What a big week for Nikon! I feel honored and humbled to have been part of two major camera launches this week at CES, first the new KeyMission 360, a 360-degree 4K action cam, and now the Nikon D5, the flagship HD-SLR that has become my new workhorse.
When Nikon launched the D4s, we shot “DEDICATED,” a short film that told the stories of three photographers who are exceptionally dedicated to their craft. That piece received an immense response from our colleagues in the worlds of photography and film, I think, in part, because it never mentioned the camera. It wasn’t a commercial discussing f-stops, shutter speeds, pixels and autofocus. It was about getting into the minds of the folks who are really committed, passionate and inspired to tell important stories.
We were honored to have Nikon come back to us and ask us to do a part two to coincide for the release of the D5. I’m pleased to present INSPIRED, a short film that, much like DEDICATED, gets into the creative minds of four photographers and one filmmaker: Mirco Lazzari, Ole Jørgen Liodden, Matthias Hangst, Dixie Dixon, and Bill Frakes.
Creating this film was a one-month adventure that started in New York City, with Dixie and her zeal for whimsical high-fashion shoots. Then we went to upstate New York with Mirco, an amazing Italian motorsports photographer, whose passion for what he does began when he was just boy and whose gravitas as a lifelong shooter really shines in the film. Then we went to Nebraska to shoot with photojournalist and filmmaker Bill Frakes, who has been working on a documentary on the state where he grew up and still loves: Nebraska.
In Nebraska, we also worked with Matthias, who I knew to be an amazingly talented sports photographer, but who really wowed me with his level of dedication and commitment to perfection.
As you know, being outdoors in the wilderness is part of my DNA. So, obviously the highlight of the production was the opportunity to travel to Katmai National Park in Alaska with Ole, one of the most decorated wildlife and bear photography specialists. We spent a few awesome days deep in the woods getting as close to grizzly bears as I ever dreamed possible.
Like any big video project, this wouldn’t have been possible without an amazing team. A very heartfelt and special thanks goes out to Gen Umei and the entire team at K&L—you guys really are magical in terms of the creativity and friendship that you bring to the table. Special thanks to Josh Marianelli, our studio director and producer. Also, thanks to Dane Henry, DP; Bryan Liscinsky, 1st AC & DIT; Sean Haverstock, Gimbal & Helicopter Operator; Palmer Taylor, Sound Recordist; Bligh Gillies, BTS Camera & 2nd AC; Brett Wilhelm, Producer; Shawn Corrigan, DP; Joey Terrill, underwater specialist; Kristin Barry, production coordinator, and Jose Mario Borda, production assistant.
Also, huge thanks Andy Mead at Novus Select, and Rex Lint for putting in the long hours of editing this piece. And a sincere thanks to Andrew Bisharat, for bringing his narrative acumen to the project as a script supervisor, and to Luiz Abreu for his amazing graphic work.
None of this would be possible without our partners and sponsors, whose support has allowed us to keep doing what we do. Thanks to our partners: Nikon, FreeFly Systems, SanDisk and our sponsors; Adobe, AquaTech, ClifBar, G-Tech, Litepanels, LitePro Gear, Lowepro, Kessler, Manfrotto, Paralinx, Patagonia, SmallHD, and X-Rite.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank these five gifted individuals for letting us into your lives and sharing your inspiration. Without further ado, I am pleased to present INSPIRED. I hope you enjoy this piece. Sit back; it’s 10 minutes long! I hope you walk away from it ready and inspired to go out and shoot your own story.