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The Road to Vancouver Torino

By January 27, 2010 Promos

OMG, it seems like just yesteryear that I was prepping and packing for my trip to the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. I can’t believe that we shot this FOUR YEARS AGO!

2006 was a much more innocent time. Back then you could put kids in suitcases in promos all you like. I suggest that around here and people look at me like I’m a weirdo.

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Local 2 Mornings – Your Olympic Team

By December 18, 2009 KPRC, Promos

The morning team are quickly becoming my favorite people to shoot with. Here’s my latest fun promo, that’ll tie-in to the upcoming Olympic games.

Your Olympic Team from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

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Today is Your Day (Houston Versions)

By November 17, 2009 Houston, KPRC, Promos

NBC sent the affiliates a video toolkit, so that we can join our local morning anchors with The Today Show brand. Here’s Local 2’s versions of the spot, which I shot….(wait for it)….on my Canon 5DII.

KPRC – “Your Day Is Today” (Houston Versions) from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

I only did one take of the paper falling in the studio, as there was no way we’d ever be able to duplicate how perfectly all the paper fell.

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Even more weather promos!

By November 5, 2009 Houston, KPRC, Promos

KPRC – Frank Weather Promos #2 from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

Here’s another round of spots in the latest weather campaign, all shot with the 5D2.

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KPRC – Frank B viewer promos #1

By October 14, 2009 Houston, Promos

KPRC – Severe Weather promos #1 from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

As a promo producer, I’m always working on new promos…and it’s highly likely that they’re weather-related. This newest round features the Chief Meteorologist, Frank Billingsley meeting with some of the viewers who have written the station over the past year. And there’s three more of these type of spots in the editing phase right now.

Everything was shot with my Canon 5D Mark 2 still camera (though this time I had a Zacuto rig and DAT recorder for audio) and composited in FCP and After Effects.

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Jay Leno is coming to Houston! (sorta)

By September 4, 2009 KPRC, Promos

Here’s one of Local 2’s new countdown promos for The Jay Leno Show, premiering in just over a week on KPRC. For my part, I was the producer who video’d and edited the spot.

KPRC Leno preview promo from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

Our CSD, Gary Wann (aka: TVPromoGuy) worked out the Leno stuff (shot in Burbank), and came up with the concept. Fun fact: He also plays the part of “guy who answers the phone”. I had this sprawling, epic sequence with him, but it had to be cut down in order to hit the :30 mark. (I’m still pusing for :32 second promos, but it hasn’t happened yet).

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3 new weather image promos

By September 1, 2009 Houston, KPRC, Promos

It seems like I’m always working on some kind of weather promo. Here’s the latest batch that I just produced and set loose upon the digiwaves.

KPRC – Weather Image Promos from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

Note: This epic battle was won with Ginny Landers playing After Effects Yoda to my Final Cut Pro Mace Windu. The force is strong with these two.

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I don’t know the football terms.

By August 14, 2009 Houston, KPRC, Promos

When it comes to following football closely, or even really having conversation about it, I’m at a loss. The football game is not my thing. Now if the game was a blood sport and utilized ATVs, or had something to do with wizards and trolls, then I’d probably run the Facebook fan page. Which is why I’m amused that I’ve been chosen again to make a promo for a high school football program.

Last year at WYFF4, Benjie and I went with the “mascots trying to murder each other” theme, and I think that worked well. This year, I had a more outlandish idea for the Local 2 promo, which would have resembled Summer Heights High rather than high school football. Instead I went with the “Frenzy” (as the show is nicknamed) as more of a airborne contagion – instead of “Swine Flu” think “Pigskin Flu”.

Anyway, I was back out there on the field this morning shooting the actual promo (this one was just the preview) that’ll run throughout the season – which will be more straightforward about the game of football.

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One of my new weather spots

By August 14, 2009 Promos

Here’s a quick embed of the first of a series in Local 2 weather coverage promos I’ve been producing. These spots use similar typography as the NBC network look, which was nicely rendered by Ginny Landers, my Adobe After Effects role model.

I’ll probably post the whole campaign in the next week or so, when all the spots get into rotation.

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“Local 2 Investigates is there.”

By June 25, 2009 Houston, KPRC, Promos

I’ve been doing a lot of promos at KPRC recently, but haven’t had any new video to post. Most of my stuff lately has had a lot of NBC footage, and is more ‘day turn’ sort of stuff anyway. Well, I finally have something blogworthy. Here’s one promo from a series of new spots promoting KPRC’s kick-ass investigative unit, Local 2 Investigates.

Did I mention this was all shot on my still camera? Aww yeah, 5D2 FTW!

Local 2 Investigates image promo from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

There’s also an alternate version of this spot, with just the announcer speaking (and a really-alternative version that I’m hoping gets approved), and also each of the reporters has their own shorter personalized promo.

With all the cool 3D animations and Lensbaby HD video aside, my favorite part has got to be the ‘street posters’ of the gang. My boss thought of it when we were out scouting locations for the shoot, and it worked out really well. Now I have three giant posters of the gang looming over me in my office, keeping watchful eye over my internet usage.

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Shooting with the Canon 5D2

By June 25, 2009 KPRC, Promos

Here’s some semi-raw video shot with my Canon 5D Mark2 still camera that’ll be used for a promotional campaign. I have much more video – all these shots are done with my Lensbaby Composer lens attachment.

semi-raw video; my Lensbaby shots from JL Watkins on Vimeo.

Shooting with the 5D2 has its limitations, for sure, but the saturation and depth-of-field more than makes up for them. You just have to practice and come up with some of your own tricks to get exactly what you want. Actually, I can’t wait to see what my next project looks like now that I actually have full manual control over the exposure with the new firmware update. (For this project I only used audio as an enhancement, or to hear my shot markers. I have had some luck with audio on other projects — more on that in another post).

Anyway, I just wanted to show off some raw video before posting the actual promo spots with all the post-production enhancements. Not bad for a consumer camera sporting a toy lens, right?

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I finished a few Conan promos

By March 13, 2009 Houston, KPRC, Promos

Here’s a few of the quick, local promos for the Tonight Show countdown.

These don’t air for well over a month, but I was given the green light to post them on the blog. Plenty of time for me to obsess about one or two small things that I want to tweak before then.

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