Archive for the ‘Video & Motion’ tag

A Recent Shoot by christopher kilkus

with one comment

Here are¬†some still pics from a recent motion shoot I did. It’s going to take a little while longer to finish editing the video but thought I would post these stills in the meantime. Enjoy ūüôā

Christopher Kilkus PhotographyChristopher Kilkus PhotographyChristopher Kilkus PhotographyChristopher Kilkus PhotographyChristopher Kilkus Photography



















Alyssa Pizer Management

Written by Christopher Kilkus

August 1st, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Behind the Scenes on Wet Seal by christopher kilkus

without comments

Here is a little Behind the Scenes video that Wet Seal made from our most recent shoot.



Orange County retailer Wet Seal Inc. pioneered the quick translation of Southern California’s beachy lifestyle into fashions for young women. But now it is trying to avoid drowning in the competitive teen marketplace.

The Foothill Ranch company said Wednesday that it would close 338 stores, or two-thirds of its locations, and lay off nearly 3,700 employees as the retailer tries to stave off bankruptcy and revamp its business. It will continue to operate 173 locations and its online business.”Our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores,” Chief Executive Ed Thomas said in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision to make.”

Wet Seal has suffered in recent years as parents cut back on allowances for their children and older teenagers battled Expensive leases for mall space also weighed on Wet Seal. Shopping center rivals, including¬†Abercrombie & Fitch¬†and Aeropostale, have struggled to attract fickle young shoppers. Delia’s Inc., a competing teen chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and is holding a going-out-of-business sale.Wet Seal may be heading for the same fate unless it can dramatically overhaul its brand and perhaps find a buyer, analysts said.

“The best chance of survival is to take the company private and in turn revitalize the company,” said Britt Beemer, founder of America’s Research Group. “At the rate they are going now, they won’t be here next year.”

The announcement of the closings follows an outpouring of anger on social media this week by workers who said they were suddenly told they were losing their jobs.

Photos of handwritten signs taped to some Wet Seal storefronts went viral online with hashtags such as #ForgetWetSeal and #BoycottWetSeal.

“It’s truly crazy. It was a big shock, especially coming so suddenly,” Bowlin said. “We all have bills and car payments and families, and our job was just taken from us.”

Wet Seal’s troubles started before the Great Recession, analysts said. The chain has wrestled for years to define its identity; it acquired other merchants and rolled out new brands, but never managed to resonate for long with fashion-conscious shoppers.

The chain’s woes were apparent in the lackluster sales at the locations that are being closed. Although they represent 66% of Wet Seal’s stores, they accounted for only the chain got its start in 1962 as a stand-alone swimwear shop in Newport Beach, originally named Lorne’s, after founder Lorne Huycke.

The name was changed a few years later, according to a company history, after the founder’s wife saw a model strutting down a runway clad in a black bathing suit and described her as looking like “a wet seal.”

The retailer rapidly expanded in the 1980s and ’90s, even adding for a time a chain selling unisex teen clothes called Limbo Lounge. The chain went public in 1990 and later acquired more than 200 Contempo Casual stores from Neiman Marcus Group.Competition for teenagers has only increased as young shoppers flock to the new generation of fast-fashion rivals that can rush items into stores only a few weeks after a trend is spotted.

In addition, consumers are no longer shopping en masse at enclosed malls, where many Wet Seal stores are located, Beemer said. “Wet Seal is part of that problem,” he said.

The company has lost more than $150 million in the last two complete fiscal years. In its third quarter that ended Nov. 1, Wet Seal reported a loss of $36 million, compared with a loss of $12.5 million a year earlier.

The turmoil in its finances has been reflected in boardroom drama. Wet Seal has had three CEOs in the last four years. In 2012, activist shareholder Clinton Group succeeded in ousting most of its board members, including the chairman.

The company also became mired in a racial bias lawsuit alleging that it fired black employees so it could hire white workers. In 2013, the retailer paid $7.5 million to settle that suit.

Now Wet Seal has to figure out a way forward ‚ÄĒ or risk becoming extinct.

Several analysts said the best path forward is to file for bankruptcy, restructure and find a buyer. Wall Street investors appear to be hoping for a sale; they drove the company’s stock to nearly 13 cents a share Wednesday from 7 cents the day before. That’s down from a trading peak of $2.75 nearly a year ago.

Last month, the company said there was “substantial doubt” it could continue operating. Last week, the retailer said it had received a default notice on $27 million in debt. The company’s creditor has given it until Jan. 12 to pay what it owes.

“The best way to get out of leases on retail stores that aren’t performing is through Chapter 11,” said Ron Friedman, a retail expert at accounting firm Marcum. “Their choices are raise more capital, get rid of all your bad stores and downsize.”










Written by Christopher Kilkus

July 18th, 2011 at 5:13 am

Scott Chrisman films Chris Kilkus Wet Seal shoot

without comments

My friend Scott Chrisman, a talented Director of Photography here in Los Angeles, shot a really nice behind the scenes video of a recent shoot I did with Wet Seal, check it out below.

Urban Planet Summer Video by chris kilkus

without comments

Here is out latest video for Urban Planet, shot at the same time we were doing their still campaign. ¬†We shot this one on the beach at Paradise Cove in Malibu. ¬†If you are lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, or just visiting, it’s definitely worth spending some time there. ¬†It has a lovely little beach town vibe, there is a cafe and bar right in the sand. ¬†Unfortunately, they day we were shooting was really cold and windy! ¬†It’s always a challenge when mother nature doesn’t cooperate on a location shoot….. in this case there really wasn’t much we could do but keep the models as warm as possible and try to get the wind to work in the hair’s favor.

Christian Stoehr and Russ Lyster were working the Canon 5D packages for me on this one.  We kept it pretty simple, a couple cameras on RedRock rigs, a slider, tripod, and then just hand held reflectors for light control.  I wanted to keep it loose and give it somewhat of a vacation film vibe so most of the shots were hand held, but we threw in a few slider and tripod shots to keep a little of that cinematic feel too.

Of course, the challenge for me on these shoots is balancing the still and motion parts of the production, especially when the still is the most critical for the client. ¬†The only way to do it is have two separate crews going at the same time, and I just walk back and forth from one to the other….. it can make for a busy day! ¬†But with a decent amount of preparation things still tend to run quite smoothly.

I hope you enjoy our little film, and be sure to check back often for sneak peeks of our latest work.

Urban Planet by Chris Kilkus Photography

Written by Christopher Kilkus

May 20th, 2011 at 9:09 am

Wonderful Machine Blog Post

without comments

Wonderful Machine made a nice blog post about the motion work we have done for our client Urban Planet.  Check it out HERE

Written by Christopher Kilkus

January 3rd, 2011 at 8:34 am

Urban Planet Video

with 2 comments

Urban Planet Fashion Video from Christopher Kilkus on Vimeo.

Here is our latest video for Urban Planet, shot at the same time as we shot the still campaign.  What a challenge to get both a still campaign and video done in the same day!  Luckily, I have a great team and we pulled it off really well.  We ended up doing over 20 still shots, and this video, all within 8 hours on a painfully humid day in upstate New York.

Again we shot this on two Canon 5d MarkII cameras using a tripod, slider, and Redrock cinema rig. ¬†We left the steadycam at home again. It would have been nice to use on some of the shots, but we had to move so fast we just wouldn’t have the time to switch over to the steadycam anyway. ¬†Our light package was beyond simple, just two Lowel Omni lights and whatever light we could suck out of an overcast day.

I edited this video by myself too, I’m definitely getting more comfortable with that process. ¬†It’s probably the most important skill to learn for any still photographer that is getting into motion. ¬†It’s like putting a puzzle together and can be really enjoyable…. though it’s a long process, something that I have to keep in mind when getting booked on these jobs. ¬†A one day video shoot can turn into one solid week of editing, and that doesn’t leave much room to be working on other jobs.

Check out that kiss at the end of the video…. WOW! That’s Rachelle from NEXT Models, she’s fantastic on set and doesn’t hold anything back! ūüôā

Written by Christopher Kilkus

November 30th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Urban Planet Fashion Video

with 2 comments

Here is our latest fashion video from the Urban Planet campaign shoot a few weeks ago in Brooklyn, New York.

Urban Planet is a cool fashion retailer from Canada and this season they were going for a bit of a grunge style. ¬†It’s always fun for me to shoot with these guys because it’s a different style than I normally do, a bit moodier and more dramatic.

I worked with the wonderful Urban Planet art director Ian Mclleland, and production was kept smooth and trouble free by Christine Kelly, and our stylist Kelly Brown put great outfits together and was a joy as always.

I wasn’t going to have the time or the budget to bring my full crew and equipment package from Los Angeles, so Jacob at¬†CSI Rentals put together everything for me from scratch. ¬†I was a bit nervous about working with assistants provided by a rental house, but they turned out to be the most professional and hard working group of guys I have ever come across! ¬†Thanks Tom Judge, Mark Glenn, Justin Conly, and David Chow!

To make things easier on myself I rented the Digital, Lighting and Grip Van package from CSI….. basically a vehicle that is full of all the equipment you would ever need on a location photo shoot. ¬†This service is common place in Los Angeles, we use them all the time, but as far as I know CSI is one of the only companies that provides this in New York. ¬†I have to say, it was a pleasure not to have to travel through the airport with my usual six giant Pelican cases of equipment!

We shot the video at the same time as the still photoshoot, which is always a massive challenge. ¬†We don’t want to slow the still shoot down because we still need to get about 20 or so shots done in a day, but at the same time we want to do MORE than just a simple behind the scenes video. ¬†It’s just a matter of dividing our forces. ¬†My cameraman is Christian Stoehr who has a lot of experience shooting television and feature films, so he has a good eye and is used to the run and gun style of shooting this requires.

We go into the shoot with an idea of a story we want to tell on video, map out some shots, and I give as much direction as I can. During the shoot, whenever I have time I’ll stay with him and direct the scenes, but since I’m still responsible for getting the still shoot done, I often have to leave him to his own devices. ¬†For this shoot I made sure he also had a camera assistant since we were at a pretty rough location on one of the hottest days of the year in New York. ¬†And the assistant really earned his money that day, there was a point when he almost passed out from the heat!

We shot this on the Canon 5D equipment, and for this one we only had a tripod and a RedRock shoulder rig….. we didn’t have the room to bring the steadycam and slider from L.A. ¬†One thing we have learned with the Canon 5D is that you have to load a cinematic Picture Profile when shooting video….. it mimics shooting on color negative film, sort of flattens out the color, exposure and contrast. ¬†This gives us much more leeway in our color and exposure adjustments in post, and lends the final product a more cinematic feel.

This is also the first video that I have edited completely on my own. ¬†I fought learning Final Cut Pro…. I didn’t want yet another super intensive piece of software in my brain…. it must be getting completely filled up in there by now! ūüôā ¬†But I’ve realized unless I really knew software and workflow, I was never gonna get the results I wanted. ¬†Filmmaking is a much more collaborative process than photography, but everyone still needs to have a background in everyone else’s job to be able to communicate effectively. ¬†So now that I understand Final Cut and the editing process, I feel like I’m going to be a lot better at working with professional editors on my future videos.

So hope you enjoy the video, and below are a few of the still photos I pulled off the Urban Planet website. ¬†I’ll get around to editing this shoot and retouching these for my portfolio soon.

Written by Christopher Kilkus

August 12th, 2010 at 9:08 am

Behind the Scenes Video from Heritage Fashion Campaign

without comments

This is the behind the scenes video that goes along with the Sneak Peek of the Heritage 1981 fashion campaign shot at PoohBah’s record store.

Heritage 1981 fashion shoot from Christopher Kilkus on Vimeo.

Written by Christopher Kilkus

January 2nd, 2010 at 11:13 am

Video test with Canon 5D

without comments

As you know, I’ve been playing around with video lately, testing out some different cameras and equipment. ¬†Here is a recent test I did with the model Helene Traasavik from Vision Models using the Canon 5D and a camera mounted light. ¬†This is a very rough draft….. I just did a quick edit of the footage in iMovie! ¬†I can’t wait to have a good editor take a crack at it in Final Cut.

Helene at the SLS hotel from Christopher Kilkus on Vimeo.

Written by Christopher Kilkus

January 2nd, 2010 at 10:09 am

Behind the Scenes Videos

without comments

We’ve been shooting a lot of behind the scenes videos for our clients lately. ¬†It’s a nice bit of additional promotion for their brands, and it’s been fun for us to get into video production. ¬†We’ve got some nice video only projects coming out in the near future to share with you guys, but here are a couple more BTS videos from a recent Heritage shoot. One was shot on a Canon 5D and the other on a Zumi camera that gives it a vintage look.

Written by Christopher Kilkus

December 23rd, 2009 at 9:46 pm