November 28, 2012

Late Night Alumni - Shine (official video) Released!

The first of the Late Night Alumni live concert videos has been released through the official LNA website. Take a look below to see some great camera work from my team at Ex Machina Films: Nick Dunn, Matt Whittaker and Chris Bradshaw.

Keep an eye out for light streaks as those were all shot with my camera. Also, check out the focus pull at 3:48. I love that!

November 25, 2012

Return to Encore

You may remember my first timelapse from about two years ago entitled "Encore." Well, just recently on my way to Los Angeles I stopped in Vegas and shot this little piece.

Return to Encore from Connor Rickman on Vimeo.

Every shot is from the Panasonic GH2 with the Minolta 50mm Rokkor-PG lens. There is however, one exception. Can you find it?

Right before shooting I enabled the 44mbps hack to clean up the noise that would inevitably come with the black sky. I must say, I'm particularly pleased with the results. The Vimeo compression just doesn't do it justice, the image is clean and nearly artifact free! The GH2 is really in its element in a neon environment.

I'm not quite sure what the video "means" but it sure is pretty. Enjoy.

November 1, 2012


This film had a bit of an interesting start. Dustin Schwindt, former US Army tank driver and current University of Utah MFA Film Student was pre-producing his thesis film when he asked me to get on board as 1st AC. He was nervous about shooting with the RED due to the fact that he had never used it before and figured my past experience would be useful. I think it's important to note right now that I have very limited experience operating a RED, my experience is mostly pulling focus.

Although I'm no expert, Dustin still figured I'd be useful so I started working with Cinematographer John Rogers to get this thing going as smooth as possible.

Curveball #1: The University of Utah decided that, because they hadn't yet taken their new RED out of the box yet, that it was not available to be used by students. Therefore we had to shoot on something else. Luckily John had just discovered the Technicolor CineStyle picture profile for Canon SLR's and after a few test shoots we decided it would be a good alternative.

"Whaddaya mean no RED?"
 Curveball #2: The talented Mark Macey, a close friend and collaborator of mine, was told by his professors that he needed to be focused on acting in the Theatre Dept. shows this semester and not student films. Therefore we needed to fill his role quickly before shooting started.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. I filled in for Mark at the reading and Dustin (most likely out of desperation, although he told me it was my performance) chose me for the role of PV2 Adamzig. See the picture below with the whole cast.

From back left to front right: Aaron Bruderer as Pvt. Harvell, Tony Gallegos as Pvt. Flores, me in the middle, John Rowland as Cpl. Young, Carter Wayne Blanc as Pvt. Callow and Colin McDermott as Spc. Pope.
Cal Ngyuen as Sgt. Streich.
What a group of guys. The film follows a group of soldiers on "Funeral Detail" and shows the contrast between their on-duty and off-duty interactions. Dustin actually served on the funeral detail while in the Army and had a lot of stories to tell through this script. A lot of what is shown may seem rude and crass but deep down it's really about these soldier's coping mechanisms being surrounded by death all day. Despite this, the story has a lot of heart and humor as well. Definitely not for young audiences but anyone with family who has served will understand.

Despite the aforementioned curveballs, the production moved quite well once we got going. Shooting was over the course of two weekends and rarely did we ever put in a full 12 hours. Dustin, John, Assistant Director Jim Heiner, Sound Wizard Jill Pecchia-Bekkum and Juliah our yoga instructor were really a get-it-done type crew. 

On-set yoga.

"Outprocessing" can be seen in the MFA film showcase at the end of the year. No official details have been released about the showcase but I imagine it'll be in late April at the Post Theater on the U of U campus.

I've worked on a few projects this year but this one was one of my favorites. Not sure if it was the great group of people or just the fact that I got to wear a stunning looking uniform but whatever it was, I'm sad it's over. That being said, I've very excited to see it!

Amazing what a polarizer and a grad-ND can do!

The obligatory "Album Cover" shot.

This shot could go in a gallery in my opinion.

Just a dead guy eating a bagel, NBD.

October 10, 2012


You may have heard me talk about the possibility of founding a production company with long-time collaborators Nick Dunn and Michael Burnet. The cogs are turning to make this a reality which is very exciting but we're working on finding ways to set us apart from every other production company out there.

After talking about how to structure the business, Michael, Nick and I believe that in addition to creating media we also need to find ways to give back to the community. Media creation for non-profits and charities is one way we could donate our services but another idea was to offer our knowledge to young people in order to foster the next generation of creators.

Luckily, Nick and I have a connection at a local high school that wanted us to do exactly that. A grant was written for Nick, the director James, and myself to mentor students in creating a music video for a student artist. 

We shot for two days and tried to give the kids some idea of what it takes to create something of this scale. Then we handed our footage over to the students to edit. It's not finished yet but here's a promo and sort of a follow-up to the grant produced by the kids. I have to hand it to them, they make me sound like a real professional. The power of editing...

September 30, 2012


A few friends of mine are making a scary/funny movie just in time for the Halloween season. Remember Point B? Well almost everyone who worked on that worked on this as well. The only difference is that we added even more of my friends to the crew! Good to see you Jim Heiner and John Rogers!

The film is currently in post production but you can whet your appetite for the humor by watching the promo videos below. I was on the crew for one of those as well.

September 15, 2012

Point B

An enterprising friend of mine named Conor Long has created a masterpiece feature called "Point B." I could explain the premise in so many words but the brief description on the IMDB page does it the best.

"Four friends and Graduate students in the physics department of their University discover their clean energy machine actually works as a crude, rudimentary teleportation device. Through experimentation, adjustments and some misuse-use of the device, it is quickly discovered that the machine holds many consequences."

This film was an absolute blast to work on! Nobody got paid, nobody could be there 100% of the time and for the most part the food wasn't great, but for some reason it was the single most collaborative effort I've ever seen go into a film. 

I believe this is due in no small part to the amazing commitment of the writer David Gitlin and actors. David wrote this screenplay in an incredibly short amount of time, (the legend states he did it in one night). However long it took him, he created a great story with tons of wit and humor and made it easy for all the actors to fall in love with their roles. In doing so, every actor was so enthusiastic about their job it was infectious.

I'm not even going to talk about my job on this film because there are so many people above me that deserve more credit. I will say, however, that when this film comes out, look for who may be dancing his ass off in the club scene!

September 11, 2012

Late Night Alumni Preview Released

Well, it's been 9 months but it looks like the editors finally got around to cutting something together. If you don't remember my post about working with Kaskade and Late Night Alumni, you can read about it here.

Although I wasn't responsible for shooting the interviews, most of them were made possible though my sound equipment which I just happened to have on site with me. Being a small contributor to something as big as this is a really great experience because each moment you can identify as "yours" really makes you feel good once you watch it. I can't wait to see the finished product!

It's fun to see what other people do with your images and although the first 2/3 of the video doesn't seem to have anything that I shot in it you can see a few of my creations as soon as the beat drops. A good way to tell which images are mine is to look for the light streaks. I was the only operator with a streak filter! My favorite image is of Kaskade and Haley the backup vocalist at 2:15. Check it out below.

September 6, 2012

It's Coming

I know I've been absent for a while but I promise it's because I'm working on something big. I can't give away too many details but I can show you...this!

June 24, 2012

TIC - 48 Hour Film Project 2012

One day, while sitting at my desk at the Natural History Museum of Utah, long-time academic collaborator and fellow museum employee Hannah Jones walked by and said something to the effect of,

"We should make a museum team for this year's 48-hour film project."

I thought this was a great idea so I fronted the cash, and registered our team under the name 'Al Kessler Centennial Squadron.' A tribute to former board member and friend of the museum Al Kessler who just celebrated his 100th birthday at giant party at the museum.

I was set to perform "Aliens: The Puppet Musical" twice during the filming so in order to pull it off, it couldn't be a one man operation. Here is the team we assembled:

Producer - Hannah Jones, of NHMU visitor services
Director - Rich Herbert, Hannah's boyfriend and SpyHop alum
Head Writer - Alejandro Stepenberg, a new collaborator
Writers - Nels Jorgensen and John Lunbeck, my best friends
DP - Me!
1st AD - Colin McDermott, an old friend and collaborator
Production Designer - Stuart W. Ford, NHMU employee and friend
Hair/Makeup - Summer Kingdon, NHMU employee
Editor - Kathryn Bessembinder, NHMU employee
Composer - Keir Schmidt, who keeps giving me free music, God love him

We got our prompt which included the genre "silent film" and also included a character named Al Crofton; a friend of a famous person, a watch and the line of dialogue "I meant to tell you a few days ago."

The script was finished by 1am which gave us all a full night's sleep. Bright and early the next day we all arrived at our shooting location, the former Natural History Museum building, which is abandoned and scary. This is what we shot.

Tic - Best Film: Salt Lake City 48hfp 2012 from Connor Rickman on Vimeo.

We set up a pretty legit production office in the basement of the building so the entire production and post-production process took place there. We delivered it on time and awaited the judging.

By now from the title of the video, you've probably figured out that our team won! Here's a list of all our awards:

Best Film, Best Directing, Best Editing, and Best Score.

Every other team that won an award didn't even get more than one! Somehow we managed to sweep the entire competition this year.

I owe it all to the collaborative spirit of my team and I'm very excited to see what happens at the national competition in April!

May 21, 2012

Aliens: The Puppet Musical

UPDATES: Wow, we've been slammed with a ton of publicity and press lately. Here is the latest:

I have been featured in the "Scene in SLC" section of local entertainment publication Now Salt Lake.

Director Tobin Atkinson and Puppeteer Josh Thoemke were featured on KCPW this morning.

Nerd blogs io9, Nerd Bastards, and The Mary Sue, have all featured us as well!

Also, be sure to follow my twitter @GangasCon and keep an eye out for #aliensthepuppetmusical

Back in March I auditioned for what seemed like it could be the greatest thing ever to happen to theatre in Salt Lake City ever. Meat & Potato Theatre Company's Aliens: The Puppet Musical. I was inspired to audition following the production of my own Sci-Fi puppet show, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of: The War of the Worlds. Clearly this sort of thing was my bag!

I waited for nine months for the auditions to be announced and made special plans to audition as soon as they were scheduled. I was required to sing, perform a monologue and perform the same monologue with a puppet. I was lucky enough to be working at the Natural History Museum of Utah by the time auditions happened and borrowed a grizzly bear puppet from one of our learning labs. I named him Murray and the two of us "nailed the audition" according to Director Tobin Atkinson.

I was absolutely elated when I heard that I was hired. Not only was I super excited about the material, but this marks my first professional (semi-pro?) production since I understudied some lost boys in PTC's Peter Pan in the 8th grade. I also get the chance to play a few iconic characters in puppet form, including; John Connor, Hermes (from Futurama), Riddick and a few others I don't want to mention in order to preserve the surprise.

Rehearsals have been really excellent. The show contains 8 original songs from composer Rob Hartmann and the script is so full of nerdy sci-fi jokes I'm on Cloud 9 just listening to it! Musical Theatre has always been an exercise in multitasking but now I'm forced to bring a puppet to life in the process! Needless to say it's been quite the learning curve but it's a wonderful challenge and very rewarding in the end.

Publicity for this show has exploded recently and I made a shameless plug during my interview with In This Week in this week's "Scene in SLC" section. Keep an eye out for me on May 24!

Aliens: The Puppet Musical opens May 24th and runs through June 10th in the Studio Theater at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Showtime is 8pm with 2pm matinees on the weekends. Tickets are available through Arttix.

April 9, 2012

Color Grading Central

Local Utahn and color grading master Denver Riddle is giving away 3 DaVinci Resolve tutorials on his cool website

You can enter the contest here.

I myself have been a user of Apple Color and Magic Bullet Looks which is what I've used to grade "Wastage," "Sign Heist" and Jim Jones' "Letter to the Game." However, I would love to use DaVinci Resolve because it's really the industry standard in color grading. When you're working in this business, it never hurts to know the best! Now if I can just get the ball rolling on that Avid certification...

April 5, 2012

Vote for my picture!

I was selected as a finalist to be the face of Actorfest Philly! Please use pinterest to re-pin my image as much as you possibly can so I can go for free! Click here and then tell your friends. Look below to see my brand new picture. His eyes tell 1000 stories...

From Profile Photos

Choice Humanitarian / Feel-Good World

Here's a small video announcement I made for a collaboration between Choice Humanitarian and Feel-Good World. Both are charities looking to put an end to global hunger, their latest effort involves awareness, dedication and grilled cheese sandwiches!

Feel Good World - Chapter Competition from Connor Rickman on Vimeo.

We shot this in my dad's kitchen and I used a combination of natural light and tungsten-balanced fluorescents to get the look I wanted. I was the only crew member so I operated the camera and operated the boom-mic as well! Thanks to Bekah Sosa, who wrote the script, I was able to plan out 4 different shots to help break up the monotony of announcing a simple message.

I'm not 100% pleased with the production value, but considering that we were under a 2 hour time crunch and I was every crew member all at once, I'm quite pleased with the results.

This was a fun project with some fun people, nothing to serious but important nonetheless. Thanks Bekah, Megan and Corin for being prepared and easy to work with. Let's do it again!

March 7, 2012

Jim Jones - Letter to the Game

Sometimes the people you've known for years are the only ones you can trust. Colin McDermott, who you probably know from my film "Wastage" and Myriam Schroeter, my close personal friend since the 7th grade teamed up this past winter to produce this video for the rapper Jim Jones. (NOT the reverend Jim Jones, you know...with the kool-aid)

Jim's kind of a one man show so Myriam and Colin were armed with cameras and really just along for the ride. After capturing the footage, Myriam sat down for a few weeks and came up with the final edit. The picture was then sent to me for some color correction and grading.

The biggest problem was fixing several scenes which were too dark. There was very little data to work with, but I managed to extract Jim's face from the background and use the color shift to create the overall look for the video. The correctly exposed shots were desaturated to match the corrected shots which takes the shine off the images and makes it look a little more underground.

The remaining problem past that point was getting Jim's scene in the subway to match the rest of the video. Those glossy white walls were lit up like Christmas so I applied some grad-exposure filters to even it out. The end result brings out the greens of the fluorescent lights and draws the viewer's eye towards Jim instead of the bright wall.

You can view the fruits of my labor below.

DD172 Presents Jim Jones "Letter to the Game" from DD172 on Vimeo.

For my first colorist job it was definitely a challenge, but I think I may have a bit of a future in color grading if I keep it up. Of course I color correct all my own films but working this way in a more collaborative environment is really quite fantastic, I'll definitely be looking for more of these type of gigs.

February 2, 2012

The Adding Machine

Being in school has perks, like getting to work with directors you otherwise wouldn't be able to. Starting tomorrow, you have the chance to see me perform in "The Adding Machine" at the University of Utah with special guest director Jerry Rapier from Plan-B Theatre Co.

This production was a bit rushed as it was scheduled earlier in the Babcock Theater's season because of the addition of an extra show. That means that the actors and crew had only four weeks to get performance ready.

The play features a strong ensemble cast, of which I am part and more than one strong solo performance, given by some old friends of mine, namely Jeff Black who you probably know from "Sign Heist."

I can't give too much away but I will say that although the show was written in 1923, it's surprisingly timely. It follows the loss of identity one suffers after being fired, but does so in an expressionistic way. Think "Metropolis" or "Nosferatu."

The show plays Feb. 3-12 at 7:30 each night except for Monday. Free if you're a U student!

January 19, 2012

Late Night Alumni

Long time collaborator Nicholas Dunn was nice enough to suggest me as a camera operator for a live concert produced by his friend Michael Burnett. Michael and Nick have worked together on several projects and are in the early stages of starting a production company. This was their first job.

Late Night Alumni is the latest project by Kaskade and features his two producers John Hancock and Finn Bjarnson as composers/performers and two lovely ladies singing.

The shoot lasted 3 days and included many rehearsals and one live show. The footage will be cut into both a concert DVD and used for music videos.

The coolest part was that our DP was Munn Powell, who shot Napoleon Dynamite, he gave me a few tips. I gave him my card :)

Keep an eye out for releases from LNA, it's a great project and the images come from my own eye.

January 5, 2012

New Website

Links to this blog and more, now live at!