We are quite honored to receive the People's Choice Music Award at the Crossroads Film Festival for our music video featuring the talent of Bronwynne Brent.
Somewhere along the way in Central America, we found ourselves transported from the jungle to downtown Panama City shooting aerials for the Grand Tower developers. It is interesting how each day can turn down a completely different path. This path took us to our latest project, "High."
Filmed in Guatemala, our latest project, Equus, focuses on the love of the horse and how much this animal has provided for humanity throughout history - both from a working and pleasure aspect. Equus was created for Full Bucket Animal Health, a leader in providing veterinary care products around the world.
A new camera is being developed by researchers that shoots 100 million frames per second...evidently that is enough frames to see light moving. It is wondrous to think of where the technology is going in tandem with the speed of development that technology is moving.
We managed a day or so home from Central America before heading out again to our next video project covering various law enforcement operations for the State of Texas. It seems strange adjusting to conditioned air and hot water, but it has been nice to clean up each day after working.
With names like Dusty and Murph, the SWAT team operators we've been working with have been a gregarious bunch who love to cut up and rib each other. Simultaneously, they all have a calm, unassuming demeanor about themselves that is seen in others whom one can tell really understand their craft, yet don't talk too much about it.
Two more days working in this Central Texas town before we head back North.
Field Journal: Joey Arcisz | Photos by Bud Force
Day1: We arrive at Panama City airport at night and surprisingly we get through customs quickly. We take a taxi to Casco Veijo where we hold up for the night at Luna's Castle hostel. The hostel and the city are still buzzing with energy. We eat and drink and sleep.
Day2: We wake up explore the city for a bit until we decide to take a 2 hour stuffed cab ride to Isla Grande, an island on the Caribbean side of Panama. We meet up with a hostel owner who shows us around the island and gives us a cabin near the ocean to stay in for two days. The first thing we do is go swim in the ocean. After that we sit down and share 4 baby lobsters on the beach and a bottle of rum. We head back to the cabin to settle in for the night until we see the hostel owner again. He ends up taking us to a resort pool that has crashing ocean beside it all the while being surrounded by palms trees and a clear night sky full of stars.
Day3: We move sleeping quarters to the Sister Moon Hotel after bartering photos and video in exchange for a free few nights stay. After moving our luggage we decided to buy some cervases and swim in a shallow part of the Caribbean. We all were in complete relaxation mode. After our swim we decide to head back to the hotel where we run into the owner of the island, his girlfriend, and his son. We find out the owner's son is a recent film student graduate and we make an obvious connection. We do a bit of drone flying over some locals surfers right off the edge of the hotel deck that over looks one of the most incredible views I have ever seen. Some of the crew wandered off with the owner's son to capture some different scenery. The sun goes and we pack away the video gear and make our way back to the restaurant from the previous night. We get side tracked when we see the island owner again standing on the deck of a house right off our path. He invites us in his home and serves us beer and maple flavored sausage and bread on stick. It was delicious. We had to depart quickly though because we had made a commitment to eating at the restaurant. We again ate baby lobsters with rice and plantans and shared beers with the restaurant owner while conversing about personal values. We also happened to meet a music producer that lives on the island and has brought in top music talent to perform on the island, including Tiesto, Usher and more. After dinner we called it an early night and finished it off with a quick dip in the pool attached to the hotel deck illuminated by the stars.
Day4: We woke up at 5am to shoot a sunrise time lapse. The sky was illuminated red for about 30 minutes before clouds covered the sun. It was spectacular. We packed our gear and went back to the room where we had fresh brewed coffee waiting on us. We finished our coffees and headed down to Senior White's restaurant where we had scheduled a lift back to the mainland. After the boat ride over we hoped in Steven's SUV and drove 45min to the nearest atm machine, because we all had ran out of cash. The car ride was one of the most dangerous times of the trip thus far. Steven drove like a maniac. When we returned Zak, Scott, and I went snorkeling off the reef by a beached boat and followed a Spear fisherman around to see what he would catch. We headed in with him a different way and caught ourselves surrounded by sea urchins and at the same time the fisherman had just got an eel wrapped around his gig and thought it hilarious to taunt us with it after telling us it's extremely dangerous. The day was mellow after that. We drank a couple beers by the water at the restaurant and headed back to the hotel where we had scheduled a shoot on the pool deck. We got some great footage, the rest of the crew decided to go back to the restaurant and eat while stayed back and prepared my gear for tomorrow's adventures.
Day5: It's 430am and we're about to go to Sand Blas - a chain of islands where some native Indians of panama are. Not looking forward to the 2.5hr boat ride. The boat is small, there are six people going and the sea does not sound calm right now. It's now night time and we're back at the room. Turns out the islands we went to is its own nation with a customs port and building. Guna General. It's hard to believe it is a nation because of its size and it consists of only a few hand fulls of tiny islands. The long boat ride was totally worth it though. Everything looked like a post card. We ate octopus and snorkeled at the first of the larger islands we went to. The prices were not cheap but snorkeling a few hundred year old sunken ship right off shore made up for it. We shot as much as we could and had a unforgettable day. The boat ride back was a bit rougher the 2nd time. Scott threw up many times and I think we all need a chiropractor. The sea was very choppy for that tiny boat. We went straight back to Stevan's restaurant and ate more fish and lobster. We did run into a miscommunication with the fee for the boat service and that lightened our wallets and our buzz, but we snapped pretty quick after seeing what had shot and the stories we have to tell from here on out. Life was lived in full today.
Day6: We woke at 8 something which felt like mid day considering the time we woke up the morning before. We kept the day very simple. Not a lot of crazy adventures happened but we still got in s lot of filming and some pretty cool experiences. We met a musician on the pool deck of our hotel right after breakfast and later went to his gig a ways down the island from the hotel. We met some of the people he was with and they an incredible story to tell.
Texas epic near Monahans and heading West.
Field Report: Erich Schlegel, Ultralite Films director/producer
I was wet and cold, but I was not yet ready to leave. I was walking through a boulder field along the Rio Grande River, in search of a petroglyph of a warrior. At the beginning of our expedition, I saw an image of a petroglyph in a guide book. I remember thinking that it looked like a Native American warrior protecting the river. The general location was mentioned in the caption. About one month later, we were camping in this section of the Rio Grande Gorge. Some locals had told me of petroglyphs (ancient images etched on rocks) in the area, but I could not remember the name of the trail where they had seen them.
I struck out one afternoon to search for this warrior on a rock. This was a daunting task as the Rio Grande Gorge is filled with millions of rocks this size! It was just like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack, so I studied the image for every little detail. There were elements in the background that I began to recognize and some geological features that I should be able to line up. By studying the photo carefully, I figured out what side of the river and approximately how far from the river the petroglyph warrior stood. I just had to line up the boulder with another larger one behind it. I felt like Indiana Jones in the "Search for the Warrior on the Rock”.
The trail went along the river’s edge, poison ivy everywhere, then up through the rock fall, full of stinging cactus. An afternoon monsoon thunderstorm blew in hard with gale-force winds. Through the storm, I kept looking, focusing on each rock face, looking for the two boulders I'd seen lining up in the image.
My heart sank when I lined up two boulders, but the one where the warrior should stand had been cracked, as if someone had taken a chunk home. I felt sadness and anger. I was sure someone had found the petroglyph and looted the sacred warrior. I cursed them! I wished bad things to happen to them!
I figured I should look around a little more, since I was already out here. I climbed higher through the boulder field. I thought maybe I’d get lucky and find another petroglyph. Then, coming over a ridge, there he was! The Warrior was still there! I was stunned, frozen in place. Then a flood of emotion washed over me and I started to cry. The cold rain and wind pelted me as tears rolled down my face. I thought the Warrior had been destroyed. I did not expect to find him and the emotion and relief of this discovery was simply overwhelming. Minutes before, I had been sure he was gone, obliterated, stolen. But there he was, just like I had seen in the book.
I have decided to share this image with the hopes that someone else has the same thrill of discovery that I had. I also fear that someone will deface or steal the Warrior, so I have changed the background of the photo just enough to make the Warrior much harder to locate. If you find the original image in the book, you can figure out its location just like I did. Hopefully, he will still be there, protecting the river for ages to come.
Note: Erich and Colin took a rest day at Cochiti Lake. Check out this quick video on their Facebook page to see why it was an excellent day to be off the water.
To comment on this post or ask a question, please visit the expedition's Facebook page.
The American Advertising Federation hosts one of the most recognized award ceremonies in the industry, aptly named the American Advertising Awards. Held at the local, district, and national levels, the awards, formerly known as the ADDYS, recognize the best of the best in print, digital, and broadcast marketing materials.
Therefore, we were honored to win six awards at this year's Fort Worth ADDYS, including a "Best of Show" and "Special Judges Award." We are even more honored that our project "JFK: Dissident Voices" won a silver at district and is now slated to compete at the national level.
We are extremely excited for the recognition of dedication to our clients to provide superior quality video based in Fort Worth, Texas. We want to thank everybody who worked with us on these projects and look forward to creating more throughout the year.
Grand Trunk: Goods For The Road; Special Judges Award, Gold: Digital Advertising
Crossfit North Arlington: What is Crossfit?; Silver: Cinematography
The JFK Unspoken Speech Project: Words Alone; Best of Show Broadcasting, Gold: Public Service, Silver: Audio/Visual
Ultralite Films was honored to be part of a very meaningful project recently: The JFK Unspoken Speech Project. Joey Arcisz, Ultralite Films director and DP, was involved in creating two of the seven films.
THESE WORDS FROM JFK'S 1963 UNSPOKEN SPEECH, ARE PRESENTED AS A TRIBUTE TO JFK, FROM THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS.
"Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help."
Special thanks to British Cellist Caroline Dale and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra for their generosity in recording the music for Words Alone. Composed especially for Unspoken Speech by Composer Matthew Slater.
Thanks also go to Owen Hannay; CEO of Slingshot, Doug Bryan; CEO of Post Op and Calvin Carter; CEO of Bottle Rocket for allowing us to come into their companies and film their people, in addition to the many people across Dallas who also allowed us to take their images.
Talent: The Citizens of Dallas.
Directors: Cliff Simms & Peter Wood.
Stills & Video: Eric Christensen. Damon Cowart. Peter Wood.
Edit House: ultralitefilms.com
Editor: Joey Arcisz.
Composer: Matthew Slater.
Orchestrator: Robin Hoffman.
Conductor: Andy Brown.
Lead Cello: Caroline Dale.
Orchestra: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fixer: James Fitzpatrick obo Tadlow Music.
Mixed by: Paul Golding
Sound Design: John Dennis.
Creative Directors: Cliff Simms & Peter Wood.
THESE WORDS FROM JFK'S 1963 UNSPOKEN SPEECH, ARE PRESENTED AS A TRIBUTE TO JFK, FROM PHOTOGRAPHY STUDENTS AT THE TEXAS WOMAN'S UNIVERSITY, DALLAS. ASSISTED BY THREE GUEST PHOTOGRAPHERS.
"There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable."
Special thanks go to The Union Cafe on Dyer Street for allowing us to film in their cafe. (http://uniondallas.net). And to their many patrons who allowed us to film them.
Texas Woman’s University Photographers:
Sheryl David: sheryldavid.com
Kalee Appleton: kaleeappleton.com
Rachael Banks: rachaelbanksphoto.com
Allison Jarek: allisonjarek.com
Ashley Whitt: ashleywhitt.com
Eric Christensen: elcimagemaking.com
Alizsha Pennington: alizshapennington.com
Thomasz Wood: thomaszwood.com
Director: Eric Christensen.
DP: Joey Arcisz. ultralitefilms.com
Edit House: Post Op.
Editor: Laura Formanek
Producer: Gannon Kennedy.
Executive Producer: Doug Bryan.
Sound Design: Glenn Ferguson.
Music: Frederic Chopin.
Book Design: Simms & Wood.
Creative Directors: Cliff Simms & Peter Wood.
For more info about the Unspoken Speech Project go to UnspokenSpeech.org
It has been a busy and rewarding year thus far as our team has worked tirelessly to build one of the newest emerging video production companies in America. Our goal is not to produce just simple videos, but craft cinematic and marketable films to everyone from businesses to non-profits to individuals that will inspire and educate others to do great things.
Ultralite Films is a team of like-minded people whose sole purpose it is to tell visual stories and be true to ourselves and our loved ones. Our name conveys the premise of being "light and fast" in an ever-changing world of new technology and multimedia. We possess the latest equipment and finest talent the industry has to offer in order to produce films that are substantially less expensive than any reputable competitors out there. We aren't trying to overtake a market where a number of production companies exist -- but rather we simply love what we do and we love our clients.
It truly is a new age where small businesses can create the same types of traditionally "big-budget" projects that multimillion dollar companies have produced in the past. The advent of newer and lighter cameras that are shooting at exceptionally higher quality along with ever-changing production gear that allows a team to get in and get out and create a revolutionary product is what we're all about.
We actually get it. We understand what you want - a great video piece, whether that's an internet spot or a 30-minute documentary, that is forged with the highest quality and doesn't consume your entire budget in tons of additional costs. That's what we think is the beauty of today's day and age: there is so much to be created, and we have the ability to create it for you.
As I wrote earlier, this year has been extremely busy. From navigating Colorado ice canyons to diving with whale sharks in Mexico; from filming open heart surgeries and producing documentaries, each of us has been committed to building the finest company available to clients. Now we're here and we would like to get to know you. Feel free to get in touch and stop by our Fort Worth, Texas, video production studio, located near the heart of downtown. We'd like to get to know you. Remember, we like telling stories and we want to tell your story.
Please at our latest production reel for 2013. We are Ultralite Films - we are crafted to inspire. www.ultralitefilms.com
-- Bud Force