A supermoon + blue moon + lunar eclipse = #superbluebloodmoon, a rare celestial phenomenon that captivated the world on January 31, 2018.
I captured a timelapse of the supermoon on the night of January 30th approximately twelve hours before the lunar eclipse. During a supermoon the moon appears larger in the sky and significantly brighter. This is due to the orbit reaching its closest approach to earth (the perigee) in conjunction with a full moon.
I drove 45min north to Charlotte, North Carolina to film the moon passing behind the Bank of America Corporate Center, the tallest building in the state. Using the Moon Seeker app on my iPhone, I knew where the moon would rise. I chose an exit off-ramp near the Carolina Panther’s stadium and filmed for almost 20 minutes using a 70-200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter. The tripod positioning was just right to capture the moon passing behind the spires of the crown as the sky grew dark.
I put it online through the Tried & True Facebook page. Throughout the next day we received dozens of media requests. Filming and posting the clip was an attempt to capitalize on supermoon interest to gain earned media exposure locally and nationally for this production company. The clip was filmed in 4k and downscaled to 1920X1080p (full HD) so that I could add a digital zoom in post.
In the two days following the event, the clip was shared by thousands of people and viewed online over 1 million times cumulatively across multiple platforms. It was broadcast nationally on HLN and appeared locally on the Charlotte ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. CNN even paired our timelapse with footage from NASA. Because Reuters and Storyful.com picked up the clip, it has run in a number of newspaper sites around the world including The Washington Post.
The Great American Eclipse coincided with the Connecticut Open in August of 2017. While in New Haven providing coverage I was tasked with creating an original all-access piece when we had media time with the top seeded players. Before the tournament I had thought about doing a piece with some players reacting to watching the eclipse. But obviously that video would be finished after the event. It would not benefit from the momentum of the national conversation, hype and excitement about the coast to coast celestial show.
My concept for a PSA was approved and I wrote the script the day before our all-access sessions. Having the benefit of working with these female players in the past, I knew their personalities well enough to write lines that suited their delivery.
It was definitely a blast writing, directing and editing. I really enjoy working the Connecticut Open because the tournament director, Anne Worcester allows for so much latitude to create original content. The team in New Haven scrambled and came up with all of the props needed. Katie Spellman, the new PR director for the tournament, is very well connected having worked for the WTA and also repping players. Her ability to cajole players and worldwide tennis contacts to share and retweet the piece meant that the video reached an audience that dwarfed all of our previous output from the past three years.
I enjoyed doing the voiceover, making the tennis ball eclipse graphics, picking the 1950s light and lively orchestral track. Editing meant that some fun jokey parts were left on the cutting room floor. But I think the piece ended up being tighter and more watchable as a result. This video and the Connecticut Open Debate video from 2016 rank as two of my favorite pieces we have created recently. Obviously there is limited interest and fans of European tennis players is niche audience, but making something from scratch that people respond well to and enjoy is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.