Corey Allen Episode Summary
In this episode we meet our co-host, serial side hustler Corey Allen. We talk about where Corey and Bill first met, making the transition from stills photographer to cinematographer, how great ShareGrid is for creators, and more.
Corey Allen Episode Notes
Corey’s Lighting Round Answers:
- Favorite Movie – Top Gun
- Last Movie You Watched – Doors & Prospect
- Favorite Director – Chris Nolan
- Most Underrated / Slept On Cinematographer – Zoë White
- Coffee or Tea – Coffee (or chai with espresso)
- Pineapple on Pizza – Never
- Favorite Camera – Whatever camera you have available, or the RED Gemini
- Three Films to Watch Before You Die – Time Trap / ARQ / Extinction
Corey Allen Links
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[00:06] Corey: Hi, I’m Corey.
[00:07] Bill: I’m Bill.
[00:08] Corey: And together we host the InFocus podcast. Today’s episode is sponsored by Gnome recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee. We’ll tell you all about Gnome studios at the end of the show. Today, we’re talking about me, it’s all about me.
[00:20] Bill: It is all about you.
[00:21] Corey: We’re going to get to know me. Last episode, we got to know Bill. You got to meet him, a little about him.
[00:28] Bill: And now we get to learn about our commander in chief on this podcast, so to speak.
[00:34] Corey: I’ll take that, I’ll take that title. That’s great.
[00:37] Bill: So, to jump right into it, how do we know each other Corey?
[00:40] Corey: Yeah, that’s a good question, because I think everybody, not only does everyone love a good origin story, but I think everyone deserves a good origin story. We met almost 15 years ago; I think.
[00:55] Bill: I believe so, 05’
[00:56] Corey: Yeah. I don’t think I can whistle into the microphone, that’s probably. Yes.
[01:02] Bill: Long time ago.
[01:03] Corey: Yeah. We met at Best Buy, we were working together in retail, and worked together for a couple of years there before we parted ways, and then I think back to a couple of conversations we had, just creatively, because I think at the time you were still
[01:20] Bill: Struggling.
[01:22] Corey: You weren’t struggling, but you had just recently graduated film school.
[01:26] Bill: Yes
[01:27] Corey: And I think when I learned that I thought, oh, this guy’s probably pretty cool, because at the time I was a still photographer, I had gone
[01:35] Bill: That’s right
[01:36] Corey: To college. I think I was still a part-time student, like an occasional part-time student. I never fully completed my degree, maybe we’ll get into that later, but I had gone to college to be a photographer. Visual communication, focus in photography, and I can remember having a conversation with you about the crazy idea that I had for, like a TurboTax commercial, you probably don’t remember this because it was, now that I think back to it, it was really stupid, but
[02:10] Bill: And it was 15 years ago.
[02:11] Corey: It was 15 years ago.
[02:12] Bill: And we’re old now .
[02:14] Corey: I have this crazy memory, but I remember explaining to you, essentially like TurboTax, we got your back and it’s this guy in a room, surrounded by the feds in his house, but he’s with his tax agent, but the way that I described it to you, I was articulating the colour temperature and the colour of the lighting to set the mood, and you validated me. I don’t remember exactly what you said, but your validation was like, I can appreciate the way you’re describing colour setting, the mood and the tone but clearly you were trying to dismiss me, like listen, I just graduated from film school, I know what the fuck I’m talking about, you get out of here.
[03:01] Bill: Well, I was also, I had an ego I did not need to have. I had no business having my ego, because I had literally zero work experience at that point.
[03:14] Corey: But, everybody’s got to start somewhere.
[03:15] Bill: Yeah.
[03:16] Corey: So, I think we worked together for a little while there, and then we went our separate ways and then, it was probably 9 or 10 years after that, where I had a small business, I wanted some video content to start to produce some web commercials, and you were the first person that I thought of and I reached out to, and I remember, I think it was either a text or on social media, I said, hey Bill, are you still into video production?
[03:42] Bill: Well, you’d seen the book trailer, my seventh grade deluxe trailer.
[03:49] Corey: Oh, yeah.
[03:50] Bill: And you were like, oh, I love the lighting in that. I remember the message you sent me, you wanted to.
[03:59] Corey: I said like, we need something similar.
[04:00] Bill: Yeah, yeah.
[04:01] Corey: I want to grow this business. We want something that’s visually similar, can you help me out?
[04:05] Bill: Yeah, and I literally brought on the exact same crew from that video.
[04:11] Corey: And that was, we ended up doing a couple, right? Two or Three?
[04:15] Bill: Yeah. We did three, yeah.
[04:19] Yeah, those were great, but that for me, was when I started to, in my mind, make the transition from, I had almost completely given up on still photography. I had no interest of being a photographer any longer at that point. I like money
[04:37] Bill: Right.
[04:38] And made the realization that to make a living as a still photographer, the hustle is like no other, and I was not up for that, but to watch you and the team create what we ended up creating for that business, and those videos was really cool and really inspiring. I think that was part of what drove me to start to pursue that whole creative process again, which was cool.
[05:08] Bill: Yeah, because I remember you were kind of an observer, but you were an active observer. You had that foundation in photography already, so you kind of understood, generally speaking, what we were doing as far as framing and lighting and that sort of thing. I could tell you were just like, I could almost see the eagerness in your face that you wanted a bigger hand in it in the future.
[05:30] Corey: Yeah.
[05:31] Bill: I could kind of see it.
[05:33] Corey: I do appreciate you crediting me on IMDB as producer for those.
[05:37] Bill: Yeah. Well, you came to me with the concept laid out and everything, like an outline, which is a lot more than you get sometimes from clients and so, just the legwork you did, that’s producing.
[05:57] Corey: Yeah. Even today, I enjoy the conceptualizing, but I think there’s a balance. If it’s something that I find interesting or entertaining, I have no problem doing that, but more often I would prefer to just, I want to show up and you tell me what we’re shooting and let me light it, let me shoot it.
[06:18] Bill: Yeah, and then we worked after that. I think the first thing that I brought you on to, was the Bryce Hitchcock videos that Steven Knapp directed.
[06:30] Corey: Yeah.
[06:31] Bill: And I brought you on as a first AC. I mean, that was a really fun shoot.
[06:39] Corey: It was
[06:39] Bill: It was long, it was all day.
[06:43] Corey: We shot that on the Fs 700?
[06:45] Bill: We did, yeah.
[06:47] Corey: On the Ronin 2, for a big portion of it.
[06:49] Bill: Yeah.
[06:49] Corey: That was crazy. We had two locations, I think that was the first, not that the commercials that you produce were not big productions, but I felt like that experience, there was hair and makeup
[07:02] Bill: Yeah.
[07:03] Corey: The artists, there was a lot going on that day.
[07:03] Bill: There was a lot going on that day, yeah.
[07:07] Corey: I just remember thinking like, all right, this is cool, I’m into it.
[07:11] Bill: Yeah.
[07:12] Corey: And now I’m getting paid to be here, which was great.
[07:15] Bill: Yeah, exactly. That’s always an added benefit.
[07:18] Corey: Yeah.
[07:19] Bill: If you can be paid to be there.
[07:20] Corey: It still was very much a small production. It was the director and then I believe the two of us and two hands, two grips.
[07:33] Bill: There was some people coming and going on that shoot, I think.
[07:35] Corey: Yeah.
[07:36] Bill: Shifts. There were shifts changes.
[07:39] Corey: Yeah, and then at that shoot specifically, I remember when we got to the second location and the fog started rolling in.
[07:47] Bill: Yes.
[07:48] Corey: And just thinking like, this is a gift from the filmmaking gods. What it would take to actually haze this exterior, in my mind at the time I had no concept.
[07:59] Bill: Yeah.
[08:00] Corey: I just thought, oh yeah, we probably could have done this with fog machines. No, absolutely not, you could not have.
[08:05] Bill: And to be clear, this exterior was an airport, an abandoned airport with a large hangar and lots of open sky, so hazing that, no.
[08:18] Corey: Yeah. It would have been difficult, but what was really cool to see, was, I think could we had, would the end result still have looked good? Probably. There was a lot going on, like circus acts and entertainers, visually there was a ton, but I think the luck of that fog moving in
[08:37] Bill: I know
[08:38] Corey: All the stars aligning, I think at one point I remember looking at you like, this is a totally different shoot now.
[08:44] Bill: Yeah, yeah.
[08:45] Corey: We got the big spotlights, just raking through all this fog. It looked insane.
[08:50] Bill: Yeah.
[08:51] Corey: It was great.
[08:53] Bill: Yeah. That’s one of those, what they would call happy accidents. That was not on the shot list, that the fog would roll in
[09:01] Corey: No, but it worked out really well.
[09:05] Bill: Yeah. And so, coming from photography, what’s different? What’s the same? How’s that transition been, and do you think that’s given you a leg up as far as doing video?
[09:21] Corey: Yeah, I think what’s similar, just from the creative process and what I have been able to pull from, and maybe they weren’t my wasted college years, but I definitely don’t feel like I got everything I paid for.
[09:37] Bill: And you went to
[09:39] Corey: I went here locally, Nashville Tech, they actually had, and I don’t want to just credit their photography program. It was amazing, I felt like I was a little more advanced than some of the remedial courses, just because they were super basic photography classes.
[09:56] Bill: Yeah.
[09:56] Corey: But I took a ton away from, like the business of photography class was great. You could apply that to almost any creative role, as a graphic designer or a photographer, or running an independent production company, just all the things to think about, about how you bill clients and how you interact, that was great and I took a ton away from that.
Portrait lighting, some of the more advanced stuff I think is where I really started to pull good away from, and I think that’s helped transition into filmmaking and video work, having a really good understanding of composition, really understanding how lighting works, not just what looks good on camera, but truly the mechanics of how lighting functions in relation to a film plane.
[10:43] Bill: Yeah
[10:45] Corey: And being able to articulate what actually causes light fall off and how to manipulate that and the inverse square law, if you want to get really technical, I’m your guy, because you spend a ton of time as a still photographer making that look right for a fraction of a second.
[11:02] Bill: Yeah
[11:03] Corey: It’s critical for that fraction of a second, where I think video is a lot more forgiving because there is movement, you’re in and out of light. Not to say that it’s not as critical, but I think sometimes people that don’t know would take that for granted.
[11:18] Bill: Yeah.
[11:19] Corey: So I think being able to apply composition and lighting and some of the more foundational components of that has really helped transition, at least for me into video work.
[11:30] Bill: And plus the lens knowledge.
[11:33] Corey: Oh yeah.
[11:35] Bill: Lenses are interchangeable between photography and video.
[11:38] Corey: Some people would argue they should not be, but yes.
[11:42] Bill: I’m not one of those people, I do what works.
[11:45] Corey: Yes, I think the best tool for the job, is the tool that you have access to, and I think lenses apply very similarly. I own a couple of reds, I have cinema lenses, we rent cinema lenses, but I also own a nice set of Canon still lenses that work if the project calls for something like that.
[12:05] Bill: Right.
[12:06] Corey: Which is great.
[12:07] Bill: Yeah, that’s cool. And you have that sort of flexibility to do that.
[12:10] Corey: Yeah.
[12:11] Bill: So, you are a bit of a, I’d say a Renaissance man. You have a lot of interests and you do get into a lot of things and I know you also are a drone pilot, so I know you’ve gotten a lot of drone video. I don’t know if you want to talk about that. [12:29] Corey: Yeah, I am part 107 licensed, I’ve been licensed for a few years now, long enough that I’ve had to go retake my recertification after couple of years. I appreciate the Renaissance, I definitely, over the years I’ve had a lot of interests, a lot of hobbies, I feel like I am an achiever, in the sense that if I’m not doing anything and everything possible, I feel like I’m not being productive enough, and sometimes that’s difficult to balance
[13:04] Bill: Yeah.
[13:05] Corey: Hobbies and side businesses and second start-ups and all the things. So I’ve definitely, as of the last couple of years, I have narrowed that down to really just my full-time Monday through Friday career, and then what I would consider at this point, my side hustle of video production.
[13:24] Bill: And so, talk about the side hustle a little bit. What else are you into, as far as the side hustle is concerned? I know you do rent your gear out.
[13:34] Corey: Yep. So at this point, every side hustle is all film or video production related. So, gear rental is a big one, I use a website called share grid, which is, I think the best way to describe it would be, almost like an Airbnb for production equipment, for camera equipment, stills, video, lighting, all the things, if you have a need for a camera that you don’t own, share grid, there are rental houses on there, but there are also independent owner operators that list their own gear there.
I feel like I got really lucky trying share grid a couple of years ago when it was still very early in Nashville, there’s a huge share grid community in LA and New York and Atlanta, but I think at the time when I first joined and started listing some of my cinema gear, there were only like three or four local accounts at the time, and I’ve grown to the point where I think at this point, I’m the most reviewed renter on the site.
[14:45] Bill: That’s awesome.
[14:47] Corey: I think I have most of my gears listed there, both of my reds are available. All my lighting gear, all my lenses, pretty much everything is available there and it is a really good way, not only to supplement creator income, but obviously I use that to fund any of the gear that I purchased. So if I want a new set of lenses or a new camera or whatever it is
[15:09] Bill: Yeah.
[15:10] Corey: I just take whatever the purchase price is, divide that by 30, that’s the rental cost and then I know, after 30 rentals it’s paid for.
[15:17] Bill: Yeah.
[15:18] Corey: But the other great benefit is, the network that share grid rentals has enabled for me, almost everyone that I know or that I’ve worked with, other than you in the video production space has all come through networking on share grid.
[15:37] Bill: That’s awesome.
[15:38] Corey: There was the Scott Stevens work that I’ve been able to do, the last three music videos for him, that started with someone from his management team and now his manager, initially rented some little shitty lights from me, he needed these little RGB ones and they worked for what he needed. But more importantly, now Cody and I have developed this really great relationship where that’s amazing, but I never would have met Cody or been in a position to work with him and his artist, had it not been for share grid.
[16:12] Bill: That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s kind of an unexpected benefit I feel like, because when you think about gear, I never heard of share grid till you mentioned it.
[16:21] Corey: Yeah.
[16:25] Bill: You just think of gear rental, where you’re arbitrarily renting it out to people that kind of come and go, as a revolving door, but you don’t actually connect with those people on a professional level, so that’s really awesome that that’s been kind of your way to build your network.
[16:41] Corey: Yeah, and it was a little, I don’t want to say sketchy because I’ve never had a bad rental experience on share grid.
[16:49] Bill: That’s good. Yet. Knock on wood.
[16:53] Corey: Hopefully not, but I think what’s great about share grid is, they have a really rigorous background check, you have to pass all of these checks and balances before they’ll even approve a rental request. I get rental requests all the time from new renters, usually I have to wait two or three hours for them to do their whole manual validation, they check your ID, they do a simple background check and confirm all these social media accounts, just like to put more than just, it’s not a stranger at that point.
They’re a stranger to me, but I know they’ve gone through this process and then through the insurance that they provide, I know that the gear is covered. I also own my own separate policy for all of my gear.
[17:44] Bill: So, you’ve done a lot of different shoots, since getting into the video industry.
[17:52] Corey: You can call it the game.
[17:53] Bill: The game, the video game.
[17:54] Corey: I’m in the game.
[17:54] Bill: Not the video game, like video games in Nintendo.
[17:57] Corey: Yeah.
[17:59] Bill: So, one shoot that I thought was very ambitious that we both worked on together was the Transylvania stud, white witch album.
[18:08] Corey: Yes.
[18:08] Bill: Yes, I say album, because your idea was to do a music video from first track to last track on this band’s album.
[18:20] Corey: Yes.
[18:20] Bill: And tell an entire story.
[18:23] Corey: Yes.
[18:24] Bill: Which, I loved that idea and more bands should do that quite honestly, because talk about a great marriage of visuals and audio to tell the story of someone’s entire record, I think that’s great. And so, you hired me as DP, to take on this ambitious task and we went to Virginia and I don’t know if you want to talk about that a little bit.
[18:52] Corey: Yeah, and I appreciate how you keep referring to it as ambitious and not crazy.
[18:59] Bill: I mean look, we’re all a little crazy in this industry and you have to be a little crazy.
[19:06] Corey: Yeah, that’s true.
[19:06] Bill: So it becomes just ambition at a certain point.
[19:09] Corey: Yeah, I think and more recently, there was a Machine Gun Kelly release for his latest album, where they did the exact same thing. They started with the very first track, it’s basically this really well done short film, where every new scene is a different music video.
[19:30] Bill: Yeah, and another example of that I just watched actually was Daft Punk, the inner Stella 5,5,5 it’s like a big anime movie.
[19:40] Corey: Yeah.
[19:41] Bill: But it’s their entire album.
[19:44] Corey: Yeah. So, I do think more artists should go that route just because, I think it’s an amazing opportunity to connect a couple of different creative mediums, but the white witch album, which Andrew was amazing. I remember I was on an airplane, about to take off and he had trusted me, the very first music video I ever did was also for him, and we did it in a barn and in a motel, I think it was a super eight or one of those, where I just have paid a hundred bucks for the room and we just shot in it
[20:18] Bill: Yeah.
[20:18] Corey: Total guerrilla style. I remember I texted him, I said, hey, do you have any new music coming up, because I need to do more, I need to get more in my reel, I need to get more experience, and you trusted me the first time, let’s do something again.
[20:37] Bill: Yeah.
[20:38] Corey: And he said, I’ve got some new music coming up, I’ll shoot you some links so you can check it out, and before the plane even took off, I said I have a crazy idea. What if we did a video for every song? Because in my mind, I’m like what better opportunity to get a lot of experience to just do a whole bunch of them all at once, and he said, I love it, let’s do it.
And so, I came up with this really loose outline again, with some input from him, from some ideas and similar to other conversations, it’s here’s the idea, but here’s the budget, which was nothing.
[21:17] Bill: Yeah.
[21:19] Corey: We cashed in Delta skyline miles to fly out there, cashed in Hilton honours points to cover hotel rooms.
[21:27] Bill: Yeah.
[21:28] Corey: It was almost no cost at all, but it was really ambitious. So we flew out there with as much of my gear as we could check, which pro tip, if you check in on most airlines as a media production
[21:45] Bill: Ooh, that’s right.
[21:46] Corey: There’s no limit. Well, there is a limit to that number of bags, but they wave weight limits. So I forget, we checked like
[21:54] Bill: We checked a lot of gear.
[21:54] Corey: A lot.
[21:55] Bill: Yeah.
[21:56] Corey: And it was like 50 bucks.
[21:57] Bill: Yeah.
[21:58] Corey: For all of it, total.
[21:59] Bill: Pro tip.
[22:00] Corey: Yeah, which was crazy.
[22:02] Bill: Yeah.
[22:03] Corey: So we get out there, we got the red, we have a handful of lights and the other cool thing, which was a good experience for me from a producer standpoint, was engaging with the Virginia film office
[22:16] Bill: Virginia film office, yeah.
[22:17] Corey: And she was so helpful, I said hey, here’s what I’m working with, I have literally no budget, but if you have something that fits the need, you let me know, we’ll work it out, I’ll figure something out and we went back and forth a couple of times with a few different ideas and eventually she found this abandoned state penitentiary, I forget
[22:49] Bill: I think it was the James river correctional.
[22:51] Corey: Yes, that’s it.
[22:52] Bill: Yeah. Only because I’ve Instagram tagged it a couple of times.
[22:58] Corey: But she was able to work that out, where we had that for the entire day, all to ourselves for free.
[23:05] Bill: The entire prison?
[23:06] Corey: The entire prison. She gave us the full guided tour when we got there and walked us through like, here are the places I would recommend, I recommend you stay away from these spots
[23:15] Bill: Here’s where the Asbestos lives.
[23:16] Corey: Yeah, she gave us all that, but it was insane.
[23:20] Bill: Yeah.
[23:21] Corey: And so, we shot it a couple of different places, we guerrilla shot in a
[23:28] Bill: The liquor store?
[23:28] Corey: The liquor store, yeah. We guerrilla shot in a liquor store, with my iPhone because Virginia ABC would not approve of us actually filming. So hopefully that doesn’t get me in trouble.
[23:44] Bill: Yeah, and we did some car mounts stuff.
[23:46] Corey: We did a lot of car mounts.
[23:47] Bill: A lot of car mounts stuff.
[23:50] Corey: The fish bowl that we lit
[23:53] Bill: Yes.
[23:53] Corey: All of that stuff was great.
[23:54] Bill: Yeah.
[23:56] Corey: We did a one take, with you on the glide cam walking back, the full winner, but the shots, or the half day that we spent at the prison was just insane.
[24:13] Bill: It was. It was so cool.
[24:15] Corey: And just still, the fact that we got that for free.
[24:17] Bill: I know.
[24:18] Corey: Just by asking and explaining hey, independent filmmakers, it’s a local artist.
[24:25] Bill: Talk to your state film office.
[24:27] Corey: Yeah, you’d be surprised.
[24:29] Bill: Yeah. Tennessee’s been the same way, at least in the past, I haven’t really dealt with them as much, since the Nashville boom, but I know state film offices are usually pretty hungry to have people come film in the state and they’ll recommend places and they’re usually pretty gracious in my experience. I’ve worked with the Louisiana film office too, they’ve been really good.
[24:57] Corey: Yeah, the crazy thing about Virginia was, at the time the walking dead was scouting a couple of locations.
[25:04] Bill: Oh, that’s right.
[25:06] Corey: And I remember, she was just a wealth of knowledge because she said, these places would be great for you, but you don’t have a crew, so it’s really difficult to get gear there. She said, I don’t recommend them though, you would like them, I don’t recommend them.
[25:21] Bill: Yeah.
[25:22] Corey: And then, at the penitentiary that we got, I forgot the name of the show, but there’s an Ethan Hawke production that was like a Showtime production that was going on at the same time.
[25:33] Bill: Oh.
[25:34] Corey: Because I remember her telling me I’ll need to coordinate with their producers
[25:37] Bill: Yeah.
[25:38] Corey: To make sure they’re not there on the day.
[25:40] Bill: That’s right.
[25:42] Corey: Or if they are, we’ll need to figure something out. So she did all of that for me, which was amazing.
[25:48] Bill: Yeah. Yeah, it was super cool. If you can, yeah, it’s always been good interactions with those folks, and we got free T-shirts.
[25:58] Corey: We did, we did. That was the greatest.
[26:01] Bill: She just had them there at the prison for us, here’s some free t-shirts.
[26:04] Corey: Yeah.
[26:05] Bill: I will say, remember if you do shoot in a prison, especially a music video, bring some earplugs.
[26:11] Corey: Oh man.
[26:12] Bill: Because, yeah.
[26:16] Corey: We fashioned some handmade, we used some gaff tape, and we tore.
[26:20] Bill: A piece of a foam from a Pelican case.
[26:24] Corey: Ripped up one of the Pelican cases Pelican cases, made little foam inserts and taped them over your ears.
[26:28] Bill: Because, if you’ve worked on a music video, you can fake everything. The guitars, the vocals, the drums, you cannot fake the drums. You can mute them a little bit, but when you’re inside a narrow cell space, surrounded by concrete, those drums are going to blow some eardrums.
[26:47] Corey: Yeah. The other crazy thing I did for that full story was, for one of the music videos, it’s almost entirely all stock footage.
[26:59] Bill: That’s right.
[27:00] Corey: It’s all licensed for his video, and I did that for a couple of reasons. One just logistically, I knew it wasn’t going to be possible to get everything we wanted for the time constraints that we had.
[27:13] Bill: Yeah.
[27:14] Corey: And I forget who the artist was, or it may have been a director, but I remember reading risks that had been taken on a similar project, where they pieced together this amazing music video entirely from stock footage.
[27:31] Bill: Wow.
[27:32] Corey: And no one ever knew, because if it’s curated appropriately
[27:37] Bill: Yeah.
[27:37] Corey: Why would you? That’s the intent of it, is to fill a narrative need that you have.
[27:40] Bill: Right.
[27:41] Corey: And we did a similar thing for Andrew, and we actually did it twice because one of the videos is, the stock footage intercut with him in the prison and kind of this dream sequence, is what it was.
[27:55] Bill: Yeah.
[27:56] Corey: Which is why, at least for me, the stock footage made sense. Like if it’s all just crazy dream type things, then totally cool, but then these two songs on the album that play back to back, it seemed to work out creatively as I’m going through the treatment to, almost go from this dream state to then you waking up. So, the first video is all played forward in real time, and then when the track cuts to the next track, it immediately on that same frame, immediately reverses, and it plays the entire music video backwards, right up until the point where he wakes up and then we have the Snorri cam one take. Yes, just crazy.
[28:41] Bill: Yeah, the one thing I didn’t shoot as part of that was the Snorri cam stuff. I lit the scene, but Andrew had that rig on and was just
[28:53] Corey: We were hiding in the bathroom.
[28: 53] Bill: We were, yeah.
[28:54] Corey: We were calling directly.
[28:55] Bill: So, he couldn’t see us.
[28:56] Corey: Yeah.
[28:57] Bill: So recently, you DP a music video for Scott Stevens
[29:00] Corey: Yeah.
[29:01] Bill: Tell us about that project.
[29:03] Corey: That was really fun. It’s Scott Stevens latest single neon on you. Like I mentioned, Cody Vialobos, I met when he was still directing and doing a lot of work for the artists that are part of his management group. Cody is trying to get out of video production and wants to continue to focus on being an artist manager, not necessarily the media guy.
So, he reached out to myself and Buba, who hopefully we’ll get on the show at some point, but Buba has a production company for runner up in bowling green and they do a ton of production work and pitched this idea, it was super rough, but what’s great about Scott is, and he’ll tell the same story. When he’s writing a song and starts on the production of the song, he very much has a music video treatment already in mind, it’s a part of his whole storytelling process.
Like, here’s the song, here’s how I think it should show up as a music video. So, different than how a lot of artists act, where they write the song and then you have directors pitching all these different treatments, it’s great to work with Scott because he has an idea and then we can just mould and shape that into exactly what he wants within the budget constraints. So for this video, he had this idea that was inspired by the big Lebowski, it’s part about getting out, post Covid, going out with his wife, like you would look good with some Neon on you, that’s the whole
[30:44] Bill: Yeah.
[30:44] Corey: Vibe, but in a bowling alley. So we actually, we were able to secure lanes, trains and automobiles in Murfreesboro through a friend of my wife’s. So again, network is everything.
[31:02] Bill: Everything.
[31:02] Corey: So this lanes, trains and automobiles was so giving, so gracious. We got the entire facility all to ourselves from 8 AM until noon, when they opened, no charge.
[31:18] Bill: Wow.
[31:18] Corey: So cool. Stripped the lanes for us, everything. So we had a full crew for the day, we lit the lanes, actually we lift the lanes two different ways. One we actually didn’t light it all, it’s all natural, like very kind of grungy feeling bowling alley. Then the private lanes, where we shot all the neon themed shots, was just totally over the top, massive light movers on every lane, [inaudible 31:54] and tubes all over the place. We did this really crazy, seamless, 360 shot on the ronin, where we VFX’d the guitarists at every angle in this one seamless 360 shot, just a ton of fun the entire day.
[32:10] Bill: Yeah.
[32:14] Corey: It was wild, We all said this all day, it feels so unnatural being on the lanes.
[32:20] Bill: The no man’s land that people don’t go.
[32:23] Corey: Like you spend your entire life, like if you cross that little line, the alarm goes off, it’s super slippery. You get tackled and you bust your ass.
[32:30] Bill: Yeah.
[32:30] Corey: All these things. We got to break all those rules, we had equipment on the lanes, we were super cautious, like mats and tennis balls and everything to protect the lanes.
[32:42] Bill: You had a chair out there too.
[32:42] Corey: We did. The look, like we’ll link the music video in the show notes, but it ended up, I think really well
[32:51] Bill: I think so too.
[32:51] Corey: For the production, for the budget and what we were able to pull off, it was insane.
[32:57] Bill: It looks great. The lighting alone is, I love coloured lighting anyway, so you throw some neon on it and I’m pretty excited, I love that.
[33:11] Corey: It would not have been what it was without our colourist either, like Jimmy.
[33:14] Bill: Jimmy the colourist?
[33:15] Cory: Jimmy the colourist, yeah. He did an absolutely amazing job. He works at a film workers, here in Nashville, just super. If you ever need a colourist, you don’t have to be local, he is a magician, a wizard, a wizard, Jimmy the.
[33:36] Bill: Jimmy the wizard, the colour wizard.
[33:38] Corey: Yeah.
[33:39] Bill: So, what’s your next project? What’s on deck?
[33:43] Corey: I think for me personally, I’ve got a micro, I don’t even know if this is a thing, like a micro short, it’s like a one-page screenplay for, the title is Artemis. It’s a SciFi, almost like a social commentary on our obsession with space exploration, but yet, we still haven’t figured everything out here, but it is intended to be super short, really to the point. I actually got hooked up with a VFX artist in LA through a share grid connection. I just put it out on Instagram, like hey, I’m looking for a blender or a cinema 4d artist.
[34:21] Bill: Yeah.
[34:22] Corey: This guy that I rented to, we connected on Instagram. He said hey, check this dude out, so I sent him a message, sent him the screenplay, a couple of ideas, if we pull it off the way I think we can, this will be my first short with
[34:41] Bill: With VFX
[34:41] Corey: VFX. We’re talking Space X, NASA, Landers, Astronauts, like sky replacement, alien world kind of thing, all in a 90 second short
[34:55] Bill: I love it.
[34:55] Corey: Yeah.
[34:56] Bill: That’s really cool. I wish I wasn’t so ambitious, back to the question and I could write something that was 90 seconds.
[35:04] Corey: Yeah
[35:06] Bill: And I struggle with that. I can’t do anything that’s under three pages a lot of times.
[35:11] Corey: And now that I’ve said it and it’s out in the world
[35:15] Bill: You have to do it.
[35:16] Corey: I have to do it.
[35:17] Bill: People will be waiting for it.
[35:19] Corey: Yeah. I think everything, I could go and do it tomorrow, I just have to figure out the VFX component, like how much of that, can or should I do practically? What do I need to consider for a budget to pull it off? And that’s what this guy’s helping me really wrap my head around.
[35:37] Bill: That’s good, because I know a lot of, just my limited knowledge of the VFX world, it’s good to consult the VFX artist before you shoot anything, just because it helps them ultimately, because it takes them time, and the more legwork you do ahead of time, the easier it is going to be for them to do the work they need to do. So that’s good, it’s not a hey, here’s this footage I have. Can you put this here? And then they’re like ah, come on.
[36:15] Corey: And I don’t want to insult anybody, because I watched the quarter crew guys on YouTube
[36:20] Bill: YouTube, yeah.
[36:21] Corey: They do a lot of really good stuff and they make it look really easy, and I’ve learned a lot. As a filmmaker, I feel like I know, like I need an HDRI 360 to do all of the things, I’ve learned. Those guys are fantastic, so part of me wants to be like, hey not to say that it’s easy, but I
[36:41] Bill: You can do this, right?
[36:41] Corey: I have a foundational understanding of how this would work, so you could do this, right?
[36:49] Bill: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[36:50] Corey: So we’ll see, but that’s for me personally, that’s the next thing that I want to knock out.
[36:58] Bill: That’s awesome.
[36:59] Corey: Yeah.
[37:00] Bill: So, we’re going to get into our lightning round. So I get to subject you to the lightning round now after dealing with it, and you’ve had some time to think about it, since you invented the lightning round.
[37:12] Corey: That’s true.
[37:13] Bill: Which is not fair, but that’s okay.
[37:15] Corey: Okay.
[37:16] Bill: All-time favourite movie?
[37:18] Corey: Top gun.
[37:19] Bill: Excellent. The last movie you watched.
[37:23] Corey: So this, actually just last night, I watched a movie titled doors and I’m pretty sure brand new, probably produced through Covid, from directors, Simon Cash, Jeff Dessum and Dougan O’Neill it, i’s weird. It’s like a trippy Sci-Fi, kind of, there’s actually three different stories tied into one. So, each of these directors directed a different segment of it.
[37:58] Bill: Oh, so almost like a vignette.
[37:59] Corey: Yes.
[37:59] Bill: Anthology kind of thing.
[38:03] Corey: I don’t know, it was weird. I like to give movies the benefit of the doubt, I don’t read the reviews like the rotten tomatoes before, I’m just going to watch the trailer and if it looks good, I’ll buy it, I’m in it.
[38:16] Bill: Yeah.
[38:17] Corey: I regret it.
[38:21] Bill: Oh well.
[38:22] Corey: I should have rented it, but another if I could give two
[38:22] Bill: Yeah, yeah.
[38:26] Corey: Because I don’t want to direct, I don’t want to be crazy. I watched Prospect three nights ago, I think it was 2018 from Christopher Caldwell and Zeke Earl and why this one, I wanted to just make sure I mentioned it, is it was done on such a small budget, as it relates to like something coming out of Hollywood, but also super inspiring for this Artemus short that I have. These guys came up with the costume concepts and this whole other worldly view that they were able to do locally, outside of Seattle. If I could erase my memory of Doors, Prospect was the last movie that I watched.
[39:11] Bill: We will accept prospect as the last movie you watched.
[39:14] Corey: Okay, good
[39:15] Bill: Your favourite director?
[39:17] Corey: Chris Nolan, hands down.
[39:18] Bill: Yes, great choice.
[39:21] Corey: All the way back to original, pre-Batman pre all the things.
[39:27] Bill: So you’re going back to
[39:27] Corey: Memento
[39:28] Bill: Memento
[39:28] Corey: All that
[39:32] Bill: Most underrated slept on cinematographer?
[39:35] Corey: Zoe White. She did most recently the Handmaid’s tale, which is not my type of show, but cinematography is great, but also I think, the last season of Westworld, which is just insane. The visual appeal and being able to create a look, other worldly futuristic, just removed from time, fantastic work.
[40:03] Bill: And this is probably a discussion for another day, but the fact that television or shows have gotten to a level that matches movies, if not higher level, that’s where it’s at right now, as far as quality.
[40:19] Corey: Yeah, and I think that there are a ton of cinematographers that don’t do feature work, that do amazing serialized work.
[40:30] Bill: Yeah, and it didn’t use to be that way.
[40:31] Corey: No.
[40:31] Bill: I mean, it’s an amazing art form now. Coffee or tea?
[40:38] Corey: Coffee. I’m definitely team coffee. Any coffee, I don’t care, just give it to me.
[40:43] Bill: Any and all coffee?
[40:44] Corey: I’ll take it all.
[40:45] Bill: Do you like tea at all?
[40:46] Corey: I do, I like chai tea, Actually today, my drink of choice was a chai tea with a double shot of espresso. So I still got the coffee in there.
[40:56] Bill: You could do a little of both.
[40:58] Corey: if I’m drinking tea, it’s chai, but 99% of the time I’m coffee.
[41:03] Bill: Got it. Pineapple on the pizza?
[41:05] Corey: Never.
[41:05] Bill: Never?
[41:06] Corey: No.
[41:07] Bill: An aggressive no.
[41:09] Corey: No.
[41:10] Bill: No indifference or entertaining it.
[41:13] Corey: Just throw it off the table.
[41:16] Bill: Favourite camera?
[41:17] Corey: The one that you have.
[41:20] Bill: The one that I have?
[41:22] Corey: Whatever camera you have
[41:23] Bill: Oh, okay
[41:25] Corey: If I had to pick my favourite camera, it’d be definitely the Red Gemini.
[41:30] Bill: Nice.
[41:31] Corey: It’s beautiful, but I think whatever camera I have, I’ll figure it out.
[41:36] Bill: I like that, keeps it flexible.
[41:39] Corey: Yeah.
[41:39] Bill: Three films everyone should see before they die?
[41:45] Corey: I’m pretty sure all three of these are available on Netflix right now. So the first one is Time Trap, and maybe I’ll give you all three and then connect the dots on why these three, because they’re not classic cinematic masterpieces, they’re all probably within the last five or six years. Time Trap, ARQ, which is A-R-Q and then Extinction. All three of these, they take a typical storyline or an idea and tell it in such a way that is super compelling and like really entertaining.
Because today, we have phones and tablets and it’s hard to sit down and watch a movie and not get distracted by other things. All three of these movies and the way in which they tell their story, is so entertaining, it’s easy to put the phone away to just be focused on the movie. So Time trap, essentially there is this cave that is almost like a time warp, separated from the rest, time moves so slowly, beyond the threshold of this cave, it’s essentially like a time machine, because you’re paused in time and everything is moving so fast, and then how it wraps up is just insane, but really good, a really good take on time travel.
[43:14] Bill: I’m all for that.
[43:16] Corey: ARQ is similar, very Sci-Fi, but it also relates with time and this continual loop, and you’ve had this story told, whether it’s through Groundhog Day or similar, like repeating the same thing over and over. Again, ARQ tells the story in a way that’s so practical, but at the same time, you’re like holy shit, nice, it was really good. Then Extinction, it’s hard to describe that movie without giving away that twist at the end.
[43:53] Bill: Don’t do it.
[43:54] Corey: So I’m not going to do that.
[43:57] Bill: Because I haven’t seen any of these or heard of them, so I’m going to check.
[43:59] Corey: It’s on Netflix, check it out, it’s really good. Also Sci-Fi, like futuristic androids and people and stuff. Again, the twist is really good, so that’s great.
[44:10] Bill: I’ll check them out.
[44:12] Corey: Awesome.
[44:13] Bill: Well Corey, great conversation.
[44:16] Corey: Bill, this has been great.
[44:17] Bill: Yes, it’s been wonderful. Thank you.
[44:21] Corey: No, thank you.
[44:22] Bill: Thank us both for bringing this podcast into the world.
[44:25] Corey: Thank us. Nice, all right. Well Bill again, thank you. For our listeners, we know you have a lot of podcast options and we appreciate you choosing us.
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[45:10] Bill: Feed your crew.
[45:11] Corey: Feed your crew.