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NATL's Complete Show Package for CMT's "Chainsaw Gang"

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  • HOLLYWOOD and NEW YORK - The leaders of creative production company National Television (NATL, are very proud to reveal their craftsmanship in creating a complete on-air promotional package for CMT's hit Saturday night reality TV series "Chainsaw Gang."  Since debuting in November, the show has been featured by top news outlets, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Daily News and Huffington Post.
    Airing on Saturdays at 10:00 and 10:30 p.m., ET/PT, the show follows artist Stacy Poitras, his Deadwood Tree Sculptures business in Agoura Hills, California, his colleagues, his girlfriend, and the surprising artistic creations they bring to life with their chainsaws. During the recent holidays, CMT ran "Chainsaw Gang" episodes back-to-back in numerous marathon sessions, to include the season one finale starring former "Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider. While fans await further word season two, the shows continue to air on CMT, and all episodes are also available on the network's website.
    "We have a great relationship with CMT executives David Bennett and Leslie Legare, and they know we bring our A game to every project," said NATL's creative director Brumby Boylston.  "The stars of this series use chainsaws in a unique way: They're artists, not lumberjacks or tree surgeons.  To package and promote the show we focused on them… intercutting shallow depth of field portraits with them at work, chainsaws hurling debris in slow-motion.  While it's built around watching a blank tree trunk become a distinct sculpture, it really conveys the cast's personalities."

    To create the show's main title sequence and other promotional spots and elements, Boylston and NATL's crew made the trip to the Deadwood Tree Sculptures compound for a full day of shooting.  Along with NATL executive producer Jared Libitsky, director of photography Andrew Shulkind and producers Josh Libitsky and Zach Wakefield, the company deployed two camera units.  For principal photography, they chose a high-speed Red Epic system with Arri macro lenses mounted to a mobile jib, while a Canon D5 was used to quickly capture details and inserts.  According to the filmmakers, the D5 was later moved to shoot elements and effects against a green-screen, and several HD GoPro units were affixed to motion-control time-lapse devices and mounted onto saws and cranes to provide additional motion elements for the tactile show package.
    "Mainly we were focused on capturing beautiful, expressive portraits of the cast and amazing, balletic slow-motion footage of the carving," Boylston explained.  "We arranged for the cast to have a sculpture in three separate stages, and we filmed them working on each phase of a project."
  • Several approaches were explored for creating the show's logo.  Boylston describes one end result as "a pseudo-time-lapse logo where the type emerges from a blank stump," and a second one "made of steel and in a typeface used since the pilot."  Both were created in Autodesk Maya and finished in Adobe After Effects.  He also mentioned the importance of Apple's Final Cut Pro for creating and delivering five unique promo spots, and After Effects for handling detailed time-ramp effects, creating titles and compositing shot effects.  Final color grading for the spots was handled in DaVinci, and for the open, in Red Cine X.
    "NATL is an exceptional creative partner, very collaborative and always pushing the possibilities in our creative briefs," said David Bennett, CMT Director On-Air Design.

    For CMT, credit also goes to producers Emilie Schnick Dishno and Chandy Jeannette, while NATL's team also included designers Chris Dooley, David Chun, Brian Won and Jeni Wamberg, 2D/3D animators Jeni Wamberg and Trix Taylor, editor Vic Brown, Jr., and storyboard artist Hugh Keenan. 
    For more information on "Chainsaw Gang," please visit

    About National Television (NATL)
    Creative production company NATL specializes in awe-inspiring design, animation and live-action storytelling for discerning youths and other young-at-heart audiences. Launched in Los Angeles in 2004 by partners Brumby Boylston, Christopher Dooley, and Brian Won, and joined in 2006 by Jared Libitsky, NATL has built its reputation through patently original creative contributions to projects spanning on-air packages and promo campaigns for top entertainment networks, commercials for leading advertising agencies and brands, and music videos for a Who's Who of stars and recording artists. Now also based in NYC, NATL's principals are teaming-up with creative world leaders to deliver the next generation of creative communications across all media platforms. To learn more, please visit