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State of Our Industry: June 2013

State of the Union

A Conversation With Bob Carmichael

I had the recent pleasure of taking with Bob Carmichael, the well respected director, cameraman, and CFVA board member, who made a name for himself partly through his extreme filming style, scaling cliffs and extremely difficult locations, capturing amazing shots.  He also has notable recognition for his work, including an Academy Award nomination, and an Emmy.


Although originally from Boulder, Bob spent the bulk of his career in the Los Angeles film community, but has since relocated to Boulder, where he has built a 1000 square foot photography studio, which is entirely green, running off of a ten thousand watt solar power grid. It is clear from the get go, that Bob is passionate about environmental issues, and wants to be part of the solution, and backs it up by supporting clean energy initiatives, and doing his best to eliminate his carbon footprint.   But that wasn't the focus of our conversation. In fact we were talking about filming in Colorado, and he was telling me about a project he did, which he chose to shoot in Colorado and use mostly Colorado crew. The project was for Seventh Generation, a company that makes environmentally friendly, and toxin free household and personal care products.  The project was brought to Bob by producer Isaac Karsen from Made Movement (, a fairly new marketing agency that is associated with advertising legend and local Boulderite, Alex Bogusky,  of Crispin Porter + Bogusky (named Creative Director of the Decade for the 2000’s, by Adweek Magazine); who is Creative Advisor.  Made Movement was started by Dave Schiff, John Kielselhorst, and Scott Prindle; a talented group of people who previously worked at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.  For this ad, the creative team from Made Movement, consisted of John Kieselhorst as Creative Director, Marybeth Ledesma as Art Director, and Isaac Karsen as Agency Producer.  You can watch the ad here.

SVG DirectorsCut Online Vimeo - Carmichael Productions, inc. - Agency: Made Movement Marketing from Bob Carmichael on Vimeo.

The concept for this spot was to project words onto a woman’s body, which were some of the chemicals common in many lotions women put on their bodies, which can be harmful and contain toxins.  Made Movement’s  inspiration for the look came from the opening credits of the 1964 James Bond Film, “From Russia with Love”.  Although 3D mapping of the contours of the actress’s body and compositing were considered, Bob decided to go a different route, which he had seen used before.  He believed it would likely yield better results, and be more cost effective, and instead, used a high power projector, doing the effect live.  He took the idea to Multimedia AV Denver to test, and it worked really well.  Marybeth Ledesma created the content that was projected onto the model.  As a side note, the model in the ad is Erin Schrode, an Eco Expert and Co-Founder of Teens Turning Green, which further supported the environmental vision of the spot.


The soundtrack was created by Jesse Carmichael ( of Maroon 5, who also happens to be Bob's son, which brings me to my next segue.  One of Bob’s other passions, is still photography, and Bob has developed a photography technique or style, he refers to as PhotoGRAPHICvideo, which he utilized extensively on Maroon 5’s “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” tour, which has been cut into a very stylistic video, which is pretty cool, so you might want to check it out.  It can be found here.

The Story - Maroon 5 video - Director/photographer Bob Carmichael from Bob Carmichael on Vimeo.

I often hear people talking about how we need more local production, which I agree with, so it is good to see people like Bob Carmichael and the folks at Made Movement, actually utilizing local crew, even when they have the budget to do their projects anywhere.

Bob also pointed out that Boulder is now definitely on the Advertising Map, with a number of notable agencies, starting when Alex Bogusky brought Crispin Porter + Bogusky to Boulder; and now with agencies like Evolution Bureau, Made Movement, Moxie Sozo, Victors & Spoils, Vermilion, Sterling-Rice Group, Oblique Design, etc., also having offices in Boulder.  If these companies all utilize the talent we have in the area, they could be a great source for future projects for the Colorado Film Community.


Here is a list of the crew involved with the Seventh Generation Ad.


Still Photographer was Caleb Tkach.

Made Movement Marketing:
Isaac Karsen Producer
John Kieselhorst Creative Director
Marybeth Ledesma Art Director 
Rachel Steiker - Account Service and Production

Made Movement Creative Partners:
Dave Schiff, John Kieselhorst, and Scott Prindle
Made Movement Creative Advisor:
Alex Bogusky
Client: Maureen Wolpert: Grass Roots Marketing Manager at Seventh Generation

Production Company: Carmichael Productions, Inc.

Carmichael Productions, Inc. 

Director/DP/Cameraman: Bob Carmichael
Executive Producer: Doug Millington
AD: Kevin Donald
Grip: Matt Stelling
Gaffer: Garth Gunberg
Audio: Bob Abbott
Digi Tech: Tim Hardy
1st AC: Drew Dutton
Talent: Erin Schrode
Makeup/Hair: Cindy K. Cruz
Projections:  Multimedia Audio Visual Inc
Rental Company: ACamera Rental
Stage: Colorado Studios
Colorist Rick Gougler at Post Modern


Heath Firestone

Heath Firestone is a Writer/Producer/Director/Editor, who specializes in complex 3D Composites and really unique and interesting shots, utilizing  Firestone Studio’s virtual production stage, which is the only 360 degree retroreflective compositing stage with real-time camera tracking, in the world.