San Diego Video Production Services

Yearly archive for 2016

Aerial Video Production –

The advent of drones has changed aerial video production forever. It’s almost impossible to watch a movie, television series or news coverage and not see drone shots. And that’s a good thing. They offer a unique perspective, one that can’t be obtained any other way.

Aerial Video Production - National GuardThe downside is there are fewer helicopter rides for the camera crew. There is nothing that compares to flying in a helicopter with the door off, sitting sideways with your feet on a t-bar and watching the world rush by in a blur. My first helicopter experience was with the National Guard in Kansas ferrying hay to cattle stranded by the most intense blizzard in 30 years.Aerial Video Production - National Guard

And while the video was not as silky smooth as we get today with drones, it carried with it a lot more adrenaline. There were flights over castles in Portugal and off the stormy deck of an aircraft carrier, but the most thrilling ride was in Hawaii with the crew from Magnum P.I.

That 80’s TV show followed the adventures of Tom Selleck’s crime-solving character. But it also included a couple of Aerial Video Production - Hawaiipartners, one of whom was a former Vietnam war pilot. The helicopter scenes in the TV series were always amazing as the Hughes 500 became another character.

While shooting on Oahu we had the opportunity to fly with the show’s team and as it turned out the pilot was former Air Cavalry and had served in Vietnam. I sat behind him with the door off facing sideways, shooting handheld and framing wide to minimize movement in the video.

The one hour flight was a blur of screaming across the Pacific a few feet off the water, lurching skyward occasionally to reveal a lighthouse and then dropping sickeningly fast to capture surfers carving their way down perfect waves. And you can get a similar experience as an exact replica of the Magnum P.I. Hughes 500 is now operating in Hawaii, courtesy of Paradise Copters.

That’s just not an experience you get from operating a drone. But you also don’t get the price tag that comes with shooting from a helicopter. So regardless of budget there’s a way to include aerial video production services in your next project. Whether you need a digital cinema camera nose mounted on a real helicopter or quad copter drone Solana Productions should be your first call, especially if the shoot requires circling an Hawaiian island!



Corporate Video Aboard USS Midway

This corporate video took Solana Productions aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier. The event was designed to reward sales associates and involved a formal dinner and private concert with the Beach Boys.

corporate video midway-aerial

USS Midway’s Permanent Home

The Midway is permanently docked in San Diego harbor and has become a major historical monument and tourist attraction. Commissioned just at the end of WWII, the Midway saw action in Vietnam. Helicopters from the Midway rescued thousands of people from the US Embassy during the fall of Saigon. Today the deck displays planes from that time period.

corporate video midway-aircraft-elevator

USS Midway Elevator

Loading production equipment onto the flight deck of a carrier for a corporate video may seem daunting at first. But using the ship’s  aircraft elevators simplified things. Our Solana Productions team of 15 loaded 35 cases and were up to the deck in seconds. The event hosted several hundred guests and was a major success for our client.

corporate video event flight deck

Midway Flight Deck Hosting Event


The flight deck is frequently used for corporate video events like this. You can find out more information at USS Midway Museum.

During a visit you’ll likely encounter volunteer veterans who are very good at bringing to life the exciting past of this floating museum.



A San Diego Video Production Company – Solana Productions

A San Diego Video Production Company - Solana ProductionsThe name for our San Diego video production company, Solana Productions, was not the result of endless research and expensive focus groups. Rather it was a last minute creation of graphic artist Dennis Higgins. Kurt Snider was producing a show for NBC and shooting a corporate documentary after hours. Two weeks into the freelance San Diego video production the client asked for an invoice. That was when we realized that maybe this business should have a name. It was a busy time and my natural inclination was just pick something and be done with it. My favorite musical group had always been “The Band.” How can you not like a straightforward name like that when others groups during that time were calling themselves “The Strawberry Alarm Clock.”

A San Diego Video Production Company - Solana ProductionsHaving a journalism and television news background also steered me towards simplicity. I  happened to be living in Solana Beach and a good friend and former coworker was the head of the graphics department for the CBS station. Dennis Higgins thought the “O” in Solana was begging for something clever, so a logo was born. Over the years the logo has appeared on just about everything we could think of or find in catalogs. This includes t-shirts, hats, fleece, jean jacket, beach towels, chocolate bars and even palm tree coffee cups.

san diego video production ad

Los Angeles Video Production Crew – Billy Bob’s Original Fight With “Goliath”

The latest series from Amazon, “Goliath,” stars Billy Bob Thornton and brought to mind our Los Angeles video production crew’s first encounter with him in 1996 when Thornton adapted the screenplay, directed and starred in “Sling Blade.”

Los Angeles Video Production Crew - Billy Bob's Original Fight With "Goliath"

It was Billy Bob’s first experience facing off with the real-life Goliath of Hollywood’s elite at the Oscars, and Solana Productions was right next to him for this Los Angeles video production.

That 1996 film set in rural Arkansas tells the story of a developmentally disabled man released from a psychiatric hospital and the friendship he develops with a young boy and his mother.

Thornton was nominated for Academy Awards for acting and writing and went on to receive the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. We interviewed him on the red carpet prior to the show and shot him attending several parties.

This Los Angeles video production is always a long day. We began setting up that morning in front of the Shrine auditorium and finished with the parties about 2am. Our all nighter continued with an Oprah live shot for her post-Oscar show, beginning at 9am Chicago time. We headed straight to the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and started the setup and cable runs to the satellite truck.

Our Los Angeles video production crew was told to expect the cast of “The English Patient,” which won 9 Oscars, shocking about everyone in the business. As part of of her show Oprah decided to bring in a relatively unknown actor/director whose independent film had become the talk of Hollywood.

Billy Bob Thornton for a Los Angeles video production crew

Billy Bob Thornton and Kurt Snider pre-dawn for Oprah

Billy Bob showed up early to the Oprah setup as he’d be up all night savoring his win. He spent the time visiting with the crew and letting us pose with his Academy Award. They always seem like just another statue until you have one in your hands. It’s why new Disney employees are given the opportunity to tour Walt’s old office and hold one of his.

Billy Bob Thornton’s new “Goliath” is a real treat for his fans.  He plays a once-powerful lawyer now burned out and washed up, spending more time in a bar than a courtroom. When he reluctantly agrees to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the biggest client of the massive law firm he helped create, Billy and his ragtag team uncover a vast and deadly conspiracy, pitting them all in a life or death trial against the ultimate Goliath.

Here’s the rest of the fine cast:

Call the most talented Los Angeles video production crew, Solana Productions, 858-829-3435

#video production services #san diego video production




Camera Crews Capture Sumatran Rhino

When I first heard that our Solana Productions video production crew would be traveling to Sumatra it sounded like just another another video adventure. This would be our 5th trip to Asia although this time it wouldn’t include emerald dealers, sumo wrestlers or gun toting Thai border guards.

Sumatran Rhino Captured by Video Production Crew

I was happy to hear that the Asian rhino was smaller and more docile than the African version. We had a layover in Singapore and stocked up on beef jerky and power bars which became our food pyramid for the next couple of weeks.

The short flight to Padang offered a preview of the misty mountains we’d be driving through. The rhino had been captured and was in the process of being domesticated, or penned up in preparation for the drive down the length of the island.

It involved long days in a convoy winding along slow moving rivers, stopping to feed and bathe the rhino and eating in the Indonesian version of truck stops. This was usually a small building filled with large tables. There was a central fire with a large bowl of soup or stew from which everyone was served. This seemed OK until we saw the partially eaten bowls dumped back into the vat.

At every stop children flocked to the trucks and were alternately captivated by the rhino and watching video playback of themselves from our camera. Once a warm rainstorm interrupted prompting joyous dancing from the kids and smiles from adults huddled under ponchos.

Central Sumatra seemed stuck in an age of simple village life and the rare appearance of foreigners was an event. But our reason for being there was evidence of a more modern problem. Recent immigrants from elsewhere in Indonesia were burning the rain forest and planting rice. The diminishing habitat signaled  inevitable extinction for large mammals like the rhino.

At the tip of Sumatra our video production crew captured the loading of the rhino onto a ferry to cross the Sundra Strait to Jakarta. From there it was a 26 hour plane ride back to San Diego where our rhino met her future husband.

This was one of many attempts by organizations around the world to save the species by establishing breeding pairs. Unfortunately this one failed. The female, Barakas, died leaving about 100 left in the world. This San Diego video production was a round the world adventure that involved 25,000 miles of air travel.



Corporate Training Videos – HP Business Video Production

Corporate training videos were produced for HP at their event, titled Print Renaissance, which utilized video production services provided by Solana Productions, Inc.
Corporate Training Videos - HP Training Event Events at the Omni Carlsbad Resort included meetings, dinners and displays of the exciting new technology on its way from HP. Through numerous “on the fly” interviews attendees from all over the world provided their insights and opinions about the company’s new initiative.

Uses for new products like the amazing Sprocket Photo Printer  were demonstrated with mockups of college dorm rooms, modern living spaces and security monitoring stations.

Corporate Training Videos - HP Training Event

HP Sprocket

Corporate Training Videos - HP Training Event Corporate Training Videos - HP Training Event













HP Inc. is an American technology company, created on November 1, 2015 as one of two successors of Hewlett-Packard, the other being Hewlett Packard Enterprise. It develops and provides hardware, such as personal computers and printers. It is the legal successor of the old Hewlett-Packard. The split was structured so that Hewlett-Packard changed its name to HP Inc. and spun off Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a new publicly traded company. HP Inc. retains Hewlett-Packard’s stock price history, as well as its ticker symbol of HPQ (whereas Hewlett Packard Enterprise uses a new ticker, HPE. HP is now focusing on consumers who improve their computers frequently and spend more money on games. They released the gamer-centric Omen line of laptops and desktops targeted at mid-range consumers with an Omen X line to debut later in 2016.

HP Inc. is the larger successor of Hewlett-Packard in terms of revenue. It recorded US$57.3 billion in revenue in 2014, compared with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s US$53 billion. 50,000 employees will work at HP Inc., and Dion Weisler has been announced as CEO of the new company created as a result of the Hewlett-Packard Co. separation. Solana Productions, Inc. has been providing video production services for HP for over 10 years.

For more information about corporate training videos please contact Solana Productions!

San Diego Video Production Services Provided for Comic Con

We’re celebrating another busy and productive summer of San Diego video production services capped off by successful projects for two high-profile clients — Warner Bros. and “Entertainment Tonight” — during Comic-Con.

San Diego Video Production Services

A Room with a Comic Con View!

It was Solana Productions 17th consecutive year covering the San Diego event, which we’ve seen grow from a local comic-book convention to a unique, international pop culture extravaganza.

For Warner Bros., our expert lighting and production crews returned for the 7th year in a row, working tirelessly two days before Comic-Con to install an intricate network of wireless video equipment at the studio’s booth in the Exhibit Hall. Then, as stars arrived to promote their films and TV shows and sign autographs, two Solana Productions production teams rolled continuously on the fan interaction. Our video crews rarely paused for a break during these live events, capturing the stars of “Suicide Squad” (Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne), “Wonder Woman” (Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Connie Nielson), “Kong: Skull Island” (Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John Goodman), and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (Charlie Hunnam). We also sent Solana’s San Diego video production team members into several Convention Center break-out rooms to record important announcements and cast introductions made during Warner Bros. television panels.

“Entertainment Tonight” set out to make an even bigger splash at this year’s Comic-Con with a new location inside the Hard Rock Hotel. So, for the 17th consecutive year, ET called on Solana Productions for San Diego video production services to take charge of its demanding lighting and production needs. Working closely with ET producers, our production manager and lighting director provided state-of-the-art equipment and on-site expertise to turn an empty ballroom into a visually interesting and interactive interview room. Our seasoned video crew captured interviews with stars like Vanessa Hudgens, Charlie Hunnam, Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, John Stamos and others. In addition, we shot all the spontaneous moments inside the room, such as ET’s Superhero Photo Booth. Our video team also provided coverage for ET’s website, and for its Facebook Live social media presence. In addition, our video crew broke away from the interview room and dashed over to the Convention Center to grab other interviews with stars like Sigourney Weaver,  “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, William Shatner, Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. #sdcc #comiccon #sandiegovideo production #sandiegovideocrews #sandiegoliveevents

San Diego Camera Crews Cover Comic Con

Warner Bros was back this year with a huge number of events and the San Diego Camera Crew from Solana Productions were once again providing coverage. This included wireless video systems feeding several monitors towering over the booth.

San Diego Camera Crew Shoot Warner Bros Booth

Warner Brothers Booth

Attendees stopped by to see the actual production costumes from Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash, as well as a super-sized LEGO Batman whose unboxing was captured by San Diego camera crew.

The Bat Coffin?

The Bat Coffin?

And what would Comic Con be without new rules about where to sit and stand? It’s so crowded next year they’ll have specific times for each attendee to breathe!

San Diego Camera Crews Capture Loafing Batman

Lego Batman the Rule Breaker!

There were also 13 postcards, featuring your favorite TV series (including The 100, Arrow, Blindspot, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Gotham, iZOMBIE, Lucifer, The Originals, Supergirl, Supernatural, Teen Titans Go! and The Vampire Diaries) given away.

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Wand Station offered training to try your hand at mastering all-new spells.

And with a signing schedule like this it made for very full days for the crew.

  • THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2016
    • 11:45am-12:15pm      Teen Titans Go!
    • 1:30pm-2:00pm          Justice League Action
    • 5:30pm-6:15pm          Silicon Valley


  • FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016
    • 10:00am-10:30am      iZOMBIE
    • 11:15am-12:00pm      The 100
    • 12:00pm-12:45pm      The Giant’s Dream
    • 1:00pm-1:30pm          People of Earth
    • 1:30pm-2:00pm          Powerless
    • 4:15pm-5:15pm          Game of Thrones
    • 6:00pm-6:30pm          Blindspot


  • SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2016
    • 10:00am-10:30am      Lucifer
    • 10:30am-11:00am      The Originals
    • 10:30am-11:15am      Supergirl
    • 11:15am-12:00pm      Gotham
    • 12:15pm-1:00pm        The Vampire Diaries
    • 1:15pm-1:45pm          King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
    • 1:45pm-2:15pm          Time After Time
    • 1:45pm-2:30pm          Scooby-Doo! WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon
    • 3:00pm-3:30pm          Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller and Colin Farrell, along with director David Yates
    • 3:45pm-4:30pm          The Flash
    • 4:00pm-4:45pm          Outcast
    • 4:30pm-5:15pm          Arrow
    • 5:30pm-6:00pm          Riverdale
    • 5:30pm-6:00pm          DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
    • 6:00pm-6:30pm          Frequency
    • 6:00pm-6:30pm          Vice Principals


  • SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2016
    • 10:00am-10:45am      Supernatural
    • 11:00am-11:45am      Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants
    • 12:30pm-1:15pm        DC Super Hero Girls
    • 2:00pm-2:30pm          Animaniacs Live!

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