Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

A Purposeful Christian Movement

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Illum Productions was approached by first time documentary director, Shara Pradhan, to assist her in spreading the word of her worthy cause of attempting to reduce suffering in third world countries by helping feed one million malnourished children.  The film follow’s the Baker family & their legacy as their grandfather missioned in China to the current movement of the family through Mozambique & has been in production over the last two years & Iris Global Films is in the last stretches of their mission.

Jerry, our creative director, has agreed to assist Iris Global with their film by creating a minute long animated sequence for one of the more sensitive parts of the film.  The scene will be stylized in a graphic novel style, minimalized by design.  “The director really wanted a stylized look to emulate the despair seen in these regions.  I am hoping to drive the illustrations by the documentary’s audible message in order to set the tone necessary to drive home their intent.” Jerry stated.

The filming of Compelled by Love: the Legacy of Iris continues in Pemba during the month of July & will be in post production until the beginning of the year.  Shara plans on holding the first film premiere in Bethel Church, Redding, California the first week of January.  Illum will be donating $4,500.00 worth of time & animation to this production.

The Lucky 6 – a Flagship for the Future?

Friday, June 21st, 2013

I thought I would write this personally because it is a project that I have a lot of faith in & hope for its future.  While I was serving my first Ringling College class, I sat in on a meeting that was spearheaded by Brad Battersby, Digital Film Department head & Tony Stopperan, college president’s assistant & Asolo Repertory alumni.  They proposed a radical idea of collaborating between the two institutions & creating a full length feature film over the summer using students as the crew & faculty as department head mentors.

l6RingbotUp to this time, no film college has been successful at this endeavor but Brad felt that with the right mentors & the right students with the Asolo actors, it could be done.  I felt that I should show my support for this project & offer my experience & services.  I met with Brad & discussed the production & shortly thereafter I was asked to come aboard the film as Production Designer mentor, a position that I would share with a colleague, Sheryl Haler; she over costumes & I over art & sets; we collaborated over the entire look of the film.  Mise en scene!

We started pre-production the day after classes were over for the college; I had to get classes covered at Riverview for the next month in order to commit full time to the production.  The production was opened to all the departments at Ringling making it a true collaborative cross disciplined production.  We had 60 + crew that housed BOAD, Digital Film, Illustration, Computer Animation, Photography, Asolo Rep & a couple of alumni.  The students became immersed into the reality that is filmmaking on a professional scale.  The schedule was a standard 6 day, 12 hour staple that easily ran into 14 to 16 hour days with 7 days being the norm for all professional & a few crew members.

This reality became too much for some of the students & though we had some drop from the production, their fingerprints are still on the film & those that stayed the course became part of a team that didn’t compromise on creativity, design & story.  We shot on two Red Epic’s & two Scarlets as well as a couple of GoPro’s & a Canon 5D Mark III based on what was called for in the scene.  We had some truly amazing locations that were donated to us, some wild props, automobiles & a techno-crane & we met some truly terrific Sarasotians.  The footage that we came back with, before color correction is truly breath-taking.  l6Mansion01

Due to the high profile nature of the two institutions, we had a great deal of media coverage & I know that they will continue to watch us as we head into post production.  We even worked several of the media into the storyline & they were able to become part of the film.  This was an ensemble piece & the actors we had from the Asolo, 5 graduates & 1 first year, were a pleasure to work with & brought their own flair to the characters.  Each of them were very humble, took direction well & were quick to ask & offer suggestions to the betterment of the process.

I met many wonderful & talented people & got to work with some industry superstars with impressive credentials.  My colleagues & alumni that I came to know on a personal level were dynamic & collaborative; we had wonderful discussions throughout the production & we really worked well together.  Yes, with any film there are hiccups & never will you find a production that doesn’t have issues to overcome, but I would say that any complication that arose was thought out & creatively handled.  I was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes of many of the production days & though exhausted, every morning I woke excited about the upcoming day.  I mean throughout the course of this film, I designed sets, choreographed a couple of small fight scenes, directed a couple of scenes & acted in a small role.  I love what I do.

I watched as the students became more & more proficient at this craft as they worked along side us as crew & colleagues.  Some really shined & became examples for those in their departments.  They have amassed invaluable tools, skills & work ethics that hopefully will be shown & handed down to the upcoming classmates.  If this film does what is expected of it & is successful, then this summer film program will have a strong foundation to stand on.  What does that mean for the students?  It means that they will have feature film experience on their resumes before they head out to find their paths in this industry.  To paint it into a possible perspective, I have a high school film student that was accepted into the film program at Ringling just before we went into pre-production.  He became a member of the crew on this film.  If successful & this program repeats itself, he will be able to have five features under his belt by the time he graduates.  Many graduates don’t have two much less any upon graduation, only student shorts.

l6Mansion02In closing, I have enjoyed being on the ground floor of this initiative.  I hope that I imparted some knowledge, dedication, work ethic & creativity to those I worked with.  My hope for this grassroots project is that it becomes successful, expands, inspires others & sets a blueprint for other filmmakers in the future.

Ringling Adjunct

Friday, June 21st, 2013

This past January, our Creative Director agreed to becoming an adjunct professor with Ringling College in the Digital Film Department. Jerry is teaching Cinematic Story Telling to the second semester freshman class. Jerry describes the class as a “buffet” of the filmmaking process, basically getting to taste all the aspects of filmmaking without a focus on any one particular job type. Jerry states, “the students are exposed to all the particular components of filmmaking by diving right in & creating film exercises then stitching those exercises together to make a short film. They get to touch on all the departments necessary in making a film without concentrating on one job type.”

The students, in their sophomore year, begin to develop the individual core jobs by taking specifically tailored classes that focus on one filmmaking aspect like script writing, cinematography & lighting. In the meantime, however, the freshman class gets a quick sense of what it takes to put a film together. The course is quick & decisive & really shows where each student’s talents lie.

Jerry enjoyed his first endeavor as a faculty member saying that the experience was surreal because the program has changed so much since he was a student at the college. “The landscape/footprint of the school is 90% different & the programs have expanded exponentially so it was like I was going there for the first time. However as an alumni, I am happy to be able to give back to the school in another capacity while still being able to run Illum.” Jerry says.

Discussion Panel with Front Row Tampa Bay during the RNC

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota, in cooperation with Front Row Tampa Bay, has asked our VP/Creative Director, Jerry Chambless to be part of a panel discussion during the Republican National Convention (RNC).  The panel’s purpose is to give an up-front & personal account of having their businesses operating in Sarasota, relations with local businesses & educational organizations such as Ringling College & what type of economic impact it has with business, lifestyle, culture, etc., in this region as well as all of SW Florida.

The segment, titled Sarasota Innovation Panel, will feature Dr. Larry Thompson of Ringling College, Pat Redmond, CEO of Tervis Tumbler, Jeff Hazelton, President of Lucid Global & Jerry Chambless, VP & Creative Director of Illum.   Innovation & key partnerships will be the topic as well as decisions to head quarter the unique businesses out of Sarasota County & what opportunities that may hold for the businesses.  Jerry stated that he was honored to have been asked to represent Sarasota’s businesses & looked forward to expanding awareness to all that Sarasota has to offer.

Front Row Tampa Bay is built around the Republican National Convention, to promote regional & Florida businesses while giving business leaders prime meeting & networking opportunities around this unique event.  The four day programming event will be live-streamed to targeted influencers & business interests across the nation.  Programming will include focus on the key business sectors & leaders from Florida & Tampa Bay, commentary from top political leaders & a look at life in Tampa Bay and Florida.

The Sarasota Innovation Panel segment will be airing on Thursday the 30th, at 10:30 am.  To view these streaming panel interviews & discussions, visit daily.

Perfect Platform for a Premiere

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
Jerry blocking out a scene with Doug Frasure

Jerry blocking out a scene with Doug Frasure

Our independent feature film, Beautiful Noise, has been accepted into the Sarasota Film Festival for its world premiere.  The rough cut impressed the panel of judges & the festival’s artistic director, Tom Hall who with the festival’s programmers has scheduled Beautiful Noise to be showcased an unprecedented 6 times over the 12 day event.  This means that if every show & every seat gets filled, we will have set a festival box office record of over 1,500 viewers.

Artistic director Hall informed our director, Steve Tatone, that the committee is prepared to add additional screenings if the demand is present.  The team is really excited over the news & feels honored to be represented by their home town in such a fashion.

The premiere of Beautiful Noise’s first screening at the festival is April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in downtown Sarasota at the Hollywood 20 theatres.  After the first viewing, Steve Tatone will conduct a Q & A session for those who would like to stay after & learn about our film.  For more information about Beautiful Noise & the Sarasota Film Festival, please visit  Tickets officially go on sale on March 18th.

Jerry, our creative director & the film’s production designer & first assistant director had this to say about the honor, “I am, as well as my crewmates & the actors, very humbled & excited about the festival’s warm reception to our film.  I hope that this aides in the recognition of Sarasota’s film community to the rest of the industry that we have a great deal to offer here.”  If you would like to learn more about the film, visit

Are we Beautiful or Whhuuuuuht?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

The title of this blog comes from a semi-private joke that came from on our set toward the end of principal, but it provides a reminder of the delirious fun we all had while working on this production.  I felt it necessary to write this post myself to reminisce on the past two weeks that completed our Sarasota film.

So it’s official. Principal photography is completed on Beautiful Noise. We had an insane production schedule; however our crew & cast pulled out all the stops to help make this production a reality.  I don’t think I have ever worked with a more dedicated group of people, collaborators really, to pull off a production schedule such as the one we had on this film.

It is exhilarating to find a group of creative people that you share much in common without even realizing it.  As my role was officially assistant director/production designer, as with many indie films, you really wear many more hats.  Fortunately my style & personality blended extremely well with my first unit crew of John Goodbrad, director of photography & Shawn McCarty, DIT & together we collaborated on several of the film’s compositions & lighting schemes that became the canvas of Beautiful Noise.  On a few occasions since we didn’t always have a second unit crew, I would step in & shoot on the Red camera as John was buzzing through set running the Canon with his stedi-cam rig.  As many well know, taking over certain DP responsibilities is not an easy feat as styles & egos can clash on a production of this size.  However everyone was open & gracious in their work ethic & approach & even though we were burning upwards of 15 hours on certain days, our on set antics & camaraderie made the days fly by.  

As the first production week rushed by, I also found our director to be open & eager to conversation, collaboration & assistance in staging scenes & directing the actors to pull the best out of their performances toward the emotion that Steve had written on the pages of his script.  As a first time film director, he came in with a fierce excitement that takes all of us our first time in, but as the days went by, Steve worked into a groove that showed confidence & openness to his team’s help & suggestions.  I enjoyed our conversations about staging, economy, body language & performance.  I believe that the actors read our collaboration as well because they took what we both suggested & provoked performances that will have audiences laughing, crying & cheering alongside them.

The schedule saved the best for last as the musical performances were on the tail end of our production.  I feel this invigorated the crew even more as the lack of sleep was wearing on everyone.  Danielle White performed ‘Easy’, an upbeat tune that had everyone on their feet & some extras dancing.  She is a true songstress in every since of the word & can melt your heart with a subtle change of expression as she sings through the lyrics.  Chris McCarty’s ‘Butterfly’ was soulful & touching.  This man has a gift that had many with dropped jaws.  I don’t believe that there is anything this musician can’t do.  Then there’s the team of Kimber Cleveland & Doug Frasure, the couple who wrote most of the original music for this film.  Their stage presence & charisma is undeniable.  Doug’s animated expressions on the drums shows that he is right in his element & loves every bit of it.  Kimber is a pure pleasure to watch as she performed her song ‘Sorry’.  Her eyes & smile tell the whole story as she entertained the crowd.  Many of us forgot we were even working when we were filming these scenes.

I would have to say though, without a doubt that Wednesday’s shoot was by far the most exciting of the production.  Shooting at Riverview’s Performing Arts Center & having the senior class film students as our production assistants was a joy.  We took a couple of students & paired them with various crew pertaining to their interests.  As we staged, composed & directed the shots, we also taught & fielded questions from the students which made the day a pleasure.  These students were eager to know as much as they could from us & stayed by our sides throughout the shoot.  

Onto our finale concert performance welcoming back the main star.  Jay White is a man completely immersed in his element.  He electrified the stage & conducted the audience to cheers & applause.  This is no easy feat as we had Jay perform ‘Free Man in Paris’ at least 7 times to catch all the angles we wanted for the edit.  Each time we called cut & began setting up the next shot, Jay would break out into his Neil Diamond show tunes & the audience loved it, students, teachers & parents alike. Jay is getting the acting method down but performing is where Jay lives & he is spectacular at it.

Trailers & Music Videos Oh My…

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Last evening Midnight Pass Productions officiated the first viewing of our trailer ‘Beautiful Noise’ to a select group of people prominent in Sarasota.  The response was wonderful & everyone loved the music video from the movie, ‘Lonely Hearts’.  Some even had a bit of welling in the eyes after watching it.  Many of our guests said that they loved how we showcased the beauty of Sarasota & the performances by our actors were amazing.

Jerry, our creative director & Beautiful Noise’s Assistant Director said, “We are excited about the positive response we have received thus far & are eager to jump back into production next Monday. We have many great Sarasota locations we are filming at & everyone has gone out of their way to assist us in making this ‘Sarasota’ film a reality.”

Production on the film resumes this coming Monday the 27th.  After several weeks of pre-production the crew is ready to jump back into the meat of the script.  “We have an extremely aggressive schedule on this next phase of production,” John Goodbrad, the film’s DP said, “but we have worked hard on laying the schedule & the shots out with Jerry & with a positive crew, we could see it through.”

This film will be the start of many coming from Midnight Pass Productions, all of which are planned to film in Sarasota.  “It is important for us to show what is capable in our city,” Jerry stated.  “We have a great community full of talented individuals who want to see this industry build up here & show that we can be more than a vacation destination.  I believe this film can assist in the cause.”

To see the first trailer & music video from the film, visit

Access & Insights

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

News Reporter, Ray Collins from Access Sarasota channel 19 visited the music studio, Top Secret, to check in on Steve Tatone, director of Beautiful Noise & to interview him about the production. 

Along with Steve were owners of Top Secret Studios, Roger & Mo who have been instrumental in developing the music for the movie’s soundtrack.

Rounding out the group was our own creative director, Jerry who serves as the film’s assistant director, production designer & creative consult.

The interview will air this Friday evening the 10th of September at 7:30 p.m. eastern standard time.  The clip will be aired on local Comcast 19 & Verizon 32.  Come check it out!

It’s a Wrap! (First week that is…)

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Our creative director, Jerry, after designing the set to the specifications of the film’s genre with the help of Annette Breazeale, art director of Banyan Theatre Group, he stepped in as the film’s Assistant Director working closely with Steve Tatone, director & the camera team of John GoodBrad (DP) & Sean McCarty (DIT) to work out the intricate & creative shots for the film.

Jerry said that he & the camera team would show up at least half an hour early to the set with shot list in hand & walk through the days scenes; working out each shot, camera angle & movement & lighting (with Ralpf Barnette, lighting & sound tech), & then present their ideas to Steve when he arrived on set.  “Steve had shots in his mind on how he wanted to see them; we simply expanded on his vision & added to them to evoke the emotion we felt the script was asking for from both the actors & the environment.”
The footage will be edited into a trailer that will be used for continued marketing & investment opportunities.  Watch the website for information on the trailer party coming soon.

cast & crew wiped out!

cast & crew wiped out!





Music on the AM

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Jerry joined director Steve Tatone to promote the film Beautiful Noise in an interview with local AM Radio station 1280 WTMY, “Geekin Out” with Skippy & the Dude.  The show ran last Sunday, the 22nd from 5pm to 6 pm.

Along with Jerry & Steve were Danielle White who plays Dez in the film & Roger Hughes of Top Secret Studios.  The group had a great time with the Dude & Toad who was filling in for Skippy due to his birthday celebration.  Happy Birthday Skippy!  The team spoke about the projects humble beginnings, the original music that was written for the film, each person’s participation on the production & how they were brought on with Steve & their various backgrounds.

Production started the next day in Myakka City.  Good luck with the first week’s shoot.