Finding a Lost Boy

Last month, Jeff landed in the hospital with a collapsed lung. During his stay he got to know his doctors and nursing staff very well. There was one young man in particular who stood out for his kindness and generosity of spirit.

Zach is a young nursing assistant. He is also one of the Lost Boys of Sudan – one of 700 million orphaned and displaced during the Second Sudanese Civil War. Zach was only 9 years old when he was forced to flee his village and walk hundreds of miles through unforgiving wilderness to cross the Ethiopian border and make his way to a refugee camp.

Never one to sit still – even when recovering from a collapsed lung – Jeff asked Zach if he could take his portrait. And so, one morning at 6 am…

*Huge thanks to Josh Newman, colleague and DP extraordinaire, for making an early morning journey to the North (yes – almost to Canada) and agreeing to shoot the photo session on our Sony A7S.

Trip to Cambodia with Big Daddy Weave

red jet films recently traveled to Cambodia for two weeks to film a new video for Big Daddy Weave.

Jeff Erwin – owner and head DP of red jet – always has a camera loaded with black and white film on these types of journeys. Here’s a little taste of his latest darkroom developments…

The Killing Fields Archival print

The Killing Fields
Archival print

On location outside of Phnom Penh

On location outside of Phnom Penh

Russian meat market Phnom Penh

Russian Market
Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Morning Madness

Phnom Penh
Morning Madness

Cambodian Farmer Phnom Penh

Cambodian Farmer
Archival print

See the USA in 30 days…(in your Chevrolet rental van!)

December was a busy month here at red jet!

We were happy to work with Casey Family Programs to create five short films highlighting the incredible lives of this year’s recipients of the Casey Excellence for Children Award. Our journey took us from Portland, to Nampa, Columbus, Phoenix, New York and back.

We took some photos along the way…

Jeff with our Portland Birth Parent Award Winner.

Jeff with our Portland Birth Parent Award Winner

A trip to Portland wouldn't be complete without a Voodoo Doughnut!

A trip to Portland wouldn’t be complete without a Voodoo Doughnut!

Kevin, Jet and a giant boot in Pendleton, OR.

Kevin, Jet and a giant boot in Pendleton, OR. Who knew!?

Local lounger... Pendleton, OR.

Local lounger…
Pendleton, OR.

A Pendleton local.

A Pendleton local

Apples to Apples

Just got back from Sunnyside, WA where we filmed a new spot for the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries on orchard ladder safety.

A big thanks to the lovely Rogelio Ruiz for letting us film in Roy’s Place Ranch!

Jeff and Ernesto discussing the shots.

Jeff and Ernesto discussing the shots.

Romas and Granny Smiths!

Romas and Granny Smiths!

Get to the Chopper!!

Our illustrious colleague Ryan Horner, owner and director of PegLeg Pictures, recently purchased a DJI Phantom Vision 2+ Quadcopter with a Gimbal action camera – and he let us play with it!

Holy moly. What a fun toy.

Capable of taking 14MB stills and 190×1080 HD video, this winged dragon can soar as high as 1,000 feet up and as far as a mile away – so long as you have a GPS satellite connection. Should you lose the connection, it will come right back to it’s base.

The Phantom communicates directly to your smartphone with no delay in the feed. It also has a unique straight downward bird’s eye perspective that is not recommended for those suffering from vertigo, but is breathtaking for everyone else.

A cool way to grab footage you can’t get using conventional photography – and you don’t have to mortgage an arm and a leg to rent a chopper.

Here’s a couple of snaps for you. Video to come.

Captain Ryan Horner flies the Phantom.

Captain Ryan Horner flies the Phantom.

Phantom menace? Or Phantom Quadcopter? You decide.

Phantom Menace? Or Phantom Quadcopter? You decide.



Mo’ MōVI, less problems

Yesterday’s shoot at Cellnetix Laboratories was filled with enough science to totally bring out the nerd in us.

We filmed some fluorescent DNA, checked out a genetic sequencing machine and analyzed whether a human body can absorb a burrito the size of its head.

It can.

The coolest moment of the day however, was watching Jeff operate the MōVI in the lab.  Unlike the complex setup of a Steadicam, Jeff had the whole apparatus up and balanced in under 15 minutes! We took beautiful moving shots around the lab – giving some idea of the flow of the workplace. These shots will be featured in the upcoming Cellnetix movie.

Enjoy these snaps for now and keep your eyes peeled for the final piece.

Action shot!

All right, mr. red jet, I’m ready for my close up.

Reviewing the footage....

Reviewing the footage….


*Shot with a Canon 6D with a Canon 24 mm Cineprime lens. We shot in Cinema Look for an easier color grading match to our Sony F-55.

Travels with Jim Compton: Ethiopia


We lost a friend last week – Jim Compton.

I worked with Jim at KING TV for many years. In 1999 Jim traveled with Janda Black and myself to Ethiopia to shoot a piece for the Packard Foundation.  Our task was to show the challenges the country was facing with family planning programs.  It was my first trip to Africa – Jim had been there before during his years as a correspondent for NBC. It was a long trip, three weeks as I recall. We covered a lot of ground, talked to a lot of people and got pretty sunburned, especially Jim.  I will admit that your first trip to a place like that is a pretty eye opening experience. I probably kept my eye on the ball only because of Jim’s gentle nature.  In the worst of moments, he just made it all seem like it would work out. I also totally trusted his ability to tell the story even if I could only pay attention to the pictures.

He saved me on our last night there. We were the Minister of Health’s guests at this lavish dinner, along with the “special dancers”. The Deputy Minister asked me to dance – all of the guys in Ethiopia dance together. We were the first ones on the floor. That poor little guy had never seen such bad moves. I must have looked like a frog in a blender; I just could not get into the groove of that funky Ethiopian tune. Jim cut in and ended what could have been an international incident. The best part is he never mentioned it again.

This is the story we made for the Lehrer News Hour on PBS. It’s a classic example of Jim’s writing and delivery. We’re going to miss him.