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This is always a special time of the year with the summer waning and fall right around the corner.  I never want it to end, but I guess we cant stop time.  The tell tale sign for me is when the July doldrums subside and morph into fall catalouge work.

Although it’s been a busy summer with lots of travel, I have to admit it was nice to be back in the studio for some old school cyc wall shooting.


It was quite a production with 20 people in the studio all buzzing around.  Since there were so many cloths and wardrobe changes, we had four stylists cranking.  One on set, and three on the racks steaming and prepping.


One of the nice things to do when shooting is to tether the camera to the network.  Now I know that photographers have  been doing this for a long time now, but I never get over how cool it is to shoot the photo, and have it wirelessly appear onto the server.  Too cool.


With all the usual suspects present, we cranked thru the day shooting 80 wardrobe changes.  Special thanks to our three models, Maggie (model agency,) Michelle, Colleen, our AD Rob (and his crew,) and last bu not least, our intern Ben!

Great shoot guys!





With so much location and travel work going on these days, it was nice to have a change and be back in the studio for a day of shooting on the cyc wall.


The AM was spent shooting the talent with the clients machines and equipment, and the afternoon was spent shooting hands holding medical tools on the light table.  Of course thanks to Michelle from TEAM for fantastic makeup work, and to Chis for the long day.

The highlight of the day was the chance to work with JC, a great model we brought up from NYC.



We had the Boston Globe in the studio the other day during a catalog shoot with our long time client Work N’ Gear for their Scrubology brand.  They brought a film crew to see what was going on…

Here is our latest Behind the Scenes film.  The job was to create 10 “How To” films for WMA or Wilderness Medical Associates.  We shot all the footage in a sound studio up in Portland, ME in one very long day.

Just posted this.  If you know of anyone interested, have them give a shout…


WANTED: Senior Video Editor

Commercial photography/film production company looking to hire a dynamic senior video editor.

Understanding of story telling a must! J. Campbell, V. Propp etc… This is an intense work environment working under a demanding creative director striving for excellence. Work days are 10hrs, 5 days/wk min.  US/world travel a possibility.

Ideal candidate shall have at least 2-5 yrs experience working in a non-linear environment and solid expertise with Adobe Creative Suite. Motion graphic work key. Our shop is now exclusively operating in Premier so expertise is important, but not necessarily a deal breaker. We would consider training the right candidate. Candidate must be expert in Mac and technically savvy.

Ideal candidate will be well read in the humanities and will have a strong design background. Project management important. Knowledge of music theory a plus.

Candidate must be self motivated, mature, self reliant, independent, trustworthy, and creative. We are looking for a creative person to bring something new to the studio, rather than fit an exact need.

Competitive salary with full healthcare, 401k matching, and profit sharing.

Please eMail cover letter, salary requirements, link to demo reel, and any other art samples.

Just want to take a second and say goodbye to our fall intern Ryan.  After 4 long and hard 200+hr months, we can surely say we are going to miss him.

Ryan primarily spent his time working the box learning Adobe Premiere, and for the past 5 weeks, has been working on an epic Alaska road film we are cutting (look for it in the spring.)

We wish you the best on your journey!  Thanks for the hard work.

If you’ve followed this blog, you know we love to do our annual holiday film.  This year is no different!  From all of us, to all of you…  We hope you have a fantastic weekend!


We are a bit behind on cutting our blog films (thankfully cuz of a back log of work) but we finally had a day to sit down and start to catch up.

This is a short on the building of our cyc wall here in our new studio.

Very excited…

Today we went old school and hung an 8 foot chalk board on one of the empty walls so we can use it to flush out all kinds of nutty thoughts.  (looks tiny in the photo against the wall… but its 8′ if you can believe it.  (we still have lots of empty space to fill in the studio)

We also hung a white board in one of the editing bays to use as a “Job Que” in order to keep track of all the on-going movie jobs that are stacked up.  The biggest learning lesson thus far… We need another board.

Full on madness around here this weekend as we make the move to ID every single thing in the studio.  It’s inventory time, and EVERYTHING must get logged…

It’s a serious question for any artist.  Just what the hell do you own?  So many of us don’t really pay attention because the reality of doing an inventory is just to daunting.  But what if there was a loss?  Fire? Theft?  Just how in hell could you ever recover all the little bits and pieces…?

Daunting or not, we have been putting it off for just too long and are finally ready to tackle the challenge.  We went ahead and picked up a Brother ProXL label machine (that prints barcodes) along with a barecode gun and have kicked it into high gear.  Everything is getting a label and I mean EVERYTHING.  Every camera, every lens, every CF card, every computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker, drive, stand, strobe, weight, toolbox, drill, battery, telephone, cable, printer, shop desk, chair, and on and on and on…


Once a barcode is generated, it is scanned and logged including make, model, serial number, service date, and value.  With this data, we can hopefully keep better track of what is here, and what is not, as well as gauge a total value of all the hard and softwoare we are sitting on.

If you have not done this, I urge you to at least spend a second and think just what you would do if you suffered a loss…  If not the small stuff, at least get a list going of the large stuff.  The big brush strokes and at the very least, get it on your homeowners or renters policy.

Wish us luck!


I hope it goes without saying that we love what we do.  I think if we didn’t, it would be fair to label us as insane.  Perhaps at the very least masochists.  The long hours, the sleepless nights, the early call times, it can truly wear a body down.  The only real way to escape the cold hard reality of the downside, is to be in love with the upside, and that we do.

I think this passion has really manifested itself in this obsession with our on-going series of “Behind the Scenes” films.

At any rate, here is the latest one that was shot in our studio whilst shooting for one of our long term clients Work N’ Gear.  The subject was health care clothing.

A big thanks to all my guys, as well as TEAM, Models Club, and Click.

Here is another film from our last shoot with Work N’ Gear.  The day was for their fall catalog covering the new workwear line.

If your viewing this in and RSS feed and want to watch the video on Vimeo, click HERE:

In July, we shot three days for Work N’ Gear and Sears in our new 4000 sq foot facility in Hingham.  Here is a behind the scenes film from day one.

If your reading this post in an RSS feed and want to see the film, click here:

Spraying the Bunker 5 sign on the loading dock wall


We are feeling very fortunate over here with the speed at which the cars are flying down the track.  We have been raging on overdrive for many months now, and there is no signs of slowing.  Thanks to all those involved (you know who you are) for helping us keep it all on the rails.

For us, the end of June marked a huge milestone… We opened the new studio Bunker 5 officially for biz with a large catalogue shoot for Work N’ Gear, Sears, and K Mart.  We had all the same faces from past WNG jobs with us, the girls from TEAM, some new models, some old favorites, Scott the Intern, and Emma, our illustrious caterer.  Very cool indeed.

Geniveve the Rock Star Model

On this day, we were shooting fall health care for Scrubology.  The craziest part of the day was the fact that we shot 98 articles of clothing in ten hours.  (If your not familiar with catalogue shooting, this is considered a lot…) We were cranking.  Insane!!!

Trying to keep track just under 100 items to shoot!

The new space worked out perfectly and we couldn’t be more pleased.  At 18′ x 25′ with one corner, the cyc wall was more than adequate.  We ended up shooting right into the corner which gave a nice gradient to the background.  (It was really a mute point though in the end as the designers were just going to strip the models out of the background… but the images looked awesome)

Some photographers like to try to make lighting seem complicated.  The fact is, it is pretty damn simple to make things look good.  A lot of the times the difference between good and great is just the damn equipment.  For this shoot, we used the Elinchrome Octabank.  It is pricey, but really worth it.  (turns good into great)

For fill on the dark side, we used a 4×8 V-flat gatorboard bounce.  (whats nice about making these is they are white/black.  If you dont want fill, you just flip it around and use the black to deepen the shadows)

To key the background, we just blasted four heads up at the ceiling.   Very simple, yet elegant.

Morning briefing from Art Director Anthony Modano from WNG

As they always do… the day started for my crew at 06:00 with putting the finishing touches on the prep work.  Cleaning, organizing, spraying the Bunker 5 logo on the back wall and floor, etc…

The rest of the crew starting trickling in at 8.  Cloths were steamed, models were sent to make-up and hair, and we built the set.  By 930, we were in it and starting to crank.

Anyone who shot pre-digital can really appreciate where we are these days, and just how easy it is to push as hard as we did.  No Polaroids needed… Just pull the image up on the monitor, get it approved, and move on.  We really are in an amazing golden age.

By 4:30, we were in the home stretch and miraculously finishing up the last few items.

When all was said and done, and the clock struck 05:00, I will have to say that the single best benefit to shooting in our own studio was the fact that we did not have to then (after a crazy day) slam into overdrive to load out before we started to pay overtime for the rental.

We could all slump down into a cozy couch and crack a well deserved beer.

Thanks to my crew as well as Anthony Modano and his crew for a kick ass successful day!  We look forward to the next one…

Day three is done, and we are almost there…

The plasterers spend the day in the studio and did there thing.

I am a pretty stubborn guy, and love (really insist a lot of the time) at doing most of my own work.  I love to do everything.  Framing, windows, sheathing, electrical, plumbing… whatever.  If it involves building, I love to have a hand in it.  The fact is that (in my mind) anything that has to do with building is fair game to me.  I have (a stupid) desire to do it all.

But… The one thing that I learned a long time ago that is worth having a pro do is plaster work.  It is truly an amazing art that takes a special skill.  A good plasterer can work so fast, so efficiently, and do such an amazing job, that it’s not worth ones time to try to do.  Two guys, in one day, did what would have taken me three days.  (and my job would have been just ok.)

At any rate… The job is done, and it looks perfect.  Next step will be to do a light sand, hit the transition from the floor to the start of the swoop with thinset mortor, prime the wall, paint the wall,  and then a last coat of floor paint.

God willing and the creek don’t rise, we will be shooting on the wall next week!

Beginnings of cyc wall looking down from upstairs office

It’s been one hell of a crazy week here I have to say…  We got back from the West Coast on the Fri eve red-eye only to continue to get kicked to the curb with too much to do.  (not complaining mind you, just wiped)

Weekend shoots, followed by rush turn-around times for processing jobs quickly turned into This Old House at The Bunker.  I wish we had a bit more time, but we are all at battle stations in prep for three big ad campaigns we are shooting in June and in July, two of which are catalogue jobs and will be shot here in The Bunker.

This week is Cyc week, and I’m beyond pumped.  Our cyc (cyclorama, or infinity wall) won’t be the biggest in the world, but it will be more than big enough for anything that we will shoot.  It’s a two wall cyc with a 3×4 curve to the floor.  The long end is 26′, and the short 17′.

In order to best use space, I built two rooms into the back of the wall.  One will be a make-up room, and the other a changing room for models.

First wall goes up

Because we are in a commercial space, we have to pay particular attention to fire codes, which means we can not use stick framing (wood.)   This is actually very easy and goes up quickly.  I built each wall on the floor ensuring it was plumb, and then raised it to position.  The good thing about the changing room and the make-up room is that it really will give the cyc wall some stability.

Looking thru the changing room to the shoot space

The next step was to start thinking about the ribs for the floor to wall transition.

We are going to use 48 vertical ribs with stringers inset in the face.  The covering will be Wacky Wood and will be screwed to the ribs and stringers.   After that, the face will get a nice coat of plaster to smooth it all out.

Since the long and short wall are a bit different (long is closed, short is open) the ribs will attach in a slightly different manner.  On the long wall, I screwed sister-studs directly to the wall.  The ribs will screw to these.  On the short wall  added a 2″ tongue to the vertical part of the rib.  This will inset into the wall and be screwed to the metal stud directly into the open frame wall.  (I will post photos when I do it.)  The net net is basically a savings on time as well as material.

Installing sister-studs for the cyc ribs on the long wall

Once the walls were up, I started in on the drywall.  They have a really cool new product out called “lightweight” sheet rock.  (very cool) As soon as I saw it, I grabbed it.  Made moving it around much easier.

Make-up and changing rooms

Tomorrow we tackle the swoop….  It should be a long-ass day, but hopefuly we can tackle it in less than 14hrs…  Stay tuned!

New space (looking thru the rear loading dock)

Onward and upward…

May 1st we signed a lease for a new space effectively quadrupling our current studio.  DAMN is it big – 4000 square feet big.

The space is actually very very cool and will allow us to do a ton of awesome stuff.  At over 150 feet long, the possibilities are really endless.

Our plan is to divide it up into three main sections, office, motion picture post-production, and still/cinema production space.

The front 50′ will be open architecture offices where the staff will have a place to be comfortable.  The middle 50′ section will be where we have our conference room, two film editing suitescolor correction room, and gear storage.  The rear 50′ is especially suited for production as it has 22′ ceilings and a commercial loading dock.  Here, there will be a dedicated shooting space with a 20′ x 30′ corner cyclorama, green screen wall, light tables, full bath, make-up, and changing room.

We will be able to shoot anything a client wants from models to autos.  We are truly very excited about the move!

Front half of the space. Will house offices, editing suites, conference room, and color room

The real impetus for the expansion has been the increasing demand for the movie making side of the business.  The photography arm has always been strong with healthy growth, but the real surprise has been the movie work.  For the past five or six years the cinema side has been steadily outpacing the still work, with last year being the most amazing surprise slamming past the stills.  Today, it overshadows the still work holding a 65% share.

When I left the movie biz in L.A., I never expected I would be coming back full circle.   Still or motion, we are having a blast.  However we end up, with whatever we end up doing, we are just excited with the ride.

From the front, looking thru the middle towards the loading dock

The space and it’s goings-on will most likely morph into its own entity, taking the form of a full service production facility.  We are still tossing around names, but as of right now, we are calling the space “The Bunker.”  Since its building #5, we are leaning toward “Bunker 5,” or “Bunker 5 Studios.”  We like it enough that we’ve grabbed the domains, as well as the blog addy.

Stay tuned…

Realtor, lawyer, and me...

“The Flying Zombie”

On of the things that is certainly the most important around here is a bit of levity.  We work pretty hard with lots and lots of long days, and at times, it can get a bit taxing.

Bear “Bear” Cieri showing the “Popeye”

To combat the intensity, we make a serious effort to have fun.  Last week in the studio during the Reebok campaign, we had a bit of time to spare during some light tests, and went to town showing our favorite moves.

I just had to share…

Greg Hren showing “Zen and the Art of Ass-Kicking”

Scott “Scott the Intern” Wesson showing the “Bit-Much”

“The Crew” (L-R) Scott the Intern, Greg, Bear, Rabbit

Just wanted to say thanks to the crew for a great shoot on the Reebok campaign.  Images are all batched and processed (in record time) and they are awesome!

Couldn’t have done it without you guys!  Thanks to the girls from TEAM, and my crew, Bear, Rabbit, and Scott the Intern.

You guys rock!

(our videos do not load in the RSS feed, so click here to view video)

Lately we have been having tons of fun cutting together “Behind the Scenes” videos of our jobs.  The latest one (above) is from a two day shoot we did for Work N’ Gear and Sears.  Just wanted to take a second and show some the film, as well as some of the images from shoot day.

It’s days like these that really make the job worth while.  This isn’t so much be cause of the subject matter, but because of the people I get to work with.

Thanks to the girls from Team The Agency, the models, Corey from E.P. Levines, and of course the crew from Work N’ Gear for giving us the chance to make it all happen!

12 inches outside so far… more to come!

It’s always fun to have the snow, but not so fun when it mucks up plans to make images.  We were scheduled for a cool fashion shoot in the studio over at Exposure Place today for Work N Gear and Sears, but yesterday we made the last minute call to push it.  Good thing we did as some of Mass is expected to get up to 24″ of snow.

The real question is about tomorrow… We have a 5 pm flight out to Madrid, Spain for a Multi-country photo shoot.  Right now Logan is essentially closed, but we have our fingers crossed….

droboEver since we started shooting video we have been in a constant battle for storage space.  It seems like every time I turn around I am ordering more drives.  First 500’s, then 750’s, 1TB’s, and now 2TB’s.  In the studio we have two editing suites set up for HD video editing, and one workstation for still photography.  Between the three, there is something crazy like 25TB of storage, most of which is RAID 5.  Most of the RAIDS are set up with 1TB drives, and I cant even begin to try to count just how many there are kicking around to in order to create the total storage volume.

The good news is that there are some really big video projects in the works right now, but the bad news is that we are pretty much maxed out and need to find another storage solution.

Rabbit sent me the info on the new DroboPro from Data Robotics, and we are going to take a chance and give it a try.  We have three of the first generation Drobos in the studio that we use for back ups and such, and they have been pretty much bomb-proof.  Their big downside has always been that they are VERY slow!  Even with the Firewire 800, they are dogs.    Forget editing video with them.

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CB Goes to town

CB Goes to town

Most people don’t know, but CB is a graduate of the North Bennet St School, which is one of the most prestigous woodorking schools in the country.

I’ve been after him for a while now to build us some bookcases on the second floor of the studio, and alas, this week he installed them!


They are truely very beautiful.  I could never have come close as far as matching the craftsmanship.  Chris has been slowly transitioning away from assisting (cherry picking the travel jobs) and moving into his woodworking.  (We are going to really miss him once he really throws in the towel…)

If your interested, check out CB’s website…  He has pretty much fully set up his shop, and is focusing on 16th and 17th century furniture, as well as high end kitchen and livingroom cabinets.  You can see photo of his shop and follow the orgainization of his woodworking shop on his blog.

Check it out!

phil_2Kudos to Phil the intern who did his first day of solo assisting last week!  Nothing got broke… nothing was lost… no one got killed!  It was a good day!

Glad to have you!


I have been getting several eMails asking about storage solutions, especially for the video work that we have been doing, so I thought I would share some of the simple technology we are using in the studio.

3Ware RAID

3Ware RAID

For my personal workstation, I use an 8 Core Power PC with a Mac hardware RAID.  The Mac has space for 4 internal drives, and we use 1TB drives in each bay.

The down side of the new macs is that out of the 4, one has to be reserved for the start up.  This leaves only 3 for the internal RAID, and when you configure for RAID 5, you basically net just under a 2TB volume.  In a nutshell, you have two drives for storage, and one parity drive.  (Wikipedia has a good explanation on RAIDS if you are lost)

With respect to our video editing suites, we are running two mac towers.  One is a G5 Quadcore, and the other is a 8 Core Power PC.  For all our primary editing work the data is stored on internal Mac RAID 5 array exactly like my personal workstation.  This is the fastest and most reliable way to work.  As I said above, the main problem is that the Mac internal RAID configuration is very limited on size, and is only about 2TB of space.

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June 2019
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