Nov 16
2017

You may have dug out your copy of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” to begin the holidays. It’s one of our favorite examples of stop-motion animation. On a much smaller scale you can demonstrate product features using the same technique. It’s less expensive than computer generated animation because time-consuming 3d modeling isn’t needed. We work with the actual product to bring it to life. For example, we just finished a video demonstrating the multiple adjustment and accessibility features of a medical treatment chair. Using the actual chair, we shot hundreds of photos in our green-screen studio, (actually blue this time) and then composited the keyed shots in a medical facility environment. The resulting animation was then used as part of a longer video that demonstrated the chair and expanded on the benefits.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at setting up and shooting the stills followed by the final animation. Adam should have had a Fitbit on to count his steps!

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Jun 23
2017

Today they broke ground on the new St. Petersburg Pier and Tampa Bay video production company CMR Studios is already documenting the new construction with time lapse cameras just as they did the demolition. This will bring full circle a video project that began in August of 2015, the waterfront site was supposed to be cleared of the inverted pyramid and approach in about six months. That initial prediction was way off. As a result the three solar powered camera installations shot an image every five minutes for over a year. That totaled some 315,360 images that were edited into a dramatic time lapse video that belies the months it has been underway. The result is an edited time lapse video of just a minute and a half.

Adam Weber from Tampa Video Production company CMR

Adam Weber, the photographer and producer of the project, visited each camera on a weekly basis to perform maintenance and offload the images to create the video. That included climbing onto the roof of the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. That camera provided a dramatic elevated clear view of the entire pier. Another camera was placed at the St. Petersburg Marina for a water level view of the south side of The Pier and another at the Vinoy Marina captured the demolition on the north side. The three locations insured that all the action would be captured and shown in the final edited video.

Incrementally throughout the year the images were processed and edited to delete periods of inactivity. And even though the cameras were mounted firmly, camera shake that would not be visible in normal speed video became very apparent. So the thousands of images had to be processed and stabilized.

View the St. Pete Pier demolition time lapse video here.

Taking the process even further, Adam selected images from each camera that matched the lighting conditions and color from frame to frame and represented dramatic changes in the structure to create GIFs from each angle that are just a few seconds long.

This multi-year time lapse video will become part of the historical archives at the St. Petersburg History Museum which sits on the approach to The Pier.

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Aug 25
2016

The beginning of the end of the iconic St. Petersburg Pier was one year ago. Tampa Bay video production company CMR Studios was set to document the demolition with three strategically located time lapse cameras. It began in August of 2015, the waterfront site was supposed to be cleared of the inverted pyramid and approach in about six months. That initial prediction was way off. As a result the three solar powered camera installations have been shooting an image every five minutes for, thus far, a year. That totals some 315,360 images that have now been edited into a dramatic time lapse video that belies the months it has been underway. The result is an edited time lapse video of just a minute and a half.

Adam Weber from Tampa Video Production company CMR

Adam Weber, the photographer and producer of the project, visited each camera on a weekly basis to perform maintenance and offload the images to create the video. That included climbing onto the roof of the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. That camera provided a dramatic elevated clear view of the entire pier. Another camera was placed at the St. Petersburg Marina for a water level view of the south side of The Pier and another at the Vinoy Marina captured the demolition on the north side. The three locations insured that all the action would be captured and shown in the final edited video.

Incrementally throughout the year the images were processed and edited to delete periods of inactivity. And even though the cameras were mounted firmly, camera shake that would not be visible in normal speed video became very apparent. So the thousands of images had to be processed and stabilized.

View the St. Pete Pier demolition time lapse video here.

Taking the process even further, Adam selected images from each camera that matched the lighting conditions and color from frame to frame and represented dramatic changes in the structure to create GIFs from each angle that are just a few seconds long.

The production is not yet complete. Filming continues of the demolition of the approach. Then the cameras, and Adam, will get a rest before capturing the construction of the new pier to bring this multi-year time lapse video full circle. The video will become part of the historical archives at the St. Petersburg History Museum which sits on the approach to The Pier.

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May 15
2016

Tampa Video Production High Speed Video EPIC Camera Shot of Bulb ShatteringWe had some time and a burned out bulb from our front door,  so we decided to play around and practice high-speed video techniques using the EPIC camera in our studio. Okay… breaking stuff is cool. Seeing it break at 356 frames per second is cooler. This is one of the shots. It shows a bamboo arrow shot from an air rifle shattering a large bulb that used to grace our front doorway entrance. Two previous shots with a pellet gun simply created the hole and didn’t shatter the bulb.CLICK HERE to view the high speed bulb shot

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May 10
2016

We’ve been doing video productions and commercials for businesses and products in Tampa and at locations all over the country for years. Every now and then we have encountered a talent who has trouble delivering a line. When it’s the first line of the script an involves the name of the product, the pressure is on. That happened on a location shoot in Tampa back in 2007 for a product called the Quick Shutter Clamping System. In fact, the repeated stumbles and miscues happened so many times it became comical. So we created a little blooper video of it. Posting it on YouTube it has racked up over 17,000 views. Not a lot really in the viral video realm, since cats seem to get a lot more attention for some reason. But the video did just catch the eye of producers at the cable channel TruTV. They contacted us and want to use the clips on a show called “20 Funniest”. We’ll be interested to see who the other 19 are.

Click here to view the Quick Shutter Clamping System blooper video.

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Apr 07
2016

grilltamerTampa Bay could be considered the capital of direct response advertising. There have been many millions made by those selling products directly to consumers via TV spots. After all, we have nationally famous pitch men Anthony Sullivan and Kevin Herrington as well as HSN right here in our back yard. So it’s only natural that we’ve done our fair share of infomercial productions over the years.

We’ve done just part of productions like providing RED ONE camera services, shot inserts on our green screen stage, done voiceover recording, audio and video post-production or finished complete productions from concept through delivery like this example for  a new gas grill accessory that eliminates food burning flare-ups.

So call and tell us about your sheet plastics. Operators are standing by.

Click to view >>

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Mar 05
2016

infinity_thumb “To infinity and beyond” could be what you say when you walk down the hall to our green screen studio. Though it’s not big enough to hold a car the seamless horizon of our true “Infinity Wall” hard corner cyclorama (cyc) allows for shooting special effects in-house with full head to toe coverage and room for multiple talents. With a state-of-the-art florescent lighting grid bathing the space with color-corrected, even illumination, the camera views the seamless space as totally neutral. This allows for your on-camera talent to be digitally layered with graphics, backgrounds, virtual sets and even other talent or the same talent replicated. Equipped with the RED One and EPIC cameras and teleprompter, the studio stays busy on projects including commercials, corporate business videos, product demos, web videos and photo shoots. We regularly feature behind the scenes shots on our Facebook page. Give us a buzz and we’d be happy to show you around.

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Nov 21
2013

You may be asking yourself why a video production company and recording studio in Tampa Bay would post this. But there is a connection and a twist. The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination reminded me of a job we did in 1999. CMR Studios was hired to digitize President John F. Kennedy’s personal record albums from the Robert L. White Collection for an exhibit at the Florida International Museum.

The collection included some home recordings on lacquer discs that predated recording tape. One featured “John Fitzgerald” and others singing “Smile Awhile” and “Sweet Adeline” at what sounded like a great party. Among the other records and popular recordings was an album by Roger Williams with the song “Yellow Bird”. I was told by the museum that the significance of the album was that it was played by JFK while flying on Air Force One during the trip to Dallas.

One of the well  known habits of JFK was his doodling. Kennedy’s secretary Evelyn Lincoln compiled many of them that are now in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.  After meetings, he would leave his papers behind and Lincoln would collect them. Well maybe those are in the archives, but he evidently drew on lots of other things that were at hand. That brings us back to the record album on that fateful flight.

Holding the records that I knew had been handled by Kennedy was a bit eerie in the first place. When I pulled the record sleeve out of the Roger Williams album I was excited to see pencil markings on the paper. Because of his doodling habit, these were likely by the President himself. At first it just looked like random repeating images which are very common in the archives of his doodles.

Doodle by JFK found by Mike Weber at CMR Studios

Doodle in pencil on a record jacket drawn by JFK on the way to Dallas. November 22, 1963

Then a drawing that looked like the hands of a clock caught my eye. It was spine-chilling when I realized that two of the three hands drawn showed the time as 1:00. That was the time President Kennedy was declared dead at Parkland Hospital. Or was it representing the three shots?

The repeating square images could be interpreted as being the view looking up at windows of a large building, like the Texas School Book Depository. It appears that there are even six lines of squares. Oswald shot from the sixth floor. Could  this have been some subliminal premonition Kennedy had of the assassination that came out in his drawings?

I informed the curator of the exhibit about my discovery, but nothing more was ever mentioned about it. The exhibition in St. Petersburg closed May 29, 2003 and in October Mr. White passed away suddenly of a heart attack. The collection was sold at auction in 2005.  I don’t know if the album was sold at that time. If it was, I wonder if the new owner knows the mystery inside the “Yellow Bird” album perched on their shelf.

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Oct 30
2013

Every now and then a video production project comes along that requires all of our skills and talents in multiple crafts as well as some true artistry. This is one that we are especially proud of. The public service video promoted participation in the foster care program in Tampa, Florida. It presented several challenges. The initial one was that because of privacy issues the heart-wrenching and personal stories couldn’t show any of the families involved.

Unique Approach
Studio president and creative director Mike Weber presented the client with the concept of writing a script that was the blending of several true cases into the story of one child. The treatment would be done in a form parents and children can relate to: a storybook. More specifically, a pop-up storybook that would become a virtual set for the six-minute video. The live action actors would seem to be be inserted into the pages using green screen compositing. “It seemed like a simple idea at the time” says Weber. “But original artwork takes time, lots of time.” Ultimately CMR artists devoted nearly a thousand man-hours over sixth months to producing the one of a kind pop-up book.

Click in the window below to see all the steps in the production process.

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Local Landscape
Every page turn reveals one of eleven scenes depicting: the Tampa skyline, the University of Tampa, a house, various interior settings, Busch Gardens and Lowry Park Zoo. They each open into dimensional art that was then shot close-up in HD. All the actors that appear on camera also appear on the pages of the book, so Art Director Marina Weber had the job of creating their actual likenesses, including wardrobe, along with a whole cast of paper extras. Multiplane dimensional background plates and animation elements add even more detail that wouldn’t be possible to physically fold in the book.

High Def Video and Special Effects
The foster care agency helped select professional talent to match their typical client profile.  The green screen footage was then shoot on the in-house CMR stage. Adam Weber handled shooting the HD footage of the pop-up book virtual set and designing unique pinpoint lighting for each scene. Page manipulation was done by Marina and Melissa.
Like puppeteers, they hid behind the book and wore green gloves so their hands could be removed from the shots later.

Post-Production
Once all the HD footage was shot, the footage was edited in Final Cut, and the various elements were composited together. The actors were put “in” the book, background plates were added along with animated elements before a final color correction and color grading. Mike Weber then handled audio post adding a customized music track and sound effects for each scene before the final audio mix and project completion.

Award Winning Work
The video project was recognized for excellence, winning a national TELLY Award.

Click Here To View The Finished Video

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Sep 20
2013

alstom_timelapseCareful Positioning of Cameras Makes Time Lapse Videos Move

When shooting time lapse video of a large construction site, it’s most common to see a long static wide shot of the site. Unfortunately you miss seeing the details of what work is going on.  The solution is to use multiple camera positions and angles that selected for maximum view, action and details. This video we shot for Alstom Power and Tampa Electric Company. It really lets you appreciate the skill it takes to set into place pieces that weigh almost two million pounds each.

This video  won an ADDY award for cinematography

Click to view >>

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