Tag Archives: The Colonie

Jimmy Helm upped to editor at The Colonie

The Colonie, the Chicago-based editorial, visual effects and motion graphics shop, has promoted Jimmy Helm to editor. Helm has honed his craft over the past seven years, working with The Colonie’s senior editors on a wide range of projects. Most recently, he has been managing ongoing social media work with Facebook and conceptualizing and editing short format ads. Some clients he has collaborated with include Lyft, Dos Equis, Capital One, Heineken and Microsoft. He works on both Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere.

A filmmaking major at Columbia College Chicago, Helm applied for an internship at The Colonie in 2010. Six months later he was offered a full-time position as an assistant editor, working alongside veteran cutter Tom Pastorelle on commercials for McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Quaker and Wrangler. During this time, Helm edited numerous projects on his own, including broadcast commercials for Centrum and Kay Jewelers.

“Tom is incredible to work with,” says Helm. “Not only is he a great editor but a great person. He shared his editorial methods and taught me the importance of bringing your instinctual creativity to the process. I feel fortunate to have had him as a mentor.”

In 2014, Helm was promoted to senior assistant editor and continued to hone his editing skills while taking on a leadership role.

“My passion for visual storytelling began when I was young,” says Helm “Growing up in Memphis, I spent a great deal of time watching classic films by great directors. I realize now that I was doing more than watching — I was studying their techniques and, particularly, their editing styles. When you’re editing a scene, there’s something addictive about the rhythm you create and the drama you build. I love that I get to do it every day.”

Helm joins The Colonie’s editorial team, comprised of Joe Clear, Keith Kristinat, Pastorelle and Brian Salazar, along with editors and partners Bob Ackerman and Brian Sepanik.

 

 

The Colonie provides editing, VFX for Toyota Corolla spot

Chicago’s The Colonie has teamed with Burrell Communications to provide editorial, visual effects and design services for I Do, a broadcast spot introducing the 2017 Toyota Corolla.

Creative editor Bob Ackerman edited with the carmaker’s tagline, “Let’s Go Places,” in mind. Fast-paced cuts and editing effects helped create an upbeat message that celebrates the new Corolla, as well as its target audience — what Toyota refers to as today’s “on-the-go” generation of young adults.

Lewis Williams, Burrell’s EVP/CCO, brought The Colonie onboard early in the process to collaborate with the production company The Cavalry, ensuring the seamless integration of a variety of visual effects that were central to the style of this spot.

The commercial integrates three distinct vignettes. The spot opens with a young woman behind the wheel of her Toyota. She arrives at a city park and her friends help her yarn bomb the surroundings — from hand-knitted tree trunk covers to a slipcover for a love seat and a garbage pail cozy in the likeness of whimsical characters.

barbarFrom the get-go art director Winston Cheung was very focused on keeping the tone of the spot fresh and young. When selecting footage during the edit session, Ackerman and Cheung made sure to use some of the more playful set-ups from the yarn vignette to providing the bold color palette for final transfer.

The second scenario finds an enterprising man parking his Corolla and unloading his “Pop-Up Barbershop” in front of a tall wall featuring artful graffiti. A well-placed painting of a young man’s face extends over the top of the wall completes the picture. As soon as the barber sets up his chair, his first customer arrives.

The third vignette features a young filmmaker shooting footage of the 2017 Toyota as her crew adds some illuminating effects. Taking her cues from this scene, The Colonie senior designer, Jen Moody, crafted a series of shots that use a “light painting” technique to create a trail of light effect. One of the characters writes the spot’s title, I Do with a light, which Moody layered to create a more tangible quality that really sells the effect. VFX supervisor Tom Dernulc took a classic Toyota Corolla from a previous segment and seamlessly integrated it into the background of the scene.

The Colonie’s team explored several methods for creating the various VFX in the spot before deciding upon a combination of Autodesk Flame Premium and Adobe After Effects. Then it was a matter of picking the right moments. Ackerman grabbed some of their top choices, roughed in the effect on the Avid Media Composer, and presented the client with a nearly finished look right from the very first rough cuts.

“Early on, creative director Lisa McConnell had expressed a desire to explore using a series of stills flashing (á la TV’s Scandal) to advance the spot’s story,” says Ackerman. “We loved the idea. Condensing short sequences of footage into rapid progressions of imagery provided us with an innovative way to convey the full scope of these three scenarios in a very limited 30-second time frame — while also adding an interesting visual element to the final spot.”

Fred Keller of Chicago’s Filmworkers provided the color grade, CRC’s Ian Scott performed the audio mix and sound design, and composers Mike Dragovic, Michael Yessian and Brian Yessian provided the score.

Behind the Title: Colonie senior assistant editor Jimmy Helm

NAME: Jimmy Helm

COMPANY: The Colonie

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
The Colonie is a post house specializing in creative editorial, visual effects, color grading, motion design and finishing for commercials, broadcast content, film and emerging media.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Senior Assistant Editor

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
One of my mentors taught me that a good assistant is like being a politician’s wife with an IT background. Whether I’m entertaining clients or fixing a technical error, I ensure everything is covered so that the editor can cut. In addition, I also lead the assistants so that everything we do is uniform, up-to-date and efficient.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Using Photoshop to put my producer’s family members into funny situations.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
When the first version is loved.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Avid’s cryptic error messages. I mean, seriously, what’s a “Bus Error” and who coined the phrase?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
When you come in early and the office is quiet. That and a bucket of iced coffee make getting in the zone effortless.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Acting in professional theater. The rush you feel when you first enter the stage is similar to the first time you screen an edit. I’m very fortunate that both of my passions provide an adrenaline kick.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
It became clear after about an hour of my first and only accounting course that I needed to be in a creative field. Since I spent most of my youth studying films and making movies with my dad’s video camera, filmmaking emerged as a natural choice.

Helm served as editor on this spot for Centrum Silver out of Leo Burnett.

Helm served as editor on this spot for Centrum Silver out of Leo Burnett.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
I’ve recently worked on projects for Kohler, McDonald’s and Centrum Silver.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
A music video I edited for the bluegrass band, Trampled by Turtles. The music was bombastic and the cinematography was exquisite. As an editor, you don’t always have every shot you envision but when you do there’s nothing like it.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
iPhone, Apple TV and anything with Bluetooth technology. Using Bluetooth still makes me feel like a wizard.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
Facebook, but I’ve recently started to enjoy the simplicity of Instagram.

CARE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
It depends. Some days require Chet Baker or Nina Simone, but Friday’s tend to summon Lady Gaga.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DESTRESS FROM IT ALL?
A long walk home in the right weather is my go-to remedy. It hasn’t failed me yet.