Year One – a Boulder Agency & Carmichael Productions, Inc team up for The Boys and Girls Club

So I get a call from Michael Stoner who’s created a new advertising shop here in Boulder Year One. Michael’s got a non profit client that has a GREAT story to tell –  The Denver Metro Boys and Girls Club.  Michael is an experienced Ad Man who’s got an account/brand management and strategy background with major accounts in all the big markets: NYC, LA, SF and Minneapolis. It’s great to have him and his family now in Boulder. Plus he’s a climber! Michael explains to me that he has an exciting project and shows me a script that is really QUITE dialogue heavy. He tells me they are looking to use actual Boys and Girls Club members to perform the sides.  The writer is Sunnee Hoppe.  Unlike most spots where the talent might say a line if they are lucky,  Sunnee’s script told a rich story of each kid on two very divergent tracks.  One positive and one very negative.  The point was that the Boys and Girls Club makes a profound difference in kids lives.

I really liked this idea and I volunteered to be in on the casting because I knew that only a certain kind of kid would be willing to stretch to perform these tales of woe and the tales of success. To be honest, I also volunteered to spend three days on the casting because I knew that director’s chair would a very lonely place on the shoot day without the precisely right kids in front of the camera. Doug Millington and I bid the job to include an ACamera Rental Sony F55.  I knew that I needed to have the kids look right down the barrel of the lens and for that I turned to Eye Direct and their mirror device which would allow my live face to appear on the lens reacting, coaching as the kids delivered their lines. Eye Direct is basically a teleprompter that allows the director face to appear “on the lens” for the actor to relate to. See below. The other thing I knew is that as a camera person I was going to be busy with these novice actors so with the F55 camera we shot at 4K, which would allow our great LA editor Brad Wetmore to push in from our Medium Close Up master shot to make cuts.  No fusing with the lens during the takes. Just a clean shot we could blow up and reposition as we liked. The blow up in 4K could be done to almost 200%. That is a game changer! This to me is a major advantage of using the F55. Another thing I sensed is that we needed some still images of these kids to set up their emotional framework so I brought my still camera to the set and my trusty AC Caleb Tkach.  After three days of working with and developing a strong rapport with kids – we had our six actors.

Bottom line: I was so impressed with the Boys and Girls Club as an institution and for the quality of kids I was meeting. If you want to support something real then send your love to The Denver Metro Boys and Girls Club. I was simply inspired by the kids we meet during the casting process. On the shoot day we had Chris Gerding as our rock steady and highly talented gaffer. We had fun studying Noir lighting schemes and bringing the dark side to life. Gerdo operated the camera with the 85mm Ultra Prime as I was sitting next to the lens with my face in the Eye Direct mirror steering the kids along.  Doug Okane was our Assistant Cameraman and just having his professional demeanor on the set is always appreciated and he knew how to turn on the brand new Sony F55 which delivered a great image btw.  Mitch Stelling and Tony Thomas were our A-list grip guys and the top Denver mixer Bob Abbott was on sound.  Nathan Berry-Chaney was our highly capable Digi Tech. We used two sets 180 degrees from each other so we’d just spin the camera to get to our next set.  On one set we had a black seamless the other a white seamless. Cindy K Cruz and her daughter Lia Mazzei (whose dad is a great DP) were on set transforming o d a fabulous and very heartfelt performance. My hat is off to them and the Boys and Girls Club because everyday they make Denver kids lives better.  It was an honor to be involved.  Paul Thompson was the unshakeable agency producer, Sunnee Hoppe creative director/writer. Doug Millington was the producer/AD. Jesse Carmichael provided an inspired musical score and it was so nice of him to devote his talent to this cause. Thank you son!

PS: Last night at a fully decked out Centennial Airport hanger this film was debuted in front of 1500 people who were certainly some of Denver’s top movers and shakers. The community in Denver truly understands the value of the Boys and Girls Club. John Elway and Wes Welker were in attendance at this spectacular fundraiser put on by Cuvee Escapes Surrounded by high end aircraft and automobiles and some of Denvers’s most beautiful people, the communities appreciation for the The Boys and Girls Club was on full display. It was a wonderful tribute to the Club.  The creative team from Year One and our Carmichael Productions, Inc. team were all smiles.

Here are some images from behind the scenes and the manner in which we conveyed the two tracks our kids could take. You get the idea. This spot will soon be under my Directors Reel menu on this site.

You can see this Boys and Girls Club spot here.

Behind the scene Images by © Caleb Tkach
Portraits by ©

Best regards, Bob

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USA Cycling Association – Bourbon Street Productions, director/camaraman Bob Carmichael

So I get a call from John Bourbanais who runs a Colorado Springs production house called Bourban Street Productions. He’s got a couple of projects going at once and he is kindly contacting me to come in to direct and shoot a commercial in his absence.  I say yes and Doug Millington and I start a sprint to get a location scouted, crew and camera booked, permits pulled and to develop a plan.  The first file here are some of my story boards for the first day and some of the behind the scenes images of us shooting.  BSP was represented on the shoot by their producer LeAnne Carrouth who was a great person to work with, smart and concise!

The crew was top of the line with Chris Gerding, who is a great collaborator and knowledgeable lighting gaffer. We had Mitch and Matt Stelling and Jesse Jaco as our Grips and they are amazingly on task always thinking one step ahead and that makes a director/cameraman’s job that much easier. Our 1st AC was Doug O’Kane, he and his brother Mark are serious production people. You’ll see Doug pulling focus on all these shots.  Doug is a pro who is unflappable and when you get behind the eye piece, you know he is going to be on the money focus wise. The Digi tech was a very capable fellow named Nathan Berry-Chaney who expertly managed our digital work flow and 2 Go-Pros. Our make-up person was the can-do Suzanne Blons who doubled as a set PA as well. This was a low budget commercial but we got the shots and had the camera moving to intensify the action just like the big boys do.

Thanks to Jason Hornbeck at ACamera for his continued amazing help in getting us one of his Arri Alexa cameras with the 11:1 Optimo zoom. We used it from 24mm to 600mm and it was steller!

Our budget was challenged on this shoot but necessity is the mother of invention and to get our car to bike shots Chris Gerding wielded a platform extension onto his Toyota that allowed for the camera, operator and AC to shoot. The Gerdocamcar! Chris and his boys strapped us in from all points and we were good to go. Chris drove drove the switchbacks and was able to communicate all the upcoming turns via his car comm system.  The G’s on the turns and trying to hold onto the Alexa was a task and the grunts from O’Kane and I operating that rig was like a weight lifting session. Intense! The Boulder Sheriff was there to close the road and make it all safe. Doug Millington did his usual terrific job of bidding and producing. He also served as a very capable Assistant Director to move things along. Thanks to all, particularly John Bourbonais and BPS Productions and the USA Cycling Association for a fun two days.

Bob C.

Click the link below to see the shot list and previs/scout images of the first shoot day.  It is the director’s job to have a plan.

USA Cycling ROAD MASTER 18th

Behind the scenes photography by Jason J. Hatfield –


USA Cycling AssociationUSA National Team Riders at 6:30AM

USA Cycling Assoc.First shots onto the SXS Cards.

Using the cross light, Flag Staff BGUsing the cross light, Flag Staff BG.

USA Cycling Assoc.Ansel Adams is making a comeback because of video screens reflectivity.

Foreground action & sliderForeground action & slider.

USA Cycling AssociationMitch Stelling finessing the slider dolly.

USA Cycling Assoc.Confident with AC Doug O’Kane on the focus knob.

USA Cycling TeamUsing the same location just down the hill to a great reveal!

USA Cycling AssociationNow we are using telemetry to gauge the riders coming up the Morgul Bismark.

Now we are using telemetry to gauge the riders coming up the Morgul Bismark, grips on the hill calling the marks to Doug. Now we are using telemetry to gauge the riders coming up the Morgul Bismark, grips on the hill calling the marks to Doug.

USA Cycling AssociationThe GERDO camera car. Damn he’s good! and yes we are double strapped in.

Serious forces unleashed on those Flag Staff 180's. Serious forces unleashed on those Flag Staff 180’s.

USA Cycling AssociationThe Gerdo Camera Platform in the turn.


USA CyclingA group coming from the left and we are coming from the right. Compounding all the action.