In the summer of 2011, large crates began showing up at the Whale and Star complex we share with acclaimed artist Enrique Martínez Celaya.
The crates contained Schneebett, an installation Martínez Celaya had exhibited at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2004. Inspired by Beethoven’s final days, the work consists of a bronze, life-size sculpture, a painting, a chair, and tree branches. The sculpture is of a bed, and is connected to a cooling unit that produces a blanket of ice on its surface. (“Schneebett” is German for “snow bed.”)
The work had been donated to the Miami Art Museum by German collector Dieter Rosenkranz and would be the museum’s featured exhibit during one of the biggest weeks on the international art calendar: Art Basel Miami Beach 2011.
Before it could be shown, however, Schneebett had to be retrofitted with a new cooling system that could stand up to Miami’s hotter temps, not to mention the heat generated by the large crowds that would gather to view this important addition to MAM’s permanent collection.
Realizing that we had a very small window of time — the retooling would be done over the course of a few short months — we grabbed our cameras and got to work on a documentary chronicling not only the mechanical upgrades, but the ideas that had inspired this significant commission in the career of Martínez Celaya.
The resulting short film, titled Enrique Martínez Celaya: Schneebett, premiered at an invitation-only event at Miami’s “Art Hotel,” The Sagamore, during Art Basel.
Couldn’t make it that night? You can watch it here.
In the fall of 2009, AirTran Airways was looking to launch an aggressive new multimedia online initiative — dubbed Inside AirTran — to communicate with its 8,500 employees, who are spread out across the country.
AirTran already had a daily e-mail blast, but knew that video was a much more effective means of getting message penetration. They were on the hunt for a production company that could not only make complex ideas simple and digestible, but package them in visually compelling, Web-ready, documentary-style videos.
Common Machine quickly outpaced the other production companies AirTran was trying out and we’ve been the airline’s exclusive production company ever since.
We’ve so far produced more than 30 videos for Inside AirTran. We’ve shot station visits in Boston, executive dunk-tank fund-raisers in Orlando, crew base openings in Milwaukee, and quick turns in Tampa. We’ve braved the paint bays in Miami to film the special livery paint jobs of the Indianpolis Colts, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Falcons, and Baltimore Ravens planes; we’ve sweated buckets on the tarmac in Orlando to document the Ramp Relay Championships, gotten wet for flight attendant life-raft training and given away bikes to underprivileged kids in Orlando. We even scored a minor YouTube hit (100K views and counting) with a viral video we made for AirTran when then rival (and now new owner) Southwest Airlines took a shot at them in a national commercial spot. (See the “Skip the Stampede” entry for the whole story.)
Since launching the employee-targeted site, AirTran has accumulated more than 250,000 page views and the site has become the go-to resource for crew members around the country. Nearly half of the airline’s employees have signed up for the site’s RSS feed as have several journalists that cover the company, competitors and the above mentioned new owner, Southwest.
It’s been a blast and — with our seats and tray tables in their upright and locked positions — we’re still enjoying the ride.
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center asked if we could take portraits of cancer survivors to accompany some text-only stories they were posting to their Website.
When we heard their inspiring stories, and met these amazing people, we suggested to the folks at Sylvester that they may want to capture audio as well. And if we were going to hit a record button, why not go all the way and hit record on a video camera? Needless to say, the project quickly grew into a compilation video and four individual doc-style interviews that anchored an entire redesign and relaunch of the cancer center’s Website.
The videos — a cross-section of patients and experiences — have been so successful, we’re recently shot the third round of survivor stories.
For four days in April, whistlers from all over the world descend on the quaint (and somewhat remote) North Carolina town of Louisburg to whistle operettas, concertos, Beatles medleys, and everything in between at the International Whistlers Competition. This year, mild mannered graphic designer by day and world-class whistler by night Tim Eggert — who finished 12th at the competition two years ago — is gunning for the number one spot.
The Whistler is a documentary film which follows 33 year-old Tim Eggert in his attempt to claim the title of the world’s best competitive whistler. Eggert’s performance of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” won the Allied Arts competition at the 2011 International Whistlers Convention.
With support from Carmex and AirTran Airways, Common Machine created a microsite and provided Carmex’s digital agency, Bolin Marketing, with behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-curtain video of Tim for the lip balm’s Facebook page, generating additional page views and an ongoing narrative for customers to follow.
The feature documentary — currently in post-production — will hit the festival circuit in 2013.
On June 16th, 2008, Converse and Journeys launched the first ever “Get Out of the Garage Music Contest.”
The contest was held over a three-month period. It received more than 5,000 entries from all over the United States.
Here is the video of the band, Flying Machines, filmed and edited by Richard Patterson in NYC, shot on the Sony EX-3 and 16mm Kodak 7222 B&W Film.
In the spring of 2010, the historic Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City commissioned internationally renowned artist Enrique Martínez Celaya to execute four ambitious paintings, each measuring 15’ high by 11’ wide.
Unveiled at the church on September 30, 2010, these paintings were a dramatic step in the career of an artist whose work has always engaged the larger questions of human existence. Adding to the impact of the St. John the Divine unveiling was a concurrent exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBiA) titled The Wanderer: Foreign Landscapes of Enrique Martínez Celaya.
The Crossing Project is a multimedia documentary installation chronicling Enrique Martínez Celaya’s commission for St. John the Divine. Produced by Common Machine, the project explores Martínez Celaya’s influences and creative approach, the very act of painting, and the role of this work in the context of the church.
U.S Road Sports tapped Common Machine Director of Photography Richard Patterson to create a video capturing the faces, flavors, and unique features of the company’s debut Miami Beach race, part of its new 13.1-mile road running series. The series slogan: Where the Party Meets the Pavement.