Porto

We just recently returned from visiting the city of Porto, Portugal, and with it we brought a lot of travel photos that we took throughout.

Atlantic Ocean in a hazy dreamy fog.

One of our passions is photographing our travels, and Porto being a World Heritage Site and surrounded by both an Ocean and a River full of wineries, you can imagine how cinematic everything is.

Porto is a World Heritage Site, and the downtown areas are incredible to walk around in.

Take a look at some of the ones we added to our portfolio on Photoshelter, or check out our 500px/Instagram adventures for even more.

PhotoShelter Portfolio

THU
 

We're back at THU (Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn) for the 5th edition of this arts festival that encompasses the industries of film, video games, animation and traditional arts.

Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn takes place in Troia, Portugal.

It's one of the most inspiring week-long artistic adventures we've ever participated in and we couldn't be happier to be back and reconnect with some of the best talent in the world. This year, about 1,000 people will descend into this tiny paradise of a location near Lisbon, and over 70 countries are represented.

Sunrise over Troia, Portugal.

As part of the advisory board team, we will also do some Instagram takeovers throughout the week, and a few other surprises, so stay tuned!

The hallways of the Troia Design Hotel are ready for the hundreds of artists participating in the event.

For more information, visit the official website: http://trojan-unicorn.com.

Real Estate

We recently Brough our FAA-licensed drone, motion graphics know-how and production expertise to create this video for Branagh Realty, a high-end real estate companies in the Bay Area.

All filmed on-location in Lafayette, CA, with a seamless blend of animations, maps and aerial footage, including architectural renders, and we couldn't be prouder of our latest partnership with the team behind Branagh Realty.

Take a look below.

 
 
Drones

We are proud to announce that we are now officially licensed by the FAA to fly our drones for commercial usage.

We bring our cinematography and filmmaking experience to aerial images, between capturing stunning HD/4K footage and high-res photography, so that your content will never look the same again!

Aerial imaging is one of the highest return-on-investment features you can add to your videos and content, providing your viewers with an unforgettable perspective on events or locations. We can't stress highly enough how this will add value to your videos, and we are happy to be able to finally bring our high-end cinematic quality to aerial imaging as well.

Check out our full ad below, and hit us up for a quote!

Solar

We recently completed another video project documenting an incredible customer success story for Borrego Solar, and their new Gore Mountain solar array installation in the state of New York.

With our creative partners in New York, and an incredible team even filming down a mountain while skiing, all footage was acquired on location and sent via hard drive to our main studio in the Bay Area for post-production.

With our FAA-licensed drone operations we are also now able to capture stunning aerial footage of the site, which is essential for solar arrays and other similar projects.

We couldn't be prouder of the work done by our New York team, and this great partnership with Borrego which continues to be an enormous success!

Drawing

We are proud to announce that we recently completed a major project for our clients JAM.

JAM is an e-learning company devoted to provide a safe online environment for kids to learn creativity: from drawing classes, to lego building and Minecraft, they hire experts in the field to mentor a class on a specific theme.

It's been a tremendous success with kids all over the world, and earlier this year we were hired to help them out creating a comprehensive realistic drawing class for JAM. The course would teach kids with zero experience or skills in illustration, how to be able to draw realistically people, pets, and more. It's a huge undertaking as you can imagine, but after four intense months the whole course was ready to be delivered.

One of the first shoot days at the office with the JAM team. Afonso Salcedo (front), Chalon Bridges (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle), Kelsey Holtaway (right). 

One of the first shoot days at the office with the JAM team. Afonso Salcedo (front), Chalon Bridges (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle), Kelsey Holtaway (right). 

We worked closely with JAM to design a course that would flow nicely throughout the whole program, as kids progress to more complex chapters. We directed and produced a 12-day shoot, with a mentor that JAM flew from Australia.

Since the complexity of drawing something realistically is tremendous, we knew we had to simplify the capturing of the footage as much as possible, so that we could save on production time and number of takes. It's not easy to redraw the same drawing multiple times, to cut together in post-production, so we decided to build a camera rig covering four different angles, including a mirror on top of our talent so that we would have extra coverage if needed.

This meant that on average we were able to capture a drawing from beginning to end without resorting to many takes. The four cameras were filming in tandem, allowing us to cut through in post more quickly.

Sound was recorded separately, but already synched with one of the cameras to make it easier to deal with post-production audio editing.

Even though everything is filmed widescreen, the delivery format was square, which presents a lot of issues in composition, visual effects and color grading. We only worked in square format, but as part of our delivery structure we provided all the widescreen footage as well for potential future usage.

After the 12-day shoot, we captured close to 15 TB of footage. 12-days filming many times over ten hours of footage, that somehow had to be compressed and edited into multiple 5-minute chunks.

Even though in the beginning we had estimated we would create about 75 videos, in the end we actually ended up producing 178 videos. Most of these videos were shorter than five minutes in length.

But one of our main goals of creating this class was to really make it easy for kids to visualize what the mentor sees as he is drawing. What is he looking at? How does he see shapes? Or lighting? It's impossible to clearly depict such things with simple video or talking points, so we went ahead and created an extensive amount of visual effects and animations to aid in key learning moments throughout the course.

With 178 videos edited, we ended up creating in After Effects 482 animations that were then composited back into our edited videos, most of these hand-drawn and keyframes to match the flow and gestures of the actual mentor as he draws.

178 videos edited and graded. 482 animations, most of these animated in After Effects.
— Afonso Salcedo

We couldn't be prouder of this achievement. 178 videos filmed, edited and graded with 482 animations all done in four months of production scheduling is pretty mind-boggling.

The course is supposed to be launching soon, and you can find more information at http://jam.com.

We couldn't be happier with this collaboration and with the outstanding class we created, and we're ready for the next challenge!

 
Kelsey Holtaway (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle back), Chalon Bridges (right), Afonso Salcedo (front)

Kelsey Holtaway (left), Hieu Nguyen (middle back), Chalon Bridges (right), Afonso Salcedo (front)

 

Thank you everyone at JAM for their amazing friendship throughout this whole experience!

Sonic Runway

Last year we were involved with one incredible art installation project for Burning Man, the Sonic Runway.

Recently, its official website was just launched and the Sonic Runway traveled to China where it will be on display as a three-month public installation. We edited this video from footage taken by Burning Man participants, for the official website of Sonic Runway!

Check it out! We couldn't be more excited about seeing the Sonic Runway grow so much.

Seventy

So proud to share with you all this micro-documentary we edited and color graded for our friends at Mr. Smith production company, and JFK University.

It was a tremendous amount of work, but we couldn't be more excited for another touching and successful creative collaboration with these guys. Thank you to David Valentin and Daniel Corona for always believing in Sutro.

JAM

We recently started helping JAM (http://jam.com) create amazing video content for their inspiring community of curious kids, learning creativity through hands-on projects. It's been an incredible month already working with these guys, and we couldn't be more excited to share this trailer we edited for them.

It was simply scavenging their previously shot footage, a mix of mentor/class shots with children's uploaded photos, to create something that really showcases how excited kids are to be learning through practice.

2017

Our new reel is up and we couldn't be more excited. Check out our latest showcase of some of our favorite work over the past four years!

FilmAfonso SalcedoComment
MGM

We're about to wrap up this week a new story vignette with Mr. Smith. The amazing team of David Valentin and Daniel Corona did all the shoots, but we finished the editing and color grading for the whole piece at Sutro.

Love working with those guys, and coming from Mr. Smith we always know we're getting cinematic looking shots to play with, which is incredibly satisfying in post-production.

The original scoring for the video has been approved, and we'll be wrapping up the whole project this week, and we can't wait to share some more with you.

Until then, hope you enjoy these frame grabs from the video for a sneak peek...

Winning Photo

As we mentioned before, one of our recent photographs won a prize by BorrowLenses, and was put on display in their HQ here in the Bay Area, alongside a few other carefully chosen photographs from all over the US.

Take a look at the setup below. We couldn't be prouder of this, or more excited about this opportunity.

Thank you Borrowlenses.com!

 

If you want to buy a print, digital file, or framed artwork of this piece (or any others), please check out our full collection on our Portfolio Website.