Category Archives: Commercial

“NPR” by Can’t Stop Won’t Stop – Puppet Rap!

If you ever have an opportunity to make a rap video starring custom puppets, I hope you take that opportunity.

Background

When Can’t Stop Won’t Stop released their LP “Wildebeest” in 2013, I pinged the group about doing a music video for a song on the album. They were 100% interested, and the plan was to film something when I was next in Los Angeles. Over the next two years it felt that my work in L.A. either didn’t line up with times when they were in town or I didn’t have time to tag on an extra project while down in California.

Eventually a window aligned when the group was sort of available at the same time that I was sort of available, but during that week, none of the vocalists would be in the same city – they were scattered all over the USA. My first though: make an animated music video! My second thought: use puppets! The band was down with the idea, so I began putting out feelers for excellent puppeteers.

My brother Morgan helped me find Randall McNair of Widgets, Inc., who is basically a reincarnation of Jim Henson. He and his wife Lucy proved to be amazing people to work with. They brought a lot of creative juice to the mix and were total professionals in every way. They have a fair amount of film experience, as well as tons of live theater experience, and they were patient with the rest of us while we worked through the learning curve of filming puppets in action.

Shooting the “NPR” video today and tomorrow with the homie @garrettgibbons – Is my nose really that green tho?! A photo posted by CANT STOP WONT STOP (@cswsmusic) on

 

Production

We began filming in Utah, near where Randall and Lucy live (they had just come back from a few weeks working on a show in Alaska). Filming was relatively straightforward once I started figuring out how to film a puppet in action. The train footage was hilarious to film because people kept walking through the aisle, and they had to step over Randy and Lucy, who were laying in the aisle with their arms raised between the seats to operate the puppets. One security guard just casually stepped over them without batting an eyelid. I guess they see far weirder things on those trains.

We filmed the first verse in front of David Eff’s pink truck that sells frozen bananas, and put out a call to fans to invite them to come and dance it up. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video clip of Randy and Lucy in action, obviously rapping along with nearly every word from the song:

My favorite setup was the recording studio (June Audio Recording Studios in Provo, Utah), which was a shot I had previsualized early in the creative process, and was thrilled to see the footage turn out almost exactly as I had originally envisioned. Normally, during the development process things change and evolve, and the process is a journey that leads somewhere I hadn’t initially planned. When this happens, though, and the strong initial vision is brought to fruition without mitigation, it feels great.

The Mercedes SLK 500 was a blast to work with, as well. David Eff found this car and its owner at a local car show a few weeks before production began. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was committing to, but there’s something special about being able to turn to an elderly gentleman and say, “Sir, can we have this puppet drive your car?”

Never fear! Our puppet rap video has a Benz and gold chains. A photo posted by Garrett Gibbons (@garrettgibbons) on

We filmed the green screen footage in a park, using one pink bike that I bought from a thrift store for $5 the morning we filmed it. I wanted to harness the cheesy chroma key composite feel of early-90s Sesame Street, and I feel like it turned out just right.

All in all, this project was a blast to work on. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop have a huge amount of energy; I hope to be able to work with them and the McNairs in the future! Enjoy the video!

NPR music video

TV ads for Liberty Coin & Currency

Here are two TV spots I filmed and edited, working under the direction of Mike Johnston at Bigger Picture in Seattle. The is Liberty Coin & Currency, based in Portland, Oregon. The campaign is based around pairs of people who are fundamentally opposed in some way or another, who agree that Liberty Coin & Currency is the place for coins and gold.

The Presidents spot was a lot of fun. Besides two great actors and some fun period costumes, the hair and makeup was amazing. These two men completely transformed for this part.

The Twins spot is based around a classic rivalry between two colleges: the Oregon State University Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks. The twins were each played by the same actor, and this was a challenging spot to nail down timing on because of the banter involved.

Republic Services Roosevelt: Generating Power from Refuse

I have recently spent some time with Bullseye Creative, an ad agency in Seattle, working to produce some internal and promotional media for a few facilities run by Republic Services, a national waste-management company. This facility in Roosevelt, WA is fascinating: while essentially a landfill, they capture the methane gas produced by the waste and produce over 20 MW of energy, which powers most of the region and has an excess that is sent to California.

The facility is beautiful and looks fairly pristine, and is as clean and green as waste management comes. My favorite aspect: rather than use poison or guns to control their seagull population, they have an on-site falconer. More to come as additional pieces are finished!

Timelapse for Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed used one of my timelapses for their latest YouTube video, “The Science of Being a Teenager.” My clip starts around 0:35 and is also the final shot. They made a great video, check it out!

Three web Spots for Familyshare.com

I was asked to make three very different web spots for Familyshare.com, all during the period of about one month. The budgets were decent but the turnaround time was extremely fast, so it was an interesting challenge to get all of these out the door within such a short timeframe.

The first spot is essentially a short film, meant to be a non-cliche, unconventional Christmas message that could be shared during the holidays. It was only six days from pitching the treatment to finalizing the edit. During that time I found the location, auditioned and hired actors, hired a wood carver to make some custom pieces for the story, rented the other props, and began pre-producing a second web spot for Familyshare.com.

Based on “The Street” by Allan Seager (published in Vanity Fair in 1934), but often misattributed to Harry Buschman and others, here is “The Window”:


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Garrett Gibbons Demo Reel 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my demo reel. Maybe I was just waiting for the right musical inspiration? This one is long – just over four minutes – but I also made a 90-second sizzle reel for those with less interest or shorter attention spans. Thanks for watching! It’s been an amazing last few years.

Here’s the full-length version, set to “On Saturnalia Eve” by RA Scion (feat. Blake Lewis):

Also, the 90-second version, set to “Woodwalker” by RA Scion (feat. Mark Shirtz):

Walking through Machu Picchu

I was fortunate enough to visit Machu Picchu with my wife last September, where we took photos and filmed video footage for Destination Peru a travel agency and tour service based in nearby Cusco, Peru. You can view some of the photos from Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in this gallery.
Guard Tower Machu Picchu

I filmed a ton of steadicam footage while I was there, walking through the ruins and trails, and I thought that the nearly-raw footage might be useful to future travelers who are trying to get an idea of what the terrain is like and what they can expect. Here is a piece I put together with composer Richard Williams:

Also, here’s the walkthrough of Machu Picchu:

Here’s a walkthrough of the hike from Machu Picchu to the top of Huayna Picchu (the peak that we see so prominently behind the ruins):

Zipline TV Ad

I recently shot a series of 30-second and 15-second television ads for Canopy Tours Northwest, a zipline adventure company on Camano Island, WA. The ads were produced by Bigger Picture, directed by Mike Johnston, and I was the DP and editor. Sound design was also an integral aspect of this campaign, and Mike Johnston’s work with the audio engineers at Clatter & Din turned out great. This was easily the most fun I’ve had on a shoot in a long time.

Canopy Tours Northwest – 30 second spot – TV ad campaign from Garrett Wesley Gibbons on Vimeo.

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Commercial Time-Lapse Photography in Gibraltar

During November and December of 2012, I had the pleasure to film several weeks of construction time-lapse in Gibraltar for SoEnergy International (formerly Energy International). The time-lapse footage was included in the following piece, produced by Roar Media in Miami, FL.

Here’s a version with an added voiceover and project overview:

When a casual viewer sees something like this, they may assume that there was a large crew involved with the production, and that they were able to operate in sterile, controlled environments. In reality, the story behind the time-lapse is far more interesting.
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Garrett Gibbons – Director, Editor, Photographer – Demo Reel 2013

I’ve updated my demo reel! It has a bunch of projects I’ve done since my last reel (plus a few old clips that never made it into any previous reel). Enjoy it and let me know what you think!