This was my favorite kind of shoots. Just a handful of friends going to a unique place to film something personal, creative, exciting, and with the potential to make a difference in the world. This was one of six promotional videos we were tasked to create for Brigham Young University to promote their top performing groups going to China. Producers Jared Cardon and Jeff Parkin were kind enough to loop me into the project and let me co-produce the videos with them and direct a couple, including this one and the Dunk Team.
I have a deep respect for Native American culture, and it was a true honor to get to work closely with such a talented performer as Michael Goedel on this project, whose skill is only surpassed by his incredible personality and presence (you won’t find a nicer guy). Not to mention our remarkably talented guide who know exactly where we should film around Monument Valley, Eugene Tapahe <– definitely check out his amazing work.
One of my favorite aspects of the video is the wide variety of focal lengths we utilized. I worked closely with the amazing A. Todd Smith (who knocked this one out of the park as Director of Photography) to inform the visual feel for the video, and we decided to roll with just about everything from 14mm to 400mm, and I think it contributes in a big way to the grand scope and feel of the piece, between feeling his dancing and movements in close wide shots, and feeling the spirituality and iconic vibe of the location in the vast telephoto shots. Especially those shots where we captured the iconic “John Wayne Point” and brought those Mesas right up against Michael.
I feel like I’m a better person after working on this project and am so grateful for the opportunity to capture a special piece of Navajo culture and make something that I’ll be proud of for years to come.