You have to admit 2016 was a bizarre, emotionally stirring and polarizing year for most Americans. We saw the loss of many of our moral and artisitic muses in the world, yet we saw the Cubs win the World Series, and a reality T.V. star elected president. Amidst the chaos, rhetoric and political bickering, I kept my nose mostly out of the conversation and kept said nose to the grind working. Here's a review of where that journey took me and a immense thank you to many individuals who helped me along the way.
2016 was a banner year for Digisphere Productions. I booked the most work I ever have in a year, and produced the highest quality & volume of clients and work I ever have in a year's time. Here's a list of some of the clients I was so fortunate to work with this year:
-Brett Eldredge/Warner Music/"Glow" special on DirecTV
-Eastern Poker Tour/Bar Poker Open (2 events)
-MAGIC fashion convention
-Childrens Specialty Center of Nevada
-Rabid Young - 2 music videos
-Billboard Music Awards - Red Carpet and Behind the Scenes mini-Documentary
-Marc Thyssen Photography/Fitness Supermodel Sunday
-Cirque Du Soleil - KA - Exclusive Behind the Scenes Footage
-Prairie Books & Gifts
-Alien Domicile"- Sci-Fi Feature Film - Music & Sound
-Southwest Medical Associates
-Jan Brett - New York Times Best-selling Children's Author
-Daywalker: Blade Origins - Fan Film/Television Pilot
-Celebrity Food Adventures - Reality Pilot starring Ashanti & Robin Leach
-Circolium - International Circus School
-be. - Safe Nest Charity Event
-Alex Stopa/Vic Firth Mallets
-The Rock Center for Dance
-Nu Boyana Studios - Bulgarian Feature Documentary
-Murray Sawchuck/Property Brothers
I am very thankful to have so many allies in the Las Vegas production community, and I want to send out an immense special thanks to these individuals and their companies for bringing me on to collaborate with them for many of the clients & projects mentioned above:
-Eric Guideng at House Guideng
-Michael Sweeney at EVERYTHINGTONOTHING Studios
-Mark Stephens at Elsewhere Entertainment
-Michael Su at Persistence Films
-Kelly Schwarze & Charisma Manulat at Indie Film Factory
-Omar Gomez at e11even Media
-Mark R. Johnson
-Anissa Christal at A. Christal Productions
-Rob Anderson at Blackwood Cinema & VR
-Meredith Kerr at Blackwood Cinema & The Rock Center for Dance
-Hanon Rosenthal & Jessica Rovniak at Billboard
-Tori Lubecki at Philanthropy Entertainment
-Dawn Marie at Childrens Specialty Center
-Erica Linz at Circus Couture
-Cathy Poochigan-Pratt at KA/Cirque Du Soleil
-Jane Tushaus at Prairie Books & Gifts (Thank You, Mom!)
-Andrew Chevalier at Eastern Poker Tour
-Markiss McFadden and Byron Smith at "Daywalker: Blade Origins"
-Eric Rickey at Rabid Young
-Julio and Gameli Cruz at Alcala Blue
-Marc-Antoine Picard at Circolium
-Dave Farra at Farra Productions
-and to anyone and everyone else who ever referred me on to any project or gig this past year!!! Thank you!!!
Huffington Post Segment Shoot
I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the amazing casts and crews who helped make so many of these projects happen and be as good as they could be. A huge thank you goes out to:
-Maximus Garcia (for being my right hand man and learning so quickly!)
-Brian, Abby & Shelly Mutum
-Robyn & Jeremy Quist
-Jane & Dwight Marsh
-Dr. Darrel Lloyd
-and most of all, to Getti Kehayova, who has been my rock and biggest supporter!!!
-and everyone else who I had the privilege to work with!!!
Circolium International Circus School
Rabid Young's "Beautiful Things" Music Video
Additionally, I was able to work on some passion projects and narrative work including two music videos for the up and coming Las Vegas band, Rabid Young, a music video for world-renowned Marimba player and composer, Alex Stopa, and a music video for the Mexican pop musician, Alcala Blue.
Beyond music videos, I had the opportunity to work on several feature films including a feature documentary film about Bulgaria produced by Nu Boyana Studios, a sci-fi feature from director, Kelly Schwarze, Alien Domicile, a horror feature from director, Mark Stephens, Scare Me, and the Hollywood blockbuster, Jason Bourne.
Passion projects for which I produced, shot and directed included a short Star Wars fan film entitled Help Me Obi-Wan, which played at the Action on film Festival in Monrovia, CA, and will be at the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, February 10th, 2017. Also, I made several vignette shorts featuring Zoré Espana on her Cyr Wheel, Luis Poema on his Diabolo, Maximus and Zander Garcia on their hoverboards, and Brett Williams as Mr. Pedalsworth fixing our bikes.
"Cyrcular" video featuring Zoré Espana and Luis Poema
"Help Me, Obi-Wan!" Short Fan Film
Luis Poema in "Cyrcular"
An additional passion project for which I Executive-Produced and was Cinematographer was the fan film, Daywalker:Blade Origins, directed by Markiss McFadden and starring Byron Smith. Action-packed and fully ambitious for the independent film scene here in Las Vegas. Look for it in 2017!
Charity work was a big presence in this year's agenda, and I contributed sizable video work for two: Circus Couture and Philanthropy's be. I had the privilege to film footage for the Children's Specialty Center of Nevada, as well as editing alongside founder, Erica Linz, a very bittersweet video featuring Avery, a 13 year-old patient of the Center who passed away earlier in 2016. I had filmed her multiple times including an interview with her and her mother which we used in the video and gave a beautiful perspective of her dazzling personality and amazing spirit. I then worked with Michael Su and Alberto Triana to film the actual Circus Couture charity event. We witnessed Criss Angel donating $300,000 to their cause, which put the all-time charitable contributions to Circus Couture over $1,000,000.
I also contributed to Tori Lubecki & Philanthropy's charity, be., which raised awareness and funds for Safe Nest for victims of domestic abuse. Prior to the event, we set out to Nelson's landing to film video content that would be used in the live show event. You can read more in-detail of this shoot in my earlier blog about the entire process here: http://www.digisphereproductions.com/single-post/2016/07/08/be-Film-shoot-for-a-great-cause
"be." Show Sizzle Promo Video
Gear, gear and more gear! I continued to add to the arsenal of tools for the company and added some key tools including the 4.5K RED Raven, DJI Mavic Pro 4K Drone, Sony FS5, DJI Ronin MX gimbal, Atomos Ninja Assassin, Sigma 18-35mm, LED lighting, stands, cases, lenses and more!
As an actor, I was able to portray several roles in multiple high-profile projects. I was able to book a role in an IBM national commercial campaign for their touchscreen notebooks and computers. My work in a national commercial for Rolltech Bowling was featured on ESPN during the PBA championships. I played a detective for NBC Universal's Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall. Maybe one of the coolest roles was getting to play George Harrison (well, at least his hands) in the official Beatles music video for While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which is currently nearing 9 million views on Youtube! Another supporting role included playing Master Sergeant Ryan Pierce in Alien Domicile, Kelly Schwarze's sci-fi feature film. I also had the pleasure of playing Deacon Frost in Daywalker: Blade Origins and played a Casino Guest in the next chapter of the Hollywood action franchise, Jason Bourne, starring Matt Damon. Additionally, because of the campaign's success, my work as the male lead hero in the Travel Nevada commercial and web campaign was renewed for a second year!
Another great moment for Digisphere Productions was receiving two more Regional Emmy® nominations from the Heartland Chapter of the Regional Emmys® for my work as Director, Producer and Composer for our Commercial Campaign for Prairie Books & Gifts. This was the last time I would work with my father on our commercials for the bookstore. And it meant everything to him and to all of us that we were even able to capture him on-camera for a short scene in the commercials. It was more than appropriate that he was filmed simply reading his book, and poignantly placing his bookmark in his book, and then closing it. Almost exactly one month later, he passed away from his battle with brain cancer. It was a very emotional experience to go back to the Emmys® for our third year in a row without dad there with us, though we knew he was there with us in spirit. We didn't win any Emmys® this year, but I still consider it an immense honor to have gone up against some very large corporations who have huge budgets, and that us little guys were able to compete shoulder to shoulder against them. After three consecutive years, I now have 8 Regional Emmy® Nominations and 1 Emmy® win.
We filmed and released our commercial campaign for 2016 as well, and will again enter this campaign into the chapters competition. We have high hopes that we will be going back for a 4th year in a row, and will hopefully come back with another win. You can watch the first spot below:
Prairie Books & Gifts Spot #1 2016 Campaign
So to wrap up, a lot has happened for Digisphere Productions, and there were too many highlights to talk about, but I share these moments and experiences so that you and our potential clients out there can witness our growth and success as a company, and as an assurance that we will be here for years to come, continually growing, continuing to receive accolades, continuing to improve, and continuing to satisfy our client's needs by delivering stunning, cinematic content both visually and audibly.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support, your trust in my work, and your continued relationship with Digisphere Productions.
CEO Digisphere Productions Inc
Cinematographer | Director | Composer | Editor