San Diego Video Production Services

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Backstage Video Production Captures Wonder Woman

backstage video productionFor the 17th year, we were the exclusive backstage video production for the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala as “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot was honored, along with Golden Globe winners Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan, in addition to Mary J. Blige, Timothee Chalamet, Jessica Chastain, Willem Dafoe, Holly Hunter and “The Shape of Water” director and stars.

Gadot received the gala’s Rising Star Actress Award, presented by her “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins. After her speech, Gadot and Jenkins met gala host Mary Hart backstage for an exclusive interview for TV’s “Entertainment Tonight.” The two-camera interview was overseen by our Solana Productions producer Rory Bennett, who worked with Hart when she hosted “ET” for 29 years.

Our producer also handled Hart’s two-camera interview with Janney immediately after she received the gala’s Spotlight Award Actress as Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya.” The following weekend Janney received a Golden Globe Award for the same role. Oldman, who also went on to win a Golden Globe for his performance as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” received the gala’s Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award and was also interviewed by Hart for “ET” backstage.

Our Solana Productions producer also oversaw Hart’s backstage interview with Rockwell, another Golden Globe winner for his role as a racist deputy in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” He was honored at the gala with the Spotlight Actor Award.

Timothee Chalamet, who was presented with the gala’s Rising Star Actor award by his “Call Me By Your Name” co-star Armie Hammer, was also interviewed backstage by Hart, as was Mary J. Blige, who received the Breakthrough Performance Award from Common for her role in “Mudbound.”

Our producer also oversaw Hart’s exclusive backstage interviews with Hunter, who received the gala’s Career Achievement Award for her performance in “The Big Sick,” and Dafoe, who won the Icon Award for his role in “The Florida Project.” In addition, Hart interviewed director Guillermo del Toro and the stars of his Golden Globe-winning film, “The Shape of Water” immediately after they received the gala’s Vanguard Award.

In addition to overseeing backstage video production, our producer was on the festival gala’s red carpet, covering limo arrivals of the stars and presenters.

#galgadot #wonderwoman #psiff #palmspringsfilmawards #goldenglobes


Corporate Event Video Production Utilizes Massive 6,000 Sq. Ft. Tent

corporate event video production Solana Productions recently partnered with a Fortune 50 company on a very large corporate event video production. They faced a difficult problem — how to get all of their employees (500+) in the same room with the executive team. There wasn’t a space on their campus that would accommodate such a large crowd so they started looking at alternatives. These included moving to off-site locations which would have required the entire workforce to leave, and using a combination indoor/outdoor setup utilizing small tents.

We were providing all the corporate video production elements for the meeting — video, projection, lighting, audio and power. During a conference call with several managers, I listened while they discussed using two 40’x80′ tents side by side, creating an 80’x80′ space. As the conversation progressed, I began thinking about the visual experience for the audience. This space would have poles running down the center where the two tents joined. It would also leak at that joint if it happened to be a rainy day, and this has been a very wet winter in California.

I raised these issues during the call and discovered that with all the focus on the meeting’s content, the aesthetics of the two-tent option had not really been considered. And the vendor providing those tents had not explained what the attendee experience would be like. Once I described that the space they would be creating would have low ceilings and be obstructed with poles, the managers agreed to give me the go-ahead to pursue a better tent option.

Although we’re not tent experts by trade, we are in the business of finding solutions for our clients. And as a San Diego video production company that’s handled dozens of high-profile shoots over the years, we knew there had to be a better alternative that was also cost-effective. So we spent time investigating the options and came up with the idea of erecting one 50′ X 120′ tent that would provide a more pleasing interior look for all 500 employees and executives. The large structure we decided on presented some very difficult lighting and projection challenges but the end result was a much-improved audience experience. The tent created a fun, festive atmosphere, in spite of gusty winds, and nobody had to watch from an overflow room or suffer through obstructed views. Our solution was declared an overall success and truly helped our client drive home the idea of “bringing everyone into the tent.” It’s an option we highly recommend considering for your next large-scale, outdoor corporate event video production.

California Video Production Crew on the Road to Mexico for Entertainment Tonight

California video production crewWhen Carter Thicke recently spoke about his late father, TV legend Alan Thicke, who died of a heart attack last December, the 19-year-old recalled some touching memories that were first captured by our California video production crew during a shoot in May of 2005. That when our San Diego video production company was dispatched to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, by “Entertainment Tonight” to cover the elder Thicke’s wedding to model Tanya Callau. Thicke was best known for starring in the the 90s sitcom, “Growing Pains,” and previously had been a popular TV talk star in Canada. Our producer and Solana Productions crew were given almost unlimited access to the actor and his family, and spent several hours shooting interviews and footage with them before, during and after the wedding. Carter, then age 7, was to be the ring bearer, and was interviewed by our producer with his dad as they got dressed in their white tuxedos right before the ceremony. During these jittery moments, the wedding ring somehow went missing, and when asked for its whereabouts, the freckle-faced 7-year-old anxiously said on camera, “I don’t know,” as his father assured us they would track it down. Eventually, they did find the ring, and during the ceremony, our cameras captured Carter sweetly welcoming Tanya to the Thicke family, telling her how much he was looking forward to having her as his stepmom. Our footage showed the tuxedo-clad ring bearer smiling broadly as he stands next to his older brothers Robin, then a 27-year-old up-and-coming singer, and Brennan, an actor.  And when “Entertainment Tonight” recently interviewed Carter about his late father, they replayed these priceless moments from our 2005 California video production footage, causing him to shed a tear about at the wedding scene and chuckle about the lost-ring situation. Noting, “That was a long time ago,” Carter seemed truly touched by the memories our camera crews had captured during that happy family occasion. #alanthicke #carterthicke #robinthicke

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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!



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 Music Video Production with Garth Brooks

Country superstar Garth Brooks took a break from his chaotic touring schedule for a two-camera San Diego music video production with Solana Productions that took place backstage at one of his recent sold-out concerts.

san diego music video production garth brooksGarth graciously welcomed our San Diego video production crew of five into his tiny Green Room several minutes early, allowing us to set up and mark all camera and lighting positions. Our video team then removed the gear from the room so that Brooks could spend time with contest winners, and quickly moved everything back into the room after the meet-and-greet. During our video shoot, Brooks talked about his latest tour innovation, “Backstage With Garth,” in which he webcasts live from his dressing room so that fans worldwide can catch impromptu moments like Garth brushing his teeth and prepping for his show. After the shoot, our crew transmitted the interview to Los Angeles using a Live U backpack wireless unit, which sends live video feeds from just about any location around the world. The interview was conducted by “Entertainment Tonight” host Nancy O’Dell and appeared on ET on Nov. 6. In a second story on Nov. 20, O’Dell presented Brooks with an Icon Award from “Entertainment Tonight.” #garthbrooks #backstagewithgarth #sandiegovideoproduction #sandiegocameracrews

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