If you would have told me this time a year ago that I would be able to partner with one of Tulsa’s most successful companies that has franchises around the United States and Canada I would have called you crazy.
I was able to not only partner with Just Between Friends but it took me all over this great country. I had the opportunity to meet some very caring people in West Chester, PA, San Angelo, TX, Grand Rapids, MI, Longmont, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, and right here in Tulsa, OK.
What Made Bremerton Special
All of those stops were amazing in their own right but the trip to Bremerton, WA stands out for a couple of reasons.
1.) I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest so seeing the beautiful landscapes there was a real treat,
2.) I met an amazing family that is sacrificing a lot to serve their country, and
3.) I had the chance to use a new piece of equipment that helped me add a little spice to the video.
Bremerton, WA is on the west side of Puget Sound, about an hour by ferry from Seattle. It’s hard to beat the views there, I was lucky to have an amazing scene just outside my hotel at the Bremerton Marina.
Bremerton has a large military presence. There’s the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Naval Submarine Base in Bangor, just to name a few.
The Message I Wanted to Convey
The video had two goals, focus on how Just Between Friends Bremerton, WA helps military families by giving them a sense of community. Military life can be lonely since families forced to move all over the country. JBF-Bremerton gives moms and dads a chance to meet and help each other with their growing families. The other goal was to show how JBF-Bremerton helps foster children in the area by donating clothes, toys, and other children’s items to the Kitsap Foster Care Association.
I try to treat each story as a mini-documentary but the reality is I’m limited by time. Each story must be a certain length which means some things get left out (there is no cutting room floor anymore, so it gets left sitting in a file on my computer.)
Personalizing The Message
My first stop was to meet the Condon family. Kimberly Condon is a military wife. Her husband serves on a submarine. That’s all I know about him, she wasn’t allowed to say anything else about his job! The Condon family have two children, including a young son who is autistic and has some other medical issues. He was the sweetest little boy, so nice and friendly. You can really tell he loves his big sister.
Kimberly is a consignor with JBF-Bremerton. She says being a part of the sale has helped her make friends and find a place in the community where she didn’t know anyone. It was important for me to get that across in the video. Unfortunately, like I said before, some things had to be left out. I would have loved to included more of Kimberly’s son but it would have taken too much time to explain his background so I made a tough decision and didn’t include that in the story.
The video begins with Kimberly’s daughter walking down the hallway into her room. She walks up to a picture of her daddy on the wall wearing his Navy uniform and standing on a pier taking a picture. It was a very special moment. I could feel how much she loves her daddy. I knew when it happened that it would be the opening sequence. I really wanted to show how solemn of a moment it was so I chose not to use any music or other sounds. Just the quietness of her walking into her room and pointing out her daddy. It’s 12 seconds long which may not seem like much, but for a video 12 seconds with hardly any sound is an eternity. As simple as it is it’s an opening sequences of which I’m very proud.
After we meet the Condon the family the video goes to the Good Works Between Friends animation and then to a time lapse of the sun rising over the marina. I had been wanting to add some time lapse video to my repertoire for some time and Bremerton was the perfect opportunity. Before I made the trip I had looked at Google maps to find a good place to record the sunrise. Luckily, my hotel looked east over the marina and Puget Sound, right where the sun would be rising.
Using a Rotating Camera: The Genie Mini by Syrp
It gave me the chance to use a new piece of equipment. It’s the Genie Mini by Syrp. It’s a small device, about the size of a cupcake. The Genie Mini rotates over a set period of time to give your shot movement, like a really slow pan from left to right. It sits on top of the tripod, underneath the camera. You simply tell it how long you want to record and how far you want it to rotate.
The hard part was figuring out where the sun was going to rise. I found some websites that chart the sun’s position and will tell you where it will rise but I’m not an astrophysicist so I didn’t really understand it. I figured I’d have to go the unscientific way and just guess. I had three mornings to try to get the shot. The thing is, there are no do-overs. If I guess wrong that morning I’ll have to wait until the next day.
Getting the Shot: Capturing a Sunrise
The first morning it was overcast and I guessed completely wrong. However, I did get a really cool time-lapse of the clouds moving over the Sound. The next morning it was raining and I couldn’t shoot anything. The third morning was gorgeous and based on my first try I had a good idea of where the sun would rise. Now comes the other hard part, the Genie Mini rotates. So I had to place the camera in a spot where it would rotate with the sunrise and not away from it.
The key with sunrise shots is even though the sun is set to rise at a certain time it actually starts getting light well before. So I had to start shooting about an hour and 15 minutes before the sun peaked over the horizon which meant there was still some guessing going on (I know there had to have been a better way but, at the time, guessing was my best option).
As the camera started to pan and the sun began to rise, I realized my guess was pretty good but not perfect. I had to adjust the camera as I saw where the sun was going to appear. Even though that meant losing some of the darkness before the sunrise I wasn’t too worried because I knew I would edit the sequence down anyway to make it shorter. The entire sunrise time-lapse sequence is on screen for nine seconds, that’s edited down from about a 35 second recording of the sunrise, and more than an hour and a-half of real-time recording.
That’s a long time to set outside but I did have a wonderful view while I was working.
Here is the final video, I hope you enjoy. It was a delight to create!