passion projects!

And now the things that are keeping our lives very, very busy....
  • Ken Arlidge just shot a campaign for Chase with McGarry Bowen
  • Indrani has returned from India where she shot a film for Strawberry Frog
  • Klaus Obermeyer and Austin Smithard just returned from Australia and Tahiti for Outback Steakhouse
  • Sam O'Hare just finished a promo for Syfy Channel
  • Jason Farrand just finished a promo for the NBC/Ford tie-in show, Escape Routes
Stay tuned for all this new work as soon as it hits the air, it'll be on the blog!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Medieval Times!

What happens when Game of Thrones and the Renaissance Faire have a mash-up? Throw in a few chicken legs and a grog of beer, and you have… Medieval Times! (Insert trumpet blasts here.) Aero teamed up with Concussion out of Fort Worth to bring this dinner theatre and tournament to the big (or littlish) screen.

"360 production" seems to be a new buzz phrase that people like to toss around, and we here at Aero aren’t tossers. (Wait… that came out wrong…) When we say we have a production pipeline to do it all, we can back it up. That’s exactly what we did with Medieval Times. 

 Austin Smithard was the director and editor with Sam O’Hare of Aero Studios overseeing the VFX. The music was composed by Aero friend, Nick Wood of Syn in Japan. From having the creative all under one umbrella, we were able to stretch the budget within an inch of its life and create a piece with impeccable production value… as well as a director on top of every layer of detail and storytelling from day 1 to shipping. Austin’s vision for this spot was way out of the scope of what the agency and client thought was possible for their budget and timing…. But we did it! And we’re all really thrilled with the final piece. 

Click HERE to view!

The spot was shot at the Medieval Times Castle in Anaheim CA. 90% the backgrounds were created in CG, as well as the snow and mist. Many scenes were layers of composited elements shot on green screen. 

To see how these still started out, click HERE to view the side by side of what was shot compared to the final spot.  And WATCH some of the more complex scenes broken down step by step.

Austin and Sam were a natural team. The key to having Aero Studios work under the Aero Film umbrella is that we can pair up the VFX team with any director. So if the board is comedy with VFX, Jason Farrand or Gary McKendry pair up with Sam. If it’s grand visual storytelling with a lot of action scenes, Klaus Obermeyer and Sam get together… We can mix and match to create the best team for the job… on either coast. No fighting egos. No battles for budgets… which is good because as you can see we’ve become rather adept at jousting.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Geocaching With GMC

Geocaching is the newest treasure hunt that doesn't involve Nicholas Cage!  But it does involve Aero director, Ken Arlidge (who is equally as swarthy, but has a better hairline).

Ken shot the latest spot for GMC's Terrain which features a group's geocaching quest that takes them from land to water.  This gave Ken a chance to flex his director/DP muscles by both telling a good story and making things that aren't typically thought of as gorgeous to be just that.


But let's back up a step...  "What is geocaching?"  you may be asking.  It's a global treasure hunting game that anybody can play!  All you need is a GPS enabled device (such as OnStar), and it helps to have USB and SD card readability which the Terrain has in its console. 

The spot was shot in San Piedro and a quarry near Santa Clarita.   Finding the quarry was a real coup for the Aero production team in that it has very clear water which is great for shooting, but the water was only 40 degrees!  There was a hot tub on set to keep the divers warm (as stunt people were used and could only be in and out of the water over the course of an hour). Ken’s eye for art direction really took a dank and dirty quarry and an abandoned warehouse to a cinematic level.

Ken shot with the Arri Alexa on land, and the Red Epic underwater.  Car shots were with the Russian Arm.


Client: General Motors
Agency: Leo Burnett Detroit
EVP, Worldwide Executive Creative Director: Peter McHugh
Creative Director GMC :Chad Laughlin
Creative Director: Jack Crifasi
Copywriter: Cameron McIntosh
VP, Executive Producer Jennie Hochthanner
Editorial: Beast,  Chris Chynoweth

Friday, January 20, 2012

Klaus Cam Adventure!

The Klaus Cam, developed by Klaus Obermeyer, has been used in countless commercials and is continuing to be used in feature films!

The Klaus Cam has already been used in the films The Dark Knight and Eat, Pray, Love; and  latest venture being on the set for Of Mavericks and Men, starring Gerard Butler. The movie enlisted the services of Aero aerial director, Craig Hosking to help capture the high intensity surfing scenes for the film. Klaus co-piloted with Craig and took these amazing stills. 

You may be wondering, "What is or are Mavericks?"  Well, I'll tell you.  The Mavericks is (yes, singular) "a world renowned wave break" that's located in northern California a half a mile off Half Moon Bay. 

In short, it is a dangerous and daring bit of ocean to surf on (as you can see in the above picture the surfer is incredibly small in comparison to that wave!) and shooting an action sequence on these giant waves is nearly an impossibility. But the Klaus Cam is perfect for a shoot like this because unlike other helicopter rigs, this camera can get right at eye level with all the dangerous action (but without putting any of the crew/talent in jeopardy!)  So thanks to the Klaus Cam, all those close shots that they needed were captured! (You can read more about Mavericks here.)

Of Men and Mavericks is scheduled to open in theaters October, 2012.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hyundai Holidays!

Welcome to 2012!

The holidays are always a fun time to work in advertising as holiday spots are some of my favorite to watch.  (Even the one where the kid comes home from wherever and all his parents have for him is Folgers coffee, but I digress....)

As we mentioned in a previous post, Aero director, Jason Farrand, did a holiday series for Hyundai with "internet music stars."  This commercial features singer, Jessica Frech, who you may remember for her internet sensation, People of Walmart parody(Note: Every time I watch People of Walmart, I feel pretty good about myself. I’m lookin’ a-OK.  Oh how I wish WalMart would have a sale on full length mirrors for these fine folks...)  Billboard Magazine even did an article about Frech's rise in popularity thanks to the Hyundai ad.

Stay tuned for more Aero news this year, lot's coming! 


Client: Hyundai Motor America
Agency: Innocean
Editorial Company: Hybrid 
Editor: Christopher Willoughby
Executive Producer: Gail Butler


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