All of us here at Kvibe Productions are proud to announce that nearby New Jersey City University has recently introduced a brand new graduate program geared specifically toward independent media artists called IMAP: Masters of Fine Arts in Integrated Media Production.
Several members of the Kvibe team got their start at NJCU, so we know what the institution has to offer and the new 2-year, full-time MFA program was designed to create a vibrant forum for contemporary artists working with all kinds of media.
It’s been a long time coming, but the day is almost here. KVibe Productions’ first full-length feature film, Walt Before Mickey, is just about set for release, and there’s no shortage of excitement around here about it.
However, it may not be the story most people think of when they first hear the name, Walt Disney. This isn’t about his successful empire and global success, but about the years and years of his attempting to step up and change things, only to be pushed back down again and again.
Whereas Saving Mr. Banks took audiences back to the 60’s, when Walt Disney was already Walt Disney, reigning over his kingdom and looking for his next hit, Walt Before Mickey returns to the iconic visionary’s earlier days, when he didn’t know what a hit even was yet, much less how to create one.
The film is based on the book, Walt Before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years, 1919-1928, by Timothy S. Susanis. It takes the story all the way back to Disney’s childhood in Missouri where he first shows signs of the passion for animation that would drive his success, though his father doesn’t seem to approve.
We follow Disney to his first animation bullpen in Kansas City, and through a series of endeavors that quickly meet with failure, eventually driving him west in the 1920s to Los Angeles, the home of his future empire.
Though it’s a biopic and not some Disney fairytale, there’s no shortage of villains. Investors with bad intentions and greedy opportunists challenge young Walt every step of the way as we see his business prowess may not have matched his creativity, at least not at first.
That’s what makes this such a special film. Audiences tend to equate Walt Disney with one of his cartoons: fun and flawless. However, Walt Before Mickey proves that wasn’t the case at all.
Director Khoa Le and the entire KVibe Productions team was so proud to be a part of this kind of project. Imagine getting the chance to portray a legend as a human being, with the same kinds of troubles and doubts that anyone would have in similar situations.
There’s a certain responsibility that comes along with this kind of material. You don’t want to make such sweeping changes that the man’s life itself is a far cry from the truth.
However, there’s also a general responsibility to the audience to be considered. Rhythm and pace, peaks and valleys; these things still needed to be present for Walt Before Mickey to work successfully.
That’s the tricky part when doing the film adaptation of a book of any kind. It’s even trickier when the book is about a real person. Having said that, the challenge is part of the incentive for KVibe Productions and, let’s be honest, it’s Walt friggin’ Disney we’re talking about!
Imagine the thoughts running through our minds when first confronted with the project:
Walt Disney at rock bottom, rifling through a garbage can looking for food, a tiny mouse peaking out of his front pocket.
Walt Disney calling home, asking his parents for money.
Walt Disney asking his employee not to cash her check so that their studio could survive another week.
Walt Disney clearly scared about losing his brother.
Any audience yearns to see their icons in identifiable states of mind. These are the kinds of moments that any film and video production studio craves to get their hands on.
We’re no different here, and when the original director abandoned Walt Before Mickey along with the director of photography, and cast and crew took a 3-week hiatus, fate may have been intervening, unbeknownst to us.
When KVibe’s own Khoa Le got the call, he jumped at the opportunity to get involved. He was able to fly out to Orlando in between snow storms in New Jersey, and he immediately got the show back on the road.
It wasn’t easy, as the crew was a little demoralized when he arrived, but he managed to get them on board with his vision for the rest of the project.
Khoa saw a parallel in the film’s troubled production and the story they were ultimately trying to tell. Walt’s seemingly endless struggles to get his studio off the ground seemed to mirror the struggles to complete production on Walt Before Mickey, the film trying to tell that very story!
All that hard work and persistence eventually paid off. Walt Before Mickey gives the kind of inside look into a legend that allows audiences to see him in a whole new light. People can relate to someone’s behavior or ideas, personally, when they have a better idea of where the motivation and inspiration came from.
This is part of what made Walt Before Mickey so enjoyable for KVibe Productions itself. We got a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the genius media mogul ourselves, before being tasked with relaying it to the audience.
We talk a lot around here about our ability to show people things in a different light, and we believe we accomplished that on this project once again. People will get a glimpse of a different Walt Disney, not the old man sitting on the throne of an empire, living off his creations, but the man who hadn’t imagined what would become history yet, truly the Walt before Mickey.
Check out the official trailer below to see for yourself how we were able to portray Walt Disney like you’ve never seen him before, and visit the official Walt Before Mickey site to pre-order your DVD copy of the film.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.
On July 10th – 12th, Kvibe Productions will be working on a short film titled “The Specifics” which will be directed by Salvatore Sutera. Majority of the shoot will be taken place in Hoboken, NJ. Right after that, from July 13th – 15th, we’ll be on Fire Island working on a short film titled “Blinded” which will be directed by Christian Vogeler. This film will be shot all on Fire Island in Long Island, NY. We have the honor of producing and presenting these two films. Why 2 films back to back you ask? It’s July and it’s the opportunity to capitalize on getting professional workers on our set during their break.
The camera we decided to go with will be the Red Scarlet X. The lenses we’ll be using will be the Zeiss CP2’s 18, 21, 25, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100. We are bringing a truck of grip equipment and going to have a medium size crew of 20 to make this film deliver the storytelling value it deserves.
We’ll be posting updates of BTS photos and video clips on our Facebook.com/kvibeproductions. Please make sure you visit the page for those updates.
Director: Khoa D. Le
DP: Christian Vogeler
Assistant Director: Elia Adler
PA: Frank Bull & Mark Bowen
Main Artist: Akini
Featuring: Maino, Fred The Godson, and Godsend
Recently, we shot a music video in Long Island, NY with Akini, Maino, and Fred the Godson. It was a 1 scene performance music video titled “Living Dreams” starring Akini. This was our 2nd shoot with the Red Scarlet-X and it held up very well. However, just like every project we do, there were issues on set that could have gone really bad. However, as Kvibe Productions, we always find a solution.
First, it was set in a location where we had to run power all over the place so we didn’t blow out the circuit. Unfortunately, we kept blowing out the circuit where we had one PA ready to flip it back on “during” the performance. That was a huge headache and a task to overcome. Since Maino and the other artist didn’t have much time to stay and work, we really had to nail these shots with one take per shot. Amazingly, we nailed many money shots that came out fantastic.
In addition, we had to wait for the cars to be moved into the facility. There were some miscommunications with the owners of the vehicles which caused a lot of delays. Just as we thought we had time to work, we ended up having to be rushed. Luckily, we were fully prepared for all of that and we easily found solutions to make it work for this project while keeping the clients very satisfied.
We lit the scene up with a 4x Arri 640w, 1x Arri 2000w, 3x Arri 150w, and a few customized kinos. Our DP was Christian Vogeler who was just fantastic. I gave him the idea of the look I was after and he really did his thing to make it eye popping.
The crew which were the Kvibe interns did a fantastic job as well! The shoot could not have happened without the skeleton crew. There will be behind the scenes footage and more still images to come in the next few blogs. Subscribe and stay tuned to our news updates!
Kvibe Productions is delivering a written out documentation of the Red workflow with Redcine-X Pro and Avid Media Composer 6. We think this is one of the best workflows for Red as of now since we think AMA is not ready for Red footage yet.
Please leave us comments or questions of our workflow. We are here to help!
Redcine-X Pro and Avid MC6 workflow
1) Create New Project in Avid with appropriate name
2) Create Bins called DNxHD36, DNxHD175, Pull Down List 36
3) Go to Redcine-X and import all .r3d files by selecting folder
4) Select all clips and ensure it is “Center Crop” (tool side and scroll all the way down)
5) Export via DNxHD36 to Avid Project > Project name > Converted DNxHD36
6) After exported, move MXF files to the Avid Mediafiles > MXF > 1 (or any number you choose)
7) Go to Avid and import the AAF files into the DNxHD36 BIN
8) Then import additional Metadata by selecting all clips > File > Import > ALE file
9) Start Editing
10) After locked edit, we need to re-link to desired final quality. Within Avid, we will relink to DNxHD175 or something better. Create a bin called “Decompose”
11) Duplicate the edited sequence and move it into the Decompose Bin
12) Right click on sequence then click on Decompose
13) Create new sequence
14) Select all new clips and drag it into the timeline of the new sequence
15) Rename Sequence to “Pulldown List 175” (or whichever final format you are trying to go online)
16) Select the new sequence > tools > Output EDL
15) Go to the EDL manager window and ensure it is File _16
16) Click on “Get Sequence”
17) Save As to the Avid Project
18) Color grade footage in Red Cine-X
19) Export to DNxHD 175 or another format
20)Move MXF files to Avid Mediafiles
21) Go to Avid, import new MXF files from “MEDIA TOOLS” into the DNxHD175 Bin
22) Highlight all and import the ALE file
23) Go to Original Rough Sequence and change clip color to source
24) Highlight all DNxHD 175 clips to another color by going to Bin > Clip Color
25) Go to original sequence > right click > Relink
26) New relink sequence should appear as with new color indicating it is the new clips
27) Render out final output.
Be sure to write back to us and let us know your thoughts.
Kvibe Productions finally was able to get hold of the Red Scarlet X. We went outside to the park at high noon in the bright sun to test. We shot without using any filters or ND filters. We wanted to see what we were going to face if we didn’t have any of it. We packed it with just the bare minimum. Battery, Shoulder Rig, 1 Lens 85mm, follow focus, and a lot of excitement to using it in candid style.
1) We had to shoot everything at F16 (max aperture for zeiss 85) because we didn’t have any ND filters.
2) Everyone says you have to shoot at iso 800 to avoid clipping since it’s the neutral setting when bringing it in post. I tested and also tested going against that common rule and shot at iso 250 and 320. Didn’t seem to have any problems in post.
3) Hard to focus without an EVF. The monitor on the camera is awkward which is mounted on the top of the camera. It’s just extremely hard to see and focus.
4) I didn’t have the back mount for my red brick, so I bought this rope from home depot and tied it around my rails. Yes it was pretty ghetto and it had a chance of falling off ripping the cord with it. But eh, we wanted to shoot!
5) The Cinevate Durus follow focus has a problem using short lenses. The LCD cord is attached to the front part of the Red Scarlet X. The Durus Follow Focus has a very large body which gets in the way. It’s unfortunate because it’s a good follow focus.
6) The LCD could have a better touchscreen. It’s no IPAD that’s for sure.
Great things about this camera:
1) The number one thing we noticed when we used this camera was the latitude of this camera. We are so use to the DSLR that seeing footage not clipping and being able to see the details in the shadows in the BRIGHT SUN was utterly amazing!
2) It’s not heavy as I expected it to be with the rails, battery, and other gear.
3) You really don’t need a Red Rocket Card. We transcoded and edited this all within 4-6 hours.
4) Red Cine-X is a really nice free app from Red to use with this camera. The color grading is amazing without having to lose detail compared to DSLR or other compressed formats
5) The camera is built like a tank. I have so much confidence in this camera.
6) 4k lets us crop or re-frame when needed
7) It’s future proof until cinema are ready for 8k resolutions.
Stay tuned for another blog about the workflow from Red Cine X to Avid MC6. We will provide complete documentation step by step!