artistic

Jessica Anderson - Rule The World

Written by Tori Green

Ivory Sky Media had the privilege to work with up and coming artist, Jessica Anderson,  "Jessica Lá Rel." Our shoot was a span of two separate days, both taking place on the Stanford campus. We used so many different techniques on this shoot, including the Defy g5 Gimbal, the Atomos Ninja Flame, and of course our trusty a7s cameras. We shot in several locations on campus with the main location being the CCRMA building. We took advantage of the beautiful architecture in the front of the building with Jessica's solo shots. And although not every shot was used, we definitely had a lot to choose from in the editing process.

It was great working with Jessica on this project and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors. 

For information about Jessica, check out her website Jessica Lá Rel and her new EP "Four Freedoms."

"You Know" by Idara Udoffia (Official Music Video)

“Sunlight, come find me… Even if it doesn’t, you will."

Shooting a music video is always a unique experience, for every song tells its own story. Idara Udoffia’s “You Know” is no exception.

The day began early for our team, even before the sun had risen. After a 4am wake-up call and a 5am departure from the ISM headquarters, all the equipment was packed into the car and the team was on their way to Half Moon Bay.

Even at 6am, when they arrived at their first destination to meet up with the rest of the day’s company, the sun was sound asleep and the sky was still dark with night. Enter Idara Udoffia (the recording artist and female lead), Leslie Tong (the make-up artist), and Tasche (the male lead and a fellow recording artist). After quick introductions, it was showtime.

Lights were set up and Leslie got to work on Tasche’s makeup while Allen and Tori prepared the cameras. The usual routine was a bit more exciting than usual on this occasion thanks to the arrival of our brand new camera: the Sony a7S, a full frame mirrorless camera known for its low-light capabilities and high quality HD video. It had arrived just the day before and Allen was ready to see what it could do, especially when paired up with his usual weapon of choice: the DEFY G5 gimbal.

Before anyone knew it, the sun had made an appearance, casting shades of orange, pink, and purple across the sky (you’ll notice this transition in the lighting as you go through the gallery of behind-the-scenes photos). It was soon swallowed up by expansive cloud cover, signaling that it was time to get the cameras rolling for the first scene of the video.

The team gathered up the equipment and everyone made the short trek to the first location: a bridge spanning a small stream.

Here, Allen and Tori captured some simple performance shots from multiple angles as well as a few intimate moments between Idara and Tasche. Idara explained that “You Know” is “about a person who’s in a place that is kind of down… and then always having that one person that can pull you away from that” and in the video, Tasche plays the love interest who can always find her, even in the darkest of places. The resulting concept of the video is quite simple in that Idara finds herself in a variety of places, but Tasche always appears on the scene, ready to support her.

This brought us to a completely new location: a beach/harbor area overlooking coastal plants and endless ocean. As soon as our team arrived, they began scoping out the best places to shoot while Idara and Tasche had their first costume change. Then came additional performance shots and a bit of frolicking along the sand. We even had a surprise visit from a black labrador named Jesse who insisted on playing fetch. Jesse makes an appearance in our behind-the-scenes photos (and a behind-the-scenes video that's coming soon!).

The morning soon became early afternoon, and our two actors had their final costume change, preparing for “the picnic scene”. Allen and Tori picked out a nice, grassy spot for the “lovers” to lay out their blanket and make a toast to their love, and the two put on their best acting faces. It was here that the final clip of the video was filmed, wrapping up both the shoot and the music video itself. If you haven’t already, watch the final product at the top of this blog post and take a look at the behind-the-scenes photos below. Keep your eyes open for our upcoming behind-the-scenes video of this shoot!

We hope you enjoy this visual creation for Idara Udoffia’s “You Know” and we thank everyone involved for helping to tell the story behind the song.

Written by Danika Lam

Off the Runway with La'rrye McIntyre

Allen and Tori revisited Santa Clara Central Park this past week (the location of Dshyne Phresh's "?uestion Love" music video) with La'rrye McIntyre for a modeling photo shoot. An up-and-coming runway model, La'rrye (pronounced "Luh-ree") was a dream to work with. She was a star in front of the camera, coming up with her own poses and giving us great, emotive expressions. With the nature-y feel to the shoot, it almost seemed like La'rrye was really Alice exploring Wonderland. Check it out in the gallery below.

Written by Danika Lam

Watch out GRAMMY Camp...

Every summer, the GRAMMY Foundation brings teens from across the nation together at four different locations: Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Brooklyn, NY; and St. Paul, MN. For just over a week, they are fully immersed in an environment that will prepare them for success in the music industry profession of their choice.

16-year-old Claire Carruthers is a GRAMMY Camp hopeful and an aspiring singer/songwriter. For her audition, she performed two of her own beautifully-crafted originals and two covers of popular songs. Ivory Sky Media's Allen and Tori were onsite to help create an audition video that would be sure to impress the admissions panel. Check out the action below!

An interview with Claire that delves into her musical background and motivations for attending GRAMMY Camp (with a sprinkling of her original music)

Claire performs her two original songs ("Your Love" and "I Will Stay"), accompanied by her music teachers

"Shark in the Water" by VV Brown and "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele performed by Claire Carruthers

Written by Danika Lam

Record Release: Tyson Amir

Considered a conscious rapper with lyrics like "what we need is wisdom," Tyson Amir has performed his original music around the world. Now ready to unveil his new album, Ivory Sky Media is honored to have attended and documented his record release show at The Living Room Project in Oakland, CA. This album, entitled Purpose, is a collaboration with Producer/DJ onBeats and the connection between their Bay Area roots are evident throughout the project.

Tyson's show had a very cozy vibe to it, but also featured a nice backdrop that gave the night a classy, chilled-out ambiance. Guests were able to mingle, pose with Tyson for photos, and enjoy the music. Meanwhile, our team did this and more. Tori, Megan, and Allen interviewed guests, capturing their well-wishes for Tyson on camera.

One of the highlights of the show was the debut of Tyson's new music video, also entitled "Purpose". Following this, he performed many of his new songs live with onBeats. See some of the action below!

A montage of the live performance, interlaced with a few words from our interview with Tyson onBEATS

A more complete interview with Tyson onBEATS, bookended by words from fans

Written by Danika Lam

"?uestion Love" by Dshyne Phresh (Official Music Video)

"I put my trust in you, I gave it all to you..."

Ivory Sky Media's Allen and Tori had the pleasure of working with Bay Area artist Dshyne Phresh on his latest music video: "?uestion Love". An all day experience, our team had such a fun time with this shoot, as everyone involved was already good friends. The leading lady in the video was played by Chardé Walker, Tori's sorority sister while the "other man" in the video was played by Derek's (Dshyne Phresh) best friend Joseph Frederick. Even Tori herself was featured in the video: you can catch her at the end rolling up in the Escalade, toting a glass of "champagne" (which was really apple cider).

The day started just before noon at Tori's house where Tori's cousin, Toni Cisneros, did the girls' hair and makeup. It was different for Chardé to be wearing so much makeup, but she took it in stride, and after two hours, the girls were ready to hit the runway!

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So after "forever" (according to Allen) getting primped and beautified, the team drove to Santa Clara Central Park and the cameras started rolling. This was where all the scenes from "the past" were filmed, with additional shots of Derek rapping along to the track. It was such a gorgeous day for filming and at one point, a few kids came up to watch Allen and Tori operate the cameras. They were filled with questions. "What's he doing? Who's that?" they asked in reference to Derek. "Is he famous?"

Once they were all wrapped up at the park, everything was packed up and moved to the parking structure on 4th Street in Downtown San Jose. It was time for the night shots atop the garage. Thanks to Tori's initiative for planning ahead, the University Police Department (from SJSU) were well aware of the shoot and were on the lookout for any random wanderers that might interfere with the video. The team had the rooftop all to themselves.

And it was here that they really had some fun. Chardé and Derek had to get all riled up for the "fight" scene, and as one might expect, it was hilarious to see Chardé really get into character. It was hand-waving, pointing, and shouting galore. Allen and Tori couldn't stop laughing, and they even worried that the authorities might show up for disrupting the peace. Even Derek couldn't stop smiling despite the fact that he was supposed to be having a heated argument. Beyond that, there was plenty more fun in store for our team. No shoot would be complete without at least one thing going wrong. This time, the battery of the white Lexus died. They had to jumpstart the car and then get right back to filming. Speaking of which, while Tori wasn't acting in the video itself, she was behind the camera shooting. Believe it or not, she did this while still clad in her tight dress and six-inch heels. It's hard enough just to walk around in an outfit like that. Imagine having to run around filming, trying to get different angles, in heels that high.

In the end, however, our team couldn't be more pleased with the experience and the finished product. The shoot didn't end until 1:00 in the morning, but it was well worth it and everyone walked away proud of what they'd accomplished. And of course, we hope you enjoy the video!

Written by Danika Lam

Spotlife: Music in the Bay

Allen and I decided it would be fun to start filming local artists and musicians at Bay Area locations. We decided to create "SpotLife" which gives a short sample of some of the amazing performances happening around us all of the time!

Some of the artists include Grammy award winning artist Kanetic Source (formerly of Ozomatli), and So Timeless.


Episode 1: So Timeless

We had the opportunity to film So Timeless as they performed in San Jose at Rosie McCann's Irish Pub & Restaurant at Santana Row. The band performs old school and current hip-hop and R&B every Monday night from 9p-12a.


Episode 2: Kanetic Source

Anthony Stout, AKA "Kanetic Source" releases his album and performs in tribute to his son Noah Stout. 

Kanetic Source won a Grammy award while performing with the Latin group Ozomatli. in 2003, Ozomatli released a 6 song EP through Concord Records featuring the rap vocals of Kanetic Source on "Cumbia De Los Muertos" and a collaboration with The Kumbia Kings on "Mi Gente.

The Pagoda Lounge in the Fairmont Hotel has seen artists such as Bilal, Robert Glasper, Talib Kweli, and others. 


Written by Tori Green

"The Truth" by Janelle LaSalle (Official Music Video)

We handled "The Truth!"

Allen and myself were so happy to be a part of Bay Area artist, Janelle LaSalle's video shoot for her upcoming single, "The Truth," produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Prince "BlkMagic" Damons.

I had a lot of fun on this video shoot, especially since it was the first one for myself. There were many different aspects of it that were new to me when it came to lighting, focusing, and shooting subjects that weren't stationary. One of my biggest challenges was how were we going to make the club scene appear dark when it was actually eleven o'clock in the morning. Allen was brilliant in this aspect because he positioned the lighting to where it was primarily shown on the subjects and turned down the exposure of the shot to make it appear darker in post.

We shot in several different locations, a nightclub, a bedroom, a car, and a recording studio. And unbelievably we captured all the footage in one day! 

The previous day Allen and I wanted to test out a technique we came up with for the video. The technique shown below is where we used two LED lights behind Janelle and blacked out everything else, creating somewhat of a silhouette. It was an absolute success and became one of our favorite scenes to shoot.

Janelle was so easy to work with and very good at taking direction. We can't wait to work with her again.

Written by Tori Green

Credits:
Directed by Prince "BlkMagic" Damons
Produced by IvorySky Media Co.
D.O.P, Camera, Video, Editing, and Color Grading by Allen Ross and Tori Green for IvorySky Media Co.
Executive Producer : Valerie Saunders
Assistant: Clay Bandy
Make-up: Kerri Payton
Location Manager: Erica James
Artist and Lead Actor: Janelle LaSalle
Lead Male Actor: Aneet Singh

"I Will Be" (Cover) by Casey Rico (Music Video)

Myself and Allen's first adventure in video came with a music video shoot in gorgeous Half Moon Bay, CA of high school senior, Casey Rico singing a cover of a lesser known Christina Aguilera song, "I Will Be." 

Memorial Day weekend, we had the pleasure of shooting in beautiful Half Moon Bay, CA. On this trip Allen and I found out we had many similarities, especially our passion for videography. While on the shoot, I was really excited about all the many different aspects of shooting a music video and just how creative we could be with them. I was able to share different ideas with Allen on different shots we should do. Because of the gorgeous scenery, we were able to create a great video for Casey and her family to enjoy. 

Written by Tori Green

Life of a Director

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A musical icon who served in the ministry for 40+ years, minister Virginia Roberts affected thousands of people through her dedication to teaching, directing, mentoring, and parenting. Here is but a glimpse of her amazing story. 

As one of her students at San Jose State University, I found it an incredible honor to help portray the amazing impact Virginia Roberts has had on so many. After moving to California from Atlanta in 2001, I stumbled upon history in the making. The first of it's kind "Gospel Ensemble" class at the university, Virginia created a legacy and a standard of excellence that impacted the local community and surrounding communities as far as Oxnard and Sacramento.

She became more than just a director and teacher, however. She became a second (or first) mother to so many of us with her words of wisdom, discipline, and overall encouragement. She truly has poured so much into the lives of her students. It was impossible to find a pupil with anything negative to say about their experience with her.

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The Process:

When Multimedia and Arts director at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Dewayne Sweet, and I talked about this film and what we wanted to accomplish in telling this story we decided to invite church and community members to be interviewed on set. Dewayne scripted out many of the dialogue parts for the guests in order to help ease nervousness and also expedite the process of editing. It was important for us to consider the editing process early because we only had about 10 days until the film would be displayed at Virginia's retirement ceremony.

The interview shoot didn't go as planned. Many of the invited guests canceled at the last minute. Some of the guests who were interviewed were extremely nervous. Overall I left that day without a positive feeling that what we had captured would be enough (in addition to the pictures of Virginia) to accurately communicate the scale of which Virginia's impact could be felt.

I set out to find as many people and locations to film in order to fill the gaps in the story. I found myself downtown in the middle of a Tuesday filming the outside of St. James A.M.E church while getting funny looks from pedestrians. San Jose State campus was next. I wanted to film the Gospel Ensemble class in session without Virginia getting suspicious. I made up a story about how Dewayne needed some footage of a choir singing for something he was making. She didn't seem too impressed with my answer! 

But I needed more. I started looking over the original script and decided to try to get an interview from a teacher at her school. I was shocked and excited when the principal of the entire school agreed to be interviewed! Turns out, Mrs. V and the principal are good friends! This was starting to pick up steam. 

Finally, I thought it would be great to hear from her children... especially the children who wouldn't be able to attend the retirement. I began seeing this film as a collective of all of the aspects of her life : Teacher/Student, Mother/Children, Director/Leader, Christian/Church, Community/Friends. I began to book more and more interview subjects based on these angles. I even set up the camera and got in front of the camera with my family (something I NEVER do)! 

After all of this great footage started to stream in, I looked up, and it was already 3 days till the event and I hadn't even started an edit yet! Dewayne had asked to see the footage. His concern was that it would be too long. Initially he wanted a 2 minute video. HA! I envisioned a special Biography episode on A&E. I knew this would be a 5-10 minute feature. 

Finally it was Sunday, the day of the event. Received the last bit of footage from Virginia's out-of-town daughter, Nia. Great. Put the finishing touches on, rendered, and delivered to Dewayne without an opportunity to preview it on the "big screens."

Written by Allen Ross

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Credits:
Created for : Emmanuel Baptist Church Music and Arts Department
Director : Allen Ross
Assoc. Director : Dewayne Sweet
Story : Dewayne Sweet
Production and Camera : Allen Ross
Editing : Allen Ross
Photography : AJ Feurtado
Audio : Allen Ross, Fennell Jackson, and S.F. Bay Area Tech
Lighting : Anthony Feurtado, Sylvester McGuire, Joe Reghito, A.B. Coleman, Ivory Richardson
Advertising : Elizabeth Juarez, Acquella Todd, Odessa Smith, Chuck Lawyer
Live Camera Operators : Bryson Young, Keith Rucker, Isaiah Bryant, Marvin Stewart, Dewayne Sweet Jr., Keldrick Randolph
Special Thanks : Cassell Elementary School, San Jose State University, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Appearances :
Cassandra Carter
Dewayne Cornelious
Brenda Russo
Traci Williams
Andrew Williams
Alesia Williams
Anthone Jackson
Rev. Joel Moore
Dewayne Sweet
Allen Ross
Carolyne Barnaba
Nia Groce-Bolds
William Batiste
John Gordon
Gabby Gordon
Shani Roberts
The Whispers
Tracy Cruz Ross

"Joyful Rain" by Tracy Cruz (Official Music Video)

"You loving me, I feel like flying..."

Tracy Cruz's Joyful Rain music video was an endeavor for Ivory Sky Media, a real jumping off point for our company that we strived to make a mark with. As the first serious music video we produced, we wanted all of the technical aspects of it to be done correctly and it was paramount that every scene show off our different skills.

That being said, a lot of time was put into this video, and shooting spanned across several days. Just as the video itself begins with the piano scene, so did the shooting process. Filmed at Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, CA, the director of the video--Allen Ross himself--was featured on the piano. Setting the camera up in multiple locations to capture a variety of angles, Allen both managed the camera and played the piano. Even after all this, he was able to get a ton of B-roll footage to spice things up.

Then, a night of shooting took place at a VTA station and park near Allen's home. This time, Tracy was a part of the action, singing for the camera and bringing out her charm. Because the whole theme of the video was "concepts of joy", the team wanted to create a juxtaposition between the happiness derived from love and the loneliness that one experiences without love. The relatively empty railroad tracks were meant to represent the lonely side of this dichotomy. There had been additional clips filmed at the park as well, but they were eventually cut from the video.

Another day led Allen and Tracy to the home of Mike Thomas, specifically his backyard, 

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for the shots of Tracy under the tree of lights. Here, they really just wanted to play around with the lights to see what they could get. It was an idea they'd had for a while, and originally it was mean to take place in a really secluded location but the question of what they'd actually plug the lights into came into play.

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The last day of shooting found itself in Allen's garage. Equipped with a green screen, Tracy invited her three backup singers (Phaedra Jones, Anthone Jackson, and Megan Richofsky) to sing their hearts out in front of a green screen. Everyone had a fun time when the confetti rolled in. Allen got to throw it in the air above everyone's heads as they sang.

So with all the shooting complete and plenty of footage, it was time for editing. This was where Allen learned a few valuable lessons about the importance of makeup and wardrobe. With the new HD DSLR cameras, every little detail was visible in the footage. "Face acne and every stray hair" becomes visible, so Allen had to spend time in editing "covering up things that we could've gotten right when we shot." In retrospect, more attention should be placed on all those little things during shooting. Also in regards to shooting, Allen learned just how difficult it is to get motion shots without accessories. It takes a lot to get smooth footage without any shaking while you're walking or running around with the camera.

In the end, shooting and editing Joyful Rain was a great learning experience for everyone involved. Check it out above if you haven't seen it yet. Enjoy!

Written by Danika Lam

"Love's Galaxy" by Tracy Cruz (Official Music Video)

This shoot was pure fun.

It was never our intention to be overly ambitious with the Love's Galaxy music video. For us, it was just about exploring what we could do, playing around with different things, and having a good time. As you'll see at the start of the video, we used footage of space captured by the NASA/ESA Space Hubble Telescope. It was a simple, green screen operation in Allen's own home that featured his whole family. His two kids are cute, little additions to the video. All around, the video is just a fun time!

Written by Danika Lam