06.04.2023|By Daniel Mendoza|5 Minutes

In February 2017 we traveled over 500 miles to Paso Robles, California to film at DAOU vineyards with LOLA agency. The goal of the project was to create a brand film that would screen at a Ruth’s Chris special event wine pairing dinner to give their guests an intimate look at DAOU, the featured winemaker.

After the long drive we scouted the location before heading to our hotel for a pre production meeting with the agency creatives to go over the plan. We discussed production schedule as well as pre-selecting the best locations on property for the interviews. Before bed we did a final gear check to ensure we would be no unexpected surprises the next day. We like to inspect gear before, during and after any long road trips to minimize the surprise of misplaced or lost items that can hinder production. We’ve made it common practice to research any rental houses near jobs, specifically when traveling far from home base.

Our gear included (2) Canon C100 Mklls, (1) Canon C300 Mkll, Canon L Series Lenses, DJI Phantom IV drone, Lighting and Grip kit, Sound Devices Field Recording Kit, Freefly Movi Gimbal as well as Manfrotto tripods and monopod.

The next morning we were up at dawn to capture a majestic sunrise from the lovely vistas of the property. Filming sunrise is a serene and beautiful way to start the day and for us we think of it as the calm before the storm. The rest of the day was spent capturing interviews along with incredible scenic overlooks, the barrel room and tasting room provided equally stunning backdrops for interviews and B Roll footage. There was a lot of ground to cover between our two person team, specifically when filming the vineyard B Roll as the terrain was incredibly steep which made lugging gear around particularly taxing.

Coming from a world of event coverage, we were quite versed in moving quickly and capturing as much as possible. Some working or aspiring filmmakers tend to downplay the validity of events, specifically weddings, but for us it has been a solid foundation from which to build upon. Events are primarily documentary style coverage and this provides you with the opportunity to work on your ability to anticipate moments. It is a combination of chaos and timelines. Perhaps the greatest and most valuable skill we have sharpened is this ability to anticipate moments. This is a skill that has carried over into scripted projects as well.

The vast property we covered over the course of two days included the vineyard, the tasting room, the barrel room as well as the adjacent water pond which was used to water the vines among other things. From formal interview set ups to B Roll in the field, to aerial coverage and then repeating the process in a variety of orders over the two days proved to be taxing on us physically as well as mentally. But the results made the entire experience well worth the effort.

Being our first true collaboration with the LOLA agency, it was great to have them beside us so that they could see us in action which soon won over their trust in us and our capabilities. We really clicked with them as they were very hands on and in the trenches with us for the benefit of the client. Delivering exceptional content in a reliable and timely manner is a baseline metric for us but equally important is the personality and energy you bring to every job. When you are doing what you love and you are surrounded by inspired and passionate people, the results are typically something special.