Activision Video Game Commercial filmed at Mammoth Mountain

Quickly before I begin: I don’t usually blog about work, as my babbling is reserved for bike-related endeavors.  But after posting about the  Thievery Corporation Music Video I shot, and getting almost 2,000 views (my average post only gets around 700), I realized my work is kinda cool and people actually wanted to read about it!!  So I will be camera-geek-blogging from time to time.  These blogs will be archived under “Cinematography”.   So to all my bike peeps, sorry if this bores the crap out of you.  Likewise, to all my work/camera peeps… sorry if the bike stuff bores the crap out of you. Can’t we all just get along?

Activision Spot:

Rarely do I get to work at home in Mammoth- but I recently worked on this spot for a new video game.  Although it was an all-night affair during our first snow storm of the season, I still had a blast.  My Rab puffy made sure I was nice and toasty as well 🙂

Tech notes:

  • Cameras: Arri Alexas
  • Lenses: The new Leicas- these lenses are sick… T1.4, beautiful glass.
  • Style: Mostly hand-held, they did have a Rhino with a gyro-stabilized head for some tracking shots.  Other than a Beebee Night Light flooding the sky, the only other lights were practical flares and a Scorpion flashlight bounced into beadboard.  It’s amazing how sensitive the Arri sensor is.  We were rated at 800 asa, with a 220 degree shutter… didn’t even push it to 1600… and still tons of detail.  The Alexa definitely raises the bar.  I’ve been working with it for over a year now, and keep getting impressed by it.
  • Side-Note: The director sent the video assist guy down this gnarly hill in his 2wd van to get his gear closer to set.  Then it started snowing, and his van got stuck, and he spent half the night trying to get it out.  The client and agency didn’t have video village, so they were all crowded around the cameras trying to see what we were shooting.  Pure comedy.


A fair amount of commercials in come to Mammoth.  Usually, they crew up the camera team in Los Angeles.  So unless I actually get hired in L.A. to travel up to Mammoth for a shoot, it’s pretty hard to get jobs at home.  Luckily, Cleland Hoff started this pretty cool operation called “Film Mammoth” (like them on Facebook!) last year.  Since so many productions come our way for the majestic backdrops and awesome scenery,  Film Mammoth helps coordinate local crew and talent.  Since she put me on her roster of local camera crew available (there’s only a few union camera peeps in Mammoth), my work at home has increased tremendously.  Producers realize it’s a lot cheaper to hire me, a local, instead of bringing somebody up from L.A., paying per diem, and putting them up.  I’ve been hired as a last minute camera operator (funny how people say they can ski and operate a camera, but then really can’t), and as an AC/ focus puller on a handful union jobs this last year.  Super stoked, and hope it continues.

To All Producers:

We aren’t just country bumpkins living up in Mammoth.  There’s a handful of Local 600 talent with years of “Hollywood” experience (and great grips and electricians, etc) that live here because we choose to enjoy this paradise, and because we can afford to do it, because we are good at our jobs.  Look us up on IMDB… and then feel lucky that you saved some bucks and hired great people at the same time as you pat yourself on the back.  Ok… I’m cleansed.  We’ll see what happens with this Quentin Tarantino movie coming to town… they need a bunch of people for all kinds of work… inquire with Cleland at the Film Mammoth Website

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1 Response to Activision Video Game Commercial filmed at Mammoth Mountain

  1. Angela says:

    I am a big fan if you working locally!!!


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