One thing that I have noticed at Wound Care Advantage is that our management team encourages their employees to pursue their passions outside of work. Other companies heavily frown on outside projects. From my experience, WCA not only supports this, they encourage it. Working for an organization that recognizes and applauds its employees' unique interests creates a strong company culture. It also gives employees a chance to widen their interests and learn more about the passions of their coworkers. This blog series will highlight some of the interesting projects that WCA employees are passionate about and working on in their spare time.
Chris Schellenbach, Director of Media, is extremely passionate about filmmaking, directing, and editing. He recently directed his first music video for Crawdad Republic, an Livermore, CA-based band, and is currently considering options for his next role as director.
“What I love the most about film is the balance between the technical execution and the creativity needed to bring a project to life,” he said. “Ultimately as a director and editor you’re constantly trying to convey story and ultimately a feeling. That’s the core of my passion, I’m interested in communicating feelings. That’s the true magic in film storytelling.”
Chris remembers having interest in visual art at a young age; making his first home movies around 8 years old.
“By the end of elementary school I was pretty strong at digital editing. I grew up idolizing Spielberg films,” he said. “I was obsessed with E.T. as a kid, it came out the year I was born. However, I think the time I realized I wanted to get into the film industry was when I saw the Indiana Jones stunt show at Disney World when I was 5 years old. I was pretty sure I was going to grow up to be a stuntman at that point. However, I eventually grew up and realized I wanted to be behind the camera.”
After high school Schellenbach knew that he was interested in film, but wasn’t sure if film school was the right approach. Chris enrolled in a summer film program at USC, and directed a 16mm short that solidified his decision to continue in that industry.
“After a few years at a community college I decided Cal State University Northridge was the right place for me,” he said. “I had a great experience in the production program, with my focus in editing. We learned from some great mentors and got a lot of hands on experience putting together our student projects.”
At that time, Chris had been a fan of Crawdad Republic and long time friends with a few of the band members.
“I’ve known all the members of Crawdad Republic for a while now,” he said. “I spent three months touring cross country with Jon Williams and Brandon Olivo back in 2005 when we were 19/20 years old. I documented the entire tour for them and we have been close friends ever since. Jon asked me to make him a music video when the Crawdad Record was originally released back in 2013, but I was busy with my career and getting married. I revisited the offer in 2014 providing several ideas.”
Once the band decided on a concept and treatment, he started putting a team together.
“I shared multiple duties; from writing the treatment, production planning, producing, directing, and editing,” Chris said.
The team shot the video in May 2015, and edits were completed in June.
When commenting on the overall feel of the video, Chris explains that, “The film has an underlying narrative, I didn’t necessarily want to go out and explicitly spell out a story. Jon Williams, the songwriter, gave me a basic idea of what the song was about; letting go of the past and loving yourself.”
As a team, we decided that the video should provide subject matter that spoke to both of those points, while still allowing the viewer to use their imagination. “The ultimate goal was to create a simple narrative centered around a reclusive man’s past relationship, and allow the audience to project their own thoughts and feelings onto it,” Schellenbach said. “So far I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback.”
You can find out more about the video for “When No One Is Around” at http://rockfilms.com/
“The only thing I’ve asked people to do is watch it, and if you like, share it,” he said. “Simple.”
Chris said he learned a lot of valuable lessons during the project.
“Mostly that planning is everything when it comes to film production, and having the right team in place is pivotal,” he commented. “I lucked out having such a talented Director of Photography in Joe Ramos and an excellent actor, Davison Lockley, who went above and beyond to bring his character to life.”
The music video was shot on the RED Epic with a set of beautiful Arri ultra prime lens. it was shot mostly in 6K and edited on Adobe Premiere Pro and color corrected in DaVinci Resolve. Schellenbach is currently considering new projects and is working with Los Angeles based bands on his next video saying, “I’m very excited for things to come.”
“Although this project has nothing to do with wound care, it has everything to do with wound care,” he said. “This project was only truly possible because of support and generosity of my employer at Wound Care Advantage. I’m lucky that I work for a forward-thinking company that encourages their employees to pursue what they’re passionate about.”