Oklahoma Employee's Credit Union

I've been working with OECU for a few years now. They're big-time supporters of Oklahoma City, champions for local districts (like the Plaza), and proud sponsors of OK Originals (a joint partnership with Keep It Local OK).

OECU has recently re-designed their website. And man, it looks great!

Check it out here: OECU.org.

They tasked me with creating 12 videos that live in various places around the site. And I also made vertical videos for Instagram. We used some super-talented OECU employees as the presenters in the videos.

Check out these two!


And here's a video I made a while back:

Ken Pomeroy Debut EP

Some of the best Oklahoma musicians got together under one roof to support a young, inspiring musician: 14-year-old Ken Pomeroy.

Opening acts included John Calvin Abney, Ali Harter, and Carter Sampson.

The benefit concert was to kickoff support of Ken's debut EP, produced by one of my favorites, Kyle Reid.

Here's the video I made for her crowdfunding campaign:

 

And here's a link to her Indiegogo Crowdfund Page.

Filmed at the Shop at Skippy's.

Monster Truck

Sugar Free All Stars

The Sugar Free All Stars came to Nathan Poppe and I looking for a sweet Monster Truck video for a single they had coming out.

We mulled it around and decided we had to have a power wheels truck (it's really a Jeep). 

Nathan cooked up a great script and we got together one weekend and made the most absurd video I've made in a long time.

Monster Truck, legos, 40 school buses, green screen. And lots of pancakes.

Check it out and do stay until the end. The scene variety in this is pretty special.

Read Poppe's behind the scenes blog too!

Ubuntu Youth

Other than the United States, I've spent more time in South Africa than any other country. It's one of my favorite and most beautiful places I've ever been.

But it's more than the rolling hills, coastlines, wildlife, and sunsets that are beautiful.

It's the people.

When my friend, Alyssa Peterson, asked if my wife and I wanted to come make some videos, it was a no-brainer. We were very excited to capture some heart, love, and stories of the kindest people on earth.

Alyssa has made her life's work serving these kids and lifting them up when all odds are against them. Ubuntu Youth is seriously impressive. Check it out.

Here's the first of several videos we're making:

I AM UBUNTU YOUTH


PHOTOS

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Aunt Caren

Today's a big one for our family. Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day. In no particular order.

Paddy's has just always been one of our biggest celebrations. Guinness, music, dancing: the cornerstones of our family values.

And no one loved it more than Aunt Caren. She was always at the center of attention. And let me tell you, my family is the most ridiculous, loud, crazy, and colorful Paddy's supporters in the Western Hemisphere. People come out to see my family dance. The Guinness is just a bonus.

We tragically lost my Aunt Caren this past January.

Simply put: these traditions and celebrations will never be the same.

But we know her spirit lives on with us. She's going to be right there celebrating, cheering and dancing as if nothing has changed.

This will always be her holiday.

So lift a glass for Caren today. And join me in celebrating St. Patrick's Day in her honor!


Caren Williams: In Memorium

Here's the video we conjured up in the days after leading up to her funeral.

My mom's words and voice.


Aunt Caren: My Speech

I thought I would go ahead and paste my full speech I gave at her funeral. This stings a lot today.


There’s so much to say about Aunt Caren. I could go on for days. When someone is there for everything in your life, you amass a lot of stories.
Growing up with your cool aunt right down the street is pretty incredible. And as many of you know, my brother and I could be quite a handful when we were kids. We were always getting in trouble. And that was no exception with Aunt Caren.
I remember one time she got on to us about something we broke inside her house. She took away all our toys and made us sit in the living room. Well that didn’t last very long. We somehow found a raquetball and some plastic sacks. Before long, we had a makeshift basketball goal and a game of two on one.
See, Aunt Caren couldn’t stay mad at us too long. She was always eager to jump right in and play with us. She loved us very much and treated us as her own. From the impromptu campouts on her front lawn to trips Whitewater Bay to all of our sporting events, Aunt Caren was right there. She was always there cheering us on. She loved her little nephews so much. And man, I loved my Aunt Caren.
My parents tell me I was a very particular boy. I had to have certain things done a particular way. When I was 9 years old, I was ADAMANT that we HAD to be at the hospital when Lilia was born. We HAD to be there for Aunt Caren, I told my mom. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was so excited for Aunt Caren!
Being one of the older cousins, you get to see and comprehend a lot more. I could see how much love she had for this baby and I was so genuinely excited for her. And then Erica came along and I watched a family grow up together. I have many fond memories of these two - from Lilia’s first few, choice words - to Erica naming her teddy bear - Whale. But my memories pale in comparison to their mother’s.
Caren could barely go 5 minutes without bragging on her girls. Lilia said this today. Erica did this. Look what we did! She loved her girls with her whole heart and wasn’t ashamed of it, or quiet about it. I think she may have embarrassed them a few times but I know they’re grateful. And I know they’ll miss it.
Us Cougill kids are pretty close with our mommas, and I’m pretty sure it’s because our moms and dads are so close with our Grammy. They’ve led by example. I’ve really enjoyed watching the sistah’s grow together over the years. I think they’ve run every Taco Cabana out of town at this point. 
They’ve laughed, they’ve danced, they’ve cried, they’ve done just about everything together over the past 15 years. They're best friends. My mom’s talked to Aunt Caren just about every day for as long as I can remember. And I don’t think there’s another person that can make my mom laugh as much as she did.
As I was looking through all these old photos and videos, I came across her and Eric’s wedding video. And there’s this brief moment in the reception when she walks up to the camera and gives this most incredible smile. She’s absolutely glowing. She’s the happiest person in the world. 
Seeing this made me realize why I liked her so much when I was growing up. She looked at me that way. No matter what I was saying or doing, she made me feel so special with that smile and laugh. That was a really important thing for a weird kid like me.
As it turns out, Aunt Caren was one of the first people to give me an audience. She was a superfan. She was at all the sporting events, musicals, birthdays, holidays, just about every major event in my life. And when I got a little bit older and started making movies, she was my biggest fan. That tendency of hers to get super excited over little things like the silly motion fight scenes in my movie Molehill Mountain. She loved the first two installments so much, she made me, Ethan and Scott T-shirts for Molehill Mountain 3. Which I am wearing now - it’s a bit ridiculous for this setting but I know she would have liked it. 
That kind of encouragement and excitement helped me get to where I am today as a filmmaker and a person. And guess who was the most excited about me working on Thunder commercials?
She had that kind of infectious excitement that could get the whole group fired up. You could hear her for miles! We loved giving her a hard time about it, but man, we really just loved it. You can’t help but get a big smile on your face when she started laughing.
We’ve really lost a treasure here, but maybe we were just being selfish. Maybe heaven needed a little more laughter these days. And I know as this close family grows even closer together, we’ll miss her no doubt about it. We’ll feel the sting of her absence. It’ll hurt for a while, but then we’ll get to laughing. And if we listen close enough, I guarantee you we’ll hear that laugh all the way from heaven.
Thank you for celebrating this life with us today.
I love you Aunt Caren.

Make a Wish: Alyssa's Wish

This is a fun story of triumph and encouragement.

Alyssa endured two brain surgeries when she was 9 years old.  She fought back and used her strength to help other kids in the hospital. When Make-A-Wish Oklahoma reached out to grant her her biggest wish, she refused to think of herself.

Alyssa wanted to create a website to tell her story and give support to kids facing scary unknowns in the hospital. And she wanted to raise money for the OU Children's Hospital! She teamed up with Scott Lesser and they spent the better part of 2 years building Alyssa's very own website.

Check out the video telling the story:

I'm very honored to get to play a part in this story.

Thanks to Aylor Photography for the photos as well.

Behind the Scenes with Kevin Durant

Got a cool opportunity to capture some more behind the scenes video and stills of another Kevin Durant commercial. Thanks again to Amanda Hyden!

This time it was for a Panini trading card commercial. The production was super cool - lots of fog and big light balloons. I was impressed with idea and execution.

The spot:

The stills:


Yoga Lab

Ted Cox from Spirit House Yoga invited me to come make a little magic at his latest yoga offering in the Plaza District.

I was immediately attracted to two things: $6 classes and the Pay-It-Forward Program.

Check it out:

Check out their facebook page: Yoga Lab OKC


Technically speaking, I tested out my new Ronin M with 5d Mark 3. Everything else, natural light and Canon C100. The space has a gorgeous natural light.

Mindy's Memory Primate Sanctuary

A while back, my cousin reached out to see if I would help make a video for his job at Mindy's Memory Primate Sanctuary. I had no idea a place like this even existed, much less in middle of nowhere, Oklahoma.

It was a fun learning experience and I think we came up with a solid, crowdfunding campaign and video.

Here's a link to the campaign on Crowd Rise.

Give a little if you can! It really is a nice cause.

The video:

And some stills:

Jaxon Haldane - Kickstarter Funded

If I had to pick another favorite group of music makers in Oklahoma, it would have to be Kyle Reid & the Low Swinging Chariots

One of Kyle's latest projects is producing and performing on Jaxon Haldane's new album. Kyle introduced me to Jaxon, and I admit I'm super impressed with this Canadian transplant. And he has an awesome accent. And he's one of the nicest guys I've met.

I'm very excited to hear what they come up with at Breathing Rhythm Studio in Norman. It certainly will be the most unique album you will hear all year.

Canadians + Okies = We all win.

Here's the (fully funded!) Kickstarter video I made for them:

 

Still time to grab some perks!

Go to Kickstarter.

 

Matt Stansberry and the Romance in the Studio

If forced to choose a favorite band out of all the killer talent in Oklahoma, I would have to go with Matt Stansberry and the Romance. Their sound is so unique and different than anything I've heard today.

I was fortunate to spend some time with Matt and the gang in studio as they recorded a couple new songs.

I'm mainly working on a behind the scenes video (coming soon), but I did snap a few photos as well. 

The Plaza District 2015

The Plaza District is home to some of my favorite restaurants, shops, sights and people on earth.

I was lucky to get to make them a video this year. I wanted to make a unique video that shows off the color and quirk of the shops and small business owners. I mixed in a lot of video, stills and aerials.

Here it is:

 

And some of the photos of those awesome, colorful people:

I Like JD

When Nathan Poppe told me about this crazy-cool story of a woman flying halfway across the world for a concert, I had to find out more. We started emailing back and forth - and I was hooked and determined to tell this woman's story. 

So, why did she travel across the globe for the music of an Oklahoma man? The answer is different than I expected. Turned into a lovely story of hope.


Nathan and I tag-teamed this one not really knowing what to expect. We rolled into Guthrie, Oklahoma, early May 1, 2015. Lorna Dixon was an absolute treat and great to get to know. We filmed the interview the morning of the Queen of the Prairie Festival. Then stuck around for a live performance from JD McPherson and his band. Then for the big headline show that night. It was a long, crazy day and I think we walked away with a pretty compelling story.

I'm honored to have met Lorna and quite pleased with the outcome of this video. Definitely one of my favorites of the year! 

Also, read Nathan's article for more.

Behind the Scenes - Kevin Durant - Sonic Drive-In Commercials

You may have seen a couple of funny Sonic Drive-In commercials with Kevin Durant taking on the two goofy Sonic guys, TJ and Pete. These were filmed in Oklahoma City in March 2015 with local and outside crew. And I got to capture the behind the scenes video!

We filmed at a local Sonic and a nearby basketball gym. It was pretty crazy to see just how much goes into these commercials - tons of crew, lights, cameras, and assistants. Lots of people came together to make it happen.

KD was a total treat to work with. Honest and gracious in every step. He was really excited to meet TJ and Pete. I think the spots turned out pretty great. And a big thanks to Amanda Hyden for giving me the opportunity to help out.

BEHIND THE SCENES

KD with TJ, Pete and Clay (the director)

And now the commercials (directed by Clay Weiner and produced by Biscuit Filmworks):

ONE-ON-ONE-ON-ONE

DUNK


Paris/London. March 2014.

Finally got around to editing some pics from my trip to Paris from last year.

Quickie Mart

This video is part of the ongoing #OKOriginals series with Keep It Local OK and OECU. This was a pretty cool departure from the traditional stores and shops we've been featuring.

Quickie Mart Skate Shop in Tulsa has been rocking Tulsa for 13 years. It was fun to bring a little 90s punk style into this vid. My favorite part is the free skate lessons they give to kids. Really quite a nice place.

Kudos to the sweet talents of Mr. Matt Taylor for the wisdom and my wife for helping out with the shoot. And the sweet jams of SocietySociety You'll also see some aerials in this video from my new quadcopter. I'm finally catching up with the trends.


PS: QM inspired me to get a Penny Board. Right now, it's a bit scary.